Category Archives: What’cha Reading

Summer reading suggestions from BosGuy

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.

Book review: Two Million by Alex Fear

Two Million by author, Alex Fear, is a quick read filled with ridiculous drama fueled by a concoction of alcohol, anxiety and depression. The story, told from Theo’s perspective, details a torrid two weeks of binge drinking as he follows Max from England to Thailand to Singapore to Taiwan. The story opens with Theo waking up hungover in Max’s hotel room, trying to piece together what happened the night before. It turns out, Theo was trying to get over a recent break up, and went out to try to forget about his ex and somehow ended up meeting Max. Theo strikes me as hurt, angry and a bit lost, which is probably why he follows Max despite his antics and appalling behavior.

Each cocktail titled chapter is filled with Max hell-bent on some outrageous behavior and Theo reluctantly tagging along. Theo has convinced himself that he stays with Max out of concern for his well-being, but I don’t buy that he would remain with such an offensively rude, self-destructive stranger. I assume he sticks around out of fear of being alone. Max is a temporary albeit terrifying anchor for Theo. Max’s attrocious behavior is mostly (there are a few exceptions) overlooked because he has an unending supply of money and loves throwing it around. At one point, I believe he refers to himself as nouveau riche, and the author, Alex Fear, takes the stereotype to some fairly outrageous limits.

The book makes for a good beach or vacation read because it has short easy to read chapters. The plot doesn’t deviate and the characters exhibit the same behavior throughout, until a surprisingly touching phone call at the end. The heavy drinking and disgraceful behavior is a bit much for me, but might make for a good read while on an Atlantis Cruise or summer vacation in Provincetown or Fire Island.

Normally, I like to give a shout out to the library and independent book stores but the book is only available on Amazon. You can order Two Million for the Kindle or paperback, here.

Book review: Sweet & Low by Nick White

Sweet & Low by Nick White is a collection ten short stories set in the South; with most in the Mississippi Delta. Each story focuses on an important and defining moment or series of moments in the main character’s life. Often poor and with little opportunity, the characters bear little resemblance to who I usually read in books but White does an excellent job bringing them to life.

Most of the short stories include an LGBT character, which is a good reminder that all gay men don’t live in cities or suburbs, nor are they all wealthy, despite what you see portrayed on television. The opening story, The Lovers, provides insight into several of the themes that run through all the stories, touching upon struggle and loneliness. My favorite story was perhaps one of the saddest. The Exaggerations is told by a nephew abandoned by his mother and raised by his aunt and uncle. The final paragraph of this short story is perhaps White’s best in the entire book.

Fans of romantic comedies or happily ever after endings will find this book tough to get through. Many of the characters aren’t all that likeable. A good example is, Pete, in Cottonmouth, Trapjaw, Water Moccasin, but most are misguided, lonely, and self-involved. The best example of that might be Forney’s mom in the short story the book is named after, Sweet and Low. Told through the eyes of Forney, she appears to want nothing more than to pick up her once aspiring country music singing career after the unexepected death of her husband, and she can’t be bothered with her only child who she has little connection or love.

If you enjoy reading before going to bed, the short story format is ideally suited to you. In 20-30 pages, White weaves a story full of depth meaning at defining moments of each main character. While I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, their stories still resonated and is why I would recommend reading this book.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared. The links below will take you right to the book so you can order it online in just a couple of clicks. Alternatively, you can check your local library for a copy of this book. Here is a link to the BPL copy for Sweet & Low.

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe in Back Bay

Book review: The Sun and Her Stars by Donna Rifkind

The Sun and Her Stars by Donna Rifkind is a biography about the extraordinary but little known life of the Jewish, Austrian actress turned Hollywood screenwriter, Salka Viertel, who moved from Europe to southern California in the late 1920s. If you are fascinated by the Golden Age of Hollywood, you’ll find Rifkind’s detailed account of Viertel’s life and those around her fascinating to read.

