Summer reading

With the July 4th holiday around the corner and beach weather in the forecast, you may be looking for some quality summer reading materials. As in past years, I wanted to share a few books for you to consider. While all these books are available via sites like Amazon.com, consider purchasing one or more of these books from your local LGBT bookstore (if you still have one).

LGBTQ history, gay literature, gay non fictionThis book is most likely going to appeal to those who reside or hail from New England. Published earlier this year by Shawmut Peninsula Press, The Hub of the Gay Universe: An LGBTQ History of Boston, Provincetown and Beyond, was written by my friend and neighbor, Russ Lopez. The 300+ page soft cover starts in the early 1600 when Pilgrims landed first in Provincetown and soon after in Plymouth and concludes with the progress the LGBTQ community has made in present day. Lopez beautifully captures moments in history and shares story after story about pioneers – many of whom you’ve never heard because American queer history is virtually unknown and barely taught.

fiction, gay fiction, greek mythologyFor those looking for an escape from reality, I definitely suggest Madeline Miller’s NYT Bestselling novel, The Song of Achilles, which chronicles the story of Achilles – the son of Thetis the cruel sea goddess and Kink Peleus who is doomed to die on the battlefield and destined to be Ancient Greece’s greatest hero. Miller doesn’t shy from the companionship and love between the hero and Patroclus, an unassuming exile who is made famous in Greek mythology because Achilles names him Therapon, ‘brother-in-arms’. Miller’s talent cannot be denied. I promise you will find yourself turning page after page, staying up late to finish the novel.

gay fictionHaving recommended a new nonfiction book on LGBTQ history followed by an historical fiction novel of sorts it seems only fitting to conclude with the gay classic, Tales of the City.  I can vividly remember watching in secret the TV series in the early 1990s up in my parent’s bedroom. And later buying the books in an out-of-the-way bookstore so I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. If you’ve never read the series or if it has been a few years, add this to your summer reading list. The novel captures a time that no longer exists and as the NY Times review says, reads like “an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco”.

If you have a book that you’d like to suggest, please leave the title and author in the comments section of this post. And as I mentioned previously, while all these books are available via sites like Amazon.com, consider purchasing one or more of these books from your local LGBT bookstore (if you still have one).

6 responses to “Summer reading

  1. Loved “Less.”
    Here are some suggestions:
    1. “On Earth We are Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong
    2. “Lie with Me” by Philippe Besson
    3. “Travels in Queer America, LGBT Stories from Red States” by Samantha Allen
    4. “Like a Love Story” by Abdi Nazemian
    5. “Into?” by North Morgan.
    There are so many wonderful queer books out this year (see also, Chris Rush’s and John Glynn’s memoirs). I wish we still had a queer bookstore in Boston! Loss of public gay spaces = loss of community.

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  2. Be sure to watch the new series of Tales of the City. Everybody has aged and Mouse has turned into a real hunk!

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  3. I absolutely loved ‘Song of Achilles’; such a great read. I enjoyed reading ‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer and recommend it as a great summer read. I believe it won a Pulitzer too.

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  4. i recommend everyone read the play “The Inhertiance” by Matthew Lopez. It just won the Olivier in London and is coming to NYC this fall. Amazing cross-generational discussion of where we are today as gay men

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  5. “Tinderbox” by Robert Fieseler. Set in New Orleans in 1973, it describes in great detail the deliberate downplaying by police, Catholic Church, mayor and governor of the largest massacre of 32 gay people until the Pulse shooting. Riveting nonfiction, evocative language, necessary gay history.

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