Saturday, July 9, 2011

Welcome my new spotlight person, Sheila Gallagher

Good morning!

I'm really excited to be welcoming a special lady to work along with me here at Tabooindeed. Sheila Gallagher!

She'll be doing the spotlights from now on for the blog every first weekend of the month as well as her top 5 pics.

Here she is with her first post!


Hello!  This is the first of my regular monthly posts.  As you read them you’ll learn more about me so I won’t bore you with a biography.

When asked about my five favorite anything, that list will change constantly depending on my feelings that day or what I have done between questionings.  Each answer is true because of that.  Today I want to share books that have had an impact on me.  These are books that after I have closed the cover, put them back on the shelf, and walked away, stay in my mind and can be recalled easily.  The authors have done their jobs well.

Many books I read are brain candy.  I close the cover and forget about them after I’ve posted them to my Goodreads or Shelfari pages or write the review for Two Lips Reviews.  I have to reread the ending to remember them, if I want to remember them.  But there have been some books I have read that have stayed with me.  These books either have changed my thoughts because of the topic or the characters have become beloved characters for me. 

That list includes:
5.  The Scientist and the Supermodel by Tara Lain.

This makes the list because I like Jake and Roan and because the question of how long can you lie to yourself must be answered.   Jake denies who he is and when he dates women, they just go out.  Nothing significant happens between them.  When Jake and Roan get together Jake freaks that he wants sex with Roan and enjoys it.  Watching Jake come to the realization that Roan is the one for him (and possibly his boss Emma) is painful.  Jake hurts Roan so much.  Roan is a saint to always take Jake back but it does take a toll on Roan.  His esteem gets kicked a lot.  When Jake finally does decide who he is and comes out to his family, it is anti-climatic because his family reminds me a lot of mine in that we accept and usually know before the person tells us things.  These characters were easy to identify with and extremely likable.

4.  The Cambridge Fellows Mysteries by Charlie Cochrane

These books make the list because of the characters--Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart.  The setting is turn of the 20th Century England.  So few novels take place during that time.  Following these men and their relationship through the books is fascinating.  Oliver does not realize that he is gay but he accepts Jonty’s love for him.  Watching their love and relationship grow keeps bringing me back.  Now I have to admit I’m a bit behind on the series but I’ll be catching up with them soon.  They are two of my most favorite characters.

3.  Hard Fall by James Buchanan

Hard Fall makes the list because Joe is Mormon.  I wanted to see how James Buchanan made this work and what negative stereotypes of Mormons would be in the book since I am Mormon (not necessarily a good one).  There was no negativity.  This was a well researched book and what is said about Mormons both as people and the tenets is spot on.  This is also a book that is timely because two Mormons are running for President in 2012 and The Book of Mormon won best musical at the Tony Awards this year.

2.  Bashed by Rick R. Reed

Bashed makes the list because it is about gay bashing but it goes beyond that.  Yes, one man dies but Mr. Reed goes beyond looking at the crime.  He lets us into the lives of those left behind--the partner, the family, the friends, the perpetrators.  The collateral damage done to all those people.  He is very even-handed with it.  We see the partner one chapter and how he is coping with his lover’s death, then we see one of the perpetrators (not the one who did the killing) and what is happening with him.  It is a study in contrasts.  One trying to rebuild his life.  The other trying to keep his life from falling apart.  This is not a book I can walk away from and forget.

1.  Angels in America, Pt. 1 and 2

I read the play and saw the play twice.  Again it deals with Mormons and gays.  There is humor but more tragedy.  It is well-researched and the portrayal of Mormons is spot on.  Hannah, Joe’s mother, is the strongest character.  She takes the teachings of her Mormon background--charity, helping others--and actually lives them as she works with Prior and AIDS victims.  She leaves behind the judgment and learns to understand and love those who are different from her.   Yes, I get angry at the Church when I watch this play but I also know that many of the teachings are true and that it is always evolving.  I also know that there has been many church members that have questioned the teachings towards gays.  Proposition 8 in California caused a lot of rifts that have not been healed.  It is always good when a book brings controversy into the open.

So books matter.  Often I think of the pleasure to be gained by reading but there is more than pleasure.  A good book makes me think.  It challenges my ideas and makes me look at another side of an issue.   No matter what I read I always learn something.

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