1. David W says

    Just finished Secret Historian:The Life and Times of Samuel Steward (fantastic!).

    Just bought Smut, new by the English writer Alan Bennett, and an oldie – City Boy by Edmund White.

  2. says

    Finsihed it last week – “Room” by Emma Donoghue.. the BEST book I’ve read in ages since Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Middlesex”

    Narrated by a 5-year-old who’s only known one room with his mom while he’s been on Earth. Not a good (short) description but definitely deserves to be read.

    I’d prefer both options actually: book club and definitely reviews. But please don’t go with the “catering to the cliched gay” books.

  3. endo says

    I’m reading The Hobbit for the 3rd time. I decided to pick it up again after watching the awesome movie trailer.

    Prior to that, I read all of The Song of Ice and Fire series (AKA Games of Thrones)… which were phenomenal, the best fantasy series ever.

  4. Akula says

    Just finished “Ganymede” by Cherie Priest a steampunk book in her clockwork century series, its the fourth book in the series with “Boneshaker” being the first. Great series well worth reading.

  5. The Milkman says

    Just read all three of the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” novels. Obsessively good. Much, much, MUCH better than the movie (either the Swedish or American version).

  6. Dan Mc says

    Finished To End All Wars, A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild. Fascinating look at England and its effort in WWI alongside the resistance movement to the war and the beginning of the union movement. Highly recommended.

    Just starting The Lives of Rocks, a short story collection by Rick Bass.

    I’ll read just about any book review you put up here.

  7. Henry Holland says

    Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 by Gina Kolata. Gripping stuff, the pandemic caused between 50 to 100 million deaths. I don’t read fiction, so it’s stuff like this.

    I’d love a book review column but agree with Jeff in Brooklyn.

  8. says

    The only gay book I read this past year was Hero by Perry Moore which I picked up after he died. I’m always on the lookout for good gay fiction, but it’s very hard to find, and I’d love some sort of LGBT interest book column on Towleroad.

  9. kirkyo says

    I’m currently reading “Tales of Soldiers & Civilians” by Ambrose Bierce, a collection of short stories about the horrors of the Civil War and other macabre tales. Next in line is “Us” by Michael Kimball and I suppose “Eating Animal” by Johnathan Safran Foer, which was a gift.

    I would not participate in a book club but reviews would be good.

  10. coolbear says

    I just read Wayne Koestenbaum’s Humiliation, which absolutely everybody should read. It’d be fun to require Rick Santorum to do a book report on it. Also the great Dennis Cooper’s very great The Marbled Swarm and Natty Soltesz’ Backwoods (one-handed reading).

    Other than that, just went through all the Josephine Tey mysteries at bedtime (Brat Farrar is kind of a masterpiece) and am re-reading William Godwin’s Caleb Williams. I don’t read a whole lot of gay-themed books. I agree that a book-club focus on one book–including “classics”–would be nice and so would book reviews. If you do book reviews, I hope you announce it, cause I’d like a chance to write some. I’ve done a lot of reviewing and have been a Lammy judge a number of times.

  11. johnny says

    just finished:

    “the map and the territory” by Michel Houllebecq

    “what we talk about when we talk about anne frank” by nathan englander

    currently reading (for the 3rd time)

    “Suttree” by Cormac McCarthy

  12. jpeckjr says

    I recently read “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers. It is the “book in common” in my town. A compelling story about a family in New Orleans during Katrina, both inspiring and troubling. Well worth it.

  13. Dan says

    I’m currently reading Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. It’s a great book, not just for the story but for the experience of reading a book written in an entirely different style and era. It’s long, but worth the read.

    Next book: some as-yet-undecided brain candy!

  14. Jake Shears says

    Almost done with 1Q84… Murakami’s freakiest by far. Really gives me the willies.
    Devil All the Time by Pollack.. The grossest/most delicious literary smut Ive ever read.
    John Dies at the End by Wong…. The title says it all.
    Up next:
    The Sisters Brothers by deWitt
    and the Five by (horror legend) Robert R. Mccammon

  15. Caliban says

    I read obsessively. Right now I’m reading Ghosts By Gaslight, a collection of “Steampunk” ghost stories. Mainly they’re just Victorian style ghost stories with a bit of science thrown in here and there, but subtle instead of gory as much modern “horror” is.

    Before that, The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, which is very literate and funny, with cultural references high and low sprinkled throughout. There are “trailers” for it on YouTube if you want to get an idea. (And how odd is that they make trailers for books now?)

    I don’t always read “horror,” but I guess I’m in the mood for it. Something to do with the holiday season, I expect. 😉

  16. jamal49 says

    The idea of a “book column” on Towleroad, as it is currently presented, with the abundance of poor grammar and typographical errors (which did not seem to exist until recently) mortifies me. First clean up the writing here, then let’s discuss a “book column”.

