That feeling when you’ve just finished a great book – and don’t know what to read next. For me, that’s one of the most crazy-making feelings in the world. It’s some strange mix of anxiety and dread with a little bit of retail therapy mixed in. “I’ll never find another novel as good as this one?” meets “Why aren’t there more books about men like me and families like mine?” all staring into the vastness of just how many books I haven’t read and realistically will never get to. Sometimes I worry that this feeling chokes off the buzz I can get from finishing a great read.
Before all the glitter goes down the gutter at the end of Pride month, I wanted to call out some finds. Full disclosure: I haven’t read any of these yet. I’ll jump back here next time my Kindle tells me I only have 10% of my book left and the weird “I don’t know what I’m reading next” feelings kick up again.
I saw Part 1 of Angels in America on Broadway about 10 days ago. The epic scale and nuance of this play still hasn’t settled over me, but I have been wondering about new novels that might have more to say about the AIDS crisis. The New York Times jumps in with Michael Cunningham’s beautiful review of Rebecca Makkia’s The Great Believers. Cunningham’s The Hours is the high water mark for connecting stories; him calling The Great Believers “ingeniously interwoven” with “deep emotional impact” has me ready to start this book right away.
Now I’m a big non-fiction reader, but Caleb Crain’s New York Times review of Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day by Peter Ackroyd is enticing. I struggle with reading history, even our own gay history. The review says: “This is a guided helicopter tour, not a research seminar. Still, it’s impressive how much detail can be seen even at this elevation and speed.” I think I’m in. I’d like to try it. By there way, this reviewer Caleb Crain has a novel I’m been meaning to read for a long time: Necessary Errors.
I’ve been planning to read a novel by Rakesh Satyal for a long time now. Satyal won a Lambda Literary award for his first book Blue Boy. Yesterday, I got an email from Goodreads announcing that the Kindle edition of his second book No One Can Pronounce My Name is on sale for $2.99. I grabbed it right away – knowing it would be an easy answer to my nagging “what should I read next” sometime soon.
Right now I’m reading The People We Hate At The Wedding by fellow Brooklynite Grant Ginder. How about you?