A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Release by Patrick Ness

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zycCpE.
It’s a book that will speak, with passionate warmth, to anyone who has ever been made to feel “less than”.
Book description from amazon.com:
Inspired by Judy Blume’s Forever and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this novel that Andrew Smith calls “beautiful, enchanting, [and] exquisitely written” is a new classic about teenage relationships, self-acceptance—and what happens when the walls we build start coming down. Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart.  At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela. But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release. From the New York Times bestselling author of A Monster Calls comes a raw, darkly funny, and deeply affecting story about the courage it takes to live your truth.
The book is rated 3.88/5 at goodreads.com, from 3824 ratings. See 1000 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iHJiVm.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2zyo7xi.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zzDG7H.
There is an authenticity to it, one well captured by activist and writer Catherine Hernandez in her new novel, titled – what else – Scarborough.
Book description from Google Books:
Scarborough is a low-income, culturally diverse neighborhood east of Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America; like many inner city communities, it suffers under the weight of poverty, drugs, crime, and urban blight. Scarborough the novel employs a multitude of voices to tell the story of a tight-knit neighborhood under fire: among them, Victor, a black artist harassed by the police; Winsum, a West Indian restaurant owner struggling to keep it together; and Hina, a Muslim school worker who witnesses first-hand the impact of poverty on education.And then there are the three kids who work to rise above a system that consistently fails them: Bing, a gay Filipino boy who lives under the shadow of his father’s mental illness; Sylvie, Bing’s best friend, a Native girl whose family struggles to find a permanent home to live in; and Laura, whose history of neglect by her mother is destined to repeat itself with her father.Scarborough offers a raw yet empathetic glimpse into a troubled community that locates its dignity in unexpected places: a neighborhood that refuses to be undone.Catherine Hernandez is a queer theatre practitioner and writer who has lived in Scarborough off and on for most of her life. Her plays Singkil and Kilt Pins were published by Playwrights Canada Press, and her children’s book M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book was published by Flamingo Rampant. She is the Artistic Director of Sulong Theatre for women of color.
The book is rated 4.34/5 at goodreads.com, from 155 ratings. See 38 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iNdeiV.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2zDDJjb.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zzDG7H.
There is an authenticity to it, one well captured by activist and writer Catherine Hernandez in her new novel, titled – what else – Scarborough.
Book description from Google Books:
Scarborough is a low-income, culturally diverse neighborhood east of Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America; like many inner city communities, it suffers under the weight of poverty, drugs, crime, and urban blight. Scarborough the novel employs a multitude of voices to tell the story of a tight-knit neighborhood under fire: among them, Victor, a black artist harassed by the police; Winsum, a West Indian restaurant owner struggling to keep it together; and Hina, a Muslim school worker who witnesses first-hand the impact of poverty on education.And then there are the three kids who work to rise above a system that consistently fails them: Bing, a gay Filipino boy who lives under the shadow of his father’s mental illness; Sylvie, Bing’s best friend, a Native girl whose family struggles to find a permanent home to live in; and Laura, whose history of neglect by her mother is destined to repeat itself with her father.Scarborough offers a raw yet empathetic glimpse into a troubled community that locates its dignity in unexpected places: a neighborhood that refuses to be undone.Catherine Hernandez is a queer theatre practitioner and writer who has lived in Scarborough off and on for most of her life. Her plays Singkil and Kilt Pins were published by Playwrights Canada Press, and her children’s book M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book was published by Flamingo Rampant. She is the Artistic Director of Sulong Theatre for women of color.
The book is rated 4.34/5 at goodreads.com, from 155 ratings. See 38 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iNdeiV.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2zDDJjb.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Release by Patrick Ness

