The Best in Books 2005

12.29.2005

By Out.com Editors

From heart-rending to hilarious, and from shocking to slice-of-life, LGBT literary and nonfiction authors are finding more publishers willing to put their works to print. Don't see your top picks on the lists? Submit a comment and tell us which 2005 must-read we missed.

Aaron Hamburger's Top 5 Books of 2005

5) What We Do is Secret by Thorn Kief Hillsbery
A wild ride of a novel that careens through a fateful evening in L.A.'s punk scene.

4) A Seahorse Year by Stacy D'Erasmo
With mordant wit and efficient prose, D'Erasmo etches a portrait of a gay family in pain.

3) The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss
This Edwardian-era theatrical book is chock-full of plot twists and zany characters, a bisexual hero, and, most importantly, considerable charm.

2) Clearcut by Nina Shengold
This lush, romantic story of a m'nage a trois relationship set in the Pacific Northwest plunges the reader into its dark, deeply felt emotional currents.

1) You Are Not the One by Vestal McIntyre
A stirring debut story collection promises great things to come. Gay or straight, McIntyre's characters are always vivid and often heartbreaking.

Matthew Breen's Top 5 Books of 2005

5) When I Knew by Robert Trachtenberg
This book consists of true tales from 80 gays of all sorts (Tammy Lynn Michaels, Simon Doonan, Arthur Laurents, B.D. Wong) about the moment they knew they were gay. The book caught Oprah's attention, and she based an episode of her talk show on it.

4) The Fabulous Sylvester by Joshua Gamson
The definitive bio of trailblazing queer singer Sylvester goes from L.A. in the swinging '60s to San Francisco in the '70s at the height of disco fever and beyond.

3) The Sluts by Dennis Cooper
Time is wobbly and the truth is uncertain in this graphic and engrossing story of the life (and death?) of a blond hustler told through reviews by his johns on a rent boy site; a true return to familiar form for the inimitable Cooper.

2) Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Maguire's fables are a publishing juggernaut, and this most recent installment is no less bold; his re-imagined Oz is a bold and fully imagined world that would make L. Frank Baum proud.

1) Clearcut by Nina Shengold
A messy, complex, and surprising love affair in the forest is told in such rich language and detail, it's a true disappointment the book has to end.

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