Because Sex Kittens love to read: Book reviews and exclusive author interviews.
Gracie's top three book gifts this year each have an Asian theme. While this was not intended (you might even say this is The Accidental Occidental Holiday List), Gracie prefers to think of it as serendipity ~ for each of these works is singularly wonderful.
Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc, award winning author of Horror Sinisteria, will be on the Cult of Gracie radio show on XXBN tomorrow, June 18th at 9 p.m. central.
I first met Amanda at The Marketing Whore, and once we began talking, she sent me her book. I have to say that I wasn't super excited at first. Not just because my reading pile is well, not actually a pile at all, but a mountain range threatening avalanche, but because I've read a few other books & ebooks on this subject and I was greatly disappointed with them. Most authors are so, apparently, threatened by possible legal action that the books become so vague as to be useless; similarly become the ones written by those who clearly have not had any actual sex work experience. And a few are either so poorly written or such a sad collection of generalized stereotypes that they are not worth anyone's time. Typically, this genre of how-tos leaves me mourning the out of print status of Magalene Meretrix's book...

But Amanda's book is, in a word, brilliant.

Writer, musician, spoken-word artist and all-around bad girl Lydia Lunch finally releases her autobiography of sorts, "Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary."
"If Tom Robbins and Exene Cervenka had sex in a back alley, their lovechild would be Amy Guth. Her debut novel is touching and terrifying, hopeful and demented," says Eric Spitznagel, author of Fast Forward: Confessions of a Porn Screenwriter.

But would the book live up to such expectations?

Gracie reviews Three Fallen Women, by Amy Guth.

DeeDee reviews The Diet Cure by Julia Ross in hopes of better body balance.

Women Writers on Breast Cancer. Edited, with an introduction by Hilda Raz.

Paradigms shift, twist and flex in this book which addresses gender roles, religion and culture as a whole.
I have often looked around at the bizarre, unfamiliar terrain of my sex life and thought, "I sure could use a map..."
Gracie reviews the biography of Alice Bradley Sheldon, an amazing woman who wrote award winning science fiction under the pen name of James Tiptree, Jr. from 1967 to her death in 1987. (She also occasionally wrote under the pseudonym Raccoona Sheldon from 1974–77.)

Tiptree was most notable for breaking down the barriers between writing perceived as inherently "male" or "female." It wasn't until 1977 that folks discovered that James Tiptree, Jr. was a woman.

But Gracie didn't know any of this when she grabbed the book. (She's weird like that.)

This is why I read. Books like this come into my life maybe once in a decade.

You can't ignore Valentine's Day, face it. It may not be your favorite. If you’re a guy, maybe you feel manipulated by this holiday. If you’re a chick, maybe you feel let down or reminded that your life lacks romance. Just embrace the day, it's only once a year. Here are Tess's recommendations, both words and music, to put in your head and your heart or to give to another in recognition of this special day.

Sex in the Outdoors: a humorous approach to recreation, by Robert Rose and Buck Tilton. A clever, quick read that probably will bring a chuckle or two and maybe even inspire a desperate need to get it on in the great outdoors.
Tickle His Pickle by Dr. Sadie Allison is an owner's manual, so to speak, and worth reading just for the entertaining illustrations and light-hearted tone. Penises should never be taken too seriously.
Kathleen Alcala's book is vivid and inspiring.
Marilyn Monroe is a true icon, a legend with a myth that continues to grow long after her death. So much as been written about her that's she's become not only a sex symbol but a symbol for nearly anything else. We dehumanize her so that we may (ironically) personalize our cultural views regarding sexuality, feminism, relationships, media and more. She is used to illustrate, prove and feed our theories.

She's become not a person but an image, an icon -- a cliche.

Inspired by my Latin lovers, I seek to become a kick-ass chica Latina, or at least bilingual. No small feat, as Tessa's as white as a glass of milk in a snowstorm.
You might remember Esther Williams and her famous pool movies (now either fondly remembered by those who first saw them in the movie theaters, or considered kitsch and belittled for their formulaic manner).

