Category Archives: Books

What I’m Reading: “Grief” — Andrew Holleran

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So I did love this little description, found in Andrew Holleran’s “Grief.”

I can relate to this, not saying it’s every day, but I can relate. Let’s just say things in that realm are different than they were when I was 30 years younger than I am now. Quite a bit different!

Highly recommend the book, however. It’s about a man taking a summer temp job teaching in Washington, D.C. after the death of his mother and how he moves through that grief. It also involves the people he meets along this way, principally his landlord who is used as kind of a sounding board or foil, even for the protagonist. It’s not maudlin at all, despite the title. In fact, it’s quite funny in parts. All of us have gone through grief and also, increasingly aging, and I think there’s something there for any reader, no matter which gender or orientation. We can all relate, can we not?

It’s also short!

My Goodreads Review of “The Locals” by Jonathan Dee

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The LocalsThe Locals by Jonathan Dee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyed – story mainly centers around the Firths, and their assorted extended family and acquaintances in the made-up town of Howland, Mass — get it, Howl Land? As in primal howl. What we’re coming to. So current, encompasses inequality, the breakdown in civility, political correctness, it’s all like a slow unraveling beginning with 9/11. I lived for awhile in a resort town (Palm Springs) so some of the townie vs. weekender dramas rang true, though the California desert is a much different animal than the Berkshires. Part of the book could also be read as an allegory to Trump – this Howl Land elects a Selectman who is rich and it’s not really a spoiler to say he gets to do what he wants as the town leader because he is rich, and there are parallels. As a writer, I really liked how Jonathan Dee handles transitions in time, as well as the transitions in the point of view of characters. Written mostly (except for the first chapter, see below) in the third person, he will often start out a paragraph in the POV of one character and by the time the paragraph is over you will be solidly in the POV of an entirely different character. Deft and enjoyable! SMALL SPOILER beyond this point, so don’t read if you don’t want to know something. . .
OK, the first chapter is written in the first person by a NYC ne’er-do-well, who the “main” character in the book meets on 9/11 in Manhattan. I kept waiting for this character to return, and he doesn’t. So Dee didn’t fulfill his Chekhovian plant in this case. Perhaps the point is that you were expecting redemption, and it wasn’t going to come from that particular interaction or direction. I did love, however, that the hope he finds in this little crucible is strongly with the next generation. I found that exhilarating.

View all my reviews

Stickers Have Arrived!

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And who does not like stickers? From your first gold star in kindergarten, a sticker on your work signified something really special. And so it is with the Reader Views Literary Award, which “Kept” has won for 2017 (for books published in 2016) in the Gay/Lesbian/Erotica category.

KEPT and Award Stickers!

Kept is available at amazon here.

If you’d like a copy with a sticker, please contact me here: Email Jim Arnold Communications

Publishing My Road Trip Diary

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I’ve mused about calling it “Wanderslut.”

You know, because: sex sells. That’s what they tell me. And at least in this personal blogosphere of mine, I can relate, because of all the many many posts I’ve written over the years, those having to do with sexuality in some way get the most views.

It’s not even close. No one, apparently, wants to know much about my political leanings, or my views on public transportation, or all the helpful posts I’ve written as a guide to my fiction, or much of anything else (well, occasionally).

So I thought the road trip diary, which was written after a road trip 20 years ago, would be of interest. As it’s a real slice of life, and as an aside, it contains real sex, which, of course, can be elaborated on. One of the guiding principles of that trip was that I’d meet people through the internet, because that whole idea was still very fresh then. And the nice thing is, sex never gets old, even if it’s 20-year-old fooling around. Right? ‘Cause you’re still hearing it for the very first time.

I’ll put it on amazon and sell it here, maybe, electronic version only. Maybe “Wanderslut: The Road Trip Diary” followed by “Wanderslut: The Train Pass Story” coming up, as I’m doing this trip again, though by train this time. No more driving.

What do you think? Would you be interested in reading such a thing?

Here’s a photo from that trip, though not a sexy one, more of a wistful one:

Me with my parents. I think it’s Mother’s Day, 1996. We were in Charlottesville, Virginia.

KEPT wins Reader Views Literary Award

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Hey blog readers and book readers! I’m thrilled to announce that my novel KEPT has won First Place in the 2016 Reader Views Literary Awards, for the Gay/Lesbian/Erotica category.

Here’s a link to the list. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up. It’s quite the chore to be the one-stop shop for all in the world of self-publishing, and I have great respect for all who entered into the award contest, too. OK, now back to writing the sequel to Benediction.

KEPT, by Jim Arnold