HOW'S YOUR ROMANCE, by Ethan Mordden. This is the fourth book in what has become known as "The Buddies Cycle," a wonderful series about a family of gay men on the Upper East Side of New York. This is the perfect book for the end of the semester because it is amusing (but not frothy) and it evokes a whole world of people who do fun things constantly. I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival since early March, having checked "Free shipping" at Amazon for the first and last time. Do not ever do this, unless you are indecisive and like to change your order many times before it is shipped. By the time I checked a week ago, wondering if my books had been kited from the front step, it turned out the burro had not yet departed. I quickly agreed to pay whatever sum they required to get my books to Shoreline by the following day.
My favorite character is Cosgrove, who is the live-in of Bud, the Ethan character, and who often has to be calmed by having his hair combed. Bud is not *really* Ethan because it is fiction, a position I would support even more now than I would have a month ago. But I keep hoping that, were I to call Ethan, Cosgrove would answer the phone, and he would invite me to drop by for pretzels, which is one of his specialties. Which I have toyed with doing, since after I became a big fan of Mordden's, I discovered that he and I were in the same class in college. Oligarch being such an enormous university, however, I believe I only encountered him once, in the early 1980's, after we had graduated. It was at the tail end of a New Year's Eve party, when a large group of us had retired from a glitzy party thrown by the manager of the Metropolitan Opera Company, and gone to a vast apartment in the Dakota owned by parents of yet another friend. So I doubt that he remembers me, particularly since I would not have remembered him but for the fact that a mutual friend reminded me years later that we had been at the same place, at the same time.
Anyway, I recommend the whole series, particularly if you enjoy witty writing and/or are gay and living in a very unfashionable place. Think P.G. Wodehouse, but less silly, with no female characters, and a fair amount of discussion of male body parts. Clearly a must-read in case you were wondering what gay men talk about before going to the gym, at the gym, and after going to the gym.