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Blake Fraina

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No Great Mischief: A Novel by Alistair MacLeod

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Vegetable Harvest: Vegetables at the Center of the Plate by Patricia Wells

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Member: blakefraina

CollectionsYour library (1,977)

Reviews85 reviews

TagsGay (234), Cooking (167), Vegetarian (62), Fantasy (61), Short Fiction (45), Art (35), Lesbian (34), Rock (28), YA (28), Travel (27) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meI am the author of King of Cats, a novel about a gay rock musician living on New York's Lower East Side.

About my libraryI am an obsessive collector of books. My library skews toward LGBT fiction and cookbooks (a good many vegetarian). I also enjoy literary fiction in general and, as I'm a huge anglophile, contemporary British writers in particular. In addition, I am a fan of several illustrators and artists - M.C. Escher, Edward Gorey, Balthus, Varga, Ralph Steadman, Michael Hague, Arthur Rackham - those last two being responsible for the plethora of children's books on the list.

I would say that I've read only about 20% of what I own thus far. Most of my collection was purchased at thrift stores, library "book nook" sales or secondhand book shops. I am initially attracted to a book by its cover or spine (artwork, fonts, graphics), but good reviews are what usually convince me to buy. And I'm always a sucker for a Booker Prize winner [or shortlister].

I'm an atheist so the myriad religious/spiritual volumes are for research and reference purposes only. Although, as a sometime practitioner of yoga, I am sincerely interested in the meditation aspect of Buddhism.

GroupsEarly Reviewers, Gay Coming Out Books, Gay Men, Livejournalers, Queer and Trans Lit, SlashThing, Supporters of Local & Independent Bookstores

Favorite authorsJonathan Carroll, Jim Grimsley, Maria McCann, Eric McCormack, Tim O'Brien, Marilynne Robinson (Shared favorites)


Also onLiveJournal, MySpace

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameBlake Fraina

LocationConnecticut, USA

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/blakefraina (profile)
/catalog/blakefraina (library)

Member sinceJan 31, 2007

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I hope you love Buckaroo Bonzai! It's a surprisingly great read, and very different from the movie!
Hi Blake!
Fancy meeting you as well. Um ... have we met? On some other site maybe where you go by a different name and I'm being very dense? Regardless, I'm happy to say hi!
Best review of Room yet. Thank you for your keen insights. -- Jenny :o)
That would be awesome! Thank you very much in advance.

Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton
Librarian, Q Center Library

Q Center
4115 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, Oregon 97217
Thanks for your posting offering our PFLAG-ColumbiaHoCo a gratis copy of your book "King of Cats".
The reviews on Amazon are good, and it actually sounds very interesting.
Yes, we would appreciate having a copy of your book.
Thanks for the offer.
Is this in electronic format ?
If it's paper version, the best address to which to mail it is:

June Horner
PFLAG Columbia-Howard County Chapter
5710 French Avenue
Sykesville, MD 21784-9011

Thanks for the offer. Will look forward to reading it.

June Horner
Chapter Librarian

We have been swamped at this end, with working on the comic, my writing and other duties and responsibilities. I will get M to sit down and write his promised review this week. How is your website revamp coming along?

Thank you for the comment on my review of Housekeeping. I know what you mean about doing it justice. I almost didn't click "Save Review" because I felt the review was still too weak for such a novel. We are reading it this month at You are more than welcome to join the discussion there.
How are the website changes coming along? My partner-in-comic-crime finished your book, and if you would like, he would be happy to whip up a review for you. His background is art history and his library is extensive, and encompasses five languages. He actually reads more than I do, at this point. Let me know, and I will have him type up a review for you.
By chance, although I do not believe in accidents, I visited my author page today, and discovered your review of my book. I am very pleased that you enjoyed my writing, and my friend who created the graphics for each story agrees with you, regarding 'The Aroma of Coffee.' He, too, had wished for a longer story, with more detail about the boys. I have been considering expanding on it by creating a separate novel around their story, after I finish the three works in progress. I rather liked the lads, myself, and would not mind revisiting their experience.

