Category Archives: What’cha Reading

Book review: The Conversion

LGBT literatureI don’t regularly share book reviews because I think there are a lot of great sites that do this far better than me.  However, every once in awhile I read a book that I really like and want to share with others.

Earlier this year, I paid a visit to Boston’s sole remaining LGBT Bookstore, Calamus Bookstore, and picked up a handful of books. One of those books was Joseph Olshan’s The Conversion. I thought this story about Russell Todaro – a young American translator who wakes up in a hotel in Paris to find his lover (a world renowned poet) has died in his sleep – hard to put down.

Russell’s story unfolds in a villa in Italy after he accepts an unexpected offer from a celebrated Italian author to recover from the shock. While in Italy, Joseph Olshan shares more about Russell’s quest for love and overcoming a persistent writer’s block that he (Russell) learns his former lover attributed in his yet unfinished memoir to his fixation on failed relationships – Ouch!

Joseph Olshan lives in Vermont and is perhaps best known for his books, Nightswimmer and Clara’s Heart.  You can learn more about the book and the author, here.


Meet Christopher Hennessy at Calamus Bookstore

Christopher HennessyBoston’s Calamus Bookstore is hosting a “meet  the author” tonight at 7PM at their store on 92B South Street, near South Station in the Leather District.

Christopher Hennessy is the author of Outside the Lines: Talking with Contemporary Gay Poets and a collection of poems, Love-In-Idleness, which was a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. He is the associate editor for The Gay & Lesbian Review-Worldwide and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

For more details call Calamus Bookstore at 617-338-1931.

Calamus Bookstore SALE

Calamus Bookstore

Calamus Bookstore coupon

Boston’s only remaining LGBT bookstore over in the Leather District by South Station, Calamus Bookstore, is holding a killer sale.  

Buy any full price (non-discount) item at any price and get a second item of equal or lesser value for half price with the digital coupon I’ve included in this post.

Print this coupon or show it on your phone and start your holiday shopping by supporting this fantastic local bookstore.  The BOGO sale is currently in effect and runs through November 30, 2013.

Calamus Bookstore is located at 92B South Street and can be contacted via phone at 617-338-1931. They are open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 7pm and Sunday 12pm – 6pm.

PERV: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us

The Welcoming CommitteeThat fun gang over at The Welcoming Committee (TWC) is hosting an event in conjunction with the Museum of Science on Thursday, November 7th that you just might want to check out.

TWC members will be heading over to listen to Author Jesse Bering Ph.D talk about his new book, PERV: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us, while sipping cocktails at Bo Concept – located at 999 Mass Ave just outside Harvard Square.

When: Thursday, November 7th at 6:30 PM

Where: Bo Concept 999 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA

Register: You Must Register to Attend!


Boston Book Festival Oct 17-19th

Boston Book FestivalToday starts the fifth annual Boston Book Festival that will run through Saturday, October 19th.  The program is a celebration of the written word and has programs aimed to encourage reading and promote Boston’s cultural heritage as a place that has fostered some of America’s finest authors past and present.

This year renowned author and essayist Salman Rushdie is the keynote speaker.  He is joined by numerous others including, Mike Barnicle, Alan Dershowitz, and Joe Klein to name just a few of the presenters.  For a full list of scheduled events link here.

Game of Thrones

Game of ThronesLast week I purchased the four book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin.  Since I first watched HBO’s series Game of Thrones, which is based on the books above, I’ve been hooked.  The only part about my purchasing the books that surprises me is how long it has taken me.

Have you read the series? Are you a fan of the HBO show? I’m addicted.

Book review: The House of Special Purpose

John BoyneIt has been a long time since I posted a book review, but recently I finished reading a book that I think would appeal to people who enjoy historical fiction. The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne.  The 469 page book published by Other Press is narrated by the main character, Georgy Daniilovich Jachmenev, and opens with him reminiscing from his home in London in 1981 near the end of his life. 

Born in rural Russia, the son of a peasant farmer, Georgy’s life takes a dramatic turn after a bizarre incident that brings him to St. Petersburg to serve as a friend and bodyguard to the Tsar’s only son, Tsarevich Alexei.  The narration vacillates between life in Russia and his emigration to London via Paris after escaping his home country with his wife, Zoya.

