Hope all is well. I've been getting bouncebacks on my past few messages to you about Bookmen meetings, but I'm hoping that glitch has somehow been resolved.
Could you let me know if either of the e-mail addresses I have for you is better than the other? And if any of the titles on our latest list of nominees particularly interests you, do vote by Monday.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Steve Honley <email@example.com>Date: April 6, 2014 9:20:51 PM EDTSubject: Bookmen DC: Vote early and often! Polls are open for our 2014-2015 reading listGreetings, Colleagues--
Thanks to all who suggested books for our next reading list, which will run from July through next spring. While I am sorry it wasn't possible to include everyone's recommendations, I think we have a lot of strong choices.As always, my profound gratitude goes to Tim Walton, who edited, formatted and distilled the many suggestions into the document below—and has added links to www.Amazon.com so you can read reviews, check out sample pages, etc. (All on top of maintaining our blog and contributing regularly to it.) Bravissimo!
Our voting process is quite informal: All you have to do is reply to this message with a yes or no added next to any/all titles that you feel strongly about. (No need to say anything about the rest.) Or, if you prefer, you can copy the listings you like into a separate e-mail and send that to me.
Either way, please respond no later than Monday, April 21, to have your votes counted. As always, early birds are much appreciated! :-)
A few reminders:
You can vote for as many or few books as you wish. No need to rank the selections or assign grades, numbers, stars, etc. Just saying yes or no is perfectly fine.
Comments are completely optional but welcome. However, if you've already read a nominated title (or something else by the same author) and wish to sing its praises--or warn the rest of us away from it—that would be helpful. Please feel free to post such comments on our blog, as well: www.bookmendc.blogspot.com.
In keeping with our informal style, all of you are welcome to vote even if you're new to the group or haven't been to a meeting in a while. However, in the unlikely event that I have to choose between two selections in a category that garner similar numbers of endorsements for a slot on the next reading list, I will probably pick the book whose fans include more regular attendees.
If you have any other questions about the process, let me know. Otherwise, I look forward to your votes, and seeing you at a (not too distant) future meeting.
Cheers,Steve HonleyFacilitator (aka Benevolent Despot)Bookmen DC********************************************************************************Nominations for Bookmen DC's Summer 2014-Spring 2015 Reading ListThis list isn't supposed to tell you everything you might want to know about each book, but rather to give you basic information and a description or quotation to make it easier to remember. Often subtitles suffice. Also, there's a wealth of information on Amazon.com (be sure not to overlook the customers' reviews), Wikipedia and, of course, Google.The list is constructed as follows:Title. Author (Editor). Year Originally Published (decreasing within genre), Number of Pages, Publisher, Price (rounded up—usually at a discount on amazon)FICTIONFirefly. Janette Jenkins. 2013, 156pp, Europa Editions, $15Noël Coward's last days on Jamaican retreat with manservant Patrice.Necessary Errors. Caleb Crain. 2013, 480pp, Penguin, $16American ESL teacher comes out in Prague after the Velvet Revolution.The Dream of the Celt. Mario Vargas Llosa. 2010, 368pp, Picador, $162010 nobelist's novel of the life of Irish nationalist, early human-rights activist, and homosexual ("Black Diaries") Roger Casement.The Metropolis Case. Matthew Gallaway. 2010, 384pp, Broadway Books, $15Four people in 1860s Paris and 1960s New York brought together by "Tristan und Isolde".The 19th Wife. David Ebershoff. 2008, 544pp, Random House, $15Two polygamous Mormon families in as many centuries with of course some gay characters.Lovetown. Michal Witkowski. 2005, 240pp, Portobello Books, $13Culture clash between old queers and new gays as they meet in a Polish homo-haven where anything goes.Answered Prayers. Truman Capote. 1987, 176pp, Vintage, $15About the high and mighty who shunned TC after these fictionalized revelations.In Youth Is Pleasure. Denton Welch. 1985, 254pp, Exact Change, $18"Holden Caulfield's better mannered, fey, hyper-perceptive English cousin."Roman Blood. Steven Saylor. 1991, 400pp, Minotaur, $17Rome's first sleuth solves a real-life case for Cicero.The Gallery. John Horne Burns. 1947, 368pp, NYRB Classics, $19Nine portraits of American soldiers in post-WWII Naples (some Neapolitans too). Read all about it in this NY Times Magazine piece.Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales. Herman Melville. 1891, 464pp, Oxford World's Classics, $9The "Handsome Sailor" in dumb confrontation with evil.NON-FICTIONMy 1980s and Other Essays. Wayne Koestenbaum. 2013, 336pp, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16For a flavor of which, see Salon's extract.Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution. Linda Hirshman. 2012, 464pp, Harper Perennial, $17"How a despised minority pushed back, beat death, found love, and changed America for everyone."Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America. Christopher Bram. 2012, 372pp, Twelve, $28 hardback / $13 kindle. [Note: This book will not have a paperback edition.]An assessment by a gay writer (Gods and Monsters—discussed 1/2/13) who is eminent himself with the other outlaws he discusses.AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men. Douglas A. Feldman (ed.) 2010, 296pp, University of Florida Press, $25Essays investigating the cross-cultural parameters of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) phenomena.Queer in Russia: A Story of Sex, Self, and the Other. Laurie Essig. 1999, 272pp, Duke U.P., $24A sociologist's personal field work from the late 1980s.BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIRDarling: A Spiritual Autobiography. Richard Rodriguez. 2013, 256pp, Penguin, $16A major reckoning with religion, place, and sexuality in the aftermath of 9/11.Fairyland. Alysia Abbot. 2013, 352pp, Norton, $16Growing up 30 years ago in San Francisco with an openly gay widower dad.Lasting City: The Anatomy of Nostalgia. James McCourt. 2013, 336pp, Liveright, $17Growing up gay in Irish-Catholic 50s Queens.POETRYLeft-handed. Johnathan Gelassi. 2012, 128pp, Knopf, $17"Charts the disintegration of the poet's marriage, his pursuit of a younger man who does not return his affection, and his continual search for the right missing piece."PLAYCock. Mike Bartlett. 2013, 108pp, Dramatist's Play Service, $8A young man leaves his older lover and falls in love with a woman and … like everyone else is confused. She goes over to "their" place for dinner for all of them to "figure" it out and … there's a surprise guest.Total Eclipse. Christopher Hampton. 1967, 96pp, Samuel French, $10The play about Verlaine and Rimbaud on which the Thewlis – DiCaprio film was based.ANTHOLOGIESBetween: New Gay Poetry. Jameson Currier (ed.) 2013, 130pp, Chelsea Station, $14With: New Gay Fiction. ed. Jameson Currier. 2013, 280pp, Chelsea Station, $18Love, Christopher Street. ed. Thomas Keith. 2012, 422pp, Vantage Press, $1926 memoir-essays of LGBT life in the Big Apple.Gay American Autobiography: Writings from Whitman to Sedaris. David Bergman. 2009, 426pp, University of Wisconsin Press, $30