When I read about the A-Z April blogging challenge, I thought why to wait for that long, why not do an A-Z challenge about the books I have read but haven’t written anything about? I am not sure if I can cover all the letters (have I read any book with the name starting with Z ? I am not sure) of the alphabets, but I can surely try. At least, I will try and finish one book before the day for that letter is due.
Not all the books are paperback or hardcover. I have a collection of e-books too. So it will be a combination of all. If it is a paperback/hardcover, I will try and post a photograph of it. So, without further ado, let us start with A. (Note: I am going to ignore the articles in the name and include only those books that I haven’t already talked about)
Genre: Gay Romance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Crime, MM Romance
It is the fifth book in the Cut and Run series. Story about two alpha males (it feels very weird say this word for a contemporary romance…but these two protagonists do behave like that… so I guess it’s ok), Zane and Ty, who also happen to be special agents and their fifth story about capturing and bringing a guy back and in the meantime they also get involved in fighting the bad guys and each other too. Their chemistry is too good. I loved the whole series. Over the series, their relationship evolves, they learn about each other, being in the same job doesn’t help either, neither does being shot at in each and every book case. One of the few MM romance series I liked and continued to finish. I finished 8 books some long time back. Haven’t got around to the 9th one yet. It’s just not them in the later books. They are joined by their friends and their partners too. That is why the series keeps growing I guess. But I do wish they would limit the series to the maximum of 4/5 books? Too much to keep track of and finish off you know.
I am a little late for this prompt, but my Saturday went in a blur and I don’t remember half of it 😉
But one thing that I was glad to hear as the first news yesterday was the Supreme Court’s ruling of same sex marriages in USA. Nothing could have put me in a good mood and I was really happy to get drunk on it 🙂
Seriously though, I was glad for my friends for whom this court ruling makes a WHOLE LOT of difference in their lives. When I went to USA this May, I was fortunate to be the photographer of the civil court marriage of two of my very close guy friends. I don’t care what any religion says, all I care about is for my family and friends to be happy and if they find their partner or soulmate in the same sex, so be it. And this legal decision goes a long way to bring equality in a manner of sorts. I am also happy to post this on this Gay Pride Day (it is already Sunday here as per IST, so).
And I love the last paragraph of Justice Kennedy’s speech. I am posting it here, because it has the word ‘some’ in it 😉 So yeah I did fulfill the prompt’s challenge.
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.
Let me go ahead and use the other word too and end this post with a quote…
“Life is a sum of all your choices”.
To all those to whom this decision makes a difference, Congratulations! and a big hug from me!
I am in a writing mode today. Just completed cataloging down my recent travel. Since I am in the flow, let me finish off with the movie I watched today. Pride (2014), a movie I was supposed to watch with a couple of my friends, but then I was feeling too sick (flu and fever) and I needed some cheer me up. First and foremost, I just loved the movie. Just loved it. The Wikipedia doesn’t say much about the movie and its story line. So here it is for you. But before that Spoiler Alert 🙂
There is a group of Lesbian and Gay activists headed by Mark who collect money to support the Miners strike in Britain in 1984. Not many among the LGBT group wanted to support this cause of collecting money for Miners because they have enough problems to solve like fighting for their own rights. But then this small bunch go ahead and call themselves LGSM (Lesbian and Gay support the miners) group and collect enough and try to find someone to donate it to. No one wants to be associated with the LGBT group, except for one small town who thought that L stood for London 😉 When the committee member finally meets them, he is quite surprised but is also very accepting and thanks them for their efforts and invites them to the small town of Onllwyn. This town is surprised to see them as they are surprised by the welcome of some members of the town who are very supportive and appreciative of their efforts. They have difficulty in getting through some members who are totally against them. But then slowly they gain the confidence of the people and keep helping them even though each of them have their own set of problems to address (for e.g. one of them isn’t out to his parents and keeps his association with the LGBT community a secret). Even though they lost the miners fight , they realize that their coming together as a union is the biggest achievement of all. And the miners union comes to their help when this group needs their support.
