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Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir Mitchell
I think that, if I was a gay man, I would be like Ethan Day ;-) No, I'm not turning into a stalker, it's only that, I believe to have a lot in common with Ethan, the love for good comedy, both in books than movies, above all. And I think that we "want" to believe in romance and happily ever after, and we want to see the good in people, or at least we try. So, I'm more than happy to guest Ethan and his list today. Enjoy!

Before settling in for my Inside Reader, I wanted to extend my thanks to Elisa for allowing me to post some of my own reviews and ramblings on her site.

For my ten list I wanted to cut through all the criteria that I hope and pray make it into every book I write: great characterization, romance, and to emotionally move the reader – whether it be with a few laughs or a few tears. Getting down to the very basic thing I want more than anything else, which is to entertain the reader. I always cross my fingers, hoping that reading one of my books is like going out on a really great date. And with any luck, have the reader ready to turn around and go out with me again.

With that thought in mind, I sat down and chose ten books (more actually as several are part of a series) which fit that criteria for me as a reader. They aren’t listed in any particular order so much as how they came to me when I sat down to write this. Let me also say that I’ve stumbled across a great many wonderful authors throughout 2009, which was a particularly good year for me, considering I was fortunate enough to have a few books of my own published. Some of those writers are on this list – to the great many that aren’t – keeping in mind the limitation of ten books – don’t hate me because you didn’t fit! : )

1) Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil by John Berendt – Despite not being fiction, I think one of the best lesson’s I learned as a writer from reading this book, was how important a colorful secondary cast of characters could be. I was so entertained by the southern charm of all the quirky characters that I continuously had to keep reminding myself that someone had been murdered! The movie version of course sucked-ass due to the Hollywood cliché of inserting a het-romance in some lame attempt to dial down the homosexuality, but the book is a gem and the cast of real-life characters, the envy of this writer. Who knew real people could be so interesting? : )

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Vintage (June 28, 1999)
Publisher Link:
ISBN-10: 0679751521
ISBN-13: 978-0679751526
Amazon: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case. It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.

2) First You Fall: A Kevin Connor Mystery by Scott Sherman – I found this author after reading a review he wrote of one of my books on Amazon. I hadn’t read his book at the time I e-mailed to thank him for his kindness. It was something I soon rectified and was so happy I did. Kevin Connor is sweet, sexy, funny, and a hooker? A combination I never would have imagined would’ve worked for me had Sherman not decided to put pen to paper. What made this story so fresh was the fact that Kevin’s career path wasn't the focus of the story. Sherman created a delightfully fun, frisky, and at times laugh-out-loud funny book. A second installment should soon be available, and I for one, can’t wait to fall all over again.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books (June 1, 2008)
Publisher Link:
ISBN-10: 1593500599
ISBN-13: 978-1593500597
Amazon: First You Fall

When his friend’s death is ruled a suicide, Kevin Connor—a hustler by trade, sleuth by default—sets out to prove a case of murder. It doesn’t help matters that the victim’s grown children, who disapproved of their father’s gay lifestyle, are only concerned about their inheritance. But they are not Kevin’s only problem. His high-strung mother has moved in with him—and she knows nothing about his questionable . . . job. Scott Sherman has written for Newsweek, Genre, Instinct, and The Washington Blade. He is the host of the number-one rated The Digital Photography Show on The Podcast Network.

books from 3 to 10 )

About Ethan Day: “I am a gay man living in Missouri...I can hear the gasps already!! How very un-chic of me, yes I know. It was here I was born and here I have stayed.

I'm currently single but always looking for that special someone that makes my heart skip a addition to being able to put up with my neurotic ass. The worst thing about being a romance writer is finding a real life hottie that can live up to the fantasy I create in my head and subsequently thrust upon him before actually getting to know the real him. I can hear you getting all's an occupational hazard!! To all my past and future boyfriends, my sincerest apologies...I can't help myself!

I was the youngest of four children and the only boy, so needless to say, I was spoiled rotten. I've always had an extravagant fantasy life. When I played with my Star Wars action figures as a child, I liked to make up my own stories. Naturally, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were totally meant for each other, and Princess Leia made a bitchin' wise cracking Fag Hag.

I somehow managed to survive high school living in a small racist town in Southeast Missouri and emerged unscathed, realizing life was too short to pretend to be anything other than who I was. I was the little homo that damn it, I did! It was all very Lifetime Movie Network meets After School Special I assure you.

After a few stints in college, I eventually signed up for a Creative Writing course. I took the class because there were no tests. For once my scholastic laziness paid off, and I found an outlet for all the fantasies running amuck in my head. It was love at first write, and I've been doing it off and on ever since.

Now I've decided its time to un-barricade the doors and unleash my imagination onto the world. So very sorry world!! With the help of the lovely and talented team at Loose Id and MLR Press, my fantasy life is now available for public consumption. I'm desperately hoping your really, really hungry.”
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Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir Mitchell

I'm very glad to have Kyell Gold as my Inside Reader this week. I recommended his Out of Position to many of my friends, and the response is always very positive. I believe that Kyell Gold's name will become soon one of the favorite among the Gay Romance readers, and I'm happy to be able to say that I'm one of his faithfull readers.

I must confess that I don't read a great number of specifically LGBT books. Part of the reason I started to write gay (furry) romance was because there was very little out there I wanted to read. That said, I have read several books with LGBT themes that stuck with me over the years, certainly enough to compile a top ten list, if we stretch the theme slightly. I'm going to bring in several non-fiction books, because I think that the real experience of being gay is so new and unexplored that the stories might as well be fiction for their strangeness.

