One of my friends from graduate school recently tagged me in a note on facebook. Here’s the prompt she answered (slightly corrected by me) and wanted her friends to complete:

Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it: fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you, first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I’m interested in seeing what books my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your 15 picks, and tag people in the note-upper right hand side.)

I completed my list, but since I didn’t elaborate on why I chose the books I chose, I thought I would blog about them here. (These aren’t in any particular order.)

1. Faggots by Larry Kramer. A few years ago I started teaching this novel in my Lesbian and Gay Literature class. I wrote about one of those experiences here. I recently started rereading this novel just for fun. I love how Kramer takes a large cast of characters and uses them to critique the sexual mores of the 1970s. It’s a great and inadvertently tragic satire.

2. Becoming a Man by Paul Monette. I haven’t ever taught Becoming a Man, though I did teach Borrowed Time: A AIDS Memoir. Where Borrowed Time is unbelievably tragic, Becoming a Man is a hopeful autobiography about coming out and getting angry at the way gay people and especially people with HIV are treated in America. I read it as an undergraduate and loved it. It was integral to my own coming out process. I started rereading this book too earlier this year, but it got away from me as work piled up.

3. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. I used to think Agatha Christie was the greatest detective novelist ever until I read this novel by Sayers. I reread it a year ago and fell in love with it all over again. Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey are one of the great romantic couples of modern literature. This novel also makes great use of Oxford as a locale. I wrote about reading the LPW novels here.

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