Future Selections for the Group:
Selection for July 2013
Newly discharged from the Marines
after World War II, Scotty Bowers arrived in Hollywood in 1946. Young,
charismatic, and strikingly handsome, he quickly caught the eye of many of
the town’s stars and starlets. He began sleeping with some himself, and
connecting others with his coterie of young, attractive, and sexually
free-spirited friends. His own lovers included Edith Piaf, Spencer Tracy,
Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, and the abdicated King of England Edward VIII,
and he arranged tricks or otherwise crossed paths with Tennessee Williams,
Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Errol
Flynn, Gloria Swanson, NoŽl Coward, Mae West, James Dean, Rock Hudson and
J. Edgar Hoover, to name but a few.
Selection for August 2013
A Gay and Melancholy Sound
by Merle Miller
The first book in nationally renowned librarian Nancy Pearl’s new Book Lust Rediscoveries series, this lost literary classic is available for the first time in decades. As funny and entertaining as it is captivating and heartrending, A Gay and Melancholy Sound is a shattering depiction of modern disconnection and the tragic consequences of a life bereft of love.
Joshua Bland has lived the kind of life many would define as extraordinary. Born in a small Iowa town to a controlling, delusional mother who had always wanted a daughter rather than a son, her anger at him colors his life. His father, a compassionate drinker incapable of dealing with Joshua’s mother, walks out on his wife and son, leaving a vacuum in the family that is damagingly filled by his tutor-cum-stepfather Petrarch Pavan, scion of a wealthy New York family who has secrets of his own. Playing on Joshua’s brilliance, Petrarch trains him to win a nationwide knowledge competition, but Joshua’s disappointing results in the finals are met with anger and disbelief by both his mother and stepfather. If Petrarch was unsuccessful in teaching Joshua the information he needed to win the contest, he had more success in instilling Joshua with the cynicism, self-doubt, and self-hatred that fill his own soul.
Enlisting in the army during World War II, he serves first as an infantryman, where his irreverent letters home turn him into a best-selling author. Then, as a paratrooper, he meets the physical challenges he thought were beyond his reach and helps free the concentration camps before being wounded as the Allied forces free Buchenwald. Back home after the war, he becomes a wildly successful producer—and all of this by the age of thirty-seven. But when his production company flounders amid critical and financial woes, the reality of who he is becomes perfectly, depressingly clear: he has had a lifetime of extraordinary experiences—and no emotional connection to any of it.
Selection for September 2013
A Starboard Sea
by Amber Dermont
A powerful first novel about life and death, friendship and love,
Jason Prosper grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old-boy prep schools, and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding-school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during their junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship.
Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and provocative novel about a young man finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.
Selection for October 2013
One or two of the following (to be determined):
Today, Matthew Shepard is synonymous with gay rights, but until 1998, he
was just Judy Shepard's son. In The
Meaning of Matthew, Judy Shepard confides how she handled
her crippling loss in the public eye, the vigils and protests held by
strangers in her son's name, and ultimately how she and her husband gained
the courage to help prosecutors convict her son's murderers.
The infamous murder in October 1998 of a twenty-one-year-old gay
University of Wyoming student ignited a media frenzy. The crime resonated
deeply with America's bitter history of violence against minorities, and
something about Matt Shepard himself struck a chord with people across the
nation. Although the details of the tragedy are familiar to most people,
the complex and ever-shifting context of the killing is not. Losing
Matt Shepard explores
why the murder still haunts us—and why it should.
The Laramie Project
On October 7, 1998, a young gay man was discovered bound to a fence in the
hills outside Laramie, Wyoming, savagely beaten and left to die in an act
of hate that shocked the nation. Matthew Shepard’s death became a national
symbol of intolerance, but for the people of Laramie the event was deeply
personal, and it’s they we hear in this stunningly effective theater
piece, a deeply complex portrait of a community.
Selection for November 2013
Selection for December 2013
An Eye-Opening Memoir of Growing Up Gypsy
Mikey Walsh was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a
secluded community, and little is known about their way of life. After
centuries of persecution, Gypsies are wary of outsiders, and if you
choose to leave you can never come back.
To make recommendations for future selections of Big Gay