Home » Hot Type for Savvy Travelers — The Best Books For August 2022

Hot Type for Savvy Travelers — The Best Books For August 2022

by Jim Gladstone
Hot Type August 2022 Books

August dog days bring out the Hot Type reading list with Man to Man obsession giving you Mouth to Mouth in the Secret City.

Mouth to Mouth By Antoine Wilson

Mouth to Mouth By Antoine Wilson

Antoine Wilson’s Mouth to Mouth (Avid Reader Press. $26. antoinewilson.com) is a novel as sinister as it is slim. The book is under 200 pages long, but every one of them feels like it might willfully give you a papercut. Written in smooth, elegant prose that vibrates with a malevolent undercurrent, this psychological thriller brings to mind Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on Train and its film adaptation by Alfred Hitchcock, a multi-leveled cat and mouse affair, full of deceptions and betrayals. When middle-aged Jeff Cook runs into an old college acquaintance during a lengthy delay at the airport, he passes the time filling the friend in on his eventful post-university life. The pivotal event in Cook’s tangled yarn is his impulsive rescue of a drowning man over twenty years ago. Immediately rushed to a hospital from the beach, the man—high society gallerist Frances Arsenault—doesn’t learn the identity of his savior. But Cook becomes obsessed with the recipient of his good deed, first stalking the art dealer and gradually worming his way into a job at his gallery. “The only reason Frances is in this business,” a colleague notes, “is because it’s the most manipulated market in the world, and he’s a master manipulator.” Ultimately, though, as Cook becomes the lover of Arsenault’s daughter and begins to take on aspects of the older man’s identity, it becomes clear that there’s more than one master at work. Cook’s motivation in all of this plays like a twisted variant of the juvenile game in which one child claims to have saved another’s life—and to therefore have earned his friend’s eternal servitude. In his relentless pursuit of compensation for a spontaneous act of kindness, Cook opens himself up to far graver ethical compromises.

BUY BOOK When you purchase a book from our curated Bookshop.org shop we earn an affiliate commission. The books are independently reviewed by our book editor and the potential commission does not influence the review in any way.


Man to Man by by Pierre Passebon (Author), Florent Barbarossa (Author)

Man to Man by by Pierre Passebon (Author), Florent Barbarossa (Author)

A seductive non-fiction counterpoint to Mouth to Mouth, with echoes that go beyond its similar title, is Man to Man: An Obsession, edited by auctioneer/art historian Florent Barbarossa and collector/gallerist Pierre Passebon (Flammarion. $40. barbarossa-auction.com/en). The works featured in this handsome illustrated volume—all by male artists—have stories to tell about the ways in which men regard one another—competitively, admiringly, enviously, protectively. It’s a exploration of the male gaze as applied to other males (which often adds up to, well, the male gays). The pieces, which range from an antique Greek urn decorated with nude male images to a beefcake promotional photo of Charlton Heston to a Warhol print of a blue-jeaned derriére, all come from Passebon’s personal collection. In analyzing his own monomaniacal gathering of these works in a foreword, Passebon provides a lens through which browsers can explore the book: “Beyond the sheer compulsiveness of it, one object leads to another, and then a dialogue develops between them that reveals something about myself to me. It’s a portrait chinois, a puzzle where you build up a picture of a person piece by piece, a portrait that’s constantly changing and shifting as it grows.”

BUY BOOK When you purchase a book from our curated Bookshop.org shop we earn an affiliate commission. The books are independently reviewed by our book editor and the potential commission does not influence the review in any way.


Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James Kirchick

Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James Kirchick

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” begone! Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington (Henry Holt & Co. $38. jameskirchick.com)
swings open the closet doors of an American political century, telling all about the presence and impact of gay men on lawmaking and public policy through the administrations of every president from F.D.R. through Clinton. From the ousting of Sumner Wells, a senior state department official under Roosevelt, based on a rumor that he’d hit on to a male train porter; to the sidelining of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, a leading advisor to Martin Luther King who wanted homosexuality to be included in their cause; to the queer men behind some of Nixon and Reagan’s most damaging anti-gay screeds, Kerchik exposes decades of scandal and hypocrisy. But he also addresses the courage of gay politicos who quietly but persistently lobbied for acceptance and legal rights within the halls of power. From tales of blackmailed spies and cruising congressmen to the rise and fall of the Defense of Marriage Act, journalist Kirchick distills a massive research effort into a powerful shot of consciousness-raising revelation.

