Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Summer Beach Reads 2014

In recognition of the fact that not everyone only reads nonfiction, here are a half-dozen new fiction titles -- including two by friends -- that might be just the companion you're looking for as we head off to the beach this summer! 

"Looking for Providence" (aka "Boston Boys Club" Vol. 5) by Johnny Diaz

Ronnie thought he had everything he wanted - a guy he adored and a job he loved. Then the economy tanked and the 25-year-old not only lost his movie critic boyfriend but a dream job as a newspaper features writer. Now single in his newly adopted city of Providence, Ronnie learns to start over as a Business reporter in Rhode Island's capital city. And his life is about to take a dramatic turn during a reporting assignment when he meets Phil, a startlingly handsome local business executive. Phil takes Ronnie under his wing and shows him around his native Providence and just maybe, the way to his heart. But is Ronnie ready to embrace a new love? He receives some long-distance guidance from his Miami wingman Elias who is reeling from the loss of his TV production job. Broke, unemployed and ready for a change, Elias reluctantly moves back home to his mother's estate when he discovers a volunteer opportunity in Europe that he just can't say no to. During the course of one unpredictable summer, Ronnie and Elias are there for each other as they embark on new adventures that will forever change their lives.

Order HERE.

"Roosevelt's Beast" by Louis Bayard

A reimagining of Teddy and Kermit Roosevelt’s ill-fated 1914 Amazon expedition—a psychological twist on the smart historical thriller that first put Louis Bayard on the map 1914. Brazil’s Rio da Dúvida, the River of Doubt. Plagued by hunger and suffering the lingering effects of malaria, Theodore Roosevelt, his son Kermit, and the other members of the now-ravaged Roosevelt-Rondon scientific expedition are traveling deeper and deeper into the jungle. When Kermit and Teddy are kidnapped by a never-before-seen Amazonian tribe, the great hunters are asked one thing in exchange for their freedom: find and kill a beast that leaves no tracks and that no member of the tribe has ever seen. But what are the origins of this beast, and how do they escape its brutal wrath? Roosevelt's Beast is a story of the impossible things that become possible when civilization is miles away, when the mind plays tricks on itself, and when old family secrets refuse to stay buried. With his characteristically rich storytelling and a touch of old-fashioned horror, the bestselling and critically acclaimed Louis Bayard turns the story of the well-known Roosevelt-Rondon expedition on its head and dares to ask: Are the beasts among us more frightening than the beasts within?

Order HERE.

"Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual; Or I Was Cursed by Polly Holliday" by Leslie L. Smith

In this tale of bruising humor, heartbreaking loss and inspiring insight, David Mathews is a gay male escort with a penchant for keeping responsibility and emotion at arm's length. When his closest friend and mentor Robert dies from AIDS, David struggles with the mourning process, a situation complicated by the fact that Robert has left him a small fortune. Reeling from the loss, and puzzled by his new inheritance, David must make the journey from New York City back home to Arkansas, to visit his dying mother. Suddenly, Robert's ghost is riding shotgun on the trip, intent on challenging David's narrow worldview on life, love, intimacy and safe sex. Along the way, David meets a gallery of fascinating people, including a philosophy-spouting waitress, a young artist promoting AIDS education and a transsexual nurse. All play a role in propelling David into emotional adulthood. An honest and unyielding examination of the challenges of gay male life in America today, Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual offers laughs, tears and universal life lessons for anyone searching for a past, present and future.

 Order HERE.

"Afterworld" by Lois Walden

Meet four generations of the Duvalier family, for whom sugar cane is both their blessing and their curse. From patriarch Carter, the victim of an exploding manhole cover before our story begins, and his indomitable holy-roller wife Lily, to their dysfunctional sons Winston and Steven, and their equally screwed-up grandchildren, the Duvaliers - both dead and alive - would do anything to keep their secrets hidden. With their world blown apart by the winds of Katrina, the tangled lives of these unforgettable characters create a novel of unimaginable beauty, dark humor, and terrible tragedy.

Order HERE.

"The Home for Wayward Ladies" by Jeremy Scott Blaustein

Described as “Sex and the City” meets HBO’s “Looking”, THE HOME FOR WAYWARD LADIES is a comedic (some are saying, “laugh-out-loud”) novel that follows three young men on their promising (and promiscuous) path to making their Broadway dreams come true:
Fresh out of Mackinaw Conservatory’s School of Theater, Eli, Hunter, and Nick have relocated to Manhattan’s Upper-Upper West Side bound by an oath that friendship shall conquer all. Amid bitchy brunches and failed one-night stands, these friends- as promising as they are promiscuous are on a quest to have their voices heard over the roar of city. When they get a chance to work in summer stock, this “family” is forced to find out the hard way what it takes to become the ultimate anything: a somebody.
Details HERE.

"Flower of Iowa" by Lance Ringel

The sprawling historical novel Flower of Iowa takes place against the turbulent backdrop of World War I. In France during the final months of the war in 1918, young American Tommy Flowers is learning to be a good soldier in the trenches. At the same time, he attracts the attentions of Nicole Lacroix, a young French barmaid who in turn has won the heart of Tommy’s brash Australian sergeant Jamie Colbeck. Even as he tries to cope with this potential romantic triangle, Tommy steadily develops an attraction for his best buddy, British soldier David Pearson. The two young men must navigate this unexpected but irresistible attraction, seeking out ways to stay in touch even as the war reaches a crescendo, drawing them apart. A tale of love and bravery in the midst of tragedy, Flower of Iowa showcases unforgettable characters and exhilarating storytelling.

Order HERE.


Johnny Diaz said...

Thanks boo for including me in your summer book read round up. I hadn't heard of the other titles before but now they're on my literary gaydar. :-D

MovieJunkie said...

Completely forgot about your blog. Found it again. Thanks for the posting the fiction book summer read for 2014. As an avid reader, it's always nice to have something new and interesting to my Kindle collection.