Thursday, January 26, 2006

Do you believe in magic?

Anyone have a book recommendation for me? I have a stack of unread things (including a couple leftovers from last Christmas), but if you have something that I'll LOVE, well then I'll just have to use that 20% off coupon at Borders this weekend. Here are the last few things I've read:

My Friend Leonard
It's the follow-up to the now notorious A Million Little Pieces. It's a good story, now lessened for me with the revelations about Frey playing fast and loosey with the truthy. I don't mind feeling a memoir has been enhanced for my reading pleasure, but I don't want it manufactured whole cloth. Then it's fiction and Frey's stuff worked because it was supposedly a stark truth. As fiction it's only fair to middling. Truth or fiction aside, loved the gay twist. I search out the queer in media so often, it gives me a little thrill when the queer catches me unaware. Oprah, who at first rushed to his defense, will apparently have more to say about Mr. Frey on her show today. Sadly, this is starting to affect other memoirs. Apparently all Augusten Burrough's work will now appear with a disclaimer. Just please don't tell me Augusten's partner isn't as fucking hairy and tight and hot as I've pictured him after reading Magical Thinking.

Son of a Witch
This is the long awaited sequel the Gregory Maguire's Wicked. I read Wicked when it first came out eight or nine years ago and as I've mentioned previously, it spread through my circle of friends like Heppie B. Well, like Heppie B would if my circle of friends were regularly exchanging bodily fluids. Wonderful book and this sequel is just about as good. Now unhindered by the constrictions of adhering to the familiar Oz story and characters from the movie, Maguire takes us on a wild broom ride with Liir, the young and striking spawn of the WWotW. Some of the characters we love are still hanging around. We see the Scarecrow and the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion for a bit. Glinda is in the hizzay, tiaras and upswept 'do in place. Oh and here again, when I least expected it, there may or may not have been a gay twist. Yay! But dudes, you do NOT have to be friend of Dorothy to love this book. Admittedly, it don't hurt. Honestly, I didn't really anticipate this book for 8 years because I didn't smell a sequel. There has to be a trilogy now, though, cuz brotha Gregory left all kinds of loose ends untied. Not Liir's though. His be tight.

17 comments:

freakgirl said...

I read Chuck Palahniuk's "Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories" while I was in Florida.

http://tinyurl.com/bghsj

I enjoyed it. It's a collection of profiles of different people (from this guy who builds rocket ships all the way to Marilyn Manson). Some were a bit boring, but I just skipped them. The end has a collection of essays where he writes about himself. Good stuff and not nearly as disturbing as Chuck's fiction.

maddie said...

Here are some that you might like that I have read - although you might have read them already:

Speaking of gay media...

David Sedaris -
Naked
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

I'd be suprised if you haven't read those yet. Great books, he has such a dry sense of humor, which I adore.

Also, it's not out yet, but I can't wait to buy "Without You" - Anthony Rapp's memoir about his life and being in Rent.

Of course all the Harry Potter books I LOVE. Last one out this year!

I've been slowly getting back into reading books - after college I was so burnt out on textbooks that I took a break from reading anything deep and meaningful.

The Other Andrew said...

Mikey, Try "Was" by geoff Ryman. I adore this book. It's three intertwining stories based around the Wizard of Oz. One story is the 'real' Dorothy Gale who meets L Frank Baum and becomes the genesis of Dorothy. Another is a gay actor famous for playing the Cowardly Lion on stage. Third is a fictionlaised biography of Judy Garland as a child. Two of the three stories have a gay twist to them as well. The book's a bit dour in spots, Kansas is prtty bleak for example, but a wonderful read. Ryman also wrote another book I really like called "Lust" about a man who discovers he can make anyone sleep with him, just by wishing it. What would you do with a power like that?

Michael said...

Dude, did I recommend "Was" to you? This is kinda freaking me out. I actually saw "Was" (the musical) in a small theater around these parts a few years back. They were trying to get a head of steam to get it produced off/off Broadway.

The Other Andrew said...

Oh yes, I think you might have recommended it to me a while back, but I first read it not long after it came out, something like 10 years ago. "Lust" is quite startling and an interesting read. (Lots of dirty monkey sex in it.) I plan on reading his sf novel "Air" at some point soon. I saw an interesting tv documentary once, that followed him during the writing of "Lust". Interesting man. Big 'mo, natch.

Michael said...

Oh, I read it after I saw the play, which was OK, saved from a lesser rating by the cute blonde and the dorky (cute) Jew. Still, are we like the only ones? I'll have to check out the dirty monkey sex one. Whee!

Michael said...

PS Oprah excoriated James Frey today. Just ripped him while she refused eye contact and distanced herself with reproachful body language. Bitch basically cut him.

Michael said...

freakgirl, will it renew my fractured trust in memoir? ;-) I'll check it out.

maddie, like you guessed, I've read all the Sedaris. I saw him live last year. He was hysterical live. I was roaring. What has adorable Anthony Rapp been up to anyway? He's great in the Rent movie. So cute. He's a mo fo real, right?

freakgirl said...

Oprah versus James Frey was the fucking smackdown of the year. I will save that on my TiVo and watch it over and over.

maddie said...

About Anthony, he has said he's gay, yes - and he is completely adorable. I think he is heavily involved in AIDS fundraising (he was before and after the movie) and organizes benefits and things for that - sometimes with the rest of the RENT crew, I hear. Good guy. I read the first few pages of his book on amazon - he is a great writer.

freakgirl said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the Anthony Rapp book, maddie. I definitely want to check that out and will be adding it to my wishlist. :)

Xtine said...

I just finished I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE...dont let the size of the book scare you. Its 900 pages of greatness.

luscious loulou said...

xtine, size always scares me. Too big is just too big! And I know it'll tear my heart out in a non-life affirming way for me. Too much negativity without constant positive payoff just squeezes me dry and leaves me by the side of the road like a trampled husk. ::cough:: So to speak.

Augusten is my man. I can just read and re-read and take notes from him. He speaks to my cult upbringing and bent male (inconceivable as I'm female) ways. ::sigh::

luscious loulou said...

Anyway, I was just thinkin' about this horror I have of heavy, overlong books that one cannot read one-handed.

I like pithy. Short and pithy with payoff.

Michael said...

I'm checking out that Anthony Rapp book too, Maddie.
I can't say how many times I've picked up "I Know This Much..." xtine. I'm a bit like loulou....my patience sometimes runs thin even on things I really love. Unless it's head or citrus bath products, eventually I'm like, "Enough!". It's that good, though?
loulou, new Augusten some time this spring! Stick with him. Funny though, I picture you somehow pulling off 'trampled roadside husk' with style.

I like pithy. Short and pithy with payoff. Where is Andrew anyway?

luscious loulou said...

I like pithy. Short and pithy with payoff.

michael said: Where is Andrew anyway?

So, ya think I was too subtle, michael? I was hoping Andrew'd catch my petit aside and jump all over it. Oh well, I gave it a go, anyway. ::sigh:: He must be up to his neck in dvds or sumpin'. Maybe bodhi'll dig him out for us.

luscious loulou said...

Trampled husk - oh yeah. I have a little spring pashmina in "papaya" that will brighten that whole look right up.

But of course. E mille grazie, signorina.