It was fascinating to compare how several characters in this year’s celebrated film, Mank, were perceived by Salka. The black and white film about screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz writing of the acclaimed movie, “Citizen Kane” takes place at the same time and is nominated for 10 Oscars. Some of the Hollywood heavyweights referenced in both the book and movie include Orson Welles (actor), Ben Hecht (screenwriter / novelist), David Selznick (studio executive), and Charlie Chaplin (actor).

Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s led to a braindrain of the creative class from Europe. These shellshocked ex-pats fleeing from the horrors of Nazi Germany, were not welcomed by most in America. Rampant, in-your-face antisemitism was pervasive and put many on edge; feeling fortunate to escpe but unsure of their future or ability to rebuild in an alien country and culture. Salka’s home in Santa Monica became a refuge for these people. Her close friend, Greta Garbo, was a frequent visitor as were the many refugees who would flock to her Sunday parties.

The biography also details the personal trials and triumphs of Salka who earned a commanding salary and the respect of studio executives, producers and directors at a time when few women were respected in the male-dominated industry. Rifkind also touches upon the blacklisting that impacted Salka and many other Europeans in the decade that followed WWII because of their political sympathies and foreign accents which made them tagets of McCarthy and those on the HUAAC.

The book was a fascinating read from a pop culture, political and historical perspective, and I’m glad I read about this rather extraordinary woman. Through her efforts she saved the lives of many fleeing from Europe to escape fascism and rubbed elbows with some of the biggest stars and deal-makers in Hollywood’s Golden Age. If you are fascinated by or liked the Oscar-nominated film, Mank, add this to your reading list.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared. The links below will take you right to the book so you can order it online in just a couple of clicks.

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe in Back Bay

Boston Gay Men’s book club

The Boston Gay Men’s book club will be meeting later tonight to discuss the 2018 collection of short stories, Sweet & Low, by gay author, Nick White. I will be publishing my review of this book later this month, but I wanted to encourage anyone interested in gay literature to RSVP.

I joined this group for the first time earlier this year when they discussed Eric Cervini’s book, The Deviant’s War and enjoyed listening to people sharing their perspectives. I noticed that a few of the people hadn’t read the book so you needn’t feel uncomfortable about joining if you’ve yet to read the book. You can use the opportunity to hear people’s comments to determine if you think you’ll enjoy it. If you haven’t any plans for this evening, RSVP and join the conversation. All are welcome.

Sweet and Low: Short Stories by Nick White
Monday, April 19th 6:30 – 8:00pm ET

Book review: Hard by Wayne Hoffman

Hard by Wayne Hoffman, first published in 2006, is set in the mid- to late-1990s and centers on two men Frank DeSoto and Moe Pearlman and their respective circle of friends.

The novel takes place when Giuliani (although he is never mentioned by name) was mayor of New York City and intent upon “cleaning up” NYC. In many cases this was code for closing may gay establishments. The mayor (unknowingly) had the support of Frank DeSoto, the publisher of NYC’s only gay newspaper. Frank’s past promiscuous behavior had resulted in his losing most of his friends and the love of his life to AIDS. Determined to save the next generation from the same fate, Frank uses his self-funded gay newspaper as a bullypulpit to chastise gay men for what he viewed as reckless sexual behavior and ignoring the lessons of the previous generation.

Moe Pearlman is a Jewish man in his mid- to late 20s who moved from Washington, D.C. to NYC for graduate school the previous year and fell in love with the gay scene. Led by his libido and a political activism born out of Act Up and other sex-positive grassroots organizations in NYC, Moe is determined to live his life as he sees fit and bristles at the paternal postulations from Frank and the conservative mayor seeking to make a name for himself in an otherwise liberal city.

