Gay Catholics, Suicidal Moms, and the Polymorphous Perversity of Madonna’s Big Toe

With a fat gay Catholic kid, a suicidal, closeted mom, and essays on the perceived perversions of everything from Trekkies to Madonna, this week's books have plenty to offer readers who think truth is stranger than fiction.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

May 08 2012 1:08 PM ET UPDATED: May 14 2012 12:01 AM ET

Sucking Sherbet Lemons by Michael Carson X300 | ADVOCATE.COMSucking Sherbet Lemons by Michael Carson (Cutting Edge Press U.K., $17) 

Long considered a coming-of-age classic, Sucking Sherbet Lemons, which was first released in 1988,  follows Benson, a chubby gay 14-year-old Catholic boy in the 1960s. In a story both hilarious and heart-rending, Benson attempts to reconcile being gay — at a time when homosexuality was still illegal — with his religious zeal, leading to some peculiar places and amusing setups along the way. The book is fun and resonant, and sure to appeal to a whole new generation of readers — gay and straight. ( — Diane Anderson-Minshall

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