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Author Topic: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)  (Read 843289 times)

Offline gattaca

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« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 11:44:28 AM by gattaca »

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4156 on: June 30, 2022, 08:54:44 AM »
Seems like this will be a good read....  and right in line with COUF by Allan Bérubé.

Anyone read it?  Thoughts?

It looks like a good book. Fritz and I have talked about this elsewhere. The important thing about LGBT History in the U.S. up until the early 70s is to realize that all history was local. So San Francisco was very different from L.A. and New York was different from both. Washington D.C. has had a completely different history - in part because it's so influenced by the South and also because it is the seat of government. The 50s have been covered, at least in part, by The Lavender Scare. D.C. continued to be an odd place into the 70s. I first visited enough to get an impression at the National March for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Oct. 1979. At the time gay bars still had their windows blocked out (so that closeted government workers could go there) and seemed really backward.
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - Karl R. Popper

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4157 on: June 30, 2022, 11:40:53 AM »
I saw the author of this book when he appeared on Bill Maher's Real Time episode
aired June 17th, on HBO so if one is interested you'd have to find it there, I guess.
The book is referenced, but the show is mostly about current event topics and Kirchick
is part of a panel, so it's not an interview.

However, the Over Time segment (7:25 total) they do on youtube starts off with a direct question to Kirchick about his book:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJt7siaulCI

Also, type any of these titles into a youtube search and you can see him discuss various things, including his book. He definitely leans to conservatism.

--James Kirchick talks new book, 'Secret City'
Good Morning America

--A Conversation with James Kirchick: The Hidden History of Gay Washington
Forum on Life, Culture & Society

--Free speech | James Kirchick
TEDxYale | TEDx Talks

--James Kirchick: The Hidden History of Gay Washington
Commonwealth Club of California

--The Propaganda of Stonewall
Katie Herzog and Jamie Kirchick, two dissident members of the BLT community,
join Andrew Sullivan to discuss Pride and their ...

--Jamie Kirchick, author of "Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington"
Hugh Hewitt

(Hugh Hewitt is a California conservative that I've grown to loathe more and more over
the years after I arrived in California. For example: Hewitt moderated several of the 2016
Republican primary debates, where he clashed with Donald Trump. Hewitt said that Trump
did not possess "the temperament to be president", but he wrote that despite having been
repeatedly publicly insulted by Trump, he would support him should he become the nominee
for president.)

The Republicans (or anyone) who support nominees UNFIT FOR OFFICE are the worst kind of Americans.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 11:47:27 AM by Lyle (Mooska) »

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4158 on: July 05, 2022, 11:46:30 AM »
Here's a note I found that I posted 10 years ago about "Manuscript Found in Saragossa" by Count Jan Potocki:

I'm over halfway through 'The Manuscript Found in Saragossa' and the grave robbers have just shown up!  So this makes succubi, pirates, bandits, Kabbalists, the Wandering Jew, demon servants and talk of vampires 80 years before Stoker's novel.  Oh and the gypsy chief who is currently telling stories relates how he dressed as a girl in his teens and fooled both the Viceroy of Mexico and a priest.  How is it that I've made it this far without hearing of this novel?

Here's an article from Tor, the SciFi website:

https://www.tor.com/2009/03/10/jan-potocki-and-the-manuscript-found-in-saragossa/
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - Karl R. Popper

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4159 on: July 05, 2022, 12:23:20 PM »
I never used to read gay literature (except for the occasional vampire story or murder mystery; see Nathan Aldyne), but right now I'm reading Changing Tides, by Michael Thomas Ford, and I really like it! It's 15 years old, and I got it in hardback for 49 cents at Giovanni's Room (they were running a special on used books, two for 99 cents). The story is set in Monterey, CA, and revolves around an attempt to verify the authenticity of an unfinished manuscript supposedly by John Steinbeck that suggests a love affair between Steinbeck and his best friend the marine biologist Ed Ricketts.

I admit I peeked ahead at the ending. I think maybe I'm "enjoying the ride more" because--Spoiler Alert-- I know in advance that nobody ends up dead or heartbroken (compare: Brokeback Mountain.  ::)  ).