She was America's sweetheart for more than 18 years, appearing in 26 movies from the early 1940's to the end of the '50s, and she was MGM's top female box office star ever. There's no denying that Esther Williams is an icon & a phenomenon that shouldn't be easily dismissed. As such, her book is full of gossip, insider stories and the like.

But what's most impressive about this book is the life of Esther Williams the person.

I'm a murder-mystery buff ... but I have never read one like this before.
We all do it sooner or later, and believe it or not, there's a certain amount of skill to it. This book provides tips to make it all "come out" alright and cautions for preserving the environment and the health of animals and other humans.
Barbara G. Walker's book of feminine bonding and empowerment rituals is worth reading for creative ideas and as a reminder of how very cool it is to be a woman.

A good one to put on your Christmas list!
Fascinating book. It was written over twenty years ago, but is surprisingly relevant. It's funny how the abortion debate really hasn't changed much in two decades.
Tao, Tantra and the Kama Sutra
I wish I could imagine how many lives this book has saved. Not just in the obvious sense, in getting away from a dangerous man without him killing you first. But how many lives have been "saved" in the turning around, finding your spirit and making it the life you want and deserve?
I bought this book because it sounded like a great book to inspire the naughty side of my creativity. I figured if anything could get my muse in the mood to inspire me it would be some heavy duty fondling. I hoped this book would tell me how to do it better or do it right since I obviously have been doing something wrong because the bitch walked out on me and I really need her back.
Author David Stenn reveals the life of Jean Harlow from her early childhood through her tragic death.
I've dreamed of the sensuous, secret-shrouded lands of antiquity, where the nights are filled with perfume and the tantalizing slither of silk against skin. In these places, the incubi and the succubae of the imagination wake up and walk. This book can be seen as a travelogue of the exotic landscape of the imagined realm. Traveler's tales. – Storm Constantine
The Price of Motherhood- Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued. Every woman should read and own this book! Every man should have to read this book. This book should be on the required reading list in high schools and should be taught in college as a course in itself. This book should be a required read for anyone entering the fields of politics or economics. I am not exaggerating, I’m completely serious.
The Roger Ebert of porn, Violet Blue, offers up this must-have reference guide to adult films.
There's still a little summer left...
Rarely have I read anything that annoys me as much as Why Men Are The Way They Are by Warren Farrell. The problem is not that I disagreed with so many of his ideas. My frustration was that he provided just enough insight to make me want to keep reading instead of throwing the book in the garbage where it belongs.
Shimmy Magazine is a charming little publication which dotes on burlesque in its many facets and incarnations.
Tess treats the Tease to a rub-down.
When Sex Was Dirty carries on the tales of debauchery begun in Tales of Times Square. This doesn't tell you much unless you've read that book ~ which I have not. So let me try this again. When Sex Was Dirty is a collection of stories about the dirty world of New York City in the late 70's and early 80's. It may not be glamorous, but it is fascinating...
Thirty More Powerful Contemporary Scene-Study Pieces by Susan Pomerance
Men may be, as we are told, visual creatures, but many women adore and collect vintage images. Pinups and those 'trashy' covers of pulp novels do more than just flirt with men ya know -- women like them too. And if this includes you, then do I have a treat for you...
The Vagina Monologues can be experienced visually or textually. Both are absolutely necessary for full appreciation of this art.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone looking to have definitive answers on their sex life. It could pose for fun. Especially if you started doing all your friend's charts and could use it to bring up all those sex related questions you hadn't had a reason to ask them yet.
How to tell who's who.
Magic is to live, communicate, think, and express ourselves to feel and discover the eternal secrets of our existence. Sexual magic is the encounter of two universes: the feminine and the masculine; this union results in love, creation, wisdom and happiness; ecstasy, power, and life.

- Mabel Iam

Like a lover, good books should take their time...
Reveals secrets that Southern women have known for centuries.
Tess reviews Updating! How to Get a Man or Woman Who Once Seemed Out of Your League by Leil Lowndes.
Oh the cleverness of E. Jean! She is Divine.
If you gotta be a dog, be a bitch.
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
Not the "how to" manual I was expecting, but an engaging, entertaining read. I want to be a phone sex girl!

