Queer Books With Julie: Top 5 Summer Reads
Read More: Best Gay Romance 2014 edited by Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane:, Caleb James:, Erika Robuck, Fallen Beauty, Haffling, John Stewart Wynne, Melissa Pritchard:, Palmerino, queer books with julie, The Red Shoes
It’s that time of year. The flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and the call of a warm sunny beach beckons. Over the past few months, I’ve read some great books that will stimulate any beachgoers need for brain candy or literary nourishment, depending on your summer reading preference. Here are my top five picks (in no particular order):
If I were capable of teleportation, I’d transfer myself to the British enclave Palmerino in the Italian countryside. Pritchard’s account of the fictional biographer, Sylvia, who is possessed by the spirit of the historical supernatural fiction writer, Violet Paget, is haunting, seductive, and magical. Now if only Pritchard would possess me so that I could write such lovely prose.
Fans of young adult fiction will enjoy this coming-of-age tale of Alex Nevus, a haffling (half-human and half-fey) who wants to kiss his first boy and keep himself and his sister safe from his mother’s schizophrenia. I’m a new Caleb James fan. I’m eager to read his upcoming mystery, Done to Death (writing as Charles Atkins) featuring two lesbian sleuths.
This book is heavy. Not as in extremely large, but as in carrying great force. The retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Wynne’s novel is breathtaking. What will it take for John Laith to move past the death of his partner, Frank, and learn to feel passion and abandon again? Hold on tight for the book’s wild ride to the answer.
Author Janet Hardy would describe me as a “girl fag” with sexual attractions primarily toward queer men. As a result, I love good gay romance. Cleis Press’s featured stories for 2014 do not disappoint. Whether at the grocery store or on the Internet, true love (and lust) is found in sometimes strange, sometimes mundane, places. I particularly enjoyed native-Virginian James Booth’s “Falling” where strangers take a nude dip in the water and heat things up.
I want to be reincarnated as the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in my next life. Openly bisexual, Millay wrote “my candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – it gives a lovely light.” Robuck illuminates the fascinating Millay in this historical novel about the unlikely friendship between Millay and Laura Kelley, a young woman whose one night of daring leads to her downfall.
I hope most of you are looking ahead to a fun summer vacation. I, unfortunately, am preparing for surgery on June 3rd. I’ll be out of work for at least two weeks. I’m trying not to worry ahead of time about the pain, and the fact that I will be permanently saying farewell to most of my girl parts. Instead, I’m focusing on the joy of fifteen full days of reading. My doctor’s orders include: no cooking, no cleaning, no laundry, no lifting. And no sex (for six weeks). While I prepare to be pampered by my partner and my boys, I will be spending my time with books . . . my earliest loves. So, my reader friends, it’s your turn.
Please share with me YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS for what I should read while I rest in the comments below.
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
Walker is unapologetically queer in a time when many queer authors long for anonymity in the mainstream.January 18, 2017
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