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ReadOut Shorts: May 2007

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Shorts by Angel Curtis, Nancy Ford, and Troy Carrington.

The Hookup Artist

Tucker Shaw

HarperTeens, a division of HarperCollins Children’s Books   (www.harperteen.com)

HookupTucker Shaw gives us another delightful look at teenage love and life. Lucas, everyone’s favorite gay boy matchmaker, is suffering from a broken heart. His best gal pal, Cate, needs a hookup. Enter Derek, the new boy at school. Teenage angst explodes as Lucas tries to fix up Cate and Derek, all the while lusting for Derek himself. Wonderful characters, plot twists, and an unfailing sense of teenage life make this one a winner. — Review: Angel Curtis

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Fellow Travelers

Thomas Mallon

Pantheon Books (www.randomhouse.com)

travelersFellow Travelers provides a scary look at the time when talented young people were suddenly fired and the question was “Is the problem pink or lavender?” Set in Washington during the McCarthy era, this compelling story of love and betrayal reminds us not only of what was, but of what could be. Well-written and meticulously plotted, Mallon gives us another not-to-be-missed story. — Review: Angel Curtis

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Strange Tribe

John Hemingway

The Lyons Press (www.lyonspress.com)

StrangeTribeErnest Hemingway defined what it means to be a man in America. His son Gregory died in a women’s jail. In Strange Tribe, Gregory’s son John shares a previously unavailable picture of the family dynamic resulting from the bipolar disorder Ernest and Gregory shared (they also shared a fascination with androgyny). Containing previously unpublished letters and pictures, this compelling family story adds another chapter to the Hemingway family mystique. — Review: Angel Curtis

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Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century

Barbara Carrellas

Ten Speed Press (www.tenspeed.com)

TantraA special gift for the body as well as the spirit, this how-to guide for the harried city dweller is different in that it addresses pleasure for opposite-gender partnered, same-gender partnered, and even self-partnered sexual excursions. Author Barbara Carrellas’ honey, Kate Bornstein (Gender Outlaw) loves it, and Annie Sprinkle, PhD (who knew?) penned the foreward. — Preview: Nancy Ford

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Natural Venus

Steve Cirrone

STARbooks Press (www.starbookspress.com)

NVenusNatural Venus by Steve Cirrone immediately pulls readers into the sordid and hilarious childhood of the author as he struggles with self-identity against the backdrop of Mother and her very Italian family living in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. With dynamic language and realistic, from-the-hip dialogue, Cirrone shows us that there is a machine of existence that at times pushes us and at other times pulls us through the muck of life, and, for good or bad, Mother often turns the crank. “Mother is a character based on the woman who dared to bring someone like me into the world,” Cirrone says. “After reading the book, which bares some of the more profanely penitent snapshots of my youth caught between my mother and her kooky sisters, my mother called me and laughed out loud for five minutes. Afterwards, she lowered her voice and said that she would be surprised if anyone in the family would ever speak to her again.” Just in time for Mother’s Day! — Preview: Troy Carrington

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