It is a very heart warming story which finally made me shed some tears. The concept of shaking hands symbol which is used by the Union is strongly emphasized in this movie at all places. You help me ; I help you, no matter who you are. That message is conveyed throughout and done very well too. There is a line which Dai says when he talks in the Gay bar ‘When you’re in a battle against an enemy so much bigger, so much stronger than you, well, to find out you had a friend you never knew existed, well, that’s the best feeling in the world.’ I liked that. It is not just about Lesbians or Gay’s. It is about being who you are and owning it up and living it. Mark says in a scene to Jonathan that instead of running away from himself and his parents, he should face them because life is too short. The old people of Onllwyn are so cute 🙂 especially Dolores Umbridge, oops sorry, Imelda Staunton. They have some of the funniest moments in this movie. She reminded me of Lady D in the Julia Quinn’s book series ‘The Bridgertons’. The messages that they convey through some brilliant lines are very subtle interlaced with humor. There is a political agenda mixed too but I am not that interested in that angle anyways.
All in all, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel good and it made me feel positive. A definite must watch.
I picked up the book ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe‘ from Amazon yesterday because the title had been intriguing me for quite some time and I was in a mood to read something different. This is a gay coming of age story of two boys. That much I knew from the blurb. But what captured me from the first chapter was the way it was written. Some chapters were just a few lines long. And it never exceeded more than 2 pages per chapter. It was crisp, neat, deep and very realistic. Nothing too dramatic, nothing to clichéd (except may be you would think that the ending is) and it still made me feel a lot. Its the story of two boys who become friends and slowly get to know each other and in the process get to know themselves too. Ari (aka Aristotle) is the boy who is always alone and he is perfectly content with it meets this boy Dante (no nick names) in a swimming pool one day and for some reason Ari warms up to Dante when he can’t even stand the rest of the guys he is used to. Ari has a lot going on in his mind with so many things that has happened in his family. Especially being the youngest with a huge difference of almost 20 years between him and his twin sisters who treat him like their son than their brother, a brother who is 11 year or so older than him and who is in prison and almost forgotten by the family, a father who rarely talks and is always sad because of the scars of his Vietnam war days. The only person he is comfortable around is his mother who is a teacher. On the other hand, Dante has very understanding parents where his father is a lecturer and his mother is a therapist and he just loves them to pieces (one of his confession actually) but still he feels less of Mexican and never belonging to a place. They both have their own baggage of being of the verge of manhood and their own way of dealing with it. But when they become friends it is like they found a way to handle it together.
I am not going into the story here. Actually as a story there is nothing much to tell and yet it is so difficult to put it in a few words, at least for me. I don’t remember much from my childhood or adolescent days (except for a few incidents and events that had some kind of impact) but I definitely don’t remember struggling so much or may be I did but I forgot because it has been so long ago ? I don’t know but I definitely know that I didn’t know a thing about boys growing up even though I had a younger brother. Because we were never that close growing up and we are only just two years apart. All I remember was he was in his own world and was pretty level headed than me in real life. That much I remember. When you grow up and you have siblings it is hard to not be compared or feel like you are being compared to them. This line where Ari says ‘Why did I have to be a good boy just because I had a bad-boy brother ? I hated the way my mom and dad did family math.’made me smile. I remember saying that albeit in a different context.
I really liked it because it wasn’t just about those boys, it was about two families. About how each of them are insecure in their own way. About how parents make mistakes and accept to their kids that they were also humans and they also try , every day, to do things in a right way for their kids. Sometimes they get it right, some times they don’t. ‘Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.‘ How very true. The story easily flows between the two boys and their families. It slowly unravels the problems that their parents are facing, bring with it the solutions too. There is light humor through out, even when Ari is not actually aiming for it. ‘Dogs don’t censor themselves. Maybe animals were smarter than people. The dog was so happy. My mom and dad too. It felt good to know that they loved the dog, that they let themselves do that. And somehow it seemed that the dog helped us be a better family.‘ I really know this feeling. I remember sneaking on my sister sitting near our dog and complaining about our parents or her siblings if she had a row with them and just because they thought that she was the youngest and can be always treated like a kid 🙂 and almost expecting our dog to respond to her. But our dog, bless his soul, he used to give her his full attention as if he really understood her and absorbed all her pain, how ever trivial and small they were. Animals are much smarter than humans. I guess we needed that extra sense to compete with them. And it is not easy to get to know people. Just like Ari says, ‘I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you got right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get–and never would get.’
I think I can go on and on about the book. It was a very interesting , very well written coming of age young adult realistic fiction about two boys who not only find some secrets of the universe for themselves, they also teach their families and readers a lesson or two. ‘I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.‘