In Bed with Gore VidalIn Bed with Gore Vidal by Tim Teeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My creative writing professor knew Gore Vidal; they had a professional relationship that produced the book Views from a Window: Conversations with Gore Vidal. Vidal is one of those people who seemed to interest me from a distance – I’d see movies in which he co-starred, and to this date I’ve only read one of his novels. My husband read his memoir, Palimpsest, and enjoyed it. He had read parts of the book to me, and the memory of that made this book easier to understand.

Not that In Bed With Gore Vidal is difficult to read. I found it well researched and it kept my interest through the end. The title may mislead readers, who might expect a juicy tell-all along the lines of a Kitty Kelley-penned biography. Teeman does divulge Vidal’s sexual history, but more than you read of personal and professional relationships, in particular Vidal with himself coming to terms with his roles in literature and Hollywood. Throughout the book Teeman reports that Vidal asserts he is not homosexual but homoerotic, and that “there are no homosexuals, just homosexual acts.” This view would put him at odds with gay activists, and certainly there are people within Vidal’s circle who would argue this point.

Teeman interviews a number of people closest to Vidal, including Susan Sarandon and Scotty Bowers (whose book I have read – definitely a juicy tell-all), and draws from Palimpsest and other Vidal works. If you aspire to study Gore Vidal more, this is a good resource.

Choose Your Weapon (The Helen of Hollingsworth Trilogy) (Volume 1)Choose Your Weapon (The Helen of Hollingsworth Trilogy) by Sarah Rodriguez Pratt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Helen lives a double life – high school is spent deflecting the scorn of the “cool” kids, while in another world she trains to slay the dragons who terrorized the fantasy novels she enjoyed as a child. Choose Your Weapon is like Pleasantville meets Mercedes Lackey – where a young woman becomes empowered in fantasy and carries it through her reality. A great read for young adults.

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This year my Christmas gift to myself was time away from the computer to enjoy my day off from work and read this book. I would call it time well spent – The Shining remains my favorite King novel, and Doctor Sleep is a satisfactory follow-up to the story. It’s important, however, to read The Shining first rather than rely on memories of the Kubrick film, because there are differences, and the past does come into play here.

Where I found The Shining more of a psychological horror story, Doctor Sleep relies more on the paranormal to freak you out. A roving band of bad seeds, semi-immortal because they depend on the “steam” of shining youths to survive, zero in on a girl with more than a psychic connection to the grown-up Dan Torrence. Dan carries much baggage from the Overlook Hotel (he makes for a moody anti-hero) yet remains sympathetic. The creepy True Knot gang may just keep you out of RV parks for a while.

I got through this in a day – two King winners in one month.

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