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Book Topics > Best Gay Reads of 2008

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message 1: by Randal (last edited Jan 02, 2009 10:45PM) (new)

Randal (randalm) | 2 comments Has everyone seen Queerty's "Top 10 Books of '08 That Belong on A Gay's Bookshelf"? They are:

1. The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames, illustrated by Dean Haspiel
2. The Sixth Form by Tom Dolby
3. Erotomania by Francis Levy
4. Hiding in Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry–from Music to Hollywood by Terrance Dean
5. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
6. Anything Goes by John Barrowman
7. Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America by Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker
8. Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever by Joel Derfner
9. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
10. The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux

Thoughts? This is obviously a very gay male list. Know of any other LGBT best-book lists for 2008?

message 2: by John (new)

John Swish is very well written; I think women would appreciate it as much as men.

message 3: by Whitaker (last edited Jan 06, 2009 11:16PM) (new)

Whitaker (lechatquilit) Hey, that's the funniest inadvertent link ever. The Sixth Form by Tom Dolby links to Sixth Form at Saint Clare's by Enid Blyton. ROTFL!!

I so say St Clare's should qualify. I read all of them when I was a kid and dang but all those English public schools were hotbeds for same-sex lovin'.

message 4: by Collin (new)

Collin Kelley | 17 comments I would add The Stone Gods by the brilliant (and lesbian) novelist Jeanette Winterson. One of the best books I've read in ages.

message 5: by Ted (new)

Ted (efcorson) | 414 comments Mod
RandalM, thanks for the Queerty Top 10 link!

message 6: by Robin (new)

Robin (therobinreardon) | 47 comments I can't claim THINKING STRAIGHT should be in the top 10 -- I'm the author, and that would be way too pushy , but (if I say so myself) it's a great read.

It's about a gay teen, Taylor, whose parents put him into an "ex-gay" summer camp to straighten him out. The story has a very positive outlook, denigrating neither religion in general or Christianity in particular. And Taylor finds a way to remain true both to himself and to his religion, no compromise.

Hope you’ll check it out.

message 7: by Ted (new)

Ted (efcorson) | 414 comments Mod
Robin, do places like Straight to God actually exist?

message 8: by Robin (new)

Robin (therobinreardon) | 47 comments Ted -- Yes! There are many. Too many. There's Exodus, there's the Refuge program under Love in Action -- there are too many to name here.

(For anyone who hasn't read THINKING STRAIGHT, I create a fictional "ex-gay" camp called "Straight to God.")

I wrote THINKING STRAIGHT after reading an article about a boy whose parents were putting him into one of them. He had a blog before he went in, and he posted his fears as well as an electronic version of the center's manual, which he wasn't even supposed to see. The story of this boy (Zack, from Memphis, is all I know about his identity) was big news for a time.

"Straight to God" is fictional, and it isn't modeled precisely on any one of those centers, but the story of teens who go through this is very, very real. The only thing I "swiped" whole cloth was a quote from the director of one of these centers, who afterward denied having made it. It was this: "I'd rather lose a teen to suicide than homosexuality."

I looked for new posts after Zack's experience, and he had only one or two before he shut the blog down. His writing sounded like a different person: hesitant, fearful, confused, trying too hard, and wanting desperately to believe the lies (ed.) that he'd been told. He asked people to leave him alone.

message 9: by Ted (new)

Ted (efcorson) | 414 comments Mod
I had no idea. Thanks Robin. And Thinking Straight is on my To-Read!

message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin (therobinreardon) | 47 comments Ted -- Fantastic! I'd love to know your thoughts after you've read it.

For anyone who's interested, there's a lot about the whole "ex-gay" movement in a couple of places. One is, and another is the blog of Jeremy Hooper, (GAY, if you look only at the captials).

message 11: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (imkevbo) | 5 comments Robin,

I need to read your books. I'm thrilled that you have such a facination with the struggle of "divergent" paths between religion and homosexuality.

I read Mel White's Stranger at the Gate several years ago and had some pretty serious anger develop while reading. Only later did I realize how deeply it affected me.

I appreciate your having the courage to address these issues and I need to check out your writings!


message 12: by Robin (new)

Robin (therobinreardon) | 47 comments Kevin -- I'll have to check into Mel White's book; thanks for the reference.

Since you're particularly interested in this subject, you might like to check out my Goodreads "Writing" section (
In it I use science, history, and logic to prove that the only thing wrong with being gay is how some people treat you when they find out. The final sections relate specifically to religion.

Let me know how you like my books when you get a chance. Thanks!

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