Summer Reading Roundup
The gay man behind the Real Housewives franchise comes clean about his lifelong love affair with pop culture. The funny memoir traces Andy Cohen’s childhood in St. Louis (and what it’s like meeting the heroes of his youth) to his rule over TV network Bravo and his hit show Watch What Happens: Live. Expect to read all about behind-the-scenes encounters, celebrity run-ins and a frank glimpse into the world of television and celebrity today. Cohen also talks about what it was like to come out in college and his first fateful interview with soap opera queen Susan Lucci.
He’s worked on television shows like Dawson’s Creek, Parenthood and MADTV, but one thing Eddie Campbell can’t seem to find is the perfect date. The art director delves into his personal mishaps and the most terrible dates of his life. If you think your dating life is in the pits, then you’ll want to read all about the guy with flatulence, the guy with a cocaine problem and the guy with breath that smelled, to quote Campbell, “like he had licked a public toilet from a truck stop.” If Chelsea Handler was a gay man, she would have written this hilariously raunchy book.
As many LGBT Catholics are making a mass exodus from the church, Thomas Arthur Nelson takes a look at what it means to be both gay and spiritual. The author criticizes the Catholic Church for alienating LGBT parishioners, while also making suggestions for ways the religious community can return to a more welcoming, Jesus-centric philosophy in which love trumps discrimination. Raised as a Catholic and educated at Notre Dame, Nelson articulates well what it means to believe in Catholicism but feel alienated by the teachings of today’s politically charge church experience.
Derailed tells the story of Jerry Tanner, a former businessman whose life was turned upside down after being accused of misconduct over his sexual orientation. Tanner tells his own story, tracing his experiences from the board room to the court room, and what it means to have sexual orientation used against you in America. For years, Tanner was a successful executive in the healthcare industry – until he was accused of sexual assault by the sons of an evangelical pastor known for his very anti-gay teachings. The book details what happened and how he has survived criminal indictments and coming to terms with his own life as an openly gay man with a target on his back.
The newest true crime title from Magnus Books recounts the murder of gay porn entrepreneur Brian Kocis by a pair of young, aspiring adult film producers in Pennsylvania. The book offers a gritty glimpse into not only the real-life murder case, but also the world of gay porn and how far prosecutors and law enforcement officials were willing to go to reveal the truth behind the grisly murder. The book also traces the story of Kocis and his impact on the industry – and exposes the danger and deception in the business of gay pornography. The list of characters reads like a who’s who in adult entertainment.
Samuel A. Delaney, a professor at Temple, introduces readers to a fictional gay couple in rural America. Days before his 17th birthday, Eric Jeffers meets Morgan Haskell, 19, among other young gay men living and working in the rural community. The story of their lives together tells the tale of what it means to be openly gay outside of urban America, as the two negotiate their open, committed relationship. Though Delaney may be more well-known for his award-winning science fiction, his latest novel is radically different in that it uses seemingly real-life experience to craft a story about defiance, love and coming to accept sexuality, race and small-town life.