One really great line that I will never forget--another Spoiler Alert: The idea of "a masculine gay man" had not penetrated one character's Maine hometown.  :laugh:

Offline gattaca

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4160 on: July 06, 2022, 02:38:09 PM »
^^^ TY for the recommendation!  I have a tough time finding really awesome gay-themed literature. I'm more into the genre, " ...damn this could have really happened, or something set in WW..."  vs. the "damn you're hot, let's......." authorship styles. 

I've added Michael Thomas Ford to my amazon "must read listing". Based on Amazon feedback, some of his novels are VVG while others you have to be a bit forgiving.  I'll dig more on "Good Reads".   I'm surprised Linda (killersmom) has not mentioned him in the past or maybe I've forgotten. 

My "gold standard" has always been "Wingmen" by Ensan Case. Set in the WW, the story has always reverberated deeply with me b/c on many level.  I've always felt the author was conveying more than fiction - it was just too damn good.     Stay cool, stay safe!  V.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4161 on: July 06, 2022, 06:20:20 PM »
^^^ TY for the recommendation!

You're welcome! I won't say anything more about Changing Tides because I don't want to give away the story. This I will say: I'd never heard of Ed Ricketts until I read this novel, but today I looked him up and, damn, he was a handsome man.

The novel is making me think that maybe I should check out some Steinbeck, too. I've never read him because in 8th Grade English we read Of Mice and Men, and I remember it as being depressing. (I have better memories of my English teacher. He was young and tall with curly brown hair and blue eyes. All the girls were in love with him, and I guess I was, too, but was too dumb to realize it!  ;D )

A couple of years ago I finally saw the movie version of The Grapes of Wrath, and I found that depressing, too.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2022, 08:28:23 AM by Jeff Wrangler »

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4162 on: August 08, 2022, 12:38:33 PM »
Before I move on to preparing the questions for this month's Fiction Book Group at the library I work at I feel I need to give a shout out to the last book we read: Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively. It won the Booker Prize in 1987 but seems to have been forgotten since then. It tells the story of Claudia, an independent journalist who goes to North Africa during World War II and has a fateful romance which is the crux point of her life. She's a very prickly heroine and as a result of having a misarrange from her lover in North Africa she decides to have the next child she becomes pregnant with - with a man she doesn't love and doesn't marry. Oh...and she's a horrible mother.

So why read it? She's an absolutely compelling character and narrator and really draws you in to this short (slightly over 200 pages) story of her life.

There is a minor character who shows up in the last quarter of the book: Laszlo, the sun of a Hungarian journalist who writes Claudia during the Hungarian uprising to ask that she help him stay in England instead of coming home to Soviet rule. Good thing too, as Laszlo turns out to be gay in the swinging 60s in London. It's a minor theme, but since readers here are interested in LGBT topics it's worth mentioning. Claudia's relationship with Laszlo (who she adopts) throws her (bad) relationship with her daughter into sharp contrast.

It's a fascinating book about a complicated character:

https://readdrizzle.blog/2019/04/15/review-moon-tiger-by-penelope-lively/
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - Karl R. Popper

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4163 on: August 10, 2022, 06:54:36 PM »
We had a great book group last night for the book "The Cape Doctor" by E.J. Levy. It's a retelling of the story of Dr. James Barry, who was born Margaret Bulkley in Cork, Ireland in 1789 and lived her life as first a boy and then a man, getting his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh and moving to Cape Town South Africa. Little is known of Barry's personal life, so Levy has inventively created a novel which retells his story. Barry apparently gave birth to at least one child, and that is worked into the novel as well. It's also of note that Barry was accused of being in a gay male relationship with the Governor of South Africa, a charge the Governor successfully defended himself against.

The book is incredibly well written - I normally take 3 days to read the books for book group and I did this one in 2 as it was impossible to put down. I highly recommend it!

https://www.denverpost.com/2021/06/10/review-the-cape-doctor/amp/?fbclid=IwAR3DyLDYjDpOE1E6xA53zdVYbSE0uATJ3y_OhhivBsWa680sBOMj0kzuZUI
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - Karl R. Popper

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4164 on: August 10, 2022, 07:44:45 PM »
I've added Michael Thomas Ford to my amazon "must read listing". Based on Amazon feedback, some of his novels are VVG while others you have to be a bit forgiving.  I'll dig more on "Good Reads".   I'm surprised Linda (killersmom) has not mentioned him in the past or maybe I've forgotten. 

