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Author Topic: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)  (Read 646703 times)

Offline Elisiv05

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3960 on: December 09, 2019, 01:52:23 AM »
I'll very interested in your response to it, Elisa.
Thank you, I will tell you after Christmas!
No, as it turns out it won't be available here until March, either in hardback or on Kindle... :(
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 12:00:27 PM by Elisiv05 »
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Offline ingmarnicebbmt

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3961 on: December 15, 2019, 04:24:37 PM »

I'm currently reading a fascinating a very moving novel by a young Vietnamese American author, Ocean Vuong.

I can really recommend it - it's about his coming-of-age (and coming-out) in Hartford, Connecticut - his mother and his grandmother don't speak one single word of English, and he, as a little boy and a queer teenager, has to cope with this difficult situation.
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And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that.

Offline ingmarnicebbmt

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And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that.

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3963 on: December 16, 2019, 11:07:08 AM »
I love that title. Everyone should embrace that thought!

Offline tfferg

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3964 on: February 03, 2020, 10:31:41 PM »
I love that title. Everyone should embrace that thought!

One of the influences for it would be Ocean Vuong's underlying Buddhist thinking.

When I first saw something about the book, I was put off by the mention of violence, but when I read Ingy's recommendation, I decided to read it. In spite of the confronting incidents of violence, I was drawn into the book as it moves from story to story as Little Dog's memories prompt him and the horribly ugly elements are somehow not completely overwhelming. The writing often evokes sensory impressions and even tender, sensuous moments. There are also some more abstract passages that I didn't understand.

As it is autobiographical fiction, the book touches on many interesting details about the characters' lives and about Vietnam and Hartford before the story of the development of the teenage gay relationship is told from about halfway through the book.

One point of interest was reading that rice farming communities in Vietnam included what Little Dog calls "intersex" people who had shamanic roles and were recognised as having certain powers and his claim that there were no labels for gays in Vietnamese before French colonisation.

As for the relationship between Little Dog and Trevor, it struck me that although Little Dog accepted his sexuality and his mother and grandmother were not homophobic, it was tragically marred by societal homophobia and Trevor's internalised homophobia and both
youngsters' lack of gay knowledge and models.

Little Dog and especially his mother and grandmother are remarkable in the way they fight against adversity and work to make a life for themselves despite their dire circumstances.

(Reading articles about his life since the period covered by the novel and some interviews, it seems as if Ocean Vuong  - who is now in his early 30s  - has been able to live a happier life.)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 11:27:39 PM by tfferg »

Offline ingmarnicebbmt

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3965 on: February 14, 2020, 03:50:47 PM »
I love that title. Everyone should embrace that thought!

I so agree.
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And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that.

Offline tfferg

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3966 on: March 02, 2020, 06:09:24 PM »
I found Felice Picano's The Lure hard to put down. I don't remember knowing about it when it was published in 1979 nor when it was reissued in 2002.

It's a psychological thriller with twists in every chapter and surprises all the way through to the last page.

It was inspired by some articles in The Village Voice about a series of murders of gay men involved in the bars in New York in the 1970s, but the reports stopped short when the writer Arthur Bell received very credible death threats.

In The Lure, Noel Cummings, a New York University sociologist who identifies as straight witnesses a terrible murder. It is the latest in a series of savage killings of gay bar and disco entrepreneurs. A special police unit recruits him to go undercover in the gay bar scene to track down the mysterious Mr X who is organising the murders.

Felice Picano, a member of the Violet Quill group, believed in 1977 that although there had been previous novels about homosexual characters, there were no novels about the gay community. Making his main character a sociologist allowed him to write about the development of the gay community and his understanding of gay identity/ies and culture in the US at the time in an interesting non-academic way.


Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3967 on: April 30, 2020, 02:32:29 PM »
I noticed a new book coming out by Stephen King. It consists of 4 novellas. One of them appears to be about our very own Administator/Moderator.


They are:

--Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
--The Life of Chuck
--Rat
--If It Bleeds


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3968 on: April 30, 2020, 04:15:19 PM »
I found Felice Picano's The Lure hard to put down. I don't remember knowing about it when it was published in 1979 nor when it was reissued in 2002.

It's a psychological thriller with twists in every chapter and surprises all the way through to the last page.

It was inspired by some articles in The Village Voice about a series of murders of gay men involved in the bars in New York in the 1970s, but the reports stopped short when the writer Arthur Bell received very credible death threats.

In The Lure, Noel Cummings, a New York University sociologist who identifies as straight witnesses a terrible murder. It is the latest in a series of savage killings of gay bar and disco entrepreneurs. A special police unit recruits him to go undercover in the gay bar scene to track down the mysterious Mr X who is organising the murders.

Felice Picano, a member of the Violet Quill group, believed in 1977 that although there had been previous novels about homosexual characters, there were no novels about the gay community. Making his main character a sociologist allowed him to write about the development of the gay community and his understanding of gay identity/ies and culture in the US at the time in an interesting non-academic way.

That sounds astonishingly like the plot of the movie Cruising. Turns out that's no coincidence.

