Monday, July 7, 2014

What I've Been Reading

I've read some good stuff lately but I haven't felt like writing full reviews, so I thought I'd just talk about what I've been reading lately. Humor me if you will :p Or feel free to ignore this post completely.

I finally finished Exiles in America by Christopher Bram this month. It took me almost an entire month to read this book because I got frustrated with it, but in the end I really liked it. It's the story of a gay couple - Zach, a psychiatrist,  and Daniel, a painter/professor, who have an open relationship, aka, they allow each other to have other sexual partners. No, this book isn't an erotic novel or anything like that. It's literary fiction. Anywho, back to the plot. They befriend a middle eastern painter by the name of Abbas and his wife Elena and Daniel starts an affair with Abbas. Here comes the's a post 9/11 novel. I waited and waited for the terrorist thing to come since Abbas was Muslim and of course it did. I also have own personal issues with open relationships though I have nothing wrong with people having them if that works for them, so this book drove me nuts at times with that too. But in the end, Bram did just about the only thing that could've made me love this book. I'm not going to say what that is :p But he did it in a matter of 2 paragraphs. If anything, I can acknowledge he's a truly skillful writer and wonderful at writing a meditative novel.

Debi has me HOOKED on the Morning Glories graphic novel series by Nick Spencer!! She put it on my list of books to read this month and I've read the first three volumes so far. Pardon my language, but these books are a complete mind fuck. I just can't think of any other words to describe them appropriately. I'm sort of pissed right now that I don't have volume 4 and that none of my local bookstores have them either! I'll be ordering volume 4 like now. It's about a group of kids all sent off to Morning Glory Academy, a boarding school, who's motto is "A Better Future", only you know (very clearly, I might add) right off the bat that there is something VERY messed up about this school. As in there are people being killed, some kind of cult shit going on, supernatural stuff and did I mention people being killed. I also found myself surprisingly attached to a lot of these characters really quickly without even realizing that I had become attached to them. I truly am dying to see where this series is going!

The book I'm in the middle of right now which I'll do a full review of when I'm done is Stuck in the Middle With You by Jennifer Finney Boylan and damn it's good! It's Boylan's memoir of being a parent as a father, a mother, and the time in between. For those who aren't familiar with Boylan, she's transgender and had surgery to become a biological female after fathering her two boys. This memoir is beautiful, funny, touching and enlightening so far and I'm really enjoying it. Along the way, she has interviews with other authors and creative types as well. I think any parent, anyone who's a little different, anyone who's ever struggled to fit in, anyone who's ever cared for anyone else could relate to this book. You certainly don't have to have walked in Boylan's shoes to appreciate this one.

That's it for my reading notes right now! What have you been reading? Anything I need to put on the top of my list?


Debi said...

Oh Chris, I so totally agree with you--there is no other way to describe Morning Glories than as a total mind fuck!!!

Stuck in the Middle sounds sooooo good!!! And you've totally left me intrigued as to what those two paragraphs in Exiles in America fact, I'm likely to pester you about it when I email you. :P

Trish said...

We need a Comics February again. Maybe in October or November? :) I've got my eye on Morning Glories and Saga.

What have I been reading? Tampa--which is absolutely disgusting and I can't figure out why I'm still reading it--and Every Day. It's my first solo Levithan and I think I'll love it. Here's hoping.

Enjoy the reading!

Bookfool said...

I'm reading a book about the history of Paramedics that was published in 1979, a self-published ghost story for F2F group and Straight Man by Richard Russo because a friend wanted to talk to me about it. Don't know if she still will want to discuss it when I finish. It's a poky read and it's already been a couple months since she begged me to get a copy.

While I was in New Jersey I read the last book in the Last Policeman series and it was perfect, just a perfect ending. Such a relief. And, I just read a mystery: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. That was pretty good.

Best books I've read, lately (besides World of Trouble) are The Humans by Matt Haig, which is a *must read* and All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld, which has both a regular storyline (progressing forward during the current time) and a storyline that moves backwards. I was totally impressed. It's dark and creepy and so, so good. It's been a few months since I read it and I still think about it, now and then.

BTW, The Goose Girl is terrific. Don't be afraid of it. It's a lovely fantasy. And, try to get a set of the Tomorrow When the War Began books because you'll want to blow through them. When I got Tomorrow When the War Began, only one book had been published in the U.S. (that was way back in the 90s) so I had to order several of them from Australia. I still don't have a matched set.