Of the next three books, one is for young gays who want to read gay romance novels, with little sexual detail - think Barbara Cartland (Not For The Moon), another is about a young boy as he grows up away from family and the terror that led him to a life that many would not imagine for a boy growing up in his teen years, and is very graphic, sexually (An Atheist in a Foxhole), and the third is a book about the question: what if there was a 'brother' to Jesus Christ that came today, to impart the 'word of God?' What would happen as a result of his visit, and is he truly a son of God, or is this label attached to him because of circumstances beyond his control? (The Other Lamb). Although the boy is very attractive, it is not a story about gay life, nor does it include sexual scenes. To get an idea of how he is to be portrayed, you can check out the cover and excerpts on my site:

Again, I thank you for taking the time to share your experience of my writing, and I especially appreciate the candor with which you expressed yourself. Merci!

Yes Gay's The Word is Marchmont St near Russell Sq - and still going strong. Silver Moon, the lesbian bookshop, went bust years ago, but it was in a highrent area on Charing X Rd.

Hoarding is good :) ..I so regret losing some of the things that went in housemoves.

about 40 Ways to Sunday.. I think I read it first in Cambridge in the 90s, off my then flatmate's shelves. God knows where he got it or got wind of it. We both worked in a bookshop but small niche publishers from the States weren't washing around the shops locally. I daresay a daytrip to Gays the Word in London was the source; I used to pick up lesbian titles on special trips to London, from Silver Moon (which has since gone bust) And I got own copy 2nd hand but can't recall if it was online or in realtime.

Have you lost track of your copy? Am trying to clear my shelves recently (all those sent to oxfam tags on my list) so if it's one you itch to replace on your shelves I could post it to you. There are a couple of things I used to have years ago that I wish to god I still had in my keeping, so, y'know, it would feel nicely karmic to be able to help if your copy is only a memory.
Because of another untimely surgery, and a desire to get back in trim again, I am forsaking meat and dairy (well, that new report on white cheeses may have me keeping that morsel in my diet) and making the base of my diet more veg and fruit, and since your library seems to have some depth in this area, I am seeking some suggestions for cookbooks. I am looking for simple, easy to prepare meals that don't taste like the upper level of the hayloft. English text would be best, and something I can get from or would be great, since I don't think I will find many Eng cookbooks in France or Germany. Any suggestions would be helpful. Merci.

Best wishes for a great new year,

Your book, King of Cats, is the featured title of the day on our FB page. Check it out and become a fan.

Thanks again for sending it to us.

Hi Blake,

Your book arrived at the GLCC of Pittsburgh this week. Thanks so much for sending it to us.

Hi Blake,

Thank you so much for donating a copy of your book to the GLCC Library in Pittsburgh. We'll be on the lookout for it and add it to the collection as soon as it arrives. If you are on FaceBook become a fan of the library. When we get the book added to LT we'll make it a cover of the day.

Thanks again for your support of our library.

No worries. Everyone seems to be swamped, this year. I sent it airmail and it should be to you within a matter of days. Enjoy.

I held back your book, awaiting instructions regarding an inscription, but then decided to take the liberty of signing it, so, it left in the post today. I look forward to your feedback.

Thank you for taking a chance on my book, and I do hope you will enjoy my writing even more than that which has already piqued your interest. I have it ready to go and if you like I will inscribe it for you, before I ship it out.


Hi Blake,

I finally got my review up for King of Cats (both here on LibraryThing and on my blog). Sorry it took me so long! I enjoyed the book and found it very compelling and rather intense. Thank you again for participating in the Member Giveaway program; I hope it has been working out well for you. Are you still working on Mephitisme?

Blake, what a wonderful and persuasive review of "The Unit"! Ninni Holmqvist was previously unknown to me, and I'm now adding this fascinating sounding book to my wish list.

Hello, just to let you know I took up one of your recommendations from the Gay Fiction post and I'm reading The Easy Way Out by Stephen McCauley at the moment, so cheers for the recommendation. James
Anyone with Buckaroo Banzai in their library is alright with me! Cheers, Allan
You're welcome! It was a great book! XD
I have no problem with the subject matter in your book "King of Cats". I also look forward to reading it!

