September 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm EDT | by Terri Schlichenmeyer
Best of the books

Books, much cheaper than movies or TV shows to produce, provide the most copious bounty of LGBT options. Among the highlights:

If you want something that’s going to last you most of the winter, try “Black Like Us: A Century of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual African American Fiction,” compiled by Don Weise (Cleis Press, October). This brick of a book gathers the works several of your favorite authors, some of whom you might not know are gay. This is the kind of book you can get lost in and at 555 pages, you’ll be lost a while.

“The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov” by Paul Russell (Cleis Press, November) is based on the real life of the gay brother of Vladimir Nabokov and tells the fictional story of Sergey’s life, his contemporaries, his loves and his heartbreaking end in Berlin. You’ll also want to check out “History’s Passions: Stories of Sex Before Stonewall,” edited by Richard Labonte (Bold Strokes Books, November). This anthology, written by four award-winning authors, imagines the lives of loving men in various historical settings.

For young adult readers, check out “Swimming in Chicago” by David-Matthew Barnes (Bold Strokes Books, October). In this novel, a young man is dealing with his mother’s suicide with the help of his best girl friend and an intriguing new love.

Another book for teens is “Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up” by Steve Berman (Bold Strokes, September). In this book, young adults will read stories of adversity overcome, problems solved, issues brought forth, and what they can look forward to.

In “The Stranger’s Child” by Alan Hollinghurst (Knopf, October), it’s 1913 and a young man has brought a love interest home with him from boarding school, only to have his sister fall for the boy, too. But with a few innocent words in an autograph book, secrets are buried shallowly and the young man and his entire family are changed for several generations. This is one of those sweeping novels that you’ll want to save for a rainy weekend day.

“Tom of Finland – Life and Work of a Gay Hero” by F. Valentine Hooven III (Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh, November), a compilation, looks at Tom’s drawings from the earliest to more current times, and includes a biography. And if photography is the art you love most, check out “Jim French Diaries: The Creator of Colt Studio” by Jim French (also from Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh, October).

You’ll also love paging through “Gay in America,” portraits by Scott Pasfield (September, Welcome Books). In this gorgeously illustrated book, you’ll find intimate and personal photography of gay men from around the country, taken over three years.

“Christmas Remembered” by Tom Mendicino, Frank Anthony Polito, and Michael Salvatore (Kensington, September) is a three-story collection that brings back memories of holidays shared, holidays cherished and holidays best forgotten.

“Second You Sin” by Scott Sherman (Kensington, September) is a thriller-whodunit, in which part-time sleuth/call boy Kevin Connor must solve the murders of several New York City male prostitutes.

Another mystery you’ll love this fall is “Hell’s Highway” by Gerri Hill (Bella Books, December). Someone thinks California’s Mojave Desert is the perfect place to dispose of women’s bodies. On the case are FBI Agents Cameron Ross and Andrea Sullivan, two women who are more than just partners at work. Can their commitment to each other withstand the sand, the heat, and the mind of a diabolical killer?

One comic book that stands out is “Heroes with Hardons” by Patrick Fillion and others (Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh, November). This book is packed with super-hunky superheroes ready to save your day any way they can. Yes, these are comics, but they’re nothing like the ones you spent Saturday afternoon reading when you were a kid.

“Model Men: Gay Erotic Stories” by Neil Plakcy (Cleis Press, November) imagines the lives and loves of models from Mr. May in the hunk calendar to the billboard hottie who almost makes you wreck the car.

“Riding the Rails: Locomotive Lust and Carnal Cabooses” by Jerry L. Wheeler (Bold Strokes, December) explores the carnality trains tend to inspire.

“The Gay Gospels: Good News for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered People” by Keith Sharpe (O Books, John Hunt, September) guides readers with a spiritual, faith-based (yet readable) look at the Bible, the arguments used against gays and why some feel these scriptures have been distorted.

“The Gay Men’s Guide to Timeless Manners and Proper Etiquette” by Corey Rosenberg (Chelsea Station Editions, September) explains what eating utensils to use, the difference between black tie and formal, what kind of hostess gift is mandatory and more.

“Best Gay Erotica 2012,” edited by Richard Labonte with a foreword by Larry Duplechan (Cleis Press, December) is an anthology that brings together the best of this years’ writers. Also look for “Best Lesbian Erotica 2012, edited by Kathleen Warnock, foreword by Sinclair Sexsmith, also from Cleis and out in December.

“69 Positions of Joyful Gay Sex” by Mischa Gawronski (Bruno Gmunder Verlag Gmbh, November) shows that, yes, indeed, there are lots of ways to do the deed.

Keep in mind that release dates are approximate and could change.


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