pick up a good book this holiday season
With the holiday season upon us, the work slow down gives us some much needed “me time” to get some long-awaited projects started, catch up with friends and family, binge-watch movies and television series, and put a dent in that book you’ve been wanting to read.
I’ve compiled a list of recently released novels that would make for great last minute gifts for the book-worm on your list, or a perfect “me gift” for yourself to enjoy over the holiday season, and into the new year.
You Only Live Twice: Sex, Death, and Transition
sex, death, and transition
This genre-defying book actually has two authors, Chase Joynt and Mike Hoolbroom, who each delve in various aspects of their own individual lives as artists, educators, and human beings. Born over two decades apart from each other, it’s an interesting read to discover the similarities and differences between the two as a variety of topics are explored. While the subject of HIV advocacy and trans issues are prevalent topics throughout the book, there are many other “conversations” that discuss each other’s works of art as well. There are times when one questions the motives of the other, or asks questions that perhaps the reader might be curious about as well. It often reads more like a literary narrative or academic source of information, but at the same time being very personal in nature.
The Secret History of Twin Peaks – Mark Frost
the secret history of twin peaks
Anyone remember Twin Peaks? That quirky television show that aired 25 years ago, and remains one of the first true cult series of modern time. It also spawned a couple of feature length movies at the time. Well, now it’s back! There’s a new movie set for release next year on Showtime, and one of the co-creators, Mark Frost, has just released a book that acts as a prelude to the movie. It can also be used as an introduction for the uninitiated. Much like the series, this book is filled with an abundance of information that appears to be in no logical order, yet is suppose to offer clues into the unresolved mysteries that may, or may not be resolved in the next incarnation. There’s not much more I can say about this book, except that you will need some quiet time to absorb and (maybe) understand what’s about to happen next. There’s also an audio version of the book with some of the actors contributing their voices. Take a look at this YouTube video or listen to this Soundcloud clip to see and hear what you are about to get yourself into.
One Man Show: The Art and Life of Bernard Perlin – Michael Schreiber
the art and life of bernard perlin
Bernard Perlin (1918-2014) was an extraordinary figure in twentieth century American art and cultural history, an acclaimed artist and sexual renegade who revelled in pushing social, political, and artistic boundaries. He was also a “homosexual”, as gay men were referred to at the time. His work regularly appeared in popular magazines of the 1940s, fifties, and sixties; was collected by Rockefellers, Whitneys, and Astors; and was acquired by major museums, including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern. From the 1930s on, he also daringly committed to canvas and paper scenes of underground gay bars and nude studies of street hustlers, among other aspects of his active and dedicated gay life. Yet, few today are aware of this grandiose individual, until now. Author Michael Schreiber has compiled a wonderful coffee-table book collection of stories, images, and other personal anecdotes about this daring individual who rubbed shoulders with the upper echelon of society around the world. A refreshing look into gay history, well before the days of the internet.
Endgame – Jeffrey Round
Local Toronto author, Jeffrey Round, continues to churn out novels, like a bakery dishes out cookies...and they’re so good! His latest is Endgame, a thrilling recreation of Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit, And Then There Were None. When Harvey Keill, ex-manager of notorious punk band the Ladykillers arranges a reunion gig on Shark Island, it appears the group’s glory days are about to return. Rumour has it that Madonna, Bono, or possibly even the government owns the island, where a dark secret emerges that haunts the band and their guests, as one by one everybody falls prey to a mysterious fate. Jeffrey also recently announced that his publisher, Dundurn, has confirmed a book deal for three new novels from his popular Dan Sharp mystery series. What could be better than following in the footsteps of a gay P.I. as he uncovers clues to the latest murder mysteries?
America's Mistress: The Life and Times of Eartha Kitt - John L Williams
the life and times of eartha kitt
Eartha Kitt was a skinny, mixed-race woman with an odd, angular face, who seduced 1950s white America into thinking that she was, in the words of Orson Welles, 'the most exciting woman in the world'. She could count Marilyn Monroe, T.S. Eliot, Prince Philip and Albert Einstein among her friends and admirers, and was almost able to forget she had once been a poor black girl from the Deep South. But her new persona was also a prison from which she found it impossible to escape. Shunned by many of her former friends, shocked by her country's rampant racism, and with a perilously fragile sense of her own identity, Eartha Kitt would pay the price that came from trying to be America's mistress...and Catwoman! This story is as relevant today as it was in the 50s and 60s, with civil and human rights movements once again moving to the forefront of American politics.
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