BUY BOOK When you purchase a book from our curated Bookshop.org shop we earn an affiliate commission. The books are independently reviewed by our book editor and the potential commission does not influence the review in any way.


Happy Go Lucky by David Sedaris

Happy Go Lucky by David Sedaris

In the latest essay collection by David Sedaris, things take a dark turn. Happy-Go-Lucky (Little, Brown and Co. $29. davidsedaris.com) is anything but. Readers hoping to once again laugh their way through quirky family foibles should gird themselves for some major cognitive dissonance. The gay humorist, now 65-years-old, spends much of the book riffing on the slow demise of his nonagenarian father, Lou, whose North Carolina rest home ultimately gets locked down amid the Covid pandemic, leaving his adult children waving at him through a window. The Trump-voting, Fox-news-loving father has long been a target of his son’s jokes, but the wisecracks begin to feel unkind as he dwindles. In his senescence, as Lou becomes gentler and friendlier toward his kids, David can’t seem to let up on the snark. Readers will need to consider the possibility that the author’s jibes and punchlines about his father have long been a bulwark against repressed psychic catastrophe when Sedaris details the humiliating “examinations” his father subjected him to as a child: On multiple occasions, Lou commanded his pre-teen son to kneel on a bathroom floor, ass-up and cheeks spread, so he could silently survey the boy’s rectum. Sedaris also writes that, long before her suicide, his estranged younger sister Tiffany repeatedly insisted that their father sexually abused her as a child, an argument the author still chalks up to her “mental illness”. Sedaris’ only-sometimes-funny jokes in this book about covid masking, gun violence and Black Lives Matter may provoke complaints of “Too soon”, but it feels like he’s reckoning with his own story too late.

BUY BOOK When you purchase a book from our curated Bookshop.org shop we earn an affiliate commission. The books are independently reviewed by our book editor and the potential commission does not influence the review in any way.

AIRPLANE READ OF THE MONTH

Sleep Walk by Dan Chaon

Sleep Walk by Dan Chaon

Dan Chaon is the most gripping thriller writer you’ve probably never heard of. Despite critical praise for past novels including Await Your Reply, this should-be bestselling author still flies largely under the radar. Chaon’s latest, Sleepwalk (Henry Holt & Co. $27.99. danchaon.com), is further proof that he’s a go-to for stories that pull you into their gravitational force and hold you riveted, even in our era of chronic digital distractibility. In taut ratatat chapters, Sleepwalk follows microdosing 50-something vagabond Will Bear through a dystopian near-future America in search of a woman who claims to be his daughter via a long-ago sperm donation. This genre-busting adventure story introduces readers to bizarre religious cults, hired killers and biological experiments, not to mention a lovable, heart-tugging stray dog. Its uncategorizable and unputdownable.

BUY BOOK When you purchase a book from our curated Bookshop.org shop we earn an affiliate commission. The books are independently reviewed by our book editor and the potential commission does not influence the review in any way.

 

You May Also Enjoy

Hot Type For Savvy Travelers | Best Books For July

Hot Type for Savvy Travelers — The Best Books For July 2022

Related Articles

Conditions

New York
scattered clouds
38%
5.7mp/h
40%
84°F
86°
80°
82°
Sat
80°
Sun
86°
Mon
79°
Tue
79°
Wed
Passport Magazine Logo

Passport Magazine has always been a resource to guide, inspire and encourage LGBTQ travelers and their friends to discover deeper, richer and more fulfilling experiences at home and around the world through compelling story-telling online, in print, with video and through live events.

© 2024 Passport Magazine — All Rights Reserved — NYC USA

Adblock Detected

Please support Passport Magazine by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.