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Your Favorite Book of All Time


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What is your favorite book and why?

 

My personal favorite is Andrew Holleran's Dancer From The Dance. It is the only book that has ever truly helped me reflect and understand my own life as a gay man, and I've never felt such an emotional connection to a character as much as I did with Malone. The ending was so fittingly tragic for the story and times. 

 

Dancer_from_the_dance_first_edition_1978

 

 

 

 

Edited by TetRefine
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What a hard question. I read so much, and a lot of books have really impacted me. A number of those are GA stories. Some of the literature on this site is extraordinary and worthy of high praise. I'm not sure I can reliably choose just one book . . . . 

 

For sheer emotional impact, The Secret River by Kate Grenville is perhaps the best book I've read. But I don't actually like it that much. It is a very important book, and masterfully written, and it changed a lot of my outlook on the world. But it tells such a horrendous and yet very human story that I don't know if I could read it a second time; the story of the murder of the Australian Aboriginals when colonisers arrived. I cried so much over that book. And some parts left me so physically revolted I had to put it down.

My favourite book is probably split between three works on GA actually. @Andrew_Q_Gordon 's The Last Grand Master is absolutely my favourite high fantasy novel, and I love it and the whole rest of the series very deeply. @craftingmom's Tears of the Neko is equally one of my three top books I've ever read. It is very beautifully written and I cry every time I read it. @layla's Broken Prince and Mismatched Eyes rounds out my three favourite books. I adore the characters, the plot, the romance. Everything is so well written and impactful. The last two books were huge comfort to me in emotional times. An escape from the sometimes painful real world. I only just found The Last Grand Master a few short months ago, and it drew me in so deeply.

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At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O Nail

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Call be By your Name by Andre Aciman

The Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling

 

 

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Picking a favorite book is definitely a hard thing to do. So many books have touched me in different ways. Things like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson or The Hunger Games, I devoured those books and could still read them to this day each time feeling like I'm going on a new adventure. But I wouldn't consider them my favorite. Or even top ten.

 

My favorite would probably have to be Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. It was probably the first gay book I bought and the first one to make me feel like being gay was a normal okay thing. Reading about these two characters and seeing their lives unfold across vastly different time periods of life and the love they shared for each other just touched me in such a profound way. It also was the book to made me want to write Gay fiction.

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Recently I enjoyed 'Armand' by Anne Rice. I also love 'The Witching Hour' by her which is one of my all time favorites.

 

Currently I'm enjoying 'Maurice' again by E.M. Forster. It reads like a number of things I read on here except it was written at the turn of the last century. It had to be published posthumously because he figured it was something that was completely unpublishable and possible punishable instead.

 

Its funny, times change but our experiences as Gay men and women don't necessarily. I encourage anyone who has not read 'Maurice' to do so.

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"Americana" by Hampton Sides. It's a series of writings that travel writer Hampton Sides wrote about various subcultures/events in modern America. Pretty interesting stuff with a wide range of interests and topics.

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/12/2017 at 7:33 AM, Timothy M. said:

Lord of the Rings by Tolkien

Yep. I know it's boring and traditional. :*) 

I must have read the series at least a dozen times in junior high and high school. When I’d finish the whole thing, I’d start with The Hobbit and read it all over again. That would be my mainstream choice.

 

 

But my all-time favorite has to be Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. I first encountered the series (now nine books long) when it was being serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle. I had just moved from San Diego back to the Bay Area with my family and I was buried deep in the Closet. I was fascinated by a story that actually included Gay people in it! (At one point the Chronicle editors complained that there were too many Gay characters in the story, so Armistead Maupin charted all the characters and asked them how to categorize a pet. At that point, the editors gave up and allowed him to continue the story the way he wanted.)

 

It was also exciting to read a story where actual locations I had personally seen and heard of were mentioned. People, places, and events that had been mentioned on the news were in the story! I later found out that Armistead was writing the serial just before it was published in the paper. This allowed him to incorporate current events into his story. Initially, he thought he needed to incorporate hooks or cliffies into his columns to keep people interested and reading. Later he realized that his readers were invested in his characters and the stories are less wild and madcap.

 

I discovered that his early columns were compiled and edited into books! So I purchased a set of the then full series. The first four books were created out of columns that had been published in the Chronicle. When I heard that he’d be writing another serial in the series in the San Francisco Examiner (then the Chronicle’s arch-rival evening paper published by Hearst – as in William Randolph Hearst), I started buying the paper every day. It was frustrating because there were days when Armistead was ill and no column was published. Eventually it was published as Significant Others. Later books were not serialized, but were published directly.

 

 

Tales was one of the first stories that incorporated HIV/AIDS and even included

Spoiler

one character who dies of AIDS (between books).

– possibly the first such fictional instance published in a newspaper. The series generally chronicles the Gay experience in San Francisco, particularly in the late ‘70s and into the ‘80s.

 

For reference, the series contains:

  • Tales of the City (1978)
  • More Tales of the City (1980)
  • Further Tales of the City (1982)
  • Babycakes (1984)
  • Significant Others (1987)
  • Sure of You (1989)
  • Michael Tolliver Lives (2007)
  • Mary Ann in the Autumn (2010)
  • The Days of Anna Madrigal (2014)

Tales of the City was turned into a miniseries produced by Britain’s Channel 4 in 1993 and shown on PBS the following year. It was the highest rated series on PBS at the time. But Congressional objections prevented PBS from participating in further miniseries adaptations. Showtime presented the second and third adaptations. All three have been released on DVD. Apparently, all of the books have been adapted as radio plays by BBC Radio 4. There have been hints that another Tales TV project is being planned.

 

A concert series and a stage play were also inspired by the series.

 

 

I recently purchased three hardcover books in the series – the first three and the second three were published in combined omnibus versions and I didn’t have a copy of Michael Tolliver Lives. Those were among the things I abandoned when I was evicted from my last apartment when I became homeless. I wish I’d thought to keep them as well as my hardcover copies of the Harry Potter books…

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For LGBT literature, I would have to say:

Ethan Mordden's original trilogy:

  • I've a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore: Tales from Gay Manhattan, 1985
  • Buddies, 1986
  • Everybody Loves You:

In general it is hard to pick but currently it is "Let the Great World Spin" by Colum McCann

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I read the following book for the first time when I was in the fourth grade, the year was 1957.  I read it again the following year.  It was the first book that captured my heart.

51cbd9saFgL._SX307_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

In 1958 I read Moby Dick and it then became my favorite

 

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As I've lived a fairly long life and been an avid reader for more than sixty years, I just can't say which book is my all time favorite.  There is a whole library of great books that I've read, including books by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Anne McCaffrey. Roger Zelazny,  C. S. Forester,  and on and on and on....

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  • 1 year later...

“The Pearl” by Steinbeck sticks with me for some reason. Maybe because it tells of life just south of me. A very different life so close to me.

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Oh wow, impossible to choose just one favourite... Can I pick one per genre? :P

 

Neil Gaiman's American Gods stands out as an absolute favourite. Another is The Left Hand of Darkness by the recently departed Ursula K. LeGuin, which is a work ahead of its time that deals very much with the concept of fluid gender. I love the Harry Potter books, but I'm actually not sure I'd call them favourites any longer, even though they were so important to me growing up (I was 9 when the first came out, 19 when the last one did, so I'm definitely part of the Potter generation). There's also Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett. And Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, which is a wonderful piece of gay young adult fiction. Wish I'd had books like that one growing up.

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