Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'll Just Do It Until I Need Glasses, Okay?

I've been reading more lately, which means less writing. Ah well.

I just finished Nick Burd's young-adult novel The Vast Fields of Ordinary (Dial Books, 2009), which has been much praised and deserves it. (Calling it young-adult is not a putdown -- a lot of the best recent gay fiction has been in that niche.) It's the story of an eighteen-year-old gay boy in Iowa, getting through his last summer at home before going away to college. It's been done before, of course, but Burd writes very well. It's only marred by a gratuitous but obligatory gay teen suicide, a trope I thought had been relegated to the dustbin of history, like having the homosexual run over by a speeding bus. Still, I look forward to Burd's next novel, which his website says is due next summer.

(Speaking of gay youth, Band of Thebes links to a disturbing new study.)

So then I picked up David Swanson's War Is a Lie (2010). I'm only about forty pages into it, but it has already enraged me in the way that usually only Noam Chomsky's books do. That's a good sign.

After I finish Swanson, high on my list are Elana Dykewomon's Risk, Jaime Manrique's Eminent Maricones, and Rebecca M. Jordan-Young's Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences. Busy month ahead!