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ReadOut Shorts: June 2008

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AlwaysAlways
Nicola Griffith
Riverhead Books (us.penguingroup.com)

Take an über-wealthy woman who teaches self-defense to Southern ladies and an ex-Hollywood stunt woman, throw them together, and see what happens. Nicola Griffith has turned this into a fast-paced, well-written story that is impossible to put down. Aud Torvingen, the heroine, is the tough, smart, rich, and dangerous woman you’ve always fantasized about. — Review: Angel Curtis
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Anything Goes
John Barrowman
Independent Publishers Group (www.ipgbook.com)

John Barrowman has entertained us for almost two decades in theater, film, television, and music. Most recently, he’s led the cast of the hit TV show Torchwood as Captain Jack Harness, a bisexual hero for the new millennium. In Anything Goes , Barrowman takes us behind the scenes of his TV shows, reminisces about working with theater greats like Stephen Sondheim, Sam Mendes, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, and describes how his career evolved. The openly gay star candidly shares insights into his life out of the spotlight, including splitting his time between America and abroad, coming out to his family, and his civil partnership with long-term partner Scott Gill. — Preview: Troy Carrington
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EyeStormIn the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God
Gene Robinson
Seabury Books (www.churchpublishing.org)

Elected the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church, Robinson has been the target of much controversy. With this book, you have to wonder what the hubbub is all about. It’s a good book, make no mistake, but it is hardly the work of a raging radical. It is like a sermon from a beloved minister: personal and inspirational with an eye toward the much larger picture. — Review: Neil Ellis Orts

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Fat Hoochie Prom Queen
Nico Medina
Simon Pulse (www.simonsays.com)

Madge and Lucas decide that there is no way Madge’s ex-best friend Bridget is going to be prom queen. Instead, they conspire to insure this exalted honor will go to Madge herself. Sounds silly, but Medina manages to make this a delightful and hilarious romp through adolescent angst, being young and gay in a redneck world and learning to face life on one’s own terms. Don’t worry that this is young adult fiction—it is a wonderful read. — Review:  Angel Curtis
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StoneGodsThe Stone Gods
Jeanette Winterson
Harcourt (www.harcourtbooks.com)

When I started reading this, I thought, Oh, more sci-fi. As I continued, I realized this book is much more. It is a love story that goes beyond individuals, beyond one planet. It explores our relationships to one another, to government and individual power, and to the planet itself. It illustrates the butterfly effect between individual choices and society spanning consequences. Not a light or gentle read, this one is thought-provoking. — Review:  Angel Curtis
 

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Letter from Point Clear
Dennis McFarland
Picador (www.picadorusa.com)

In Dennis McFarland’s fourth novel, everyone, including the gay character, Morris, is attracted to Morris’ young, beautiful brother-in-law, a do-it-yourself minister with the name Pastor. I was disappointed that nothing intimate happened between Morris and Pastor that the characters would have had to deal with. Early in the novel, physical tension between Morris and Pastor hinted at the possibility. Still, Point Clear is a good book by a gifted writer. — Review: Jim Boone
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fellowtravelersFellow Travelers
Thomas Mallon
Vintage Books (www.vintagebooks.com)

It’s the Capitol Hill of the McCarthy era, and into this viper’s den steps the innocent Timothy Lauglin, a recent college graduate and devout Catholic eager to join the crusade against Communism. An encounter with a handsome State Department official, Hawkins Fuller, leads to his first job and first love affair. As McCarthy mounts an attempt for power, and internal investigations focus on “sexual subversives” in the government, Tim and Fuller find it more dangerous to navigate their double lives. Their drastic, yet futile, attempts to end their entangeled relationship over the next six years ends in a stunning act of betrayal. — Preview: Troy Carrington

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