The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Patrick, or gay uncle Patrick for short (GUP for short), has always loved his niece Maisie and his nephew Grant. That said, he loves hanging out with them when they come to Palm Springs for week-long visits or when he goes to Connecticut on vacation. But when it comes to caring for and relationship with two children, no matter how lovable, Patrick is honestly overwhelmed.

When tragedy strikes, Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick suddenly takes on the role of primary guardian. Although Patrick has a number of “Guncle Rules” ready, he has no idea what to expect, since after losing his great love, a somewhat stalled acting career and an unsuitable lifestyle, he barely stuck to a six- and a nine year old. Patrick quickly realizes that parenting – even if it’s temporary – isn’t solved with goodies and jokes. It opens your eyes to a new sense of responsibility and the realization that sometimes you are even bigger than life if you are always human.

Reasons to read it: This is from the author of Lily and the Octopus. It’s supposed to be heartwarming and fun to read about a gay sitcom star whose life is turned upside down. It’s also about love, family, and patience. It feels like it’s a fantastic beach reading – or, as the cover suggests, a book to read by the pool!