Reading at Bureau of General Services-Queer Division

I had a great time yesterday reading at Bureau of General Services-Queer Division. It was my first time visiting this new bookstore which is now the ONLY queer bookstore in New York City. It’s a beautiful space: housed in an art gallery, pressed tin ceilings, artwork featuring half-naked people, great music playing, and a little pop-up bar. Oh, yeah, and a lot of neat books. They will only be in that location until the end of July, so I encourage you to pay them a visit if you are in the area.

The Bold Strokes crew--not in a national park, but in front of a prison-style mural at Bureau of General Services-Queer Division.
The Bold Strokes crew–not in a national park, but in front of a prison-style mural at Bureau of General Services-Queer Division.

There were six of us Bold Strokes Books authors reading.

I was the opener, reading from Swans & Klons.
I was the opener, reading from Swans & Klons.
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Jane Hoppen read from her upcoming novel In Between, about a teen who is intersex.
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Jeremy Jordan King read an exciting section from In Stone, a YA novel about an aspiring actor whose life is saved by a gargoyle.
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Joel Gomez-Dossi read from his forthcoming novel, a thriller called Deadly Cult!
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Andy Peters read from his upcoming YA novel The Seventh Pleiade, which takes place in the mythical land of Atlantis!
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Dan Kelly read from an erotic thriller starring detective Deck Waxer.

I was really pleased to read with such a talented bunch of writers.

Now, a slight detour to talk about a completely different writer.

Harper Lee
Harper Lee

I really love To Kill A Mockingbird. That is one magnificent book. You would think that a 1960 novel about race relations in the South written by a white woman would now be cringe-inducing or dated, but Harper Lee’s writing stands the test of time and I think unfortunately the novel is as relevant as it ever was. To Kill A Mockingbird is indestructibly good. This book has been taught in schools for forty years or more, and you know how boring English classes are, and yet the book hasn’t been ruined and people still love it. People wonder why Harper Lee never wrote another novel, but I think there’s no way she could ever have topped Mockingbird, and if you write something that great and enduring, you deserve to just rest on your laurels for the rest of your life.

A well-loved book. The funny thing is, this copy which I've had for 25 years was originally property of a Newburgh, NY school that is 5 miles away from where I live now.
A well-loved book. The funny thing is, this copy which I’ve had for 25 years was originally property of a Newburgh, NY school that is 5 miles away from where I live now.

So why am I rabbiting on about Harper Lee? Lately it’s been getting me down how all these luminaries have been dying (Maria Tallchief, Esther Williams, Iain Banks, Jack Vance, E.L. Konigsburg, etc.) Everyone gets all sad and writes something on Facebook about how awesome they were. I want to appreciate great people while they are still alive for a change. I decided that in each blog post, I should mention one living creative genius I admire. I do hope Harper Lee will be around for many years to come, but since she is 87 years old and extremely amazing, I figured she would be a good choice for the first one.¬† If you haven’t read To Kill A Mockingbird, what are you waiting for?

Extra bonus! Today is Maurice Sendak’s birthday. Let the wild rumpus start!images-5