I really enjoyed the 300-page novel, which centers on gay sexual liberation, relationships and gay life in New York City. Hoffman captures the times beautifully as the gay community’s political activism born out of a public health crisis (AIDS) was slowly gaining acceptance and increasingly becoming commercialized. While Moe is the main character and his wrangling with Frank constitute much of the storyline, Hoffman enriches the story by delving into key relationships both men have which makes the characters more human and relatable. This includes the loving dynamic between Frank and his in-laws long after their son has passed. Moe’s relationship with his family, former lover and best friend.

For any gay man who was sexually active in the 1990s, the relationship dynamics and tensions in the gay community on what it meant to be “sexually responsible” will resonate. It is one of the few books I’ve read about that time which grapples with the issue of AIDS and sexaulity that had me turning pages late into the night and not filled with dread or depressed. The book is sexually explicit but not at the expense of the narrative, which makes the story all the more compelling and enjoyable to read.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared. The links below will take you right to the book so you can order it online in just a couple of clicks.

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe in Back Bay

Book review: 100 Boyfriends

I feel like 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell (published in February 2021) is very much the topic of conversation when gay literature is being discussed at the moment. This is the fourth book Purnell has published but the first time I’m reading the author.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get into this book. It struck me as both repetitive and disconnected. Page-after-page of random hook ups without any real connection between them execpt for the inner monologue, narrating sexual interludes with a few fleeting gay relationships thrown in every 30 or 40 pages. Perhaps my age and relationship status are barriers to fully appreciating the novel but that isn’t to say I couldn’t relate – I could. It is just that after 30 or 40 pages, I got the point and the next 120 pages became a blur of sexscapades that were neither titillating or enlightening. I’ve heard people describe the book as funny, foul-mouthed and unapologetic. I agree with foul-mouthed and unapologetic, but I don’t think the book was funny. Maybe ironic would be a better way to describe it. Purnell pulls no punches in describing the men, sex or himself — for the record all are found lacking, which makes it more depressing than relatable.

The epilogue, fifteen pages about hook-ups from a self-proclaimed “Rouge King of California Garage Rock” who toured Europe with a quick stop in Dubai, was interesting. I would’ve loved to have read more about that experience, but that might have more to do with my overwhelming desire to travel, after living through the COVID-19 pandemic.

While this wasn’t my favorite book, it has piqued my interest. Purnell can write and maybe that was why I ultimately was let down by the book. I’m intrigued enough that I’ll probably purchase another book of his, hoping there is more of a story to sink my teeth into. If you’ve read any of his other books, I’d love a recommendation.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared. The links below will take you right to the book so you can order it online in just a couple of clicks. Alternatively, you can check your local library for a copy of this book. Here is a link to the BPL copy for 100 Boyfriends.

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe in Back Bay

Book review: The Deviant’s War

The Boston Gay Men’s Book Club chose Eric Cervini’s 2020 book, The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America for this month’s read. It was my first time joining a book club, and I really enjoyed listening to people share their thoughts. The organizers surprised everyone by having the author (shown below) join the MeetUp to answer questions about the book which was really kind of amazing.

The Boston Gay Men’s Book Club meets virtually due to COVID-19 and as a result is really open to anyone interested in joining a book club that focuses on gay literature. You can learn more or sign up to join here.

This is a book about the beginnings of the gay movement here in the United States, but focuses on Franklin Edward Kameny, a World War II veteran and gifted astronomer turned reluctant, gay activist and litigator after he was entrapped by the S.F.P.D. in 1957 and charged with “lewd conduct”. The charge would result in Kameny losing his certification to work for the Department of Defense just as his promising career was starting. He would be barred from employment with the Federal Government and agencies that served our government just as the Cold War’s space race between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. started.

After World War II, Homosexual arrests…occurred at the rate of one every ten minutes, each hour, each day for fifteen years. In sum one million citizens found themselves persecuted by the American state for sexual deviation.

Simply put, Cervini’s book is a page turner. We learn early on that Kameny is a gifted intellectual. He learned to read by age four. By age six he decided he would be an astronomer and at the age of 16 enrolled in college. He would serve in the military during WWII and went to Harvard after the war in 1948 to begin his PhD in astronomy. However, the career he cherished and had so much to offer would be denied to him, because our government would label him a deviant.

