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Whether hardcover or soft, audio- or e-book, a good read is essential for some long-haul fliers. That’s why we reached out to some team members and Friends with Benefits (aka previous Out Adventurers) to share their favourite gay literature. Read on to see what they chose, and then…read on!

For Fans of the Classics

The City and the Pillar

by Gore Vidal
Recommended by Pablo Porras E

The City and the Pillar
The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal

One of America’s great gay classics, The City and the Pillar, follows Virginia-native Jim Willard from his teens through adulthood. While camping, Jim pitches more than a tent with handsome high school senior and best friend, Bob Ford. Unfortunately, soon thereafter, Bob is swept to sea with the Merchant Marines. The rest of the novel sees sexually confused Jim wandering the country, taking up odd jobs and companionship while seeking his first true love, Bob. Spoiler alert: don’t expect a happy ending.

For the Pop Culture Glutton

Beyoncé Smells Like Unicorns
and Other Tales of the World’s Pop Divas

by Josh Murray
Recommended by Lino DiNallo, Staff Writer at Out Adventures

Beyonce smells like Unicorns
Beyonce smells like Unicorns by Josh Murray.

Not that I’m biased, but I *may* have been the editor of this fresh new read. Written by my friend Josh Murray, Former Senior Editor of American Idol Magazine, it’s laden with famous facts, hushed-up tales, and first-person accounts concerning superstar sirens. I should also note the hilarious foreword was written by Josh’s sister, Katharine Isabelle of TV’s The Arrangement. Available exclusively on Apple iBooks, it’s only $5!

For Something EXTRA

A Density of Souls

by Christopher Rice
Recommended by Steven King (no, not that Steven King)

A Density of Souls
A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice

As four friends enter high school, their bonds immediately devolve, and two begin gay-bashing a third. Their bullying is driven by a childhood secret the final member knows too much about. By the time you’ve reached Souls’ stormy conclusion, you’ll have plowed through more overwrought drama than multiple seasons of Passions married together. Expect bulimia, alcoholism, emotional breakdowns, institutionalization, gay bar bombings, broken families, and obviously major character deaths.

For those who like it short and sweet

In a Strange Room

by Damon Galgut
Recommended by Carl Hiehn, the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Out Adventures

In a Strange Room
In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

Depending on your flight, you’ll likely finish this short, poignant novel before your captain announces, “Prepare for landing.” Three extended chapters profile Damon, a 20-something nomad from Johannesburg with an unquenchable wanderlust. He motorcycles through Greece, treks landlocked countries in Africa, and hostels on the southern coast of India. While exploring these regions, Damon develops a unique relationship with three individuals who will all impact the young man’s life.

For the Cynical Humourist

Lust & Wonder: A Memoir

by Augusten Burroughs
Recommended by Jeffrey Hecht

Lust & Wonder: A Memoir
Lust & Wonder: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs.

If you love reading about quirky gay lives, Burroughs takes top place. His latest read offers more insight into his crazy, often humorous past. It bridges gaps between his previous memoirs and fleshes out his love interests, how he got his start in advertising and his struggles with addiction and sobriety. Burroughs even reveals how he wrote Sellevision – his first novel – and it’s quite interesting.

For a Queer History Lesson

Tales of the City

by Armistead Maupin
Recommended by Brad Bannon & C Brian Devinney

Tales of the City
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City is the lightest, silliest and gayest series ever. I’ve read all nine novels more than once, and the mystery threading through them is almost secondary to how it captures a bygone era of San Francisco…before AIDS, gay marriage, PrEP and Grindr.  Outdated? Yes.  But it’s still a testament to a gay world that’s gone but not forgotten.

For Two Personal Narratives in One

Like People in History

by Felice Picano
Recommended by David Thompson

Like People in History
Like People in History by Felice Picano

Gay second-cousins Alistair and Roger meet at nine-years-old and become instant BFFs. The novel follows the duo as they bounce through decades with varying levels of maturity, free-wheeling, marijuana-smoking, and glory-hole-penetrating madness. Roger narrates the tale from his New York City apartment in 1991, just as Alistair’s battle with AIDS concludes.

A category is: Murder Mystery Realness

The Lo ng Shot

by Paul Monette
Recommended by Mateo Piedro

The Long Shot
The Long Shot by Paul Monette

I’ve bought The Long Shot twice, and read it four times. Thanks to my terrible memory, I’ll probably even enjoy it again! This Who-Done-It is set in the gay underbelly of Hollywood. The corpses of closeted movie-star Jasper, and sensitive writer Harry, are discovered floating in a hot tub together. With three suspects and incessant red herrings, you’ll find yourself on the edge of your economy-class seat in anticipation of the mystery’s big reveal.

For Those Still Uninspired

Out Adventure bookworm LeeMichael McLean couldn’t give just one recommendation. So if none of the above sound interesting, here are four more from him:

  • This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
  • In One Person by John Irving
  • The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Naked by David Sedaris (…or any of Sedaris’ other work, according to LeeMichael)

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