  17. eric says

    Just read AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS by Flann O’Brien. It’s one of the landmarks of modern Irish lit. AS2B is about a lot of things including writing, drinking, Celtic mythology and cattle ranching in Dublin. When the characters don’t like what the author is making them do, they take over the narrative.
    It is VERY funny.
    Dylan Thomas said, “the is just the book to give your sister if she’s a loud, dirty, boozy girl.”
    And yes, Jamie O’Neil did name his beautiful novel *At Swim, Two Boys* after this, although the books have nothing but Ireland in common.

    Now reading THE TABLE COMES FIRST by Adam Gopnik. It’s about the development of the restaurant and why dinner starts with a lulling drink and ends with a shot of caffeine.

  18. Adam says

    Just finished SECRET HISTORIAN, Justin Spring’s amazing bio of Sam Steward (excited to now see the exhibition at the Museum of Sex in NYC).

    Now reading STARS IN MY POCKET LIKE GRAINS OF SAND by Sam Delany – fantastic, smart, mind-bending sci-fi with all kinds of gender confusion and homo plots and subplots.

    Also browsing the first Sondheim memoir-lyric compilation FINISHING THE HAT.

  19. Tony says

    Just finished “Ghost on the Throne – the Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire,” by James Romm.
    Full of intrigue, battles and betrayal; exciting history.
    Back then political struggles were vicious, kind of like the Republican primaries. Major difference: if you lost back then, you died.
    Most fascinating book read last year: “The Information,” by James Gleick, about the development of the computer and information theory. For fun I often turn to Josh Lanyon’s witty and excellently written stories and novels. Check ’em out.
    Towleroad should definitely do a book column.

  20. Foxy says

    I just finished reading “The Leftovers” by Tom Perotta. One of the most accurate depictions of modern suburban life I have ever encountered juxtaposed by an incredibly symbolic “rapture-like” event. Absolutely engrossing from beginning to end.

  21. David says

    I am currently reading the “Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature” because I am looking for a new direction in the books that I have been reading lately. That said, the anthology offers short clips of various texts in history that contain gay themes. I am in the early Greeks now, just finished a section of “Satyricon,” and it has inspired me to start reading that whole book.

    I also just read “Secret Historian” as is mentioned in the post above mine. It is well written, but I found that the minute detail of each sexual encounter was both obsessive and tedious. He was skanky. I didn’t finish it.

  22. Jon says

    Just finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King. One of the best Stephen King books ever. Up there with The Stand. Not all King books are masterpieces or even good. Trust me, this one is well worth reading.

  23. Ronny says

    Trying to get past some deadlines so I can dive into Gregory Maguire’s “Out of Oz.” Slowly working my way through Angela Ndalianis’s “Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment.” I’d love some book reviews on here.

  24. melvin says

    Recently finished Bacigalupi’s “The Windup Girl” – I’m well behind the curve these days, but wow.

    Finishing Brinkley’s “The Wilderness Warrior”. On a bit of a TR kick.

    Starting tonight “Tribal Peoples for Tomorrow’s World” by Stephen Corry, director of Survival International.

    A book column yes. Much of the benefit will come from commenter’s suggestions. But no trash gay novels, etc. Please.

  25. Kevin_BGFH says

    Currently devouring “Five Chiefs,” John Paul Stevens’ autobiographical history of the US Supreme Court. It’s surprisingly gripping. After that, I have a whole stack of books I got for Christmas, including “Out of Oz” and “11/22/63″ that others have mentioned. So hard to decide what to tackle next. Plus, I’m only halfway through the “Game of Thrones” series.

  26. Donald says

    I would love book reviews and a book club on Towleroad as long as the emphasis was on BOOKS, real, tangible, ink and paper books with references to bookstores that have real live people making recommendations and selling books.

    I currently have three books going; CHOKE HOLD by Christa Faust, a dark, pulpy noir by the only female writer published by Hard Case Crime; SECRET HISTORIAN (mentioned above); and LOOK, I MADE A HAT, the second half of the Stephen Sondheim memoir.

  27. Sean in Dallas says

    I’m reading ‘In the Garden of Beasts,’ by Erik Larson, about the family of the American ambassador living in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s.

    For anyone who could never understand how such a blatantly violent regime could flourish at a time when most world leaders believed war was an ugly relic of the past, it’s a chilling, fascinating read.

    The parallels between the Nazi party’s propaganda and the anti-gay zealots today are startling. The slow, relentless stripping of civil rights turned out to be a remarkably effective first step toward their ultimate solution.

    The rest of the world was fully aware–all the major players had ambassadors living in Berlin–but they also shared a dislike of the Jews and turned a blind eye.

    It’s hard not to project the gay rights struggles onto the early years of Nazi Germany. We hear a lot of the same hateful, dehumanizing rhetoric used to keep people as divided as possible. Religion is still used to justify it all. And moderates still wear their blinders.

