Believe it or not, I do find the time to read some age- appropriate books. I read a few lately that may be of interest to this commuity.
I love James St. James. His memoir Disco Bloodbath was entertaining but wasn’t exactly a literary feat, so I was skeptical about his first fiction novel. The main character, no doubt based on the author, is an extremely flamboyantly gay teenager who is beginning school at an ultra-conservative, WASPY, private school. Basically Sweet Valley High. The observations and interactions are of course wuite entertaining, but he is violently harassed, which, not too funny, but it addressed, albeit satirically. Finally he befriends the popular boy in school, who it turns out has a touch of the gay. Billy’s perceptions of the ultra-white, ultra-perfect schoolmates are pretty dead-on. Kind of turns the idea of SVH on its head. I don’t usually laugh out loud while reading.
Mortified is a collection of writings, memoirs, letters, etc. from various people’s teenage years. Mostly people’s exerpts from their journals. Since a lot of you enjoy reminiscing (and cringing) about our pre-teen years, this is more cringe material. Again, incredibly hilarious and also a little but sad. The best ones are one miserable boy’s correspondence with his parents from camp, some embrassing Duran Duran fan fiction, and unsent love letters. I think this is also based on a stage show.
Paul Feig’s Superstud is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. He recalls all the awkward points of childhood and dating with excruciating detail. Also, he gives a complete minute-by-minute play-by-play of when he lost his virginity, and it’s less vulgar and more hysterical, because he writes what everyone thinks but usually doesn’t write about. Hilarious. And kind of touching.
Blake Nelson is also a great writer. His books are set in high school, but his writing is pretty astute and appealing to adult readers. His novel Girl was basically my autobiography. Well, not really, but maybe a little.