The personal struggles and obstacles Kameny faced were not unique. What was unique, was Kameny’s conclusion that homosexuality is “moral in a real and positive sense, and are good, right, and desireable, socially and personally”. This view was at odd with the U.S. government, the medical community and the public at-large which perceived homosexuality as a dangerous deviance. When Kameny approached the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1958 to ask for help he received the following response, “It was not within the province of the Union [ACLU] to evaluate the social validity of laws aimed at suppression or elimination of homosexuals.”, meaning if you were a homosexual the ACLU would not work with you or help you because you were considered a deviant.

In telling the story of Kameny’s extraordinary life, Cervini shares how self-respect and pride in one’s self emerged to become the cornerstone of the modern LGBTQ movement.

Facing this reality, Kameny used his intellect and tenacity to fight back in the courts. For years his efforts would be in vain, but homosexuals facing similar treatment sought him out. He would go on to found the Mattachine Society of Washington D.C., organize and participate in the first public demonstrations for gay rights, be among the first to ask politicians to support gay rights, run for Washington D.C.’s first congressional seat, and form an ongoing legal defense for victims through the 1960s and 1970s.

Aside from being a fascinating read, the book helped provide me with some much needed perspective on how much society has changed and helped me understand where and how the modern LGBTQ movement started. It begins more than a decade before the Stonewall Riots, introducing the controversial (and unethical) work done by sociologist Laud Humprhies as well as what Kameny and several others did in the 1950s and 1960s to help pave the way for the LGBTQ community to organize, self-actualize and speak up. This book introduced me to compatriots and contemporaries of Kameny who I had not heard of before. I hope because of the attention given to these activists, more will be revealed about their lives and contributions in future publications. I would love to see this included in U.S. History curriculum and as part of school reading lists.

Though Kameny did not have a term for it yet, by exposing the arbitrary logic of the purges with his own, contrary logic, he formulated gay pride as a political tool of resistance, a weapon to be wielded for now [1961], only in the courts.”

If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared. They will take you right to the book so you can order it online in just a couple of clicks. Alternatively, you can check your local library for a copy of this book. Here is a link to the BPL for The Deviant’s War.

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe in Back Bay

Book review: Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2013 book, Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, was difficult to put down. Philbrick paints a picture of pre-revolutionary Boston, the historic battle the book is named after and the siege of Boston until the British fled a year after the historic battle that will appeal to fans of American history.

Most Americans learn about colonial life and the American Revolution in school, but Philbrick provides much more detail than I ever recall learning. Chalk full of historical events, personalities and dates, the book reads as easily as any story but is all the more compelling because this is not the imagination of a talented author but are events that altered the trajectory of history. To quote Mark Twain, “truth is stranger than fiction”. Had Las Vegas existed, I can’t imagine what the odds would’ve been for this rag-tag group of disgruntled and disagreeable troublemakers a.k.a. “Patriots” to win on the battlefield against the British.

The Americans had lost 115 killed and had 305 wounded, with most of the casualties occurring during the retreat. Of the approximately 2,200 British soldiers in the battle, close to half — 1,054 — had been killed or wounded. The British had been victorious, but as Howe wrote, ‘The success is too dearly bought.’ “

Sometimes I refrain from reading a book if I already know the story so I’m glad I picked this up and would absolutely recommend it. It was fascinating to learn about the many people living in Boston at the time. A few that come to mind that I never heard of before reading this book include the poet Phillis Wheatley, born in 1753 in West Africa. She became a freed slave in Boston and bears the distinction of the first African-American author of a published book of poetry. The duplicitous traitor, Dr. Benjamin Church, was a contemporary of Benjamin Arnold. He did his best to undermine the efforts of colonialists after earning their trust and nearly succeeded. However, I was most surprised to learn about Dr. Joseph Warren who was the defacto leader of the resistance in Boston. If he had survived the Battle of Bunker Hill, he may very well have become the leader of the Continental Army in Boston and not George Washington.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared below, which takes you right to the book so you can order it online in just a couple of clicks. Alternatively, you can check your local library for a copy of this New York Times Bestseller.