  28. uffda says

    What a charming video. Thanks for posting it.

    I just finished, and have begun again, Chernow’s magnificent biography “Washington, A Life” which is magnificent because Washington was so much so himself, and it is not hagiography. I now conciously adopt him as a true grandfather. Had I read this one when I was 15 it would have shaped my character, now it’s repairing it.

    Also, recently “Infidel” Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s heroic story about how she climbed up out of a stone-age Muslim village in Ethopia into the modern world all the way into the Dutch Parliament, then got thrown out. Stunning.

    Any book arrangement you like Andy. I’ll show up.

    Also let me just suggest that somehow, somewhere perhaps we fans of this site might enjoy meeting one another for a day and dinner together giving us all a chance to share, snark in person, laugh and enjoy a food fight. I want to sit at the table where Rick and Kiwi are.

  29. M says

    I just started reading “We the Animals” by Justin Torres.

    I’d love to see a book column on Towleroad. It could include news about upcoming releases, reviews, etc. — similar to the music column that appears fairly regularly.

  30. Nick says

    I just finished two of Greg Herren’s murder/suspense novels — light filler for in-betweens. Before them I was working on and finished an Aussie anthology of explorers’ witings. Very interesting and gives multiple historical perspectives on the exploration of Oz. Now I’m half-way through Colm Toibin’s The Master, and just started David Madsen’s Confessions of a Flesh-Eater. I ofter have 2-3 books going at the same time so this isn’t unusual. Next up???

  31. Paul says

    The best gay fiction I’ve ever read is:

    The Line of Beauty by Allan Hollinghurst

    also excellent:

    The Swimming Pool Diary by Allan Hollinghurst

    If you like wacky fiction, read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle

    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt is great frontier fiction.

    Also The Night Circus is an excellent book so far.

  32. Feral says

    Ditto the love for the Towleroad book column!

    Reading: Mockingjay (the 3rd Hunger Games book).

    Recently finished: The Great Night by Chris Adrian, a retelling of sorts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in San Francisco.

    Best thing I read in the past year: The Devil & Sherlock Holmes, a fascinating collection of David Grann’s articles(mostly from The New Yorker. Highly recommended!

  33. TommyOC says

    Barbara Tuchmann’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Guns of August”

    A fantastic historical narrative of the events leading up to – and opening days of – the First World War. The folly of preconceptions

    When Ken Burns was just a kid, there was Barbara Tuchmann.

  34. Dback says

    How ironic that video is about books coming to life; I’m halfway through “The Book of Lost Things,” which is a very “Grimm”-esque reworking of classic fairy-tale motifs but in a much more adult vein. Surprisingly, I just finished reading an unexpected gay subplot about a knight obsessed with his quest to discover what happened to his missing “best friend.” On the nightstand are biographies of Pauline Kael (which I already dipped into a little bit), and Roger Ebert’s autobiography.

    I’d love a once-a-week or bi-weekly column, similar to the columns about movies and music, mentioning new and noteworthy gay books.

  35. Caliban says

    I agree about a Towleroad book column. It’d be nice if it was a real mix of book types, gay fiction and non-fiction, high brow and genre fiction. Maybe even article that discuss publishing trends, overviews of how gay characters are handled by certain bestselling authors or in certain genres.

  36. Clayton says

    I just read all three hunger games books (which are great – entertaining and thought-provoking) and now I’m reading extremely loud and incredibly close and Never Let Me Go.

    I realized it had been YEARS since i had read a novel (i prefer non-fction) so I’m on a kick.

    I would love to read reviews, and a book club would be amazing. Could we organize local meetups in NYC?

  37. says

    I like Caliban’s idea for the book column – a mix of gay and gay-interest, old and new, and keep in touch with our culture. Further to that I’m sure we could get living authors to answer interview questions posed by the readers here.

    Currently blitzing through their works and would be fascinated to know/hear more from veteran gay writers like Holleran, White, Picano, and also of course younger authors.

  38. mw2115 says


    Just started The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst. Great book with gay characters.

    I am an avid reader and its so hard to find good books with gay characters. Sadly a character’s sexuality rarely makes the blurb unless it’s a less than literary book.

    I didn’t know Kavalier and Clay had gay characters until I finally read it a few years go. Would love towleroad to point me in the right direction.


  39. Bradley says

    I just finished Happy Accidents, the memoir by Jane Lynch. Happy Accidents was an interesting and very real depiction of life. There was humor, there was sorrow, there was struggle, but most importantly, there was life. There were times that it went a little slow, but for the most part it was like riding along in Lynch’s life. She rarely sugar-coated anything and I was left with a profound sense of having gotten to know her better without ever having to meet her. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys non-fiction or would like to know more about this wonderful actress.

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