Welcome to the wide crazy world of TJ Klune

As you can see, this is a blog (a blog, you say? You're like the only person in the world that has one!). Here are my promises to you: I promise to up date this as much as I can. I promise that at some point, you will most likely be offended. I promise that I may show naked dudes (but honestly? I've been told that my taste can be a little... strange). I also promise to make this some place where you can see how my mind works.

You've been warned.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Random Thoughts On My (Current) Favorite M/M and Non M/M Books

***Before this post beings, know that I'll be chatting at the Love Romance Cafe Yahoo Group this weekend.  Come stop on by and ask my anything! (Within reason, ya pervs.)  Maybe you could win a signed copy of BOATK ;)  Make sure you check in on my blog and at LRC!***

For some reason, people are asking me what my favorite books are.  I’m flattered, but really, my opinion doesn’t matter that much.  But then I got asked it again this morning (twice!) and figured I’d put together this list.  I’ve divided it between M/M and non M/M.  The order of the books is of no particular significance, except for the first books which are probably my favorites (granted “favorites” can change every so often, depending on my mood.)  Comments on some may be longer than others, but that doesn’t mean anything.  Some are most likely familiar to you, others may not be.  Check out the ones you haven’t read!

M/M:

Raised By Wolves Series by W.A. Hoffman—Probably my favorite M/M books of all time.  Will and Gaston are one of the greatest couples ever, their devotion to each breathtaking.  Taking place in the 1600’s, primarily in Jamaica, it follows Will and Gaston (who are essentially pirates, or rather “buccaneers”) over four huge books (easily 600 pages each) as they meet, fall in love, fight for survival from their enemies (which include members of their own family) and their own sanity.  In the end, (and I worried about this greatly because it seemed it could only end in tragedy) there is a wonderful HEA.  Word of caution, while these books definitely have action, the biggest gripe I’ve read is that the books are very “talky”, and they are, but the dialogue is so fantastic that it doesn’t matter.  Love, love, LOVE these books.

Woke Up In A Strange Place by Eric Arvin—I’m still shocked when I look on Amazon and Goodreads to see the minimal amount of reviews.  Everyone should read this book, which is, hands down, the most romantic novel I’ve ever read.  Why did a lot of people miss this one? I DON’T GET IT.  From the gorgeous cover by Paul Richmond (who did the cover for BOATK, natch) to a uniquely risky story by Arvin, I am now officially making it my mission to make sure all my readers read this book.

Metes and Bounds by Jay Quinn—I can’t really explain to you why this novel means as much to me as it does.  There’s just something beautiful about this coming of age story about a teen named Matt who reconnects with his uncle named Tiger.  Surfing, soul, and a guy named Jeep?  What more could you ask for?

Zero At the Bone by Jane Seville—I love the crap out of D, accent and all.  I don’t even know how many times I’ve re-read this book.

The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren—The first M/M book I ever read.  I was 14 at the time.  To say it had a profound effect on me is an understatement.  A classic in the truest sense of the word.

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy—Probably the funniest M/M book I’ve read.  Simon is by far one of my favorite narrators with his snark and self-deprecation.

Dash and Dingo by Sean Kennedy and Catt Ford—I am STILL waiting for the sequel.  Any day now, Sean and Catt.  Any day.

Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger—How can you not love this book? It’s so awesomely unique with such an eclectic cast of characters. (The Bronco is named Robert Mitchum!!!!!)

The Strongest Shape by Tessa Cardenas—My favorite M/M/M book.  Ms. Cardenas pulls off the ménage better than anyone else I’ve read. Such sweet, sweet angst.

Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada by Keith Hale—A wonderfully sad tale about growing up and loving a straight boy.  One of the greatest character names ever in “Trotsky.”


Non M/M:

Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon—To me, one of the greatest pieces of pop-fiction ever written.  The book follows a 12 year old boy who lives in Alabama in 1964 who is out one morning on a milk delivery run with his father when he sees a car crash through a barrier and discovers a body inside, the person having been long dead before the accident.  Who is it? How did he get there?  Why does it have a damning effect on the boy’s father?  It’s almost episodic with each chapter showing a different side of growing up with stories from the mundane to the extraordinary.  One of my all-time favorites.

It by Stephen King—This story is more than just about a killer clown who stalks children.  At over a thousand pages, it’s really about what it means to grow up during a single summer surrounded by friends you think you’ll know forever.  And then meeting these same characters as adults, you realize that the things and people we loved as children can’t possibly be around forever, as it’s not the way the world works.  And, yes, there is a killer clown, so of course it’s scary.

Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls—The sentimentalist in me will never be able to let this book go.  I still cry to this day at the ending. 

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz—I’m not really a fan of Koontz anymore because his writing style in the last ten years has undergone such a weird and drastic change that it makes the majority of his newer books unreadable to me.  However, this book, about a fry cook who can see ghosts, is such a charming read that I forgive Koontz for his two sentence paragraphs and three page chapters that he does now.  And the twist at the end?  Blew me away.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann—A true life adventure story about a reporter who goes into the Amazon to attempt to track down a famed explorer named Percy Fawcett who disappeared in 1925 while attempting to find a city of gold.  It’s remarkable in its detail and research. A very harrowing read and probably the closest that any one has ever come to finding out what exactly happened to Fawcett.

The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson—another non-fiction read about the 1893 World’s Fair and one of the  most notorious serial killers in history, H.H. Holmes, who built a true house of horrors that coincided with the opening of the Fair.  Such a strange and wonderfully dark read.  I hear they are making a movie with Leonardo Dicaprio as H.H. Holmes.  That would be interesting to see.

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding—Chances are you’ve read this book at some point during the latter part of your schooling.  If you haven’t picked it up in a few years, I would recommend reading it again.  It has not lost any of its chilling effect, and I think that as we grow older the obvious disconnect between us as adults vs. us as children allows the message in the book to grow infinitely darker.


 Obviously there are many, many more books that I enjoy, but this is a list of the ones that stick out in my mind.  Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?    (And remember, if you haven’t read Woke Up In A Strange Place, READ IT NOW!  I promise I’m a good book pimp and you’ll thank me for it.) Based upon my picks above, do you have any suggestions for me?  I’m always interested in giving a new author or a new book a chance.  Sound off below!

4 comments:

  1. With all due respect, I don't think The Front Runner is M/M. It's gay fiction. There's a significant difference.

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  2. Bear, Otter, and the Kid is up for vote for best book of the week at Whipped Cream.

    http://www.longandshortreviews.com/WC/index.htm

    Awesome book

    Terra

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  3. Tigers and Devils and Zero at the Bone ("you are the only thing I don't regret" *dies*) are two of my all time favorite books. I will definitely check out the other titles you mentioned! Have you read Admit One by Jenna Hilary Sinclair or A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan? They are excellent as well.

    I am reading Bear, Otter and the Kid and am LOVING it and can't put it down. I don't normally read fantasy, but I will buy your next book the day it comes out.

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  4. I think the reason I never bought Woke Up In A Strange Place is because the blurb really doesn't give a real sense of what the story is about. Entirely based on your pimping, I'm going to download it. Since I'm in love with BOATK, my expectations are high! :)

    ReplyDelete