Gay Anglophiles may want to add this new hardcover to their reading list. I was sent a copy of A Very English Scandal by John Preston to review and while I’ve only just started I can tell you this is a page turner.
Preston’s novel is based on the true scandal that rocked all of the United Kingdom when Jeremy Thorpe a British politician who served as Member of Parliament was tried at the Old Bailey in May 1979 on charges of conspiracy and incitement to murder, based on his earlier relationship with Norman Scott, a former model. The book may be based on real life, but it reads like a thriller filled with hypocrisy, deceit and betrayal.
Published by Other Press the story unfolds in 323 pages and is available starting Monday, October 10th.
I recently finished reading an entertaining mystery that takes place in the fictional, New England town of Idyll, Connecticut. The 280 page book published by Seventh Street Books and written by Massachusetts author, Stephanie Gayle was a quick and easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The story centers around the new Chief of Police who moved from NYC and is tasked with solving the town’s first murder in years. Complicating the investigation is the fact that the Police Chief, Thomas Lynch, meets the victim hours before her murder but cannot share that news without revealing his greatest secret: he’s gay. A ghost from Chief Lynch’s past haunts him, while he tries to solve the town’s murder, but to do so he has to learn to avoid the advances of Donna Daniels, a middle aged waitress who has eyes for the Police Chief and an ever growing pile of paperwork, Mrs. Dunsmore, the town’s local busy body and precinct’s bureaucrat threatens to bury him under.
Idyll Threats is available for sale, starting September 8th. You can pre-order or purchase this detective murder mystery on Amazon.com or locally at Porter Square Books in Porter Square, Cambridge.
Idyll Threats – Available on Amazon.com
Idyll Threats – Available at Porter Square Books
Next weekend – Memorial Day Weekend – is the official opening of prominent New England summer destinations like Provincetown, Ogunquit, Newport and the islands. Traditionally, I share a few gay-themed book options for those looking to add to their summer reading.
My first suggestion is Take This Man: Gay Romance Stories. This 232 page paperback published by CLEiS Press is available starting on June 26th and can be pre-ordered at your local LGBT bookstore (here in Boston contact Calamus Bookstore in the Leather District).
This book is a compilation of sixteen romantic / erotic short stories. The book opens with the 10-page short story, A Good Heart Is This Day Found, a very seductive and endearing story about two men who have just married by Rhidian Brenig Jones. The short stories make for easy summer reading and I enjoyed the naughty narratives, despite rarely reading this genre.
For those who prefer non-fiction, I would strongly recommend Michelangelo Signorile’s latest book, It’s Not Over, which is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is currently on sale everywhere.
Signorile’s 259 page book is a wake up call of sorts. He warns the LGBT community not to take for granted the amazing progress we’ve made by assuming equality is inevitable. He makes a persuasive argument pointing to how the conservative movement is reorganizing and how groups the LGBT community often view as allies are sometimes without even realizing it becoming complacent and as he puts it “become a roadblock to progress.” Definitely worth the read if social justice and politics are your thing.
My third and final suggestion is actually an older book that was first published by St. Martin’s Griffin in 2008 called The Conversion and is written by Joseph Olshan (author of the popular gay novel Nightswimmer).
The 278 page novel captured my imagination as it centers on Russell Todaro, a young American translator who wakes up one morning in Paris to find his lover dead. The story quickly relocates to Tuscany where you learn more about this conflicted man against the backdrop of one of my favorite places in the world, Italy.
As I mentioned previously, while all these books are available via sites like Amazon.com, I’d ask that you consider ordering / purchasing one or more of these books from your local LGBT bookstore. If you don’t have a local LGBT bookstore, consider calling Boston’s last remaining store, Calamus Bookstore and having them ship you the book(s).
Earlier this week I was pleasantly surprised when Blake Little’s book, Manifest, arrived at my house. The coffee table book has 100+ pages of men from coast to coast photographed by Blake Little. As Nick Offerman says in the foreward “These people look like men, like real men.” Clearly my weekly Furry Friday posts have found new found inspiration in Blake’s collection.
Thank you very much for sending this to me. I have proudly placed it on my coffee table and will continue to peruse it. If you’d like to read more about this book or order a copy visit manifestbook.com.
I 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.
Rick Bettencourt has shared with me his first published work, an eBook collection of short stories that are available for purchase on Amazon.com entitled, Not Sure Boys.
Some of you may remember Rick who wrote the blog Bandit Talks (named after his adorable dog, Bandit). He ultimately renamed and moved the blog to talk more about his writing and this book. You can follow Rick’s blog, here.
About the Author: Rick Bettencourt is a gay fiction writer from Greater Boston who happens to live with his husband and dog, Bandit.
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.