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2zycCpE.
It’s a book that will speak, with passionate warmth, to anyone who has ever been made to feel “less than”.
Book description from Google Books:
Inspired by Judy Blume’s Forever and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this novel that Andrew Smith calls “beautiful, enchanting, [and] exquisitely written” is a new classic about teenage relationships, self-acceptance—and what happens when the walls we build start coming down. Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart.  At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela. But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release. From the New York Times bestselling author of A Monster Calls comes a raw, darkly funny, and deeply affecting story about the courage it takes to live your truth.
The book is rated 3.88/5 at goodreads.com, from 3786 ratings. See 994 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iHJiVm.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2zyo7xi.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: The End of Eddy: A Novel by Édouard Louis

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2ztc4kz.
Just released in a highly readable translation by Michael Lucey, this painfully insightful tale of entrapment and escape could’ve easily been set in Michigan or West Virginia.
Book description from Google Books:
An autobiographical novel about growing up gay in a working-class town in Picardy.“Every morning in the bathroom I would repeat the same phrase to myself over and over again . . . Today I’m really gonna be a tough guy.” Growing up in a poor village in northern France, all Eddy Bellegueule wanted was to be a man in the eyes of his family and neighbors. But from childhood, he was different—“girlish,” intellectually precocious, and attracted to other men.Already translated into twenty languages, The End of Eddy captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town. It is also a sensitive, universal portrait of boyhood and sexual awakening. Like Karl Ove Knausgaard or Edmund White, Édouard Louis writes from his own undisguised experience, but he writes with an openness and a compassionate intelligence that are all his own. The result—a critical and popular triumph—has made him the most celebrated French writer of his generation.
The book is rated 3.81/5 at goodreads.com, from 3832 ratings. See 489 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iIG6J9.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iGhbpN.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: The End of Eddy: A Novel by Édouard Louis

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2ztc4kz.
Just released in a highly readable translation by Michael Lucey, this painfully insightful tale of entrapment and escape could’ve easily been set in Michigan or West Virginia.
Book description from Google Books:
An autobiographical novel about growing up gay in a working-class town in Picardy.“Every morning in the bathroom I would repeat the same phrase to myself over and over again . . . Today I’m really gonna be a tough guy.” Growing up in a poor village in northern France, all Eddy Bellegueule wanted was to be a man in the eyes of his family and neighbors. But from childhood, he was different—“girlish,” intellectually precocious, and attracted to other men.Already translated into twenty languages, The End of Eddy captures the violence and desperation of life in a French factory town. It is also a sensitive, universal portrait of boyhood and sexual awakening. Like Karl Ove Knausgaard or Edmund White, Édouard Louis writes from his own undisguised experience, but he writes with an openness and a compassionate intelligence that are all his own. The result—a critical and popular triumph—has made him the most celebrated French writer of his generation.
The book is rated 3.81/5 at goodreads.com, from 3829 ratings. See 489 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iIG6J9.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iGhbpN.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2yublAO.
“Sympathy” is self-consciously clever, riddled with a network of allusions similar to that of Marisha Pessl’s “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” — also a story about a seemingly precocious girl with a missing father that could be mistaken for a particularly engaging young adult novel.
Book description from Google Books:
One ofEntertainment Weekly’s “16 Debut Novels to Read in 2017” One of theObserver’s “New Faces of Fiction for 2017” One ofElle UK’s “Six Top Debut Authors of 2017” One of i-D/Vice’s “10 Brilliant Emerging Female Authors to Read in 2017” An electrifying debut novel of obsessive love, family secrets, and the dangers of living our lives online At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, a Japanese writer living in New York, whose life story has strange parallels to her own and who she believes is her “Internet twin.” What seems to Mizuko like a chance encounter with Alice is anything but–after all, in the age of connectivity, nothing is coincidence. Their subsequent relationship is doomed from the outset, exposing a tangle of lies andsexual encounters as three families across the globe collide, and the most ancient of questions–where do we come from?–is answered just by searching online.   In its heady evocation of everything from Haruki Murakami to Patricia Highsmith to Edith Wharton,Sympathyis utterly original–a thrilling tale of obsession, doubling, blood ties, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age.
The book is rated 3.23/5 at goodreads.com, from 264 ratings. See 62 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yuUSwf.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yE8u8B.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2uqy5kK.
Roxane Gay’s luminous new memoir, “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body,” is a profound example of this theory in praxis. An uncompromising look at the specific, often paradoxical details of her embodiment, the book examines the experience of living in her body in the world as through a kaleidoscope from every angle…
Book description from Google Books:
The Instant New York Times Bestseller From the New York Times best-selling author of Bad Feminist, a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.  “I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”  New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life.  With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.   
The book is rated 4.33/5 at goodreads.com, from 15169 ratings. See 2448 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uI4mPI.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2uHW1LS.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso

