Monday, June 06, 2011

What are you reading?

Here's three very different books off the pink shelf that are well worth a look. 
My pal over at Boy Culture blog, Matt Rettenmund, wrote a hilarious romp at the end of last century called Blind Items, or as he inscribed to me, his "pre-internet, pre-Perez, romantic/tragic/comedic free-for-all"! The humor in this book is so spot on and hilarious, I had to slow down its consumption just to catch all the laughs. They were being thrown away at the speed of a 30 Rock episode per page! 

The meat of the multi-generational actor fandom double story line had me so separately engrossed, I didn't even see coming the twist that connected them by the end.

The very last line of the film, a press release from a gay actor who just came out reads: "Consider your decision to be closeted very closely - you don't know what -or who-you're missing." Just this week, the author responded to a sloppy Queerty "opinion piece" suggesting closeted actors "smell desperation" and attacking a great couple (and out gay actors) Steve Callahan and Matthew Montgomery for encouraging actors to live authentic lives.  I was also happy to give my opinion on Elisa Rolle's blog.
Tomas Mournian's debut novel HIDDEN takes on the modern underground railroad - teens escaping "ex-gay" torture facilities and the families who have the sanctioned (and sanctimonious) right to put them there.  In a story that grips and never lets go, we follow Ben as he makes a harrowing escape from "Serenity Ridge" to San Francisco, always haunted, always hunted. 

He meets a cast of gypsies, tramps and thieves who live in the "safe house" with him, doing whatever they have to do to survive (cam sex!) The suspense never lets up, not even at Halloween and while I wasn't always sure if the terror was real, it sure was to Ben/Ahmed, and isn't that the way it works?  Terrorize them young and they'll be forever suspicious.  Show kids that unconditional love means abusive oppression, and you wonder: Will they ever be able to love? 
Quite the opposite, two-time Olympic ice-skater Johnny Weir's memoir "Welcome To My World" is a true tale about what can happen when parents uplift and encourage their children.  It's thanks to them that little Johnny Weir is/was able to take on a monolith as galactically intimidating as the world ice skating "Federation".  I love nothing better than a whistleblower and an iconoclast and he's all that and blessed with world class talent. Before ice skating, Johnny was an equestrian prodigy.

Everyone knows he's been unfairly scored for his unfettered flamboyance in the gayest sport in the universe (a sport which tries futilely to downplay this distinction); how often he's judged by news and sportscasters who once announced publicly, at international competitions, that "Johnny should get a gender test", but Weir shrugs them all off. His unabashed, unashamed refusal to be anyone but himself is so attractive that when I met him in New York, I kissed him on the face (and got makeup on my lips).


SaintSinner said...

Well, gorgeous, currently I'm reading Stonewall, by David Carter, and Yo, por Ricky Martin (en Espanol, por supuesto). Yo is surprisingly rather disappointing.

Then I intend to that classic witty travelogue, You Can Run, by Jesse Archer (of course!).

For the LGBT cruise my bf and I are going on in the fall (Ah! Cozumel!), I have Benedetto Casanova, by Marten Weber (BTW I understand that if you purchase the Kindle edition, a portion of the proceeds goes to the NOH8 Campaign). The story is all about Giacomo's hotter and gay younger brother...I'll need to take along my smelling salts...

The photographic art on the front and back covers is HOT, and done by none other than Adam Bouska!

Of course, I gotta read the tell all bio of Sal Mineo by Michael Gregg Michaud (faux gay man James Franco is currently making a movie based on it).

Beyond that, if you haven't read it already, I HIGHLY recommend Fairy Tales: Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men, by Peter Cashorali. Very funny, very sly stuff....

Hope all is well with you and Bam Bam!


Jesse said...

Que lastima about Ricky Martin's book. Latinos are supposed to be passionate! Maybe you'll find more passion in Cozumel??

I'm onto more Dawkins, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali's "Infidel". Let me know about the Sal Mineo bio. Will have to look up Fairy Tales...thanks for that

Hope you like You Can Run!! XOXO

Auntie M said...

I'm reading Rick Copp.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jesse,

For those interested in literary biographies, I highly recommend "The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham" by Selina Hastings"

Your Friend, Jimmy