Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

This is the most romantic book I have read in a long time. Maybe ever. It’s also the sexiest. Hubba, hubba. I’m a little embarrassed to admit just how much it all held my attention. I found myself both anxious to turn the page to find out what happened next and reluctant to move on because what was written was so intense I didn’t want … Continue reading Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Role Models by John Waters.

I heard about this book on an episode of A Good Read my favorite book related podcast from BBC 4. The host and both of her guests loved it, went on and on about how good it was, with a few caveats, it is the BBC after all. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Waters’ work since I first saw Pink Flamingoes, with my hands over my eyes … Continue reading Role Models by John Waters.

My New Favorite Book: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

The story opens with a corpse. A soldier’s body being prepared for burial in the then frontier state of Missouri circa 1855. So I should not have been surprised by how violent the rest of the book was. But I had never really considered just how much violence was involved in the beginning years of the United States.  Not systematically. And I had just finished … Continue reading My New Favorite Book: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

My New Favorite Book: The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

I have no idea how this book found its way into my house. I’m guessing that  I bought it by mistake, thinking it was The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow which I’ve had on my wish list for a while now. However I came to read it, I am very glad I did. It’s wonderful. The story concerns a small set of characters living on … Continue reading My New Favorite Book: The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

Sunday Rant and Ramble: Lionel Shriver Makes me Mad; A New Cat Arrives; Tournament of Books Results

What makes a book a classic? Lionel Shriver was a guest on my favorite BBC program A Good Read.  You can listen to the program here.  It was the dullest episode of my favorite program ever. Knowing something of what Ms. Shriver is like in person, I almost didn’t listen, but I thought I’d be open-minded, give it a try. The conceit of A Good … Continue reading Sunday Rant and Ramble: Lionel Shriver Makes me Mad; A New Cat Arrives; Tournament of Books Results

Black Wave by Michelle Tea

When I was in college, I was friends with a group of women who shared a flat on Divisidero Street in San Francisco, decades before it became a trendy neighborhood.  In the 1980’s, four college students living on four or five hundred dollars a month  each could come up with enough money to rent a flat.  As longs as no one spends all the rent … Continue reading Black Wave by Michelle Tea

Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

Babel-17 concerns an alien invasion attempt but that doesn’t really matter.  Samuel R. Delany’s main concern in Babel-17 is language.  What is the future of language?  How might exposure to alien language’s affect us. As a sub-plot, or sub-concern, there is a question of what my sexuality look like in the future something Delany has often been interested in. He has some intriguing ideas. Babel-17 features a … Continue reading Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany

Sunday Salon: Ponyboy and Johnny and Dally

Reading is a creative act. This is a controversial idea, one that many people resist strongly, one I resisted when I first learned about it.  But, over the years, I’ve come to appreciate it as an adult reader.  That young readers are creative agents is apparent to me and to probably anyone who has spent more than a few years working with them. In her … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Ponyboy and Johnny and Dally

Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter

The main character, Jack Leavitt, deserves no sympathy.  True, he was born into a terrible situation, orphaned by his mother who abandoned him to the state in secret just to keep his father from ever finding him.  He grows up under very bad circumstances; faces young adulthood without anyone to help him steer a path through the mean streets of Portland and Seattle where the … Continue reading Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

I don’t know. I guess I liked What Belongs to You, Garth Greenwell’s debut novel, maybe in spite of myself. It’s complicated. In What Belongs to You an American school teacher living in post-soviet Bulgaria meets a young hustler in a public men’s room.  Over the following months he seeks out the young man again and again, developing a relationship made up of desire, loneliness, and something like … Continue reading What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

Elegy Beach by Steven R. Boyett

There are certain types of books with devoted readers–readers who purchase, collect, devour, debate them, become a bit fanatic about them.  The way certain kids did with Harry Potter.  They way some readers did with Lord of the Rings back before is was cool, back when people wrote “Frodo Lives” on the walls of subway restrooms.  Other, more cynical people, make fun of them on … Continue reading Elegy Beach by Steven R. Boyett

Season of the Witch by David Talbot

What struck me, most about David Talbot’s history of  San Francisco was just how violent the times were. Season of the Witch concentrates on the years between the Summer of Love, 1968, and the AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s.  The 1970’s are largely remembered today for disco and very, shall we say, creative fashions but this was a period of violent upheaval in America, certainly … Continue reading Season of the Witch by David Talbot