Recently I read Ford's Looking For It, and I liked it so much that I've turned right around and I'm reading it again!  ::)

LFI is about seven gay men living in a small (fictional) town in Upstate New York. I won't say much, but I will say that tile is a double entendre. This, like Changing Tides, is a serious novel, not a sex book, though there are some graphic sex scenes in it. However, they don't go on long, and they're not gratuitous.

Fun thing I discovered. The fictional town where the novel is set is called Cold Falls, and it's noted to be north of Utica, New York. Just for fun I pulled out my atlas and noticed that north of Utica there is a small town called Cold Brook. Reference is also made to a Lake Hinckley; also north of Utica there is a body of water called the Hinckley Reservoir.

Reminded me of Brokenback Summit/Brokeback Mountain.

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4165 on: August 10, 2022, 08:36:27 PM »
One other bit about "The Cape Doctor" - this is a fascinating one on one between E.J. Levy and Rebecca Makkai, the author of "The Great Believers", a novel about how the AIDS epidemic affected the gay community in Chicago, sponsored by the independent Minnesota bookseller Magers and Quinn - it's a great conversation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4obYVPjSMzM
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - Karl R. Popper

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4166 on: August 10, 2022, 08:38:07 PM »
And here is a review of the Makkai (by no less than Michael Cunningham!). I haven't read this yet, but it's definitely on my list now:

Surviving AIDS, but at What Cost?
By Michael Cunningham
June 25, 2018

(This book was selected as one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018. For the rest of the list, click here.)

THE GREAT BELIEVERS
By Rebecca Makkai
421 pp. Viking. $27.

Rebecca Makkai’s “The Great Believers” is a page turner about illness and mortality.

The novel tells, in alternating chapters, about a group of friends, most of them gay men, in Chicago in the mid-to-late 1980s, and about a woman in 2015 who has gone to Paris in search of her estranged daughter.

I’m afraid the very phrase “a group of friends, most of them gay men” immediately implies the nature of the mortality that’s central to the book. “The Great Believers” is, as far as I know, among the first novels to chronicle the AIDS epidemic from its initial outbreak to the present — among the first, that is, to convey the terrors and tragedies of the epidemic’s early years as well as its course and its repercussions over the decades. Makkai puts the epidemic (which, of course, has not yet ended) into historical perspective without distancing it or blunting its horrors.

[Article continues online]

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/books/review/rebecca-makkai-great-believers.html
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - Karl R. Popper

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4167 on: Today at 12:46:19 PM »
I checked yesterday and all physical and ebook copies of "The Satanic Verses" are checked out of the county library system I work in. In other words, if you think the book is blasphemous about the stupidest thing you could do is to draw attention to it by attacking the author. Then again I don't expect much logical thinking out of true believers.

https://www.barrons.com/news/attack-on-rushdie-sparks-surge-in-interest-in-author-s-works-01660419307?tesla=y
« Last Edit: Today at 12:54:03 PM by michaelflanagansf »
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. - Karl R. Popper

Online tfferg

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Re: What good book have you read lately? (New or old)
« Reply #4168 on: Today at 05:52:27 PM »
We had a great book group last night for the book "The Cape Doctor" by E.J. Levy. It's a retelling of the story of Dr. James Barry, who was born Margaret Bulkley in Cork, Ireland in 1789 and lived her life as first a boy and then a man, getting his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh and moving to Cape Town South Africa. Little is known of Barry's personal life, so Levy has inventively created a novel which retells his story. Barry apparently gave birth to at least one child, and that is worked into the novel as well. It's also of note that Barry was accused of being in a gay male relationship with the Governor of South Africa, a charge the Governor successfully defended himself against.

The book is incredibly well written - I normally take 3 days to read the books for book group and I did this one in 2 as it was impossible to put down. I highly recommend it!

https://www.denverpost.com/2021/06/10/review-the-cape-doctor/amp/?fbclid=IwAR3DyLDYjDpOE1E6xA53zdVYbSE0uATJ3y_OhhivBsWa680sBOMj0kzuZUI

Interesting!