September 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm EDT | by Terri Schlichenmeyer
Danny boy
books, gay news, Washington Blade

(Cover of ‘Coming Around’ courtesy New Horizon Press; cover of ‘Soldier of Change’ courtesy Potomac Books; cover of ‘Tinseltown’ courtesy Harper)

Fall the big season for blockbuster novels and great new books, so here’s a tease for a few things to come.

Biography fans will want to look for “Best-Kept Boy in the World” by Christopher Isherwood (Magnus, October), a book about the life and times of Denny Fouts. The title of the book came from Truman Capote, who knew Fouts well — as did others, apparently, because Fouts was a celebrity, an international sensation and a well-known, highly paid prostitute.

Gospel singer Jennifer Knapp writes about coming out and a crisis of faith in “Facing the Music: My Story” (Howard, October). Knapp was at the pinnacle of her career when she abruptly quit and several years later revealed that she is a lesbian. Now an advocate, still a singer, this is a tale of believing in God and oneself.

What’s more fun than a juicy scandal? Not much, as you’ll agree when you put your hands on “Tinseltown” by gay author William J. Mann (Harper, October). Yes, this is a book about Hollywood almost 100 years ago, but what can you say about sex, drugs and debauchery except bring it on.

Publisher Bruno Gmunder always tickles the fancy of erotica art lovers, and this years’ “JoeBoys” by Joe Phillips (October) will be a particular favorite. Lovers of art photography will want to look for “Hairy Chested Men” by Colt (October), also from Gmunder.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” may be best forgotten, but in “Soldier of Change” by Stephen Snyder-Hill (September, Potomac Books), Snyder-Hill writes about his presentation on Capital Hill against the policy back in 2011, and what happened personally and to him as a soldier. Bonus: a foreword by George Takei.

Readers who want a gut-churning biography will enjoy “My Thinning Years” by Jon Derek Croteau (Hazelden, September). It’s the story of the author’s early life of trying to deny who he was to appease an abusive father and the empowering reason that propelled him to push himself away from anger and abuse toward an acceptance of self and a better life. There’s emotion in this book (you might even get teary a time or two) but its gentle humor and the happy ending you just know is coming might make that bearable.

If travel is in your plans this fall, look for “States of Desire, Revisited: Travels in Gay America” by Edmund White (University of Wisconsin, September). In looking back at a trip he took some 30 years ago or more, White compares gay America then with the way things are now, including politics, AIDS and the internet.

And finally, there are two books out this fall for parents of gay kids: “Coming Around: Parenting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Kids” by Anne Dohrenwend (New Horizon Press, October) is great for parents of teens and 20-somethings, with advice on social issues, legalities and supportive measures you can take with your child. “This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids” by Dannielle Owens-Reid & Kristin Russo (Chronicle Books, October) is also for parents of older LGBT kids, but this book uses real stories and a Q&A format for ease of use.

Book lovers may also be interested in the D.C. Public Library’s Banned Books Week (Sept. 21-27), a multi-media event dedicated to “the freedom to read.” Several events are planned at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G Street, N.W.).


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