It 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.
I should probably pick this up on Amazon.com. It seems my grammar and spelling gets worse each year; no thanks to spell check and other enablers.
Michael 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?”
Those 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.
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.
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 Island, Mystic River, and Gone, Baby, Gone.
I 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 →
Tomorrow, 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 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?
Summer 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.
It has been a relaxing week. I’m enjoying the slower pace and spending much of my time like this handsome guy. You reading anything good? Summer reading suggestions are welcome.
Last weekend when I was over at Frenchie and the Yankee house dinner party I happened to notice this book. Graphic designer, Vharam Muratyan, playfully pits Paris and New York in a visual homage in page after page of images that offers a bit of whimsy and humor.
I loved this particular comparison. Like? You may buy Paris versus New York on Amazon, here.
Earlier this year, I wrote a quick post about the demise of LGBT bookstores after reading Queerty’s article,The Last Chapter: A Look At LGBT Bookstores Around the World.
Not too long ago most large cities had a collection of LGBT bookstores, but over the years, most of these have closed. Truth be told, I’m not much of a shopper, but I’ve always enjoyed nosing around a neighborhood bookstore and have visited a few of the places featured in the article.
After my initial post, several people made suggestions to the list of LGBT bookstores still in operation. I wanted to give Boston’s Calamus Books a shout out and promote those remaining stores that serve our community. If you live in one of these towns or plan on visiting – consider showing your support and making your next purchase of books, cards, DVDs or magazines there.
LGBT bookstores listed by city:
Amsterdam – Vrolijk Ann Arbor – Common Language Bookstore Atlanta – Outwrite Boston – Calamus Books Chicago – Unabridged Bookstore London – Gay’s the word Melbourne – Hares & Hyenas Paris – Les Mots a la Bouche Philadelphia – Giovanni’s Room Provincetown – Now Voyager Bookstore Sydney – The Bookshop Vancouver – Little Sisters
Share this post or the information provided above on your facebook page. If you live near one of these places; not only check them out but bring a friend along as well.
I read this book awhile back and meant to write about it because it was such an entertaining read. The full title of M.V. Butler’s novel is actually, Heyday: That Shocking Novel of New York’s Lavender Underworld.
Heyday takes place in post war NYC (that is WWI) and prior to the crash of the stock market at the height of Prohibition. The story revolves around a charming protagonist (Mack Daly) who is surrounded by a family of friends that include several lovable but flawed personalities. Mack’s crumbling marriage of convenience and his blossoming romance to Joe Imperio, a New York City gangster, spells trouble from the outset but you cannot help but get caught up in these flawed relationships. Suspense is followed by hilarity as the ridiculous becomes the norm and I found myself reading the 200 page book in just a couple of days. If you are looking for a light read that will entertain, I’d suggest checking out this book.
Queerty’s article, The Last Chapter: A Look At LGBT Bookstores Around the World, got me to thinking about this small and quirky group that have defied the odds by remaining open, and I’d like to wish all these owners success in 2012 and beyond. I love LGBT bookstores and consider Boston lucky to still have at least one in operation.
Not too long ago most large cities had a collection of LGBT bookstores that catered to the community, but over the years, most of these have closed. Truth be told, I’m not much of a shopper, but I’ve always enjoyed nosing around a neighborhood bookstore and have visited a few of the places featured in the article. Check out Queerty’s list and consider stopping by one of these shops.
If you live in Boston or plan to visit, certainly check out Calamus Bookstore in the Leather District near South Station and Chinatown. If you’re unfamiliar with Boston, the Leather District may be a bit misleading. The neighborhood derives its name from the city’s leather tanneries located here in the 19th & 20th centuries. However, by sheer coincidence, you can buy all sorts of leather apparel at the Marquis de Sade which is just above Calamus bookstore.
More LGBT bookstores listed by city
Atlanta – Outwrite
Boston – Calamus Books
London – Gay’s the word
Paris – Les Mots a la Bouche
Philadelphia – Giovanni’s Room
Vancouver – Little Sisters
Washington DC – Kramerbooks
Share in the comments section of this post the names of any LGBT bookstores not mentioned – include the bookstore’s name, web address and city. If I get a fair number of stores, I’ll compile a list and republish in the near future.
Over the holidays I donated a lot of books that had been collecting dust at my place to my local library. In the process of cleaning house (so to speak), I stumbled upon my copy of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard.
I used the down time this past week to read the book again, which can be read from cover-to-cover or as consecutive short stories about Christopher Robin, Pooh and all his friends. I forgot how much I loved the illustrations and the stories (okay – I’ll admit I skipped through a few of the stories deferring to some of my favorites like In Which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a Tight Place). I can’t think of a better book to start the year reading and would strongly recommend adding this to your personal library. Apologies for those who have completely switched to eBooks because I’m not sure the nostalgia and appreciation for Milne’s famous bear will translate.