Here's one thing you have to know about finding a gay-themed novel in the Philippines: you have more luck finding a manual on how to make meth ala Breaking Bad.
I have previously talked about frustrations growing up to be a bookworm without a fictional character I could fully relate to, that is, as Martin Sheen in Masters of Sex said, deviant. I can still remember the day I asked my mother to buy me Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited; or the day I carefully paid for Orosa-Nakpil Malate so no one could see. Now I have around 50 books in the bookshelf.
So without further bullshit, here's a list of my favorite gay-themed books, so far.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
“Did I want him to act? Or would I prefer a lifetime of longing provided
we both kept this little Ping-Pong game going: not knowing,
not-not-knowing, not-not-not-knowing? Just be quiet, say nothing, and if
you can't say "yes," don't say "no," say "later." Is this why people
say "maybe" when they mean "yes," but hope you'll think it's "no" when
all they really mean is, Please, just ask me once more, and once more after that?”
Maurice by E.M. Forster
"They slept seperate at first, as if proximity harassed them, but towards
morning a movement began, and they woke deep in each other's arms."
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
“The pursuit of love seemed to need the cultivation of indifference.”
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind,
by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know
him in death, at the end of the world.”
We the Animals by Justin Torres
“We hit and we kept on hitting; we were allowed to be what we were,
frightened and vengeful — little animals, clawing at what we needed.”
I have a love-hate relationship with YA novels. There are moments when I could read straight; there are times I could not bear its angst and abrupt cheesiness.
“For a few minutes I wished that Dante and I lived in the universe of boys instead of the universe of almost-men.”
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
“I think some love you can stand to let go of because it's ultimately
for the best, but other types you have to stick with until the day you
die even when it's hard.You have to think about that before you run away
from wherever you are. And then when you know, you either stay or you
go and pray thatyou're making the right decision.”
Hero by Perry Moore
“I caught myself thinking about falling in love with someone who I hoped
was out there right now thinking about the possibility of me, but I
quickly banished the notion. It was that kind of thinking that landed me
in this situation to begin with. Hope can ruin you.”
Don't Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble
“It's still not perfect, and maybe perfection isn't all it's cut out to
be anyway. But it's good. It's really good. They say you can't always
get what you want. But sometimes you can, and you do, even when you
don't deserve it.”
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
“I often feel like I want to think something but I can't find the
language that coincides with the thoughts, so it remains felt, not
thought. Sometimes I feel like I'm thinking in Swedish without knowing
There are also a lot of novels, though not entirely gay-focused, that have a strong gay presence, through characters or plot. For example, Colm Toibin novels always have a gay character but the focus is never on the homosexuality.
The Mysteries of Pittsburg
The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay
The Perks of being a Wallflower
I know I still have a lot to read. Most classics (Giovanni's Room, A Single Man, Dancers in the Dark etc) are hard to find and when ordering online, I tend to go for more contemporary novels. And it doesn't help that I don't read electronic books. The smell of a book, whether newly opened or from a long storage, is still the best aroma in this world.
I will be updating this entry once in a while or whenever I stumble upon a book worthy of the world's attention. And if you are from the Philippines, a book club wouldn't hurt, right?:)