Memorial Day Weekend starts this Friday and is commonly considered the first weekend of summer in New England, so I wanted to share a brief list of gay literature / books to add to your summer reading list. These novels are intentionally lighthearted and ideal for enjoying while out in the sun and on vacation. For more reading suggestions, check out my book reviews on Goodreads.
Hard by Wayne Hoffman, published in 2006 and 2015
The Editor by Steven Rowley, published in 2019
The Girl in the Boston Box by Chuck Latovich, published in 2020
Hard by Wayne Hoffman is a gay fiction novel set in New York City during the mid- to late-1990s. The story centers on two men, Frank DeSoto and Moe Pearlman, their respective circle of friends and their mutual animosity / contempt for each other. I’m recommending this because it is an easy read that lends itself nicely to the summer. The majority of the story takes place in New York City, but there is a quick summer trip out to Fire Island which could make this an ideal option for anyone planning a summer trip to the gay enclave.
While Hoffman writes in detail about cruising and sex in New York City in the 1990s, the novel is really about gay relationships both platonic and romantic and the fractions within the gay community at that time. Read my review, here.
The Editor is a more lighthearted and humorous gay novel that takes place in New York City in the early 1990s. At its core, this is a highly imaginative story about James Smale, an aspiring author who learns his debut novel about his dysfunctional relationship with his mother will be published by Doubleday. Just as he is digesting the good news, he also learns his editor will be none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis. Jacqueline loves his novel but feels the ending is unresolved. Together they forge a professional relationship, as he works furiously to finish the manuscript. There is a scene where Smale joins Jackie at her home on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer to get away from the city and write that I loved.
The story is both humorous and deeply touching. Read my review, here.
The Girl in the Boston Box is a murder mystery with a flawed, gay protagonist. The novel uses Boston as a backdrop with many scenes playing out in Boston’s South End and Fenway neighborhoods. The other main character, a woman, studying architectural history at Harvard initially doesn’t have much in common but the author weaves their stories together with ease, and I found this to be a page-turner that had me up late at night reading to find out what was going to happen next.
Fans of detective literatuare and mystery novels in general will enjoy the storyline as will those who know and love Boston for this whodunit. Read my review, here.
Do you have any recommendations? Share your suggestions in the comment section as well as why you’re recommedning the book.