*Have a Fantastic Day!*
I have no problem in reading your book, "King of Cats"=-looking forward to reading it!!
Thanks, Kristin Fierman
Dr. Dimwit has figured out how to post a review at Amazon, duh, and has done so at last.

I really feel like, some days, my IQ is in the double digits. *sigh*

Now hurry up and give us another book!

I just received the notice that I should expect King of Cats in the mail. Thanks for participating in the Member Giveaway; I'm looking forward to reading the book. Cheers, and Happy Reading!
Hi Blake, guess what I got? It's at the top of Mt. TBR.

Thanks and cheers!

Hi Blake! I got a copy of "Tim and Pete" yesterday and read it until 4a. Your review of it made me get it in the first place, so it's no surprise that I liked it and further no surprise that I agree with you about the secondary characters lacking a spark of vitality that, from an author who can invest his leads with such stark reality, I would have taken as a given.

Thanks for turning me on to it.

Hello Blake,

I agree about Mike Kaspar's novel needing a good, wide audience. I hope you'll be word-of-mouthing it...and don't forget to ask your public library to get a copy. They are pretty responsive to such, at least out here in the sticks of Long Island.

I see we share one of my favorite oddball books: Light Metres by Felicia Lamport. "The quahog cried "Damme!"
Because of the whammy
Imposed on that chamois-soft clam..."

I've found something new to chortle over in that book since the darn thing came out!

I know - I'm desperately waiting for her to write something else, it's been years!!!

And I love the look of your 5 linked novellas - will have to peek back for sure.


Thanks for the accept, Blake - lovely to meet another author who writes in the same type of genre as me! And I loved McCann's and McCrea's novels - they're amazing.


I'll take a look at "A Push and a Shove" I prefer happy endings, but they aren't required. It just depends on my expectations going in. If it's a romance, I expect it. Otherwise, I just want it to be an appropriate ending. Hopefully the creative buzz will sting you again. If not, KoC is not a bad way to close a writing streak! Have a nice weekend!
Hi Blake!

just checking to see if you were working on another book. King of Cats was very well done, and the world can always use more good books!

Hi back. :) To be honest though, I wasn't that impressed by Wicked Gentlmen. I mean ... I liked it. I liked it quite a bit. It was pretty and readable and touching, and I'd give it a 4.5/5, but it felt kind of ... distant, detached. So it never really drew me in. The books that I truly love, like Brethren and Matelots and The God Eaters and Almost Like Being In Love and Temeraire and The Dresden Files and Covenants, I want to go on and on and on without ever ending, and when they do end I feel all lost and sad and like I still need more more more and I don't want it to be over dammit! Wicked Gentlemen left me feeling content and satisfied. Which is a good thing, obviously; just not the best? ^_^; It's funny, but I think my mom actually liked it more than I did. :S
I have to agree after looking at the reviews on Amazon that many missed the reason for the book's structure. The last novella would not have been so intense if not for coming last. And, what we learn about people sometimes forces us to reevaluate our opinion of them, as I think happens here. It was well done, and thanks again!
Hey Blake. Good to hear from you.
You commented that we share some of the more obscure gay stuff.
Yeh, right; I was really surprised when I started cataloging to find that I have more gay stuff than English lit. Didn't expect that, don't know what conclusion to draw ... maybe level of interest/enthusiasm ?
Of the other obscure gay stuff on my shelves you might like to check out and keep an eye open for:
"Pulp friction"
"Min ven Thomas"
(Danish young men discovering themselves - learn Danish or find a translation)
Kingdome 19 stuff (pretty heavy, but I like it)
"Min bror och hans bror"
(Swedish young men discovering themselves - learn Swedish or find a translation)
"The art of George Quaintance" (if you're interested in slightly fetish-oriented graphics; not nearly as explicit as Tom of Finland)
Locker room nudes
I think Brethren and Matelots by WA Hoffman are my favorite M/M relationships. Mainly because it is just such a powerful story beyond the two men. I also enjoyed Details of the Hunt by Laura Baumbach very much. Very explicit with a wonderful science fiction/futuristic tale. And I've recently had a new book recommended to me that sounds great, Wicked Gentlemen, which I immediately ordered.
Just saw that you have a book in print...I'm going to check it out.
Do you like erotic romance M/M (lots of sex!) or books that just feature M/M relationships? I like both...
Thanks! Yes we are an LGBT library - I'm the summer intern and I'm cataloging the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center's entire lending library. It's kind of a daunting task, and it really hasn't left me a lot of free time to explore other people's libraries, but one of the cool things about is that you can at least see how many other people share the same book when you enter it. Well it's back to work for me, I hope to get a chance to check out your library sometime! -Jeneil
As it was given to me for free because, I think, I paid too much money for the Lovecraft, it sat around unread for about a year and a half. It does come off as a tad overreaching, the work of someone trying a little too hard for an effect he doesn't get. Reminds me of a book I read years ago called "Gothique" by a guy named Kyle Marffin. He just seemed to be writing for a certain crowd, and put everything in there he could to appeal to them. Although, in general, most of the Goths I grew up around were actually pretty discerning about what they read.
I noticed that you have one Patrick McGrath in your library-Asylum. I love him; highly recommend anything else by him, especially Spider. (Just don't see the movie first if you haven't already)
You mentioned Jonathan Carroll; I just read Bones of the Moon; Land of Laughs is next. I get good feedback on Marriage of Sticks as well. Let me know if there's one in particular you find the best of the lot.
One other quick thing--I went to your MySpace page, but it's very faded...Is this supposed to be?