1) Marcel Proust, “Swann's Way.” Proust himself, the narrator, experiences an attraction to the melancholy, unfortunate Swann, but the larger part of this work concerns the heterosexual loves of Swann himself. Besides Proust being gay, there is a lesbian couple mentioned in it, and the overall sensibility of the book is very much about the nature of love, so I declare that it qualifies. Besides, the prose is so beautiful (try the newer Penguin translations) that I'll take any flimsy excuse to recommend it. It's about as gay as a successful book could be in the 1800s.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics (November 30, 2004)
Publisher Link:,,9780142437964,00.html?Swann's_Way_Marcel_Proust
ISBN-10: 0142437964
ISBN-13: 978-0142437964
Amazon: Swann's Way: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1

Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is one of the most entertaining reading experiences in any language and arguably the finest novel of the twentieth century. But since its original prewar translation there has been no completely new version in English. Now, Penguin Classics brings Proust’s masterpiece to new audiences throughout the world, beginning with Lydia Davis’s internationally acclaimed translation of the first volume, Swann’s Way.

books from 2 to 10 )

About Kyell Gold: Kyell Gold is a California writer who began writing furry fiction a long, long time ago. In the early days of the 21st century, he got up the courage to write some explicit gay furry romance, first publishing his story "The Prisoner's Release" in Sofawolf Press's adult magazine Heat. That led to a novel, Volle, and a sequel, Pendant of Fortune, both of which won the Ursa Major award for Best Anthropomorphic Novel (2005 and 2006). Kyell continues to write with the goal of releasing one novel-length work every year, in addition to various short stories that appear on sites such as FurAffinity and Yiffstar. He was not born in California, but now considers it his home. His age is somewhere between "well out of college" and "retired," as he works full time in the high tech industry. He loves to travel and dine out with his partner of many years, Kit Silver, and can often be seen at furry conventions in California, around the country, and abroad.

Shadow of the Father by Kyell Gold
Release Date: 12/2009
Publisher: The Sofawolf Press
Kyell Gold's books at The Sofawolf Press:

Shadow of the Father is a novel set in Argaea some sixteen years after Pendant of Fortune. The Argaea series is a collection of three novels and several short stories by Kyell Gold, consisting primarily of homosexual furry romance and erotica. Two of the three novels have won the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Novel. The fourth novel, Shadow of the Father, is under development.
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir Mitchell
I'm very glad to have Geoffrey Knight as one of my Inside Readers, and I think his list is wonderful, I know I added some books to my wish list after reading this one. And Geoffrey has also an exclusive info for all his fans, so read carefully all the list till the last book...

Hi everyone, I hope you enjoy my Top 10 GLBT List, however I have a confession to begin. With so many truly great GLBT books out there, I approached this list with the intention of making it as diverse and eclectic as possible by choosing favourites in different genres. Some are literary, some are fun; some are contemporary, some are classic; some are erotic, some just ooze homoerotica without any physical sex in them at all, just the hint of it. In doing so I know I have omitted some of the best GLBT books ever written, but I’m sure those books will get a nod of appreciation from other authors on Elisa’s site at some point down the track. Enjoy!

1) HOLDING THE MAN by Timothy Conigrave. If you haven’t read or heard of this book, please do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy immediately! This autobiographical novel and winner of the 1995 Human Rights Award is a triumphant, tragic, inspiring, liberating, heartbreaking masterpiece! This all-too-real and honest book tells Tim’s story, of how he fell in love with John, the captain of the football team in high school (“holding the man” is an expression used in Australian Rules Football), and how their love went through good times and bad as they explored their sexuality until ultimately tragedy entered their world. When I finished reading this book I was at the beach and thankfully wearing sunglasses—I had to race into the surf to wash my sobbing tears away. Whatever book is next on your “to be read” list, make it second on the pile and read this book first. You won’t regret it!

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Cuttyhunk Books (August 31, 2007)
Publisher Link:
ISBN-10: 0978825950
ISBN-13: 978-0978825959
Amazon: Holding the Man

Winner of the United Nations Human Rights Award for Non-Fiction. Sometimes there are second acts. When in high school Timothy Conigrave falls in love with the captain of the football team, John Caleo, the two embark on a passionate journey of love, betrayal and forgiveness. This bestselling true story is at once sexy, romantic, funny and sad - a masterpiece of authentic emotion that you won't forget. Now an international hit play adapted by Tommy Murphy, Holding the Man is a book for all readers, for all generations.

books from 2 to 10 )

So there you have it! Secrets, scandals, sorrow, sex, a little self-promotion and a lot of steamy gay fun. Thanks for joining me with the books that have made me laugh, made me cry, given my goosebumps, but ultimately have made me proud to be a gay man and a gay author.

About Geoffrey Knight: If you want to uncover a world of mysteries, maps, horny hunks and deadly traps, check out Geoffrey Knight’s two Fathom’s Five adventures—THE CROSS OF SINS and THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS—available on Amazon now. Or for the hunky comic crime adventure of THE DARCY BOYS AND THE CASE OF THE SECRET SKULLS, or for the sizzling, fang-filled suspense of Geoffrey’s two vampire tales—MIAMI MOON and CAIRO CATWALK—check out A.J. Ryan on Amazon or Eternal Press.

The Riddle of the Sands
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (October 1, 2009)
Publisher Link:
ISBN-10: 1573443662
ISBN-13: 978-1573443661
Amazon: Riddle of the Sands

Hot gay tomb raiders. Blackmailed by Jake's nemesis—the vengeful Pierre Perron—Professor Fathom's team of gay adventure-hunters is sent on a seemingly impossible mission. Will they uncover the legendary Riddle of the Sands in time to save one of their own from a rare and deadly poison? Is the Riddle a myth, a mirage, or the greatest engineering feat in the history of ancient Egypt?


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