The Backlot Gay Book Forum discussion

Everything Else > recommendations wanted for a senior citizen

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Emilie (new)

Emilie (neyronrose) | 456 comments I recently started working as a home health aide for a male couple. One is 85, and one is 79. The 79-year-old, B., isn't very mobile physically, but he's highly intelligent and mentally sharper than most people a third of his age. He gets bored with himself, so I started bringing books for him to read. I only have so many print fiction books with gay protagonists. I'll have to teach B. how to use an e-reader soon.

Anyway, B. likes books with plot, and apparently not ones with sex scenes every other page or so. He likes contemporaries, isn't into science fiction, and doesn't want depressing books in which the protagonists get killed off or severely injured.

He doesn't like books that he calls "silly," or with "grade-school humor" or that he judges to have a "grade-school" level of writing. Apparently what he wants are cheerful books that are about college-level reading, decent amounts of plot, nice escapism.

For non-fiction, B. liked Into the Garden with Charles, as B. grew up in New York and lived there for a good part of his adult life. He also enjoyed the humor in Joel Perry's That's Why They're in Cages, People!. I found that a TV show B. likes very much is the BBC show "Vicious." Apparently that's his kind of sense of humor. Given the tone of many of his interactions with his partner R., I had a strong feeling it might be. I told him I'd watched the first episode, but it wasn't my generation or my kind of sense of humor.

I have a number of Josh Lanyon's print books. I got a kick out of B.'s opinions on the Adrien English series. After A Dangerous Thing, he said, "I have the feeling that Adrien's going to get screwed, and not in a good way. No, don't spoil it, Emilie!" I told him that if Adrien didn't make poor decisions in the books, the stories would end up being very short.

He's going through a book a day. B. manages whatever he can of the outside world via phone, but otherwise doesn't really have a lot to do. We need book recommendations, please! B. wants an escape from boredom, and at least a mental change of scene from what he can see from his bed.

message 2: by Sofia (new)

Sofia | 7 comments Rabih Alameddine, Rupert Smith

I love their wit and humour.

Say Hi to B :D

message 3: by Jax (last edited Jul 15, 2018 09:25AM) (new)

Jax | 984 comments I will look over my (very long) book list & see what I can find. At a quick glance it looks like most of my favorites are not contemporary though. But for now, if he likes the Adrien English series, he may like the Life Lessons series by Kaje Harper.

message 4: by Jax (new)

Jax | 984 comments Here are some contemporaries that, to the best of my memory, are low on sex:

M. Jules Aedin: Windows in Time

Becky Albertalli: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Louis Bayard: Fool's Errand

Michael Downing: Breakfast with Scot

Libby Drew: Great Restorations

LA Gilbert: The Ghost on My Couch, Witness

Sarah Goodwin: After The Fall

Kaje Harper: Lies and Consequences, The Family We're Born With/The Family We Make, Into Deep Waters

Steve Neil Johnson: Final Atonement/False Confessions

Nicole Kimberling: Bellingham Mysteries series starting with Primal Red

Richard Kramer: These Things Happen

Val Kovalin: Fall Into the Sun

David LaRochelle: Absolutely Positively Not

David Levithan: Two Boys Kissing

ZA Maxfield: The Long Way Home, ePistols at Dawn

Tom Mendicino: Probation

JL Merrow: The Plumbers Mate series starting w/Pressure Head

Con Riley: Be My Best Man, Salvage/Recovery

Chris Scully: Inseparable/When Adam Kissed Me

Kate Sherwood: The Fall/Riding Tall, Mark of Cain, Shying Away

William Jack Sibley: Any Kind Of Luck

Jenna Hilary Sinclair: One Marriage and Three Weddings, Admit One

Marshall Thornton: My Favorite Uncle, The Ghost Slept Over

AL Turner: I Just Play One on TV

For mysteries: the Dave Brandstetter series by Joseph Hansen, the Henry Rios series by Michael Nava, and of course all Josh Lanyon titles.

Also anything by Steve Klugor, Stephen McCauley, & any contemporary by Harper Fox.

message 5: by Emilie (new)

Emilie (neyronrose) | 456 comments Sofia wrote: "Rabih Alameddine, Rupert Smith

I love their wit and humour.

Say Hi to B :D"

Thanks, Sofia! :) I'll see what I can get from the library, or interlibrary loan.

message 6: by Emilie (new)

Emilie (neyronrose) | 456 comments Jax wrote: "Here are some contemporaries that, to the best of my memory, are low on sex:

M. Jules Aedin: Windows in Time

Becky Albertalli: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda


Thanks, Jax! That's quite a list. I think I have about half of those books as e-books. Time to teach B. to use an e-reader. :)

message 7: by Jax (new)

Jax | 984 comments Oh good. Hopefully you can confirm the sex content before you share with him. I'm pretty confident on most of them because really graphic or frequent sex scenes aren't my thing either, but I don't have the best memory.

message 8: by Jax (new)

Jax | 984 comments Mymymble wrote: "That's a great list, Jax. Two Boys Kissing might be a bit depressing for B if he lived in New York in the eighties, though."

Yeah, I considered that, but it's so good! And ultimately hopeful, I thought. Definitely have to give him a heads up before he decides whether to read tho.

message 9: by Emilie (new)

Emilie (neyronrose) | 456 comments Mymymble wrote: "That's a great list, Jax. Two Boys Kissing might be a bit depressing for B if he lived in New York in the eighties, though.
If he likes Lanyon, he'd probably like Mahu..."

I told B. about Marshall Thornton's Boystown Mystery series, that it was set in the 1980s and Nick's friends and chosen family started dying from a mysterious disease within the first few books. B. thought that would be too depressing for him. I'll see what he thinks when I tell him about the book you two are discussing.

I'm not sure how squeamish B. is when it comes to the content of mysteries. I know that I got a few books into the Mahu series and was like "Nope" at the description of a murdered woman's stomach contents. That was more graphic than I could deal with. I'll see what B. says about that. I have e-books of some of that series, and the library had some of the books in the series as of a few years ago.

I don't care for Kit Holmes of the Holmes and Moriarity series, because he's a jerk. I'm paraphrasing, but I think Josh said that the point of a character arc was character growth. Perhaps B. will enjoy Kit's viewpoint more than I did. I don't think B.'s necessarily as focused on wanting a kind-hearted narrator as I am. B. could probably take a narrator who's a jerk as long as he's entertained and amused by the book.

I'll see how B. is on the subject of learning to use an e-reader. And I did get the audio book of Glitterland because Jax thought a lot of it. I got a little way into it, although the narrator's anxiety spirals were tougher to hear than to read about, in my opinion. I suppose there was more immediacy to it for me in hearing it. Then Dad lost his Nook and appropriated my Kindle Fire. I'll appropriate it back to see what B. thinks about audio books. I'd also gotten a couple of J.L. Merrow's Shamwell books in audio, and those are relatively low angst.

Thanks again, folks! You've given me plenty of ideas. :)

back to top