My Top Five M/M Books of All Time (Or How I Learned to Love the Genre)

Friends,

First off, welcome to my blog! I have *tons* of ideas for posts, related to all of the things that possess and obsess me, so I hope you’ll check back every so often. The plan is to get at least one post out a week, and perhaps a few smaller ones along the way.

Right now I’m taking a Literary Stylistics workshop, and the first thing the author that runs the workshop asked us to do was write a list of our favorite authors/books and poems/poets. Needless to say, my mind immediately went blank.

Not that I don’t know who/what I love. It’s just that I love *so many things*, in so many different genres. I just don’t think it’s fair to judge Christopher Fowler against Scarlett Thomas, or T.S Eliot against Richard Siken (to name a few). I have categories; I don’t have hierarchies. I like a little bit of everything. But he wanted us to get picky. To boil the list down to its essence. To commit.

I thought my first real post would be a good time to put my money where my mouth is (and to start things off on a positive note!). If I’m going to promo my M/M books, then it’s only fair I give some of my faves a bit of promo in return. Without further ado, here are my…

Five Favorite M/M Books of All Time (as of November 2013, in no particular order):

First, a note about methodology. Let me tell you, blood was spilt coming up with this list! I started with my favorite authors. I then narrowed down their bibliographies to the best of the best. A Herculean task, but a worthy one. Here we go!

1. The Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon

First entry, and already I’m cheating, but you can’t really deal with the books in this series individually. It took five books to tell Adrien and Jake’s story, and what a story it is. As far as I’m concerned, these are the M/M blueprint. Gentle, bookish Adrien falls for gruff, closeted Jake. They solve mysteries. They come together and fall apart. There are cliffhangers that make you want to tear your hair out. There are love scenes that you fear might burn through the pages of the book you’re holding (or cause your eReader to self-combust). The characters are relatable, endearing, maddening. The drama is outstanding. The mysteries are deeper than the murder cases Adrien and Jake investigate. Book 3 has the single best title in all of M/M: The Hell You Say. Adrien will always be one of my favorite characters of all time. If you haven’t read them, what the hell are you waiting for? (And please, ye gods of literature, let there never, ever be a sixth book. You don’t mess with perfection!)

2. The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper

Love her Hidden Wolves series. Love her Life Lessons series. But there’s something about these characters, John and Ryan, and how they find each other that speaks to me. It’s an Out For You, which I know is not everyone’s cup of tea, but here it’s done with a unique sensitivity. I defy you not to feel for John as his love for Ryan awakens. Ms. Harper’s writing isn’t flashy, it’s just good. Real people, real problems, enthralling suspense – heart-warming resolution.

3. Promises by Marie Sexton

It’s a simple story, set in a small town. Regular men, regular jobs. The plot isn’t much more complex than “Matt and Jared fall in love”. But this book, these characters, they resonate. They get under your skin. You root for them. They are so compelling that you’re desperate for them to work it out. It’s the only M/M book that I have re-read, which is saying something because I don’t really believe in re-reading unless it’s something really special; life is too short. But I keep coming back to Promises – and I think I always will. It would take some serious masterpiece to knock this off the list.

4. Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

This is the first book of J.L.’s that’s going to get a sequel, and it’s no surprise why. Tom is an amazing character – embattled but undaunted, gifted but humble. Falls for his high school bully and is sort of psychic. I think Ms. Merrow has invented a new genre: working class British magic realism. The light-touch use of the paranormal in this story is only the fifth-best thing about it. Better still is the snappy dialogue, the crackerjack mystery, the sexual tension, and the fact that there’s going to be more! Whoo!

5. Driftwood by Harper Fox

Of all the authors listed here, I had the hardest time whittling down the best of Ms. Fox’s books because I love every one of them so much. Her writing – it’s been said before – is lyrical, full of imagery so vivid that it’s as if you’re there, in that far-flung part of Great   Britain. She strikes the perfect balance between dramatic tension and those tender moments readers cherish. I picked this particular book because I loved Tom, and his decaying lighthouse, and his dog, and the statue that looked like a wave. The fact that I remember these details says more than I ever could about how I adored this book.

Best Anthology: The Irregulars by Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, and Astrid Amara. Dear Irregulars Authors, please write a sequel! Love, Me.

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m insane? Let it fly in the comments, and please be sure to share your own list of faves!

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2 thoughts on “My Top Five M/M Books of All Time (Or How I Learned to Love the Genre)

  1. Adriana Ruud says:

    They are among my favorites as well. I loved all these books and have reread most of them. I would add my other fav. series, besides Adrien English, JCP’s Psycop. Great choices, Selina 🙂

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