Hello, friends! Welcome to my first ever blog in “Let’s Talk About Books!”, we will be talking about books relating to a specific topic. This month, we will be talking about Pride Books. In honor of our friends who are included in the LGBTQIA+ community, with the help of my dear bookish friends, we have collected book titles that has a queer main character or talks about being queer. This book guide can help us (yes, including me) who haven’t tried reading many Pride Books and would like to broaden their knowledge about the topic.
Here are some words that you might need to know (or aren’t yet familiar with) before you start reading this blog:
LGBTQQIP2SAA stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit (2S), androgynous and asexual
Queer is a word that describes sexual and gender identities other than straight and cisgender. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people may all identify with the word queer.
Cisgender means your experienced gender aligns with the gender you were assigned at birth.
Transgender means your experienced gender is different than the one you were assigned at birth.
Non-Binary means your experienced gender doesn’t align with either traditionally assigned gender, only lines up with one of them sometimes, or aligns with both and more. The terms genderqueer and agender can have similar but more nuanced associations.
Gender nonconforming is broader than nonbinary, your gender expression doesn’t correspond to the gender you were assigned at birth. You may still identify as a woman, but you may dress only in men’s clothes, for example, or you may present in a way that doesn’t align with society’s idea of male or female.
Agender means you experience no attachment to any gender
Misgender is the act of misgendering someone is the act of deliberately or accidentally referring to someone by the wrong gender assignation.
Two Spirit is a Native American identity in which one person contains female and male spirits within them.
Gender Dysphoria is the feeling of your appearance or outside perception of yourself not matching your gender identity. This can be treated through transition, but trans people could experience this in different ways for their whole lives.
Without further ado, here’s our 19 Books to Read for Pride Month!
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
“Fun, light and quick read!”Recommended by: Light (IG: withlovelight)
Genres: Novel, Young adult fiction, Fantasy Fiction, High fantasy, Urban fantasy
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
2. Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
“The story, told in verse, follows a gay biracial teen, Michael Angeli, who navigates this world full of joy, heartbreaks, and disappointments and who is on his journey to be unapologetically gay fabulous, doing poetry and drag. It’s such a great book that tackles SO MUCH but is executed perfectly. It sends a powerful message to never let anyone dictate who and how you should be and to surround yourself with supportive people with who you can spread your fluffy wings and fly.”Recommended by: Pam (Twitter: @pamshenanigans)
Genres: Bildungsroman, Domestic Fiction
A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.
3. Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide, Volume 1 by Mone Sarai
This manga features a soft shy gay guy, Asahi, who worries a lot and wants everything organized, and a happy-go-lucky bisexual, Mitsuki, who adores Asahi unapologetically! It follows the beginning of their journey around the world so the manga chapters are divided into trips: their journey to Thailand, India, and Georgia. It also features one of my favorite tropes ever: oh-no-there’s-only-one-bed!! If you’re looking for a manga that has A M A Z I N G art style and explores amazing culture around the world and a very wholesome-yet-chaotic gay relationship, I highly HIGHLY recommend this!!Recommended by: Pam (Twitter: @pamshenanigans)
Genres: Graphic Novel, Yaoi
Super serious Asahi Suzumura and laidback, easygoing Mitsuki Sayama might seem like an odd couple, but they made a deal; they’ll vacation around the world and when they get back to Japan, they’ll get married.
As they travel from country to country, the different people, cultures and cuisine they encounter begin to bring them closer together. After all they’re not just learning about the world, but about themselves too.
4. A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
It is a fantastic nonfiction book from Beacon Press that discusses the influence queer people have had on the U.S. as well as the effect U.S. culture has had on queer people. Bronski knows how to write without sounding academic, which makes it easier to read, and Richie Chevat has written an adaptation of the book, “A Queer History of the United States for Young People”Recommended by: Taylor (Instagram: @taylor.reads.a.lot)
Genres: Nonfiction, History, LGBT, Historical, Young Adult
Queer history didn’t start with Stonewall. This book explores how LGBTQ people have always been a part of our national identity, contributing to the country and culture for over 400 years.
It is crucial for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth to know their history. But this history is not easy to find since it’s rarely taught in schools or commemorated in other ways. A Queer History of the United States for Young People corrects this and demonstrates that LGBTQ people have long been vital to shaping our understanding of what America is today.
Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers, of all identities, to feel pride at the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future.
5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins-Reid
It’s an amazing read. I cried so hard when I finished this book. I would recommend it to anyone, even to non-readers. There is a reason why it’s so popular, especially in the sapphic community. I have friends that read it that don’t even read and they absolutely loved it.Recommended by: Hermione (Instagram and Twitter: hermionespointofview)
Genres: Novel, Romance Novel, Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
6. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
It’s a retelling of the story of Achilles from Patroclus perspective with MLM representation, it already sounds so interesting. It’s such a a fast read, I read it in one night. It made me want to read more Greek mythology books because it’s so interesting.Recommended by: Hermione (Instagram and Twitter: hermionespointofview)
Genres: Novel, Romance Novel, Historical Fiction, War Story
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.
7. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
I haven’t really read this but I want to. I read an excerpt online and it got me hooked. I wish I have this book so that I would read it right now. I heard a lot of good things about this book and I can’t wait to read it.Recommended by: Hermione (Instagram and Twitter: hermionespointofview)
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Bildungsroman
Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.
America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.
8. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
It basically features a lot of things I love reading in my fantasy novels – amazing world-building, engaging characters, intense plots and twists, and of course the abundance of dragons. The inclusion of diverse characters was a very sweet cherry on top of it all. It also made my top 2020 favorites list wink winkRecommended by: Angele (Instagram and Twitter: adominiquereads)
Badass lesbiansRecommended by: Klauds (Instagram: bookbosomedklauds, Twitter: bookbosomedkg)
Genres: Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Science Fiction
A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
9. Burning Roses by S.L. Huang
This novella is a very quick yet wonderful story featuring fairy tale retellings that aren’t typically showcased in other books, but it’s so full of themes on love and family. I really want more people to read this!Recommended by: Angele (Instagram and Twitter: adominiquereads)
Genres: Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Fairy tale
When Rosa (aka Red Riding Hood) and Hou Yi the Archer join forces to stop the deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside, their quest will take the two women, now blessed and burdened with the hindsight of middle age, into a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality.
10. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Trans character dealing with acceptance, love, friendship, and bullying.Recommended by: Klauds (Instagram: bookbosomedklauds, Twitter: bookbosomedkg)
Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Romance
Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.
When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….
But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.
Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.
11. The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
Gay teenagers navigating through family issues, trauma (slight warning on r*pe, but nothing too graphic), supportive friend groups, and found familyRecommended by: Klauds (Instagram: bookbosomedklauds, Twitter: bookbosomedkg)
Genres: LGBT, Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn’t want to think about, ever.
Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His “wives” and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won’t like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he’s the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.
Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what’s considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.
Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they’re willing to risk — to get the thing they want the most.
12. The Binding by Bridget Collins
The Binding is beautifully written in a world where magic exists but the same old prejudices remain. It’s surprising, engaging and heartbreaking. Quickly became one of my favourites.Recommended by: Morrigan (Instagram and Twitter: Busyinthefizzy)
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBT, Romance
Books are dangerous things in Collins’s alternate universe, a place vaguely reminiscent of 19th-century England. It’s a world in which people visit book binders to rid themselves of painful or treacherous memories. Once their stories have been told and are bound between the pages of a book, the slate is wiped clean and their memories lose the power to hurt or haunt them.
After having suffered some sort of mental collapse and no longer able to keep up with his farm chores, Emmett Farmer is sent to the workshop of one such binder to live and work as her apprentice. Leaving behind home and family, Emmett slowly regains his health while learning the binding trade. He is forbidden to enter the locked room where books are stored, so he spends many months marbling end pages, tooling leather book covers, and gilding edges. But his curiosity is piqued by the people who come and go from the inner sanctum, and the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay, with whom he senses a connection, changes everything.
13. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
It’s a great exploration of coming of age and discovering your sexuality, tol in a darkly funny tone and in the graphic novel format.Recommended by: Morrigan (Instagram and Twitter: Busyinthefizzy)
Genres: Graphic Novel, Memoir, Nonfiction, LGBT
In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.
Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
14. Dorian, an Imitation by Will Self
This book is a retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray in the setting of the aids pandemic. It’s well written, compelling and brings back to mind the story of the generation the LGBTQ+ community lost to AIDS and discrimination.Recommended by: Morrigan (Instagram and Twitter: Busyinthefizzy)
Genres: Fiction, LGBT, Contemporary, British Literature
Will Self’s DORIAN is a “shameless imitation” of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that reimagines the novel in the milieu of London’s early-80s art scene, which for liberated homosexuals were a golden era of sex, drugs and decadence before the AIDS epidemic struck later in the decade. It is “an age in which appearances matter more and more and more. Only the shallowest of people won’t judge by them.
15. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Gay and bi representation in a universe with a government we can only dream of at this point, amazing and hilarious friend groups and support systems, lowkey found famRecommended by: Klauds (Instagram: bookbosomedklauds, Twitter: bookbosomedkg)
Enemies to lovers but make it gay and political. It’s a fun read and you can’t help but get pulled into the drama. The romance scenes are EVERYTHING!!Recommended by: Brody (Instagram: Brrody)
Genres: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary, Young Adult
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
16. Heartstopper Vol. 1-4 by Alice Oseman
Gay, bi, trans, lesbian rep, really cute art style, really cute story, talks about family and mental health, amazing friends 💕Recommended by: Klauds (Instagram: bookbosomedklauds, Twitter: bookbosomedkg)
Genres: Graphic Novels, Romance, LGBT, Young Adult, Contemporary
Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?
Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner.
Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t.
But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself.
In this volume we’ll see the Heartstopper gang go on a school trip to Paris! Not only are Nick and Charlie navigating a new city, but also telling more people about their relationship AND learning more about the challenges each other are facing in private…
Meanwhile Tao and Elle will face their feelings for each other, Tara and Darcy share more about their relationship origin story, and the teachers supervising the trip seem… rather close.
I think I’m in love with Charlie. This summer with him and our friend has been amazing, and I want to say ‘I love you’, but… I guess I’ve had other things to worry about lately…
17. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Memoir of a queer BIPOCRecommended by: Klauds (Instagram: bookbosomedklauds, Twitter: bookbosomedkg)
Genres: Nonfiction, LGBT, Memoir
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.
18. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
It’s not very often when you find a book where a bisexual boy falls in love with another boy who happens to be a Mormon in a writing club. This book is so cute and hurts my heart, but it’s a must read for Pride month.Recommended by: Brody (Instagram: Brrody)
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult, Romance
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
19. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
It’s a great coming of age book about identity and slowly falling in love with your best friend. It’s fun and reminds of the summertime and I fell in love with both of the characters and their flaws. One of my favorite LGBTQ+ books of all time.Recommended by: Brody (Instagram: Brrody)
Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Romance
A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship–the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
I hope this blog would help you be more aware of how or what our friends in the LGBT community are experiencing. A lot of people are still discriminating and hurting them which is wrong. They are human too, they get hurt, they have fun, and they fall in love just like everyone else.
Thank you to my bookish friends who came through with the book recommendations, and thank you! Yes, you! Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog. Remember to always be kind to others, specially to yourself.