20 favorite LGBTQ+ novels and memoirs

Pick up these favorite LGBTQ+ novels and memoirs during Pride month and all year long.

June is Pride Month, a time to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising that took place in 1969, a key moment in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and a time to celebrate and recognize LGBTQ+ communities.

In honor of Pride Month I’ve curated this list of my personal favorite books from a variety of genres that center or highlight the LGBTQ+ experience.

We don’t spend a lot of time talking about the importance of fiction around here; we take it for granted. It’s the air we breathe. But today, let me stop and say: Good books matter for a zillion reasons, including reading’s inherent power to influence hearts and impact lives. The lives, stories, and voices that grace our pages matter. To see yourself in the pages of a book matters. To read about and educate yourself on the experiences of others that are totally unlike your own matters.

There are so many more books I could have shared here, so please fill up the comments section with your own favorites! I can’t wait to see what you’ve read and loved.

Favorite LGBTQ+ Adult Fiction

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Upright Women Wanted

Upright Women Wanted

Author:
A reading friend passed this my way, describing it as a tale of "outlaw librarian lesbian spies." This genre-bending novella is a little bit fantasy, a little bit dystopia, with a neo-Western vibe. It starts with a woman on the run, fleeing a bad marriage and the law after her partner was hanged for possessing Unapproved Materials that were not government-sanctioned. She takes shelter with a band of traveling librarians—and quickly discovers that these librarians are insurrectionists against the state. I loved how constantly surprising this book was. Gailey made me laugh on every page, even as their characters shoot up gangsters in their quest to dismantle the patriarchy and right society's wrongs. This was my first Sarah Gailey book; I've enjoyed working my way through most of their back catalog after getting hooked on this story! More info →
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Boyfriend Material

Boyfriend Material

Author:
If you enjoy the "fake dating" trope and British humor, this charming romance novel is for you. (I particularly enjoyed it on audio, as narrated by Joe Jameson). As the son of big time rockstars, Luc O'Donnell is reluctantly famous-by-association. Known as a "bad boy" in the press, Luc has seen his fair share of trouble—but he's put that lifestyle behind him. Now that his estranged father is making a big musical comeback, Luc is back in the media and needs to clean up his image in order to maintain his career. Enter Oliver, a straight-laced, super responsible (and handsome) barrister, vegetarian, and good guy. Seemingly polar opposites of each other, Luc and Oliver start fake dating...and if you've ever watched a rom-com, you can guess what happens from there. Full of heart, humor, and endearing side characters, this closed door romantic comedy is completely swoon-worthy. More info →
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A Psalm for the Wild-Built

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Author:
With her knack for combining quirky characters with surprising science fiction plots, Chambers helps us step outside the “real world” to examine modern society with fresh eyes. In the first installment of her next series, a nonbinary tea monk dedicates their life to comforting humans in times of need, until they meet a robot friend with an important question. Endearing and delightful, this novella isn’t just for sci-fi lovers. In fact, Chambers dedicates it to “anybody who could use a break.” This one's made the rounds in our WSIRN team—about half of us have listened to the audiobook, narrated by Emmett Grosland. More info →
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Under The Udala Trees

Under The Udala Trees

This compelling read has emotional angst and solid writing. Ijeoma is an 11 year old Igbo girl whose father dies just as the Nigerian Civil War gets underway. She’s sent off to be a servant for a family where she meets Amina, an orphan girl from a different ethnic tribe. They become good friends and then something more. But Nigeria has strict laws against homosexuality and there’s no acceptance of their relationship. When Ijeoma’s religious mother finds out, she pressures her to marry a man and have children. What does it mean when your love needs to be a secret? That question drives the girls to make difficult decisions, as Ijeoma wrestles with societal expectations vs. being true to herself. More info →
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Let’s Talk About Love

Let’s Talk About Love

Author:
College student Alice is very much done with dating since her girlfriend broke up with her after Alice came out as asexual. She’s going to focus on having a fun summer, outside of working at the library. Then she meets Takumi at work one day and starts to wonder if maybe there could be something more between them. An enjoyable New Adult romance that explores acephobia and microaggressions with a refreshing, effervescent character you can’t help but root for. More info →
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Favorite LGBTQ+ YA Novels

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

From the author of Snow White retelling Girls Made of Snow and Glass, this brilliantly imagined sapphic fairy tale inspired by the Persian epic the Shahnameh features dangerous demons, a poisonous girl, and a kingdom in peril. The cursed princess Soraya has been living inside her family’s palace walls—touching no one—for eighteen years. As her twin brother’s wedding day approaches, the palace guards capture a demon who may be able to tell her how to break the curse and gain her freedom. But the answers she seeks plunge her into personal crisis and political intrigue, and Soraya is soon forced to question everything she thought she knew about herself—while facing choices that may endanger not just her own fate, but that of the entire kingdom. This enthralling fantasy with lyrical prose and incredible worldbuilding was a 2020 MMD Summer Reading Guide selection. More info →
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You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown

Author:
In this happy, poignant debut, Black closeted queer orchestra geek Liz Lighty stays out of the spotlight in her small Indiana town, embracing her wallflower status. She has a plan to escape the Midwest and become a doctor, and it all starts with attending her elite dream college. When her financial aid package falls short, Liz is devastated—until she remembers that her school offers a large scholarship for the prom king and queen each year. Reluctant to subject herself to extra attention but eager to win the prize money, Liz enters the competition for prom queen. The smart and funny new girl in school makes events leading up to prom more bearable, but Mack is also vying for the prom queen title. As Liz develops feelings for her, everything gets complicated. Johnson’s triumphant novel tackles serious issues while also delivering a sweet romance. More info →
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Like a Love Story

Like a Love Story

Author:
I enjoyed this book last year after MMD team member Leigh cited it as a favorite of 2020, saying it utterly wrecked her and might be her all-time favorite YA novel. Once I read it for myself, I could totally understand. Reza is Iranian, gay, deeply closeted, and newly arrived in NYC. He’s befriended by Judy, an aspiring fashion designer, and Art, a photographer who is out at school and proud of it. The story explores the ups and downs of a love triangle, friendship, and first love, against a backdrop of AIDS and activism in 1989. It doesn’t shy away from grief and loss of that era but also celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. If you grew up in the 80s, you’ll likely find it especially meaningful. More info →
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These Witches Don’t Burn

These Witches Don’t Burn

Author:
This was first recommended to me by a college student I love trading book recommendations with. Hannah is no ordinary high school junior living in Salem, Massachusetts; she’s an Elemental witch. Despite where she lives, her magic needs to stay a secret or she’ll lose her power. When Hannah begins to believe a terrifying Blood Witch is out to get her, her coven doesn’t believe her…but her ex-girlfriend Veronica does so they team up to investigate. Add a promising crush on a new girl, a fantastic best friend, and the right amount of mystery and you have one unputdownable witchy tale. More info →
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Perfect on Paper

Perfect on Paper

Author:
I blew through this YA story, another rec from Leigh. Darcy runs an anonymous relationship advice service through an abandoned school locker. No one knows she’s the one behind it, not even her best friend Brooke who Darcy has crushed on for years, even though Brooke is clearly interested in someone else. It seems some of the best advice givers don’t always know how to apply that advice to their own life. When Brougham figures out Darcy runs the locker, he blackmails her in exchange for her help in winning his ex-girlfriend back. She wants to keep her secrets, so she agrees, even though she cannot stand Brougham. Right? Darcy navigates bierasure and internalized biphobia along the way—it was wonderful to watch her accept her bisexuality regardless of who she dates. This has a great cast of supporting queer characters, including Darcy’s older sister who is trans, and it was so much fun to read! More info →
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Favorite LGBTQ+ Memoirs

Here for It: Or How to Save Your Soul in America

Here for It: Or How to Save Your Soul in America

Author:
If you love heartfelt, thoughtful memoirs that also make you laugh, then you must try this collection of essays by pop-culture critic R. Eric Thomas. Eric shares stories from childhood to adulthood, detailing his coming-of-age with bracing candor and hilