A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2BWtFmq.
…the reader is left unsure of exactly how to conclude. Except perhaps, in avoiding a trite ending all my own (“Less should have been more!”), to say that what frustrates is that a writer of great talent has allowed himself to call finished something that needed to go higher, faster, further…
Book description from Google Books:
NATIONAL BESTSELLER!A New York Times Notable Book of 2017A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence “I could not love LESS more.”–Ron Charles, Washington Post”Andrew Sean Greer’s Less is excellent company. It’s no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful.”–Christopher Buckley, New York Times Book ReviewWho says you can’t run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?ANSWER: You accept them all.What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story.A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as “inspired, lyrical,” “elegiac,” “ingenious,” as well as “too sappy by half,” Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.
The book is rated 3.69/5 at goodreads.com, from 1803 ratings. See 359 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BUQh6B.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5dmDh.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2BXsvXL.
I thought sex scenes were great – funny, erotic, sometimes a little awkward. More importantly sex felt like organic part of their love story, not something the author inserted in the book just for the sake of it.
Book description from amazon.com:
One of Goodreads’ Best Romances of July“Sebastian proves she is a new force to be reckoned with in historical romances.”—BooklistRogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London. Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.
The book is rated 4.18/5 at goodreads.com, from 1249 ratings. See 286 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BVhXbv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5EUIu.

A gay-lesbian book recommendation: The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2BXsvXL.
I thought sex scenes were great – funny, erotic, sometimes a little awkward. More importantly sex felt like organic part of their love story, not something the author inserted in the book just for the sake of it.
Book description from amazon.com:
One of Goodreads’ Best Romances of July“Sebastian proves she is a new force to be reckoned with in historical romances.”—BooklistRogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London. Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.
The book is rated 4.18/5 at goodreads.com, from 1248 ratings. See 286 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BVhXbv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5EUIu.

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.