Apparently Cruising was based on a book based on the same series of murders as Picano's novel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruising_(film)

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3969 on: May 03, 2020, 08:08:40 PM »
I am currently reading "Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague", the 2nd book I've read on plague in San Francisco (the first was "The Barbary Plague"). It's fascinating to see the similarities between the circumstances we find ourselves in and the historical example. When plague first showed up in San Francisco the business interests and government resisted all measures against it, because they felt it would be bad for business. The first person sent to work on it by the federal government, Joseph Kinyoun, hated the city and fell in to the anti-Chinese racism of the city, and therefore failed to curb the plague. The second person sent was Rupert Blue, and he engaged the Chinese population and put in place rat eradication which eliminated the plague. Then the earthquake hit and the plague came back - this time all around the city. He aroused the citizens of San Francisco to eliminate the rats and helped drive the plague from the city. The move wasn't entirely successful, however, as the plague infected squirrels in the East Bay and eventually wound up in the Southwest of the U.S., where it is endemic till today (the last outbreak was in 2006). It's a great read!

https://bookmarks.reviews/reviews/black-death-at-the-golden-gate-the-race-to-save-america-from-the-bubonic-plague/
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Offline fritzkep

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3970 on: May 03, 2020, 08:19:36 PM »
Michael, I presume that you are familiar with this fiction work by Jack London. Prescient, after its own fashion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scarlet_Plague

« Last Edit: May 03, 2020, 08:31:09 PM by fritzkep »
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Offline killersmom

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3971 on: May 03, 2020, 09:34:44 PM »
I am currently reading "Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague", the 2nd book I've read on plague in San Francisco (the first was "The Barbary Plague"). It's fascinating to see the similarities between the circumstances we find ourselves in and the historical example. When plague first showed up in San Francisco the business interests and government resisted all measures against it, because they felt it would be bad for business. The first person sent to work on it by the federal government, Joseph Kinyoun, hated the city and fell in to the anti-Chinese racism of the city, and therefore failed to curb the plague. The second person sent was Rupert Blue, and he engaged the Chinese population and put in place rat eradication which eliminated the plague. Then the earthquake hit and the plague came back - this time all around the city. He aroused the citizens of San Francisco to eliminate the rats and helped drive the plague from the city. The move wasn't entirely successful, however, as the plague infected squirrels in the East Bay and eventually wound up in the Southwest of the U.S., where it is endemic till today (the last outbreak was in 2006). It's a great read!

https://bookmarks.reviews/reviews/black-death-at-the-golden-gate-the-race-to-save-america-from-the-bubonic-plague/

Thanks so much for these suggestions, Michael. I will try to look for these online or from Amazon!!
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Offline tfferg

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3972 on: May 04, 2020, 12:49:47 AM »
Like This Afternoon Forever  a novel by gay Colombian-born American writer Jaime Manrique.

It is a double narrative weaving the love story of Lucas and Ignacio with a suspenseful political/crime thriller with some social criticism set between 1987 and 2011.

Lucas is the son of struggling farmers and Ignacio is a descendant of the indigenous Bari people of Colombia. Both young boys enter a Catholic seminary motivated by a desire to help others and because it is the only way they can get an education. They are confronted by the indiscriminate violence of gangs, the drug cartels, the Marxist FARC guerrillas, paramilitary forces and the Colombian state as they all struggle for control at the expense of the population, vast expanses of the Amazon and homesteaders and displaced people in the mountainside barrios of Bogota.

The early chapters show the perspectives of the boys as they struggle to understand their sexuality in a homophobic society and their growing attraction to each other. They are affected both by the reactionary attitudes of the Church hierarchy and secretly more permissive figures in the seminary and also the machinations of a homosexual priest there. Later chapters take us through the complex development of their relationship and their development as trainee priests at university and in their roles as ordained priests in two contrasting parishes in Bogota. Of course, this ia also the time of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In spite of their different temperaments and experiences as young men and the radically different attitude toward the Church, its doctrines and their vocations they come to, they make an absolute  commitment to stay together till the end of their lives.

Having revisited Colombia, the author writes about aspects of the gay scene in Bogota and gay priests there.

I knew about the decades of violence in Colombia, but I didn't know about the "false positives" atrocities.

The denouement of the novel is based on real events that took place in 2011.

It is quite a quick read. There are both lyrically romantic and more reportorial passages

The novel, published in New York 2019, was originally written in English. The Spanish version, Como Esta Tarde Para Siempre, came out in 2018.


« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 12:57:03 AM by tfferg »

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3973 on: May 04, 2020, 10:40:46 PM »
Michael, I presume that you are familiar with this fiction work by Jack London. Prescient, after its own fashion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scarlet_Plague

Actually no, I had never heard of it. I'm not much of a science fiction fan, I really need to be in the right mood to read it.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #3974 on: May 04, 2020, 10:42:53 PM »
I found Felice Picano's The Lure hard to put down. I don't remember knowing about it when it was published in 1979 nor when it was reissued in 2002.

It's a psychological thriller with twists in every chapter and surprises all the way through to the last page.

I remember when that was first released! I was working in a bookstore in Michigan and had it in my Lesbian and Gay section.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer