A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was: A Novel by Sjón

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/25Xg6ih.
Though it is a deeply felt novel, Sjón’s prose is never histrionic or overwrought, balancing rage and hallucination (there are echoes of Artaud and Ballard) with a gentleness of spirit, an affection for precision and the small scale. The result is sure to delight his fans and convert many new ones.
Book description from Google Books:
The mind-bending miniature historical epic is Sjón’s specialty, and Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was is no exception. But it is also Sjón’s most realistic, accessible, and heartfelt work yet. It is the story of a young man on the fringes of a society that is itself at the fringes of the world–at what seems like history’s most tumultuous, perhaps ultimate moment. Máni Steinn is queer in a society in which the idea of homosexuality is beyond the furthest extreme. His city, Reykjavik in 1918, is homogeneous and isolated and seems entirely defenseless against the Spanish flu, which has already torn through Europe, Asia, and North America and is now lapping up on Iceland’s shores. And if the flu doesn’t do it, there’s always the threat that war will spread all the way north. And yet the outside world has also brought Icelanders cinema! And there’s nothing like a dark, silent room with a film from Europe flickering on the screen to help you escape from the overwhelming threats–and adventures–of the night, to transport you, to make you feel like everything is going to be all right. For Máni Steinn, the question is whether, at Reykjavik’s darkest hour, he should retreat all the way into this imaginary world, or if he should engage with the society that has so soundly rejected him.
The book is rated 3.71/5 at goodreads.com, from 1413 ratings. See 248 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/25XgbTc.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sTFjZJ.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Here Comes the Sun: A Novel by Nicole Dennis-Benn

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2ao1ccZ.
“Here Comes the Sun” is deceptively well-constructed, with slow and painful reveals right through the end. Just who’s able to give history the slip, and at what cost, is one of the saddest things you’ll ever read.
Book description from Google Books:
Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman–fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves–must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.
The book is rated 3.81/5 at goodreads.com, from 3471 ratings. See 581 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2an0d9C.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tSNdY8.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: The Rope Swing: Stories by Jonathan Corcoran

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2exVXGU.
Given the recent tragedy in Orlando, the story ends with an especially timely appeal for understanding among humans. These artful stories of loss and longing are difficult to put down.
Book description from Google Books:
A once-booming West Virginia rail town no longer has a working train. The residents left behind in this tiny hamlet look to the mountains that surround them on all sides: The outside world encroaches, and the buildings of the gilded past seem to crumble more every day.  These are the stories of outsiders–the down and out. What happens to the young boy whose burgeoning sexuality pushes him to the edge of the forest to explore what might be love with another boy? What happens when one lost soul finally makes it to New York City, yet the reminders of his past life are omnipresent? What happens when an old woman struggles to find a purpose and reinvent herself after decades of living in the shadow of her platonic life partner? What happens to those who dare to live their lives outside of the strict confines of the town’s traditional and regimented ways?  The characters in The Rope Swing–gay and straight alike–yearn for that which seems so close but impossibly far, the world over the jagged peaks of the mountains. 
The book is rated 4.31/5 at goodreads.com, from 61 ratings. See 18 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dEaALm.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sJfLyq.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Fast Connection (Cyberlove) (Volume 2) by Megan Erickson

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dNaLDQ.
Loving parents will frequently be protective to the point of being overprotective of their kids against the world even if they do not need much protection. I am deliberately speaking in generalities because I do not want to spoil the book for you. I really enjoyed the book and have already reread it twice, which to me signifies a memorable read.
Book description from Google Books:
After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys. When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again. He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated. *FAST CONNECTION is a standalone, full-length romance novel with no cliffhanger*
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 3584 ratings. See 766 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eHT8D1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tI4GS8.

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 3.94/5 at goodreads.com, from 1768 ratings. See 314 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2awuovk.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tRDWe5.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: The Evenings: A Winter’s Tale (Pushkin Collection) by Gerard Reve

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2uBk7wG.
Only a writer such as Reve, who has viewed life in such an unflinching manner can include that final assertion without irony – and without falsity.
Book description from Google Books:
THE FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF A POSTWAR MASTERPIECE ‘I work in an office. I take cards out of a file. Once I have taken them out, I put them back in again. That is it.’ Twenty-three-year-old Frits – office worker, daydreamer, teller of inappropriate jokes – finds life absurd and inexplicable. He lives with his parents, who drive him mad. He has terrible, disturbing dreams of death and destruction. Sometimes he talks to a toy rabbit. This is the story of ten evenings in Frits’s life at the end of December, as he drinks, smokes, sees friends, aimlessly wanders the gloomy city street and tries to make sense of the minutes, hours and days that stretch before him. Darkly funny and mesmerising, The Evenings takes the tiny, quotidian triumphs and heartbreaks of our everyday lives and turns them into a work of brilliant wit and profound beauty.
The book is rated 3.53/5 at goodreads.com, from 4947 ratings. See 235 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uwS0Ph.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ux5ASM.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2s10TOM.
Levy is an incredibly talented writer who has built a solid body of work, but “The Rules Do Not Apply” does not have the same energy that her magazine writing is known for.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A gorgeous memoir about a woman overcoming dramatic loss and finding reinvention “Cheryl Strayed meets a Nora Ephron movie. You’ll laugh, ugly cry, and finish it before the weekend’s over.”–theSkimm Named one of the best books of 2017 so far by Time and Entertainment Weekly When Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true. Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules–about work, about love, and about womanhood. In this “deeply human and deeply moving” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being, in her own words, “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed–and of what is eternal. Praise for The Rules Do Not Apply “Levy has the rare gift of seeing herself with fierce, unforgiving clarity. And she deploys prose to match, raw and agile. She plumbs the commotion deep within and takes the measure of her have-it-all generation.”–The Atlantic “[The Rules Do Not Apply] is a short, sharp American memoir in the Mary Karr tradition of life-chronicling. Which is to say that Levy, like Karr, is a natural writer who is also as unsparing and bleakly hilarious as it’s possible to be about oneself. . . . I devoured her story in one sitting.”–Financial Times “It’s an act of courage to hunt for meaning within grief, particularly if the search upends your life and shakes out the contents for all the world to sift through. Ariel Levy embarks on the hunt beautifully in her new memoir.”–Chicago Tribune “I read it in one big messy gulp, because it is beautiful and heartbreaking and unruly and real. You should preorder it immediately so you can fall into her complicated, funny, and finely wrought world as soon as humanly possible.”–Lenny.com “A thoroughly modern memoir, the elements of The Rules Do Not Apply seem plucked not from the script of Girls, which has also been exploring reproductive issues of late, but Transparent–even Portlandia.”–The New York Times “Frank and unflinchingly sincere . . . A gut-wrenching, emotionally charged work of soul-baring writing in the spirit of Joan Didion, Helen Macdonald, and Elizabeth Gilbert, The Rules Do Not Apply is a must-read for women.”–Bustle “Unflinching and intimate, wrenching and revelatory, Ariel Levy’s powerful memoir about love, loss, and finding one’s way shimmers with truth and heart on every page.”–Cheryl Strayed “Every deep feeling a human is capable of will be shaken loose by this profound book. Ariel Levy has taken grief and made art out of it.”–David Sedaris “Ariel Levy is a writer of uncompromising honesty, remarkable clarity, and surprising humor gathered from the wreckage of tragedy. Her account of life doing its darnedest to topple her, and her refusal to be knocked down, will leave you shaken and inspired. I am the better for having read this book.”–Lena Dunham
The book is rated 3.82/5 at goodreads.com, from 8218 ratings. See 1019 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2s0BuFe.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tHdwzm.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Sunset Park by Santino Hassell

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2bpBbuk.
Since Raymond and David narrate the book in turns it is obvious to the reader that they love each other quite early in the book, but it was still a delight to watch how they navigate all the complications and often self-imposed obstacles as they move closer and closer to each other.
Book description from Google Books:
A Five Boroughs Story Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend, so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash. David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way–he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens–but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation, since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret. Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence–he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.
The book is rated 4.18/5 at goodreads.com, from 3046 ratings. See 599 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2bpgXOF.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t3nx6o.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Fast Connection (Cyberlove) (Volume 2) by Megan Erickson

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dNaLDQ.
Loving parents will frequently be protective to the point of being overprotective of their kids against the world even if they do not need much protection. I am deliberately speaking in generalities because I do not want to spoil the book for you. I really enjoyed the book and have already reread it twice, which to me signifies a memorable read.
Book description from Google Books:
After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys. When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again. He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated. *FAST CONNECTION is a standalone, full-length romance novel with no cliffhanger*
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 3580 ratings. See 764 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eHT8D1.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tI4GS8.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Here Comes the Sun: A Novel by Nicole Dennis-Benn

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2ao1ccZ.
“Here Comes the Sun” is deceptively well-constructed, with slow and painful reveals right through the end. Just who’s able to give history the slip, and at what cost, is one of the saddest things you’ll ever read.
Book description from Google Books:
Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman–fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves–must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.
The book is rated 3.81/5 at goodreads.com, from 3445 ratings. See 578 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2an0d9C.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .