Tag Archives: 10 stars

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt


Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Author: Carol Rifka Brunt
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
URL: Random House
Price: US $17.00
Summary [from the publisher]:
In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

My review: Continue reading Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

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Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe by Oleander Plume


Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe
Author: Oleander Plume
Genre: M/M Romance
URL: Amazon
Price: US $9.99
Other Information/warnings: Explicit sexual content
Summary [from the publisher]:
Horatio Slice is NOT dead. Gunner Wilkes knows a secret. Heartthrob rock star Horatio Slice is not dead. Sure, Gunner may turn heads with his big brain, good looks, and gym-built body, but his mind is on one thing only: returning his all-time favorite rocker and secret fanboy crush to Earth. Yes, there are VAMPIRE PIRATES. Fame and stardom were starting to wear thin for Horatio Slice, but when he was sucked through a magical portal while on stage at Madison Square Garden into a jail cell in a strange dimension called Merona, his confusion quickly cleared upon meeting his sexy, dark-haired cellmate, a vampire pirate named Snake Vinter. Snake filled Horatio in about life in the universe, jumping from dimension to dimension, and craftily avoiding the wrath of gnarly-mask-wearing leather queen King Meridian—a guy nobody wants to cross. The metal ship is named Frances. And on Snake’s metal ship live eight identical blond Humerians, who proudly display their bodies in carefully crafted trousers, as well as a wild assortment of untamable, man-hungry travelers and stowaways. But someone has hacked into Frances’ mainframe, demanding that Snake and crew deliver Horatio Slice to King Meridian, or feel his wrath. All the zany magical comedy of Mel Brooks, an adventure not dissimilar to Indiana Jones meets Barbarella, and men, men, horny men, of all shapes and sizes, Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe is wild, fun, pornographic fiction for anyone who loves the masculine, the feminine, and all identities in between. Even more so, it’s for anyone who can handle laughs that won’t stop coming.

My review: Continue reading Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe by Oleander Plume

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Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography by John Gruen


Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography
Author: John Gruen
Genre: Non-fiction, Biography
URL: Out of Print
Summary [from the publisher]:
Keith Haring’s talent was first recognized on subway platforms, where his trademark chalk-drawn figures could be seen for the price of a token. By the time of his death in 1990 at the age of thirty-one, Haring’s career had moved from underground New York to the most prestigious galleries and museums in the world.

Here Keith Haring’s story is told by those who knew him—and by the artist himself. He candidly reflects on all aspects of his life, including his approach to art, being gay, and how he came to terms with AIDS. John Gruen masterfully combines Haring’s own words with the observations of those who knew him best, including art dealer Leo Castelli; Madonna; artists Roy Lichtenstein, Francesco Clemente, and Kenny Scharf; Claude Picasso; Timothy Leary; and William Burroughs, among others. Haring emerges as both a courageous and enigmatic personality—a champion of art for all people.

My review: Continue reading Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography by John Gruen

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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.

My review: Continue reading Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

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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.

My review: Continue reading Richard Estes’ Realism by Patterson Sims et al.

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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.

My review: Continue reading Like They Always Been Free by Georgina Li

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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.

My review: Continue reading Without You by Anthony Rapp

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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.

My review: Continue reading Liesmith by Alis Franklin

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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.

My review: Continue reading Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott

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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.

My review: Continue reading The Dark Collector by Vanessa North

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