Tag Archives: lgbt

Nothing to Lose – Clare Lydon

dreaming of books 9

Rather than a full book review, in these posts, I simply jot down a few lines on books I’ve enjoyed.

Nothing to Lose by Clare Lydon

Nothing to Lose by Clare Lydon

While lesbian romance is not my usual fare, I am pleased I made an exception for this heart-warming novel. And this was the adjective that kept coming back to me as I read: heart-warming. It is a novel about all the best things in local communities; it celebrates the humanity, compassion and solidarity that are dredged up out of even the stoniest hearts when disaster strikes. Truly comfort food for the soul.

Scarlet (yes, after O’Hara), burnt once too often, has now closed her heart to love and chiselled herself a survival existence in a basement flat in a small town. But when the rain comes down and leaves her world underwater, finally the floodgates must be opened. She takes shelter with Joy, “local mayor and sunshine specialist”, who helps her see that life can indeed return after the deluge. As a gay man (for whom sex is the bit before you ask someone’s name), I found the age it took for these two to get together both excruciating and tantalising. However, when they finally do, not only are they consummating their relationship, but reaffirming their links to the family and friends around them. Their relationship becomes a celebration of community.

Spoiler: as it says on the tin, this is lesbian romance, so there are a couple of raunchy, blow-by-blow, no-holds-barred yet elegantly rendered, girl-on-girl action scenes which, had I been of the right sex and persuasion, I would have found incredibly hot. In the event, I was able to skip nimbly forward with my modesty intact, but if this what you came for, you will receive full satisfaction.

Above all, it is a tale of love between two strong and honest women, both very different yet who each have a lifetime of experience to offer the other and, together, two lifetimes to do it in. This book does what a romance is supposed to: it leaves you feeling fabulous!

Get it here.


Barracuda – Christos Tsiolkas

dreaming of books 5

Rather than a full book review, in these posts, I simply jot down a few lines on books I’ve enjoyed.

Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

Uncompromising obsession and its consequences

I first picked this book up in my local bookshop and read the opening paragraphs without purchasing it. They left me with a rankling desire to know how the book develops. Once I finally bought it, I devoured it in hours rather than days. It is truly one of the un-put-down-ables.

Like Christos Tsiolkas’s first book, Loaded, Barracuda is a compulsive, emotional read, told with enormous sensitivity and passion. It occupies the same shelf in my mental library as Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys, Agustin Gomez-Arcos’ The Carnivorous Lamb and Yukio Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask. Like these works, it is not so much a “gay” novel as an exploration of humanity – in this case, the probing of one young man’s uncompromising obsession and the consequences of this on his own life and the lives of those around him. It explores the dynamics of competition with unflinching honesty, and carefully documents the protagonist’s journey through hell and his ensuing catharsis in its most primal expression.

Definitely the best book I read in the year.

Available from Amazon


Thoreau in Love – John Schuyler Bishop

dreaming of books 3

Rather than a full book review, in these posts, I simply jot down a few lines on books I’ve enjoyed.

JTBishop_TiL

Thoreau in Love by John Schuyler Bishop

Pages torn from Thoreau’s personal journal inspired this fictional account, postulating on the idea that the missing pages, covering his youthful sojourn in New York, would reveal a gay dalliance, were they extant today. Suffice to say I adored this book. It is wholeheartedly a romance in the rough, passionate, slightly bawdy and infinitely tender way of two young men in love. Above all it is an intelligent book, one which appears well researched and which seems to pay deep respect to Thoreau’s character.

Available from Amazon


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