Hot Beach Reads :: One Gay Reading List!
This summer, while you jet off to Provincetown, Rehoboth Beach, or Fire Island, or if you are just lounging at the beach or pool, you are going to need something to read.
Here is my list of some great books to help you pass the time. If you are looking for best sellers or main stream books, find another list.
Like just about everything about me, this list is pretty gay.
Just remember, reading is FUNdamental.
Man Up! - Tales of My Delusional Self Confidence, by Ross Mathews
Ross Mathews, "Tonight Show" intern turned correspondent and "Chelsea Lately" regular has followed in his boss Chelsea Handler’s footsteps and written a book.
This may be the closest thing to a best seller on my list. It’s also one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. Ross uses his potty mouth and hysterical wit to reflect upon his life up till now, and really lets the reader in on all of the dirty little secrets he’s been hiding all these years.
Last week, I had the pleasure to sit down and talk to Ross about the book and I asked him if he had any more books planned or if this was a "one and done" deal.
He said "I definitely plan on writing more; I just have a lot to say. I kind of feel like this was all about the first chapter in my life, about growing up in a farm town and being obsessed with pop culture, and now a new chapter is beginning with my talk show in the fall, and the book coming out, so you will definitely be hearing more from me."
Afuera: A Young Latino’s Journey, by Marcelino Rosas
This coming out and coming of age tale takes a look at what it’s like growing up gay in a traditional Mexican American family.
Roberto, the main character struggles to understand, and attempts to hide, that which is in his heart. From the outside, he seems to have the perfect life, but in fact it’s all a lie. In a dramatic turn of events, it eventually all comes apart, but through sheer guts and determination, and his willingness to succeed, he triumphs over this darkness and starts a new life for himself.
Marcelino Rosas was on the cover of our sister publication, "Genre Latino," last October, and when I interviewed him, he mentioned that he was an author and had just had his first novel published. I wrote him off, but was so pleased when I was given a copy of "Afuera" and quickly devoured it. He really has the gift of storytelling and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him. My only complaint was that it wasn’t longer -- I could have kept reading and reading.
"Guardian Angel of South Beach," by Neil S. Plakcy
Despite regular work-outs, out-of-shape computer geek Leo can’t build the body he dreams of. Then he meets a strange old man who mixes up some magic pills, and Leo’s body blossoms. He sets out to protect the weak, weird, and drunk from predators, but can this make him happy and help him hook up with Dan, the man of his dreams?
Neil S. Plakcy is one of my favorite authors, and we Floridians are lucky that he calls the sunshine state home too. I came across his work while browsing at the library and have since read almost everything he has published.
"Guardian Angel of South Beach" was published several years ago, but I just found it so it’s new to me, and trust me you are going to love it. Like most of Plakcy’s stories, it’s full of steamy sex scenes that are not for the faint of heart. So basically, you will love it!
If you are like me, and fall in love with his story telling, try his "Mahu" series of novels, they are great.
"Raised By Wolves, Volume One: Brethren," by W.A. Hoffman
This is my favorite book of all time. Seriously. My absolute favorite. It’s only book one in a four part series, but unfortunately, I don’t have room to write about all four, despite the fact that you are going to want to read them all.
It’s a "love story for men" set amongst the buccaneers of Port Royal during the infamous Henry Morgan raids of the 1660s.
With humor, adventure, and romance, it chronicles the life of John Williams, the Viscount of Marsdale, libertine, duelist, dilettante, haphazard philanthropist and philosopher, and his relationship with Gaston the Ghoul, exiled French madman and physician. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.
All of these books can be found on amazon.com or at your big box book store, or maybe try visiting the library. I am lucky to live close to the Stonewall National Archives and Library; if you are too, stop in and pick up a good gay book.