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe in Back Bay (currently less than $10.00)

Book review: The Editor by Steven Rowley

Steven Rowley’s imaginative novel is about James Smale, an unpublished author who learns that his novel about his dysfunctional relationship with his mother is going to be published by Doubleday. Just as he is digesting this news he also learns his editor will be none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis, which according to James she pronounces “somewhere between the French and American pronounciations… JACK-well-in? Zhak-LEEN.”

Jacqueline loves James’ novel but feels the ending is unresolved. Together they forge a professional relationship as he works furiously to finish the manuscript and address her comments which she writes neatly in all capital letters on his manuscripts. Still unfinished and struggling to provide the authentic ending Jacqueline feels the book is missing, she encourages him to go back home to find out what happened to his once strong relationship with his mother. James finally relents and their meeting results in an explosive discovery. Fireworks ensue, which only adds more color to the story.

I enjoyed reading this novel. Rowley brings the relationship between James Smale and his mother, father, partner and of course Jacqueline to life. His sense of humor and wit are sprinkled throughout and had me laughing late at night reading in bed. Below is one such scene about halfway through the book when the author, Smale, is racing to get his latest manuscript to Jacqueline’s office before the Thanksgiving holiday.

When I reached the building, my trailing scarf gets caught in the revolving door, and for a flickering second I imagine suffering the fate of that dancer from the 1920s (what was her name?) whose scarf caught in the open spokes of her car’s rear wheel. I can picture myself crumpled on the floor between revolving glass door partitions, maunscript pages raining down on me like prize money inside the cash booth on Beat the Clock. (Isadora Duncan! That was her name.)

This book can be purchased online at Amazon but you can also check with your local bookstore to see if they will order you a copy.

Book review: The Girl in the Boston Box by Chuck Latovich

I just finished reading local author, Chuck Latovich, debut novel, The Girl in the Boston Box. The 400+ page book published in Cambridge by Way We Live Publishers tells the story of two people living in Boston and Cambridge. One is a down-and-out gay man (Mark) who is estranged from his family and wallowing in self-pity after a break up and the other is a young woman (Caitlyn) studying architecture history at Harvard, who is intrigued by a rumor that some nineteenth century Boston architects may have built hidden rooms in homes of wealthy Bostonians called a “Boston Box”. Initially thinking these were part of the Underground Railroad, her research points to a far more salacious and disturbing reason for these hidden spaces. Mark and Caitlyn’s path ultimately cross as the result of a murder and an unexpected connection between the two and the victim.

This is an enjoayble read filled with short, punchy chapters that kept me reading late into the night. Murder mystery and detective literature fans will enjoy the twists and turns of this well written story. I loved how Latovich used Boston and Cambridge as the backdrop with much of the story taking place in the South End, Fenway and Harvard Square neighborhoods.

This book can be purchased online at Amazon but you can also check with your local bookstore to see if they will order you a copy.

Summer reading

books, summer readingWhile this summer may be unlike any other we’ve experienced before, it remains a great time to grab a book and lose yourself in a good story. Make plans to get away even if it is only in your imagination. Below are three very different novels for you to consider adding to your summer reading list. Below I’ve also included links to five local bookstores where you can purchase these books.

The Parting Gift, by Evan Fallenberg – published Sept 2018
Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston – published May 2019
The Secret History, by Donna Tartt – published Sept. 1992

Evan Fallenberg

The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg is available in paperback starting June 2nd. The novel opens with the main character writing a letter to his friend, Adam, explaining why he showed up unexpectedly four months ago looking for a place to stay. Recounting what happened after he quit grad school and moved to Israel. What follows is a lurid description about his surprise, intense sexual attraction and all-consuming, obsessive relationship with Uzi, a hyper masculine and emotionally detached spice farmer on the coast of the Mediterranean. As the passion fizzles, unrequited love leads to jealousy and resentment.

