Books

ReadOut Shorts: October 2008

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The Q Guide to Charlie’s Angels, Out and Proud in Chicago, and more

By Angel Curtis

RichWallaceDishes
Rich Wallace

Viking Children’s Books (www.penguingroup.com)
Come out, come out, wherever you are. Or not. Straight teenager Danny is spending the summer as a dishwasher at a gay bar in Ogunquit, a gay tourist mecca in Maine, when he confronts his feelings for an effeminate bartender named Hector. Targeted for readers ages 14 and up, this paperback’s comfortable writing style makes it an OK read. — Review: Angel Curtis

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Since My Last Confession
Scott Pomfret

Arcade Publishing (www.arcadepub.com)  
The marketing of Pomfret’s memoir would have you think it’s a campy, frothy, silly piece of writing to be read when you don’t want to think. It is a breezy read, yes, and quite funny, too. The surprising part is its depth: of emotion, of intellect, of faith. Read it for the laughs, but consider yourself warned that you may actually end up thinking, caring, and occasionally cheering. — Review: Neil Ellis Orts

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GayAmericaGay America: Struggle for Equality
Linas Alsenas

Amulet Books (www.abramsyoungreaders.com)
Finally, a gay history book targeted at young adults. From colonial time to the present, Alsenas uses pictures and non-academic text to impart the essentials of our history. Buy this book for any young person you know. Buy a copy for your own coffee table. If you are not a young adult, the second half of this book is a wonderful reminder of all you knew and all you’ve experienced. — Review: Angel Curtis

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Finlater
Shawn Stewart Ruff

Quote Editions (www.finlater.com)
In this exquisite work, Ruff brings us a coming-of-age love story between two outcasts. It is 1970, Cincinnati schools are racially charged, and the Jewish and African-American boys find each other through the simplest of chances. Working through all the issues of race, class, and neighborhood, this book reminds us how simple complicated-appearing things really are. — Review: Angel Curtis

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OutandProudOut and Proud in Chicago
Edited by Tracy Haim
Agate Surrey (www.agatepublishing.com)

It’s a coffee-table book, yet it’s encyclopedic. Its subject is Chicago, but it parallels other major American cities in terms of how gays and lesbians coalesced into a political and social force in the 20th century. Special props for noting that Houston’s Coulter “Colt” Thomas rocked the Windy City when he won the International Mr. Leather contest there in 1983. — Review: Donalevan Maines

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CharliesAnglesThe Q Guide to Charlie’s Angels
Mike Pingel

Alyson Books (www.alyson.com)
You know you’re gay if you’re a Charlie’s Angels fan. You know you’re really gay when you maintain Cheryl Ladd’s website and pen a paperback paean that promises “stuff you didn’t even know you wanted to know” about those three little girls who went to the police academy. Includes black-and-white photos and off-screen dish, storyline, and “gayest moment” of each episode. — Review: Donalevan Maines

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Out of the Pocket
Bill Konigsberg
Dutton Books (www.penguin.com/youngreaders)

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: High school quarterback comes out to teammates, fans. WHO’S IT FOR: Ages 14 and up. WHAT WE LIKE: Credible characters, plausible plotting. DID YOU KNOW: The author is an AP sportswriter whose 2002 coming-out article won a GLAAD Media Award. WHAT IT NEEDS TO WORK ON: Better dialogue. Attempts at humor seem strained. REMINDS US OF: Nothing we read in our high school days. — Review: Donalevan Maines

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GuysBrothersAre You Guys Brothers?
Brian McNaught
AuthorHouse (www.authorhouse.com)
Brian, a “sexuality trainer,” and Ray, a business executive, are often mistaken for brothers. But actually they’re married, and this is a naked, enlightening account of their 32-year relationship, a blessed but carefully maintained bond of two men who both survived suicide and abuse, met through Dignity (the organization for gay Catholics), and support each other through recovery from chemical dependency, changing sexual intensity, aging, retirement — even disagreement over which movie to watch. — Review: Donalevan Maines

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Hearts & Minds: Talking to Christians About Homosexuality
Darren Main
Findhorn Press (www.findhornpress.com)   
If you’ve read anything at all on reconciling homosexuality and Christianity, you probably won’t find anything new here. It is an easy read, however, and if some concepts are terribly simplified, the interpretations are not exactly wrong, either. If you’ve not read anything in this vein, this might be a good starting point. The innovation here is that Main is not a Christian, which may be attractive to some readers as well. — Review: Neil Ellis Orts

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SameSexMarriageSame-Sex Marriage: Moral Wrong or Civil Right?
Tricia Andryszewski
Twenty-First Century Books (www.lernerbooks.com)
This primer casts a nonjudgmental eye on the volatile issue of same-sex marriage, giving equal space to many sides of the subject. One would be hard-pressed to find a more balanced, unbiased examination of its current debate in American society. Designed for grades 7-12. — Review: Donalevan Maines

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