2006 Books 56 - 60

6. Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution by David Carter - A detailed account of what started out as just one of many raids on Mafia ran, illegal gays bars in NYC during the summer of 1969, and turned into an event that brought about political, legal and cultural changes in the United States. Carter includes a history of Greenwich Village, the building itself, and the back stories of many of the people who were there that first night and at the subsequent riots, and then goes on to show how the actions of people that were at the time seen as the lowest rung of the gay community empowered an entire movement.

57. Stuart, A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters - The biographical story of a mentally ill, felonious, physically disabled homeless man, told with honesty and and a lot of humor. The title refers to the way the story is told, suggested by the subject himself: to tell it like a mystery, backwards: "What murdered the boy I was?".

58. Articles of Way by Nick Arvin - George "Heck" Tilson turns eighteen years old just in time to do a full turn of duty in WWII. This short novel is not the story of a hero, or even a patriot. It's the story of putting one foot in front of the other when all your instincts are telling to stop and run away. I thought the ending was a bit contrived (Heck's life becomes entwined with Pvt. Eddie Slovak's life), but until then, it was a good read.

59. The Cottagers by Marshall N. Klimasewiski - The main plot is interesting, the sense of place is fantastic, and the characters come with enough baggage for four or five books. I wish the author had spent less time telling us about what was going on inside these characters, and more time showing us how their relationships were changing them.

60. The House of the Solitary Maggot by James Purdy - Three brothers (or maybe not), their mother (or maybe not) and their father (most likely yes) live lives that give new scope to the term dysfunctional. This is Southern Gothic gone mad. I loved it!

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