Off to work,
Hi Blake

First off, your library is very impressive.
I checked you out because you have "A Very Fast Descent Into Hell" by Simon Drax. You're the only other person I've ever encountered who has ever even heard of it, much less owns it. How did you come across it? Mine was given to me years ago at a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book expo in NYC when I bought an Arkham Press Lovecraft collection. It's just the last book I would have thought would have a "One and Only" statistic attached to it...
I too read the book many years ago (sometime in college-- I'd guess 1994) so while I remember enjoying the book, and binging on all of the Rebecca Brown I could find at the time-- I really can't remember any specifics at all.

You know, I'm not sure if I've read any of Rebecca Brown's work since around that time. I really should go back to her. Any recommendations of more recent books of hers (from the past decade)?
Hello - yes, I have read The Children's Crusade, but unfortunately such a long time ago (1990 - which was when I bought it) that I can't remember anything about it. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
Thanks for commenting about Carroll and Richard Bowes. I do indeed know of Minions of the Moon...I have a copy but haven't yet even finished my mass market paperback entries, nevermind trade paper and hardcover. If you haven't read it, he also has an unusual novel out from Golden Gryphon entitled From the Files of the Time Rangers....good stuff. On the non-GLBT side, you may also enjoy Sean Stewart if you like Carroll, and perhaps Lisa Goldstein as well.

- Rob
I first read Glove Puppet when it was published. I read it again about a year ago. This has to be one of my favorite books. I would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys GLBT fiction. Glove Puppet is not fluff.
Hi. I've started Glove Puppet once, but didn't get too far. I don't know if that's a reflection on Drinnan or on my sometimes too-short attention span. I love Mel Keegan's stuff: the best are Death's Head and Equinox, with Fortunes of War right up there. Good trashy stuff, very entertaining.
I'm having a good time browsing yours, also. Just wait until I get to my Beat section, the Dennis Cooper, and the versions of Alice--then we'll be passing for each other!

i've read god in flight numerous times. i really enjoyed it but it can get melodramatic.

as for the dog, he belonged to my family. but unfortunately, he passed away last month. (sorry to leave this on a sad note.)

hello! your book collection is AMAZING.
hi Blake and welcome to LibraryThing! i'm all about sharing the lurve and i'm glad you could make it over here.

yep, the user pic is my "baby" when she was a pup. she's 10 now, but i still love that picture. one of these days i might get around to changing it but... dang. that's one of the few photos i've taken that ended up looking half-ways decent.
Hi Blake

Welcome from one of your Amazon friends!

It is good to see you on Librarything, I shall look through your listed books with interest. I'm pleased to see that you have tagged your books too; I have discovered a number of enjoyable and worthwhile books from such tags. Any chance you might in time be adding reviews, or at least rating the books that you have read?

Best wishes
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