Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top Ten LGBT Books According to Lee Bantle

My Top Ten Favorite LGBT Books of All Time By Lee Bantle (Author of David Inside Out)

1) ANNIE ON MY MIND by Nancy Garden. This is a must read! If you want literature, if you want great writing, this book is for you. And if you’re a girl who thinks you might like other girls, this compelling love story will resonate. I aspire to write like Nancy Garden. She is lyrical and this novel is beautifully realized. Winner of many awards. Deservedly so.

2) REFLECTIONS OF A ROCK LOBSTER by Aaron Fricke. This book has faded and deserves revival. Nonfiction. Aaron took a boy to his prom. In 1980! Way before people were doing that. And then wrote the story. What guts! A pioneer. Fulfilling and historic, this memoir is another must read.

3) GIOVANNI’S ROOM by James Baldwin. Baldwin is a brilliant, intuitive writer and this is a classic. Bear in mind though that it was written in the 1950's and that being “homosexual” was far from accepted. That said, Baldwin broke new ground by taking on this theme and exploring erotic love between men.

4) BOYS LIKE US – A Collection edited by Patrick Merla. This compelling collection of coming out stories from gifted gay writers is evocative, moving, and marvelously entertaining. Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, Brad Gooch. There is nothing more revealing than a gay man’s exposition of this coming out experience. Don’t miss the astounding entry by Alan Gurangus.

5) BORROWED TIME by Paul Monette. This harrowing tale of the last 19 AIDS-wracked months of Monette’s lover is not for the faint of heart. I remember being overcome with despair as Monette’s powerful love and practical intervention are not enough to save the man who means more to him than life itself. Heartbreaking. An important historical document of the calamitous 1980’s.

6) DANCE ON MY GRAVE by Aidan Chambers. “If I die first you dance on my grave,” the young hero tells his new BF. This request gives life to a coming of age love story which is delightful and quirky. Adolescent love is captured in all its awkward, passionate glory. Written in 1982, this one has stood the test of time.

8) MAURICE by E.M. Forster. Forster is, of course, one of our literary lions. This tale of love between men was written deep in the past and, at the author’s request, published posthumously. So no punches were pulled. Taking on the class structure as well as societal disdain for gay love, there is no question what desires lay deep in Forster’s eloquent heart.

9) TALE OF TWO SUMMERS by Brian Sloan. A delicious summer read. This book keeps you hooked. Hilarious, sexy and surprising, it’s the story of two friends — Hal and Chuck (one straight and one gay) — apart for the summer, who keep in intimate contact through a blog. Hal’s tales with Henri (the French bad boy) will leave you panting for more.

10) WEETZIE BAT by Francesca Lia Block. Magical realism comes to gay LA. Anything by Block is a quick, fun, uplifting read. She gets it. There is depth. The perfect book for one of those sleepovers when you never go to sleep.

This post was written for and originally posted at Elisa Rolle's Livejournal. As a warning, she does write and focus on adult books and topics but all fall under the LGBT tag. The link I gave you brings you to Lee's post there, where Elisa gives you details and links for all of these books.  
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Lisa_Gibson said...

Great list and many that I need to check out or re-read. Thanks!
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Haylee said...

Great list! I enjoyed your review of a Tale of two summers. I've been wanting to read thatbook for a while now.