Posts Tagged ‘10 stars’

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult
URL: Random House
Price: US $9.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
In his follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Every Day, David Levithan, coauthor of bestsellers Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, crafts a novel that the Los Angeles Times calls “open, frank, and ultimately optimistic.”

Based on true events—and narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS—Two Boys Kissing follows Harry and Craig, two seventeen-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teens dealing with universal questions of love, identity, and belonging.

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Richard Estes’ Realism by Patterson Sims et al.

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Richard Estes’ Realism
Author: Patterson Sims et al.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Art
URL: Portland Museum of Art
Price: US $40.00
Summary [from the publisher]:
Accompanying Estes’ first solo exhibition of paintings in the United States in over two decades, Richard Estes’ Realism surveys fifty years of his work and places him within the historical narrative of realist painting. The authors explore the ongoing modernist dialogue between camera and canvas, and discuss the situation of Estes’ work at the crossroads of painting and photography. Fifty full-page plates showcase the amazing precision of Estes’ paintings, and a thorough chronology and bibliography provide an enlightening account of his life. This handsome book offers a lavish presentation of Estes’ spellbinding body of work that attests to his enduring artistic impact.

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Like They Always Been Free by Georgina Li

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Like They Always Been Free
Author: Georgina Li
Genre: M/M Romance, Short Stories
URL: Queer Young Cowboys
Price: US $4.99
Summary [from the publisher]:
Men play guitar at bonfire parties and find comfort in parking lots. Soldiers find sex and love amidst a devastated America. A surfer who is also a shark hunts a man he can’t stop thinking about. A magician follows the secret messages beneath the graffiti and signs of an urban landscape. A young woman traces the story of her grandfathers: scientists and lovers who established a new colony on a distant moon.

Georgina Li writes with humane poetry, capturing both the profane staccato of soldiers and the blown-grass whispers of country boys. In these eight short stories, Li explores the literal and metaphorical wars of men: on the battlefield, in poverty, and of the heart. Her men are complex, covered in grit but filled with love.

Li’s work slides comfortably from genre to genre, proving that good storytelling is good storytelling regardless of literary conventions.

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Without You by Anthony Rapp

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Without You
Author: Anthony Rapp
Genre: Biography/Memoir
URL: Simon & Schuster
Price: US $16.00
Summary [from the publisher]:
Anthony Rapp had a special feeling about Jonathan Larson’s rock musical Rent as early as his first audition, which won him a starring role as the video artist Mark Cohen. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent opened to thunderous acclaim off-Broadway — but even as friends and family were celebrating the show’s first success, they were also mourning Jonathan Larson’s sudden death from an aortic aneurysm. And when Anthony’s mom began to lose her battle with cancer, Anthony found himself struggling to balance his life in the theater with his responsibility to his family.

In Without You, Anthony tells of his exhilarating journey with the cast and crew of Rent as well as the intimacies of his personal life behind the curtain. Marked by fledgling love and devastating loss, Without You is an exceptional memoir of the world of theater, the love of a son for his mother, and maturity won far too early.

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Liesmith by Alis Franklin

liesmithRating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Liesmith
Author: Alis Franklin
Genre: Fantasy/horror
URL: Random House
Price: US $5.97
Other Information/warnings: Horror, gore
Summary [from the publisher]:
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.

Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?

As Sigmund gets to know his mysterious new boyfriend, fate—in the form of an ancient force known as the Wyrd—begins to reveal the threads that weave their lives together. Sigmund doesn’t have the first clue where this adventure will take him, but as Lain says, only fools mess with the Wyrd. Why? Because the Wyrd messes back.

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Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father
Author: Alysia Abbott
Genre: Biography/Memoir
URL: W.W. Norton & Co.
Price: US $15.95
Summary [from the publisher]:
After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation—few of whom are raising a child.

Steve throws himself into San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to raucous parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. But the pair live like nomads, moving from apartment to apartment, with a revolving cast of roommates and little structure. As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate who can transform the ordinary into magic, but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference.

