Bookshelf

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 20 2011 5:00 AM ET

Conversations and Cosmopolitans

In one of those happy-ending coming out stories you wish
would happen to you but in reality you only ever read about, Conversations
and Cosmopolitans: Awkward Moments, Mixed Drinks and How A Mother and Son
Finally Shared Who They Really Are
by
Robert Rave and Jane Rave (St. Martin’s Press, $14.99) tells the story of a gay
novelist’s unique, seemingly-nothing-is-off-limits relationship with his
mother. From Robert’s manscaping adventures to Jane’s experiences as a
small-town pregnant teenager, Conversations tells the funny, heartfelt inside story of a relationship that became stronger after a gay son and his mother let down their guards and opened up to each other. — Winston
Gieseke
 CONVERSATIONS AND COSMOPOLITANS 390x (COURTESY) ADVOCATE.COMTwo Times Intro: On the Road With Patti Smith 

One icon documents another in Two Times Intro (Akashic, $23.95), featuring photos taken by gay
R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe as he followed punk-rock legend Patti Smith for
two weeks on tour in 1995, when she resumed performing after the death of her
husband. First published in 1998, it’s being reissued with a new preface by
Smith and a new introduction by Stipe, who praises not only Smith’s music but
also her acclaimed memoir Just Kids,
about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. While Two Times
Intro
is primarily arresting
black-and-white photographs, it includes an appreciation of Smith written by
William S. Burroughs and text from several other observers, including Smith’s
band members Lenny Kaye, Tom Verlaine, and Oliver Ray, and rock journalist Paul
Williams, who recounts his last meeting with Allen Ginsberg, backstage after a
Smith concert in Boston. Overall, the book is a fitting tribute from one
musician to another and a testament to the enduring talent and appeal of the
straight-but-never-narrow godmother of punk. Akashic is also offering a premium
deal for the book accompanied by an exclusive limited-edition photo of Smith in
New Orleans in 2010, signed by Stipe. —Trudy Ring TWO TIMES INTRO 200x (COURTESY) ADVOCATE.COMNaamah’s Blessing
Officially the ninth novel in lesbian author Jacqueline Carey's D'Angeline series, Naamah’s Kiss (Grand Central Publishing, $26.95) is set decades
after the events of the first book in the series as the half-Maghuin-Dhonn
druid, half-D’Angeline sex priestess Moirin returns to Terre d’Ange to find the
royal family broken. Not the best of the critically acclaimed Naamah series (Naamah’s
Curse
and Naamah’s
Kiss
are the others)
but this book is, like the others, sure to be on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks.
Still, fantasy fans would be best served by starting the series at the
beginning (with Kushiel’s Dart) or you
really won’t understand what’s going on. — Susan Hernandez NAAMAH'S BLESSING 200px (COURTESY) ADVOCATE.COMOld, Gay and Fabulous

First time author Ken Sofronski’s Old, Gay and Fabulous
(CreateSpace, $12.99) isn’t much to look at — the self-published vibe might
turn off some buyers — but readers who delve into the book won’t be
disappointed. The 73-year-old Sofronkski is a New York-based court reporter and
actor who appeared in Julie & Julia
and Mean Streets and his debut
memoir offers an engaging and witty look at gay life over several decades from
the Stonewall Riots to Bette Midler’s debut at the Continental Baths to
escaping death on 9/11. Most interesting, though, is the authors accounts of
his mother, an out and proud butch lesbian, who worked at a Coatesville,
Pennsylvania factory making springs for car seats. — Diane
Anderson-Minshall
 OLD GAY AND FABULOUS 200px (COURTESY) ADVOCATE.COMThe Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in
America
 

James Schwartz’s collection of poetry and short stories
about being “gaymish” is emotional, compelling, sometime devastating but always
accessible even to those who don’t care for poetry (read: most Americans). The
ultimate upshot: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America (InGroup Press, $12.95) is probably the only book in
America that’ll tell you what it’s like to take a horse and buggy to a gay
nightclub. — Diane Anderson-Minshall