Casey McQuistonRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is a lighthearted beach novel that will appeal to RomCom lovers. The story revolves around a romance that ignites between Alex Claremont-Diaz (the son of the first female President) and Prince Henry – second in line in the British Monarchy. The scripted story line is as unrealistic as it is humorous with ridiculous scenarios playing out page after page. If you’re looking for a lighthearted romantic comedy to read while on vacation this summer – look no further – this book is for you.

Donna TarttThe Secret History by Donna Tartt opens with the murder of one of the character, Bunny, who is part of a group of  six classics students, attending a small, elite liberal arts college in Vermont (based upon Bennington College, where Tartt was a student in the 1980s). At times I found myself reviling all of these students but the writing is excellent and kept me reading to find out what becomes of this group of misfits. In some ways this story is the exact opposite of the light, RomCom-esque nature of Red, White & Royal Blue previously shared.

All of these books can be purchased online at major resellers but you may also buy this in person or online at local bookstores so buy local. Below are a handful of bookstores who would love to he

Brookline Booksmith 279 Harvard Street by Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore  1256 Mass Ave in Harvard Square
Papercuts JP 5 Green Street, Jamaica Plain
Porter Square Bookstore 25 White Street in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe 338 Newbury Street in Back Bay

Quarantine reading suggestions from Reach Around Books

Many Americans have spent the past month observing shelter-in-place home orders to help curb the coronavirus. While the news of  late has been pretty bleak, I thought a little light reading might be a welcome suggestion.

Brenda’s Beaver Needs a Barber
Put Tony’s Nuts In Your Mouth
Suzy Likes to Look at Balls
Spank the Monkey Lends a Hand
Come Swing with Us (not shown above)

Reach Around Books are for those of you who love a good double entendre and promises to have you in tears reading these “children’s stories”, that are most definitely for adults. These books are certain to offend those with a Puritanical streak but for my readership, I think this is perfectly on brand – so to speak.

Below is a YouTube narration from one of the five books in this series, Spank The Monkey Lends A Hand.

Boston Gay Men’s book club

shirtless guy, man with glasses, reading, bookBoston’s Gay Men’s Book Club will meet Monday, April 27th at The Boston Public Library in the Back Bay to dish on this novel. All are welcome. For more information click on the link below.

Boston Gay Men’s Book Club
Cleanness by Garth Greenwell
Monday, April 27th at 7PM

“Cleanness revisits and expands the world of Garth Greenwell’s beloved debut, What Belongs to You, declared “an instant classic” by The New York Times Book Review. In exacting, elegant prose, he transcribes the strange dialects of desire, cementing his stature as one of our most vital living writers.”

If you’re open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared below, which takes you right to the book so you can order it online in just a couple of clicks!

Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner
Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square
Porter Square Bookstore in Porter Square
Trident Bookseller’s & Cafe in Back Bay

 

Boston Book Festival this weekend

shirtless guy, man with glasses, reading, bookI believe this weekend will be the 11th Annual Boston Book Festival. This free event centered in Copley Square and the Boston Public Library this Saturday and Sunday is a wonderful program worth checking out. The 2019 BBF will include 350+ presenters, 140+ events at 37 venues and is expected to draw 30k people.

The Boston Book Festival celebrates the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight, and inspire by holding year-round events culminating in an annual, Festival that promotes a culture of reading, ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.

The variety of events, topics and discussions are meant to ensure there is something for everyone. If you’re an aspiring (or possibly frustrated) writer, there are many sessions set up all weekend long as well (check’em out here). One program I’m contemplating attending is Saturday’s Poetry & Pints.

This year’s full schedule can be viewed here: BBF Schedule.