Much like mainstream Hollywood, the porn industry has a history full of controversy, tragedy, and crime that leads the path up to the billion dollar empire it is today.

In general, I enjoyed her expression of the fact that when you make love to someone, you do it in all the things you do with them and for them. That it is not just a fact of having very intimate sex with your partner, while it is ok to have crazy, raunchy sex with them and not feel like you are belittling the validity of the experience.

Imagine this-you're involved in some heavy S/M scene with a playmate and you come across a serious emergency. Hopefully, you'll do the right thing and get medical attention, if needed. However, S/M expert Jay Wiseman (and ambulance crewman/firefighter) has written this pocket-sized little manual to help prevent such emergencies and properly deal with them if they do happen.

A decade characterized by drinking, partying and promiscuity; The Roaring Twenties were known as a time of great excess & rebellion. In order to encapsulate an oftentimes overlooked part of the era, author Marion Meade, explores an integral part of early 20th century literature, women writers.
Even an introvert likes to be a people magnet once in a while.
I don't think I would have the courage shown by Azar Nafisi and her students.
A collection of poems by Kola Boof. Kola herself says "'Nile River Woman' was my earliest, angriest book, and it will be interesting to see whether or not a White woman can really review it." Does Gracie get it? Yes. No. Maybe so.
...in an appealing sort of a way, as Gracie finds out in this interview with author Jason Miller.
Perhaps I am too Utopian *wink* but I do believe that when we gain insight & understanding, we can put our hearts & ethics into action. I respect the hell out of Kola Boof. Admire her greatly. Even when her words sting. For behind them, truth rings. I'd like to think there are others out there who can be taught daily, and not just from some 'word a day' calendar.

Gracie talks with Kola about the messages in her book of poems, Nile River Woman.

DeeDee speaks with Bee regarding her life and her autobiography, Lessons in Taxidermy.
Secrets worth sharing...
The latest offering from the "This American Life" contributor, David Sedaris is not the light summer reading you may think it should be...but it's good writing and wry style are sure to please those who have come to love his stories.
As someone who's never tackled the genre of "summer beach books" I thought it was high time to explore this little corner of the reading world for myself - and found it to be a better experience than I had thought it would be!
A 1990's collection of letters to Fawwaz, a writer and journal editor living in exile in Paris, written in lieu of an essay on feminism, brimming with unique feminine insight and observation.
Amazon Bookstore Cooperative in Minneapolis is one of the few women's bookstores to survive into the 21st century.
A most remarkable story of love that withstands those normal, every day challenges while facing the impossible problem of a man who involuntarily travels through time. Yeah, yeah, yeah; it was a bestseller...but there's a DAMN good reason!
Like any other group ~ be it plumbers, politicians, or ministers ~ sex workers need a trade publication.
I want to be the "hag" or "crone."
I kept flipping to the back cover, to the reviewer's literature that came with the book, asking "Is this really a biography? Isn't this a novel?" But an autobiography it is. Though certainly a 'novel biography' for it is as delectable as fine literature.
So, your mom's a former stripper, now she gives classes on sexuality & sells sex toys, so you're a comfortable in your body, a bit of an exhibitionist yourself, right? No? Here's a story of one apple that does fall far from the tree...

Gracie reviews The Art of Undressing, by Stephanie Lehmann.

Libby reviews "Unrepentant Whore" by Scarlot Harlot.
Intriguing tidbits at a time...ADeadHeart reviews the titillating 'Ladies Own Erotica' - by the Kensington Ladies' Erotica Society. There are experiences that have no age, even when the people in them are children and one of them is you.
Essential reading for adolescent girls and full-grown Sex Kittens. I’m astounded at the volume of information packed into this tiny little paperback book. Originally published in 1969 and revised in 1981, Pomeroy’s facts are surprisingly relevant today.
Discussing sexual things with children is not easy, even for someone as progressive and open-minded as I am. Books like this give parents a starting point and get them thinking about what they will say to their children about sex. Because “nothing” shouldn’t be an option.
Kim Ficera has carefully packaged the best essays in a remarkable tour through contemporary gay/lesbian culture. Gaëlle & Gracie discuss what is not your typical lesbian fare...

