If you've ever wondered whether there are second acts in this country, Chris Colfer should clear it up for you. He's the Golden Globe and People's Choice Award-winning actor who played Kurt Hummell on the hit television show Glee. But he's also the author of more than a dozen books, most recently the best-selling series that began with A Tale of Magic... and he followed that up in September with A Tale of Witchcraft....
Actually, it's a little unfair to say Chris Colfer's writing career is a second act, as he published his first books while he was still starring in Glee. But Colfer's writing career has continued to steam along, and he just keeps writing best-seller after best-seller.
We asked him what he has read and loved this year. See his answers below.
The Bright Lands by John Fram
The Bright Lands is a thrilling, paranormal murder mystery but it’s also one of the most authentic depictions of oppressive small-town America that I have ever read. I don’t want to give anything away about the plot but the story unfolds like an addictive podcast and leaves you wanting more with every twist and turn. It’s one of very few novels that I’ve read in one sitting (partially because some of the chapters are so freaky I was too afraid to move).
The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris
I absolutely adore Kamala Harris and it was a real treat to learn more about her personal life, her career as a prosecutor, and her time as Attorney General of California. Her optimism is infectious and she has a unique gift for instilling hope without sugar coating the challenges we face. I’m constantly inspired by her courage and resilience and I can only imagine the impact she’s had on young women around the world, especially young women of color. Despite how overwhelmingly bleak the world seems at times, Kamala Harris is living proof that humanity is headed in the right direction. She is progress personified.
I never thought I’d see an openly gay man run for President in my lifetime, let alone someone as articulate, intelligent, and accomplished as Pete Buttigieg. The fact that he was so wholeheartedly embraced during the Democratic primary and then went on to win the Iowa Caucus forced me to broaden my own expectations of social progress. My respect for him only grew as I read about his experiences in the military and being the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. His devotion to public service is indisputable and his genuine desire to help people is very moving and, dare I say, refreshing. I’m thrilled that younger generations of the LGBTQ+ community have someone like Mayor Pete to look up to and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.
This is a staple in the gay community but I recently met some Gen Z-ers who weren’t familiar with it, so now I’d like to cement a recommendation in print. In The Velvet Rage, Alan Downs beautifully dissects the psychology of being a gay man in the modern world. He analyses the unfortunate anger, vulnerability, and self-hate that we often feel and shifts our perspective away from the shame and blame we’re conditioned to carry. You walk away from each chapter knowing a little more about yourself than you did before, and even if a subject doesn’t particularly resonate with you, you walk away knowing more about at least six of your friends.
What has the multi-talented actor and writer read and loved lately?