Bookshelf: Pleasure Seekers and Secret Keepers

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com February 24 2012 4:00 AM ET

Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies by Mikey Walsh
Ever wonder what it’s like growing up gay in England’s Romany Gypsy community? Mikey Walsh’s Gypsy Boy tells the poignant story of a boy living in an unusual and secretive environment of shoplifting, boxing, and virtual illiteracy, a boy who desperately wants to please his abusive father but all the while grapples with his own clandestine issues. This extraordinary memoir about resilience and the human spirit is a rare glimpse into a world few of us can imagine. (St. Martin’s Press, $25) — Winston Gieseke Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies by Mikey Walsh X390 | ADVOCATE.COMTune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries by Tim Anderson
Now in paperback and Kindle editions, this hilariously true story follows what happened when a tall white gay Southerner (“a feckless pothead approaching the ripe old age of 30”) who didn’t speak a lick of Japanese decided on a whim to leave three part-time jobs and one boyfriend (“the reverse of which being preferable”) to go teach English in Tokyo. Tim Anderson’s delightful memoir is a must for anyone who dreams of a more exotic life outside their city — or cubicle — walls. Best of all, Anderson’s irreverent and fascinating tales go way beyond the usual fish-out-of-water tropes, whether it’s him playing drums in an otherwise all-Japanese noise band or trying to fully grasp Harajuku fashion. (AmazonEncore, $7) — Diane Anderson-Minshall Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries by Tim Anderson x390 |ADVOCATE.COMHistory of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason
If you’re already loving Downtown Abbey, you’ll adore Richard Mason’s opulent new coming-of-age drama set at the turn of the 20th century in Amsterdam. History of a Pleasure Seeker follows Piet, a charming but austere young man who becomes the tutor for the son of a tycoon, soon observing and then eventually pursuing all manner of pleasure himself, including the charms of his employer's wife and the attentions of certain gentlemen on the staff. (Knopf, $26) — Sam Hernandez History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason X390 | ADVOCATE.COMYour Boyfriend & Other Guys I’ve Kissed: The Tails of Totally Tyler by Totally Tyler
In his first book, party boy blogger Totally Tyler uses humor to ease his bumpy journey along the road to happiness — a road filled with bad dates, dreadful jobs, and a steady stream of cocktails. While aiming to do for Atlanta what Sex and the City did for Manhattan, Your Boyfriend provides more than one valuable lesson about living and loving. (Nazca Plains, $18) — Winston Gieseke Your Boyfriend & Other Guys I’ve Kissed: The Tails of Totally Tyler by Totally Tyler  X390 | ADVOCATE.COMIt Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
Since its founding in late 2010, the It Gets Better Project has spawned over 10,000 videos of bullied LGBT individuals as well as allies telling their stories of overcoming adversity. In the It Gets Better book, just released in paperback, project cocreators Dan Savage and Terry Miller (his partner) compile tales of everyday people and famous figures like Barack Obama, Tim Gunn, and Suze Orman in a collection that is as inspiring as the videos. (Plume, $15) — Josh Hinkle