Beautifully written, I found it difficult to put the book down. Although the twist that Boyne slowly gives away is easy to figure out, it doesn’t diminish the tale.  I found myself totally absorbed by his descriptions of what it was like growing up in Tsarist Russia and during the Bolshevik Revolution.  Additionally, his description of what it was like living in London during World War II was hard to stop reading and kept me up very late reading for more than one night.

If you are looking for a book to read and this appeals to you, go to your local bookstore or you may purchase it here on Amazon.

Missed periods

GrammarI should probably pick this up on  It seems my grammar and spelling gets worse each year; no thanks to spell check and other enablers.

Thought of the day: Books

BooksMichael C - a friend who has contributed posts to this blog in the past, recently posted this image on his Facebook page.  It got me to thinking, “What are you reading?”

TWC Author Salon

TWCThose crazy kids over at The Welcoming Committee (yes the very same group behind Guerrilla Queer Bar) is planning to take over an event at BoConcept in Cambridge next Wednesday, January 16.

TWC Takeover
Where Education Meets Cocktails
January 16th from 6:30 – 9PM  Register Here

According to the registration site TWC is bringing together cocktails, a bunch of gays and author Alex Stone who will discuss his new book Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind.   Curious?  There is a small registration fee.  Read more about the author, the evening event and then register for this event here.

Dennis Lehane at Boston Public Library Thursday

According to Adam’s Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog, renowned Boston novelist and BPL Trustee, Dennis Lehane, will speak on his newest book Live by Night on Thursday November 29th at 6pm at the Rabb Lecture Hall in Copley Square.   Make an evening of it by listening to Dennis then check out the Oak Long Bar + Kitchen in the Fairmont Copley for a drink or a bite.

You may also recognize Dennis Lehane as the author of many books that have been made into movies like Shutter IslandMystic River, and Gone, Baby, Gone.

Whatcha readin’?

gay literature blogI love to read and on most evenings, I end up reading at least a few pages in bed before falling asleep.  The past few books I’ve read have been disappointing so I’ve refrained from providing a book review post.

Hopefully that will change as I’m currently reading a humorous book that a friend dropped off late last month. In the interim if you are looking for a few suggestions on what to read check out this blog, which I stumbled upon this past weekend called, Speak Its Name.

If you forget to bookmark this site, no worries as I have it now posted in my blogroll of blogs over there 

Molly Ringwald: When it happens to you

When it happens to youTomorrow, Molly Ringwald will be in Boston (Brookline to be precise) to read from her second book When it Happens to You.

Although this is Ringwald’s second book it is her fiction debut.  The story, which revolves around  Greta and Phillip, a Southern California couple whose marriage dissolves amid revelations of infidelity, was recently reviewed by the NY Times.

Molly Ringwald may have been out of the spotlight since her teenage years when she ruled on the silver screen, but I still have soft spot in my heart for her.

For more information about tomorrow’s reading by Molly Ringwald contact The Bookline Booksmith.

Armistead Maupin in Provincetown

Tales of the CityArmistead Maupin is the author of nine novels, but he is best known as the writer of the Tales of the City series, which was eventually turned into a miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney.  This series first aired on PBS in 1994 and was the first time I can recall seeing a story line that included viable gay characters.

Armistead Maupin was in Provincetown last week at The Crown & Anchor where he shared anecdotes about his life and writing. After the program concluded Sergio bumped into Maupin, and I couldn’t resist posting the photo. Did you read Maupin’s Tales of the City series?

Book review: The Back Passage

James LearSummer is in full swing in the United States and I’m taking full advantage of the beautiful weather.  I love reading mindless but entertaining books sitting poolside or on the beach.

James Lear’s 2006 kinky mystery The Back Passage is the perfect book to bring with you.  I can assure you the book’s racy cover had some unexpected benefits of nervous parents shooing their children away from you while you are reading (bonus!) and or should you be reading this some place like Provincetown or Fire Island – it is certain to initiate a few conversations with guys (double bonus!)

The Back Passage is dubbed a murder mystery à la Agatha Christie.  No disrespect intended to Lear, but the book isn’t quite that caliber however that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading.  The book is set on a country estate in England in 1925 and has so much sexual innuendo and trysts it probably would have to be rated X if ever made into a movie.  While I found that distracting and overall a detractor, the book was filled with humorous settings and was a quick read making it perfect for the long weekend get away.

If intrigued you may read more about the book and purchase it online here.