elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction

And the Rainbow Award goes to:

1) Alan Chin - Match Maker
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615815872
ISBN-13: 978-1615815876
Amazon: Match Maker

“Match Maker” by Alan Chin is one of the best books I have ever read. The story was fascinating from page 1 to the end. And the characters were so realistic and intriguing. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop until I had finished it. Mr. Chin’s writing style is superb. --Verena

This book was a nice surprise, because I didn't expect to like it so much, because I am really really not interested in tennis... But I have to say it got that an high rating from me, because one thing I liked about the book was the great representation of tennis and the psychological side of it for the players. I actually thought I might watch a tennis match on TV again once in a while. The book really had a great story line and was full of interesting characters. --Uli

In the four years since being forced off the professional tour for being gay, Daniel Bottega has taught tennis at a second-rate country club. He found a sanctuary to hide from an unkind world, while his lover, Jared Stoderling, fought a losing battle with alcohol addiction to cope with his disappointment of not playing on the pro circuit. Now Daniel has another chance at the tour by coaching tennis prodigy Connor Lin to a Grand Slam championship win. He shares his chance with Jared by convincing him to return to the pro circuit as Connor's doubles partner. Competing on the world tour is challenging enough, but Daniel and Jared also face major media attention, political fallout from the pro association, and a shocking amount of hate that threatens Connor's career in tennis, Jared's love for Daniel, and Daniel's very life.

2) Lee Houck – Yield
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758242654
ISBN-13: 978-0758242655
Amazon: Yield

Easily one of the best books I've read in the last few years. Houck writes with an amazing voice, making what could have been an unsympathetic character relatable and likable. The story should be a familiar one, but it felt fresh and engrossing. Strong storytelling and a wonderful way with words. --Josh

In his evocative and mesmerizing debut novel, Lee Houck depicts a contemporary Manhattan thrumming with sex and violence as seen through the eyes of Simon—a twenty-something part-time hustler with a cadre of loyal, sometimes floundering friends. As Simon grows increasingly involved with a gorgeous, guileless client named Aiden, he tries to navigate a path to fulfillment in a city where love and honesty are as dangerous as they are rare. Witty, spare, and rapier-sharp, this is an exceptional story of the friendships that sustain us, the families we create, and the pain and joy that are always within reach, waiting for us to yield…

3) Jameson Currier - The Third Buddha
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions; First edition (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984470727
ISBN-13: 978-0984470723
Amazon: The Third Buddha

I loved this book! --Matt

I really enjoyed this book. The timeline confused me a bit at first, but I was soon sucked in to the intertwining storylines. The characters were well-drawn, the plot fascinating, and the ending emotional. Good stuff! :-) --Cassandra

Jameson Currier expands his richly detailed storytelling to an international level, weaving together the intertwining stories of the search for a missing journalist in the Bamiyan region of Afghanistan with a young man's search for his older brother in Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11 into a sweeping, multi-cultural novel of what it means to be a gay citizen of the world. Currier once again targets the big themes of modern gay life: identity, faith, homophobia, romance, and the complexity of relationships, but at the heart of The Third Buddha are the little acts of random kindness that continue to astonish in times of crisis and war.

Honourable Mention:

4) Rob Rosen – Sparkle
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0983767807/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

A madcap coming-out story with a wicked bent, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You'll Ever Love has it all: sex, drugs, and 80's rock 'n' roll, piercings and tattoos, drag queens and near-death experiences, all with a beautiful San Francisco backdrop and enough twists and turns to make even Lombard Street jealous. Your mama never told you that being queer could be this much fun!

5) Mel Bossa – Split
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822204/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

It was told in a series of flashbacks told from Derek’s diary written achingly to ‘Dear Bump’ the longed for younger brother whose stillbirth caused the breakdown of his mother’s mental health. I felt that the author really caught the tone of a child’s story telling with beautiful touches of humour. This book was about a young boy who would have had a very arid childhood if it weren’t for his lovely Aunt and the wonderful friendship he had with the family of his best friend. I’m looking forward to more from this author. --Rachel

6) Michael Alenyikov - Ivan and Misha: stories
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0810127180/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

In Ivan and Misha, Michael Alenyikov portrays the complexities of love, sexuality, and the bonds of family with boldness and lyric sensitivity. As the Soviet Union collapses, two young brothers are whisked away from Kiev by their father to start life anew in America. The intricately linked stories in this powerful debut, set in New York City at the turn of the millennium, swirl about the uneasy bond between fraternal twins, Ivan and Misha, devoted brothers who could not be more different.

7) Eden Winters - Settling the Score
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1610401808/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

This was fluff, a pop novel, not literature, but it was fully engaging and entertaining, a solid story. --Johnny

8) Timothy Wang – Slant
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590211219/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Really enjoyed this. Witty, well written. --Juni

I liked the back and forth of the romances, how different each guy was and the mystery of which man he would end up with. --Kirsten

9) Kathryn Shay - The Perfect Family
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/160282181X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

A very well-written family drama. The main focus is the family and how their teenager son's coming out has thrown a spanner into the harmony of a supposed perfect family. While the story seems very personal (almost like an autobiography) and it offers great sincerity, I'd say it's very difficult for someone like me, who has no religious hang-ups and have little patience for religious reasoning, to relate to it. For readers who can, though, it is a very good read. --Eve

10) Susan Roebuck - Perfect Score
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1587492083/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

'Perfect Score' is about the rite of passage of two young men, Alex and Sam, from the opposite side of the tracks. Alex lives in his uncle's mansion, and while money and a stable future have been lined up for him by his powerful and withholding uncle, he wants nothing more than to be a song writer and to live happily ever after with Sam -- a boy he met once when he was in his teens. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1357006.html.
Tags: author: alan chin, author: jameson currier, author: lee houck, rainbow awards 2011

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