In Alysia’s teens, Steve’s friends—several of whom she has befriended—fall ill as AIDS starts its rampage through their community. While Alysia is studying in New York and then in France, her father tells her it’s time to come home; he’s sick with AIDS. Alysia must choose whether to take on the responsibility of caring for her father or continue the independent life she has worked so hard to create.

Reconstructing their life together from a remarkable cache of her father’s journals, letters, and writings, Alysia Abbott gives us an unforgettable portrait of a tumultuous, historic time in San Francisco as well as an exquisitely moving account of a father’s legacy and a daughter’s love.

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The Dark Collector by Vanessa North

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Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: The Dark Collector
Author: Vanessa North
Genre: M/M Romance
URL: Amazon
Price: US $2.99
Other Information/warnings: Explicit sexual content
Summary [from the publisher]:
Jeffrey Kuyper was a once-in-a-generation talent and I was his muse.

Jeffrey’s death shocked the art world and upended my life. His last portrait is an intimate reminder of our final weeks together. Now it’s up for auction and I want it more than anything. When a cold-mannered man in a dark suit outbids me, I’ll agree to anything to buy it from him–even a weekend in his bed.

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Four worthy free reads

Like London buses, you wait ages for a review from me, then four of them come along at once 😉

These were among the recent free offering from Smashwords. Two were out and out excellent, the other two well worth your time.

And I am happy by R. Cooper is a gorgeous little steampunk/Edwardianish story about an ex-kept boy turned valet, and his disabled war hero mster who is now in Parliament, though still struggling with the effects of the war, lost chances for love, and his amputated leg and arm. Wonderful angst yearning, and tenderness, and kudos for a maimed hero who is given dignity and agency, without being a vehicle for able-bodied pity.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Butterflies (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal) by K J Charles is Victorian detective/horror pastiche done with the skill and panache this author demonstrated so devastatingly in A Charm of Magpies. A proper yet blisteringly angry narrator is forced to work with the man he thinks has spurned him, on a case as menacing as it is dangerous. A side story to The Caldwell Ghost, a novel unfortunately published by Torquere Press, it nonetheless stands alone, and if you want to see more of Ms Charles’s work out, well, let me not dissuade you.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Right Hand Red by Danni Keane follows two boys from the age of four to young adulthood, through their friendship, their difficulties, and their sexual awakening. Sweet but not without angst, and I may have grown a bity teary-eyed at one or two points.
Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Stag: a Story by Ben Monopoli is not romance but instead an all too realistic window on the world of a thirteen-year-old gay boy, going to his first school formal, and trying to avoid the whole issue of a partner. Nice writing, and may tempt you to seek more out by this author.
Rating: 7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 

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The Broken Bell by Frank Tuttle

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: The Broken Bell
Author: Frank Tuttle
Genre: Fantasy, horror
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $6.50
Other Information/warnings: horror, violence
Summary [from the publisher]:
There’s no way Markhat can turn away his newest client. Who is he to refuse the woman he loves—especially when she bribes him with breakfast?
This time it’s Darla’s friend Tamar Fields, whose fiancé vanished days before the wedding. His wealthy family insists Carris Lethway is simply away on urgent business. Tamar smells a lie, and she needs Rannit’s most famous finder to figure out if the source of the suspicious aroma is a conspiracy, or the groom’s cold, sweaty feet.
As if his plate isn’t piled high enough, Mama Hog’s slip of the tongue has landed him in the middle of a good old-fashioned Pot Lockery clan feud. Plus, Rannit’s streets are abuzz with rumors of war—and Tamar’s case has his own lady love hearing wedding bells of her own.
As Rannit arms for battle, Markhat finds himself torn between old alliances and new commitments, and a growing, awful fear that no matter which way he turns, all he loves is about to go up in flames.

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If It Ain’t Love by Tamara Allen

Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: If It Ain’t Love
Author: Tamara Allen
Genre: Historical, m/m romance
URL: Smashwords
Price: FREE
Other Information/warnings: None
Summary [from the author]:
In the darkest days of the Great Depression, New York Times reporter Whit Stoddard has lost the heart to do his job and lives a lonely hand-to-mouth existence with little hope of recovery, until he meets Peter, a man in even greater need of new hope.

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