A critic review (source AV Club) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uNX8tz.
…the gorgeous, deviant story he was able to tell in Chronicle’s pages became one of the hallmarks of Brazilian literature, prompting this English rendition decades later.
Book description from Google Books:
Winner of the 2017 Best Translated Book Award Longlisted for the 2017 National Translation Award “The book itself is strange–part Faulknerian meditation on the perversities, including sexual, of degenerate country folk; part Dostoevskian examination of good and evil and God–but in its strangeness lies its rare power, and in the sincerity and seriousness with which the essential questions are posed lies its greatness.”–Benjamin Moser, from the introduction Long considered one of the most important works of twentieth-century Brazilian literature,Chronicle of the Murdered Houseis finally available in English. Set in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, the novel relates the dissolution of a once proud patriarchal family that blames its ruin on the marriage of its youngest son, Valdo, to Nina–a vibrant, unpredictable, and incendiary young woman whose very existence seems to depend on the destruction of the household. This family’s downfall, peppered by stories of decadence, adultery, incest, and madness, is related through a variety of narrative devices, including letters, diaries, memoirs, statements, confessions, and accounts penned by the various characters. L�cio Cardoso(1912-1968) turned away from the social realism fashionable in 1930s Brazil and opened the doors of Brazilian literature to introspective works such as those of Clarice Lispector–his greatest follower and admirer. Margaret Jull Costahas translated dozens of works from both Spanish and Portuguese, including books by Javier Mar�as and Jos� Saramago. Her translations have received numerous awards, including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2014 she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Robin Pattersonwas mentored by Margaret Jull Costa, and has translatedOur Mussequeby Jos� Luandino Vieira.
The book is rated 4.34/5 at goodreads.com, from 229 ratings. See 28 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uw88jM.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xWBBUi.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cCc2gs.
Penetrating and lucid as it is, Faludi’s book can’t answer this question. By the end, however, it seems less urgent, because Stefánie’s prickly, particular humanity comes to overshadow concern about categories.
Book description from Google Books:
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash, comes In the Darkroom, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age.“In the summer of 2004 I set out to investigate someone I scarcely knew, my father. The project began with a grievance, the grievance of a daughter whose parent had absconded from her life. I was in pursuit of a scofflaw, an artful dodger who had skipped out on so many things—obligation, affection, culpability, contrition. I was preparing an indictment, amassing discovery for a trial. But somewhere along the line, the prosecutor became a witness.” So begins Susan Faludi’s extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of identity in the modern world and in her own haunted family saga. When the feminist writer learned that her 76-year-old father—long estranged and living in Hungary—had undergone sex reassignment surgery, that investigation would turn personal and urgent. How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images? Faludi chases that mystery into the recesses of her suburban childhood and her father’s many previous incarnations: American dad, Alpine mountaineer, swashbuckling adventurer in the Amazon outback, Jewish fugitive in Holocaust Budapest. When the author travels to Hungary to reunite with her father, she drops into a labyrinth of dark histories and dangerous politics in a country hell-bent on repressing its past and constructing a fanciful—and virulent—nationhood. The search for identity that has transfixed our century was proving as treacherous for nations as for individuals. Faludi’s struggle to come to grips with her father’s metamorphosis self takes her across borders—historical, political, religious, sexual–to bring her face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you “choose,” or is it the very thing you can’t escape?
The book is rated 3.93/5 at goodreads.com, from 1827 ratings. See 322 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2awuovk.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tRDWe5.