ADeadHeart reviews ‘Crossing the Line’, the thrilling conclusion (unless there is more to come) to ‘The Thin Pink Line’. From dating to diapers (without the stretch marks).
A book that rings like a bell through the night, and wouldn't you love to love it?
Despite what men think, there have always been "uppity women" -- those who just didn't know their place.
This is a dangerous book. More powerful than any man's little black book. For the journal entries of the womanizer are where he pours his soul, the girls in the little black book merely get his sperm.

Gracie reviews Confessions of a Womanizer by Stephen E. Chatman

Great love story, OK read, or a wretched thing?

Kat, Tess & Jewel discuss The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks.

Infuse your sex life with new energy.
Get yourself a dictionary and sit down to probe the inner folds of Gordon Sumner's heart and mind in Broken Music: A Memoir. Sting's autobiography is as good as you'd expect.
ADeadHeart interviews Claire Zulkey, the author of Girls! Girls! Girls!
Feminist literature, as with religious literature, appeals to those who already adhere to the ideas expressed. It's not likely a man would find much interest in a book like this, but even a non-feminist woman will enjoy this little trip down memory lane. It's a feminist look at the pop culture we grew up with, and the author comes across as witty and charming, not indignant or oppressed.
Sadly enough, I feel as though I might be as much of an expert on divorce and custody as any psychologist writing books on the subject today. I would rather I did not know so much. But even an “expert” like me can find deeper understanding in “The Ex-Wife Syndrome.”
Every so often, we women complain about women in the media. When it comes to movies, we complain about the diminished roles for maturing women; we complain about the way women are portrayed in films; we complain about the history of films, most notably The Hollywood Code which seemed to destroy & limit our potential as women in film -- on both sides of the camera. But long before all that, in the very beginning, it was even worse.
Wonderful commonsense guide for women ~ and if you think my using 'commonsense' to describe it means you don't need it, guess again.
Why would YOU fake a pregnancy? For attention? To keep a man? For the hell of it? How about for a good story...?
If you liked the book, you'll love the authors!
A review in two perspectives: a lesbian who came out to her mother, and a foster mom who has had her daughters come out to her. (If these folks don't know how to evaluate this book, who will?)
Love transcends gender...
This is a must-have for your summer reading list. How does a girl from a normal, middle-class Catholic suburban family grow up to become an expert on the thriving underlife of the punk-rock lesbian Westcoast counter-culture? This is a fascinating collection of stories from a lady with an enchanting personality.
In 1945 ancient codices were discovered in upper Egypt. This collection of some 52 texts from the early centuries of the Christian era ~ including a collection of previously unknown gospels. Gospels & texts that Christians didn't want to include in the church. These diverse texts include secret gospels, myths, magic and feminine symbolism.

But the 'why they weren't included' is what Elaine Pagels tries to discover...

First of all, you're going to have to be open minded...
A fairy tale for adults that plays with wild sexy women, "white trash" families, forces of nature, and interesting men, while setting it up with a quick, easy to read pace that draws you into the magical world along the Fox River.
Author Jennifer Hunter gives us her views on Sexuality in Wicca and NeoPaganism.
ADeadHeart Reviews 'The Single Mother's Guide to Dating Well Without Parenting Poorly'
It is a book of ghosts, both past and present...all real.

This book is so beautiful, I feel sexy just holding it in my hands.
The truth about friendships, especially between women, is that they are never simple.
A must have book for EVERY Sex-Kitten's bookshelf! This book is not just a field guide to the male of the species, rather it's the sharing of real life as experienced by real women - with all it's hysterical possibilities covered!

A collection of short fiction stories from a man who has a knack for "taking readers into places no other writer even gets near.

Review of a book written by a man who appears to get more milage out of his words than anyone else I've ever read. (this isn't necessarily a good thing...)

A look at some 'tricks', by Jay Wiseman.

If a picture speaks a thousand words, a love letter speaks a thousand more...

Deauxville has written a fluffy little sci-fi/romance novel that romps us through New York City with the lovely Maryellen, and the golden-haloed alien, Sub-commander Ur Targon.

I think my favorite poem in the collection is:

Native American Barbie

There’s only one of her left.

This is what I love about women. And also sometimes hate about being a woman.

Gracie get's the exclusive goods from the author of Diary of an Emotional Idiot.
Who's an emotional idiot? Gracie's guess is nearly every woman in her 20s...
ADeadHeart reviews a collection of rants, raves and other such things...Girls! Girls! Girls!, by Claire Zulkey
”Why buy the pig just to get a little sausage?"
As a feminist, nothing aggravates me more--not even MEN aggravate me more--than another feminist who froths at the mouth like a man-hating rabid dog and makes us all look bad.
Two husbands, both dead. Is this a murder mystery? No, it's just a double book review.
The quest for adequate lesbian fiction and erotica hits a rare bright spot.

Five lovers. Five Cell Phones. What Could Go Wrong? ADeadHeart reviews Cheet by London author, Anna Davis.
A light snack of a book that tries and fails to be an American version of Bridget Jones Diary or e.
Rumored to be inspired by author Lydia Millet's two-year stint working as a copy editor at Hustler Magazine, ‘Everybody’s Pretty’ centers around the world of freelance porn reviewer Dean Decetes. While that may grab your attention, what keeps it is Dean’s delusional status.
At first I was reluctant to open it and begin reading, for I didn't want to read yet another book of hope and inspiration.
If the title of this book suggests to you a series of essays with a clear moral or other sound ponderings which will move you to make some activist stand, you’re mistaken.

It is, however, a book that will return you to the days of hiding under the covers, flashlight in hand, reading things you ought not to. Only this time, you wish your mother would walk in & catch you, so you would stop. She’s right, this stuff will give you nightmares.

Lou is actually a woman, which is significant because the charm of this book lies in the slumber-party style girlfriend-to-girlfriend nature of the material. If you can imagine, rather like the girls from SK lying around in our lingerie, comparing our latest sex toy purchases and discussing our favorite lubricants. It’s all here.
The Rules & Taboos For Giving Gifts to Woman

Oh, I so badly needed this book. How I struggled to understand the behaviors of men! How many hours I spent analyzing and excusing and wondering--now it all makes sense! -- Tess

ADeadHeart shares a basic Q and A with the author of I Used to Miss Him...But My Aim is Imroving and The 10 Women You'll Be Before You're 35. Alison James talks about her books, her advice, her life, her men, and women in the media.
ADeadHeart snags a reviewers copy of the not yet released book by Alison James. A quirky review from a quirky reader...
One woman's quest for adequate lesbian fiction and erotica begins...
What happens after you toss that suggestive Valentine’s Day invitation out the window? What happens to your sex contract after it has become null & void?

...or worse yet, what happens to those nude photos!

If I am lucky, someone finds your dirty things, & sends them on into 'Dirty Found.'

A glimpse into an exotic world.
Take equal parts of self-help book, affirmations, & ‘how to sex manual,’ blend, add a dollop of erotic writing, & a dash of earth wisdom & you have created “Radical Ecstasy: SM Journeys to Transcendence.”
I took inventory recently of my bookshelf and I was amused (depressed?) to see the number of books I’ve purchased on the subject of love and dating.
If he would have stopped writing after 3 books, we would have a nice sex fantasy trilogy.
"From dance hall girls to happy hookers, the world has always been fascinated with sex workers. Now, a woman who's done almost every kind of sex work imaginable reveals the actual details of sex work: how to get a job, how to keep yourself safe, how much you can expect to make, how to plan your exit strategy, and more."
It is with great difficulty that I review this book...
Cunt, by Inga Muscio. "At Least It Got Me Thinking..."
Ever wonder how much you should tip a hooker? Or how to avoid a DUI?

Oh, admit it. You're curious about what life is like on the bad side of town!

After a hellish break up that is still too recent in my memory, I picked up one of those cheesy self-help books about relationship recovery. I was pleasantly surprised by the brains and wit of one Miss Alison James, author of "I Used to Miss Him...But My Aim is Improving."

So I dropped her a note and won an interview...

A few months ago, GK interviewed Julie Strain for her new print magazine, 'Feline Fatale'. This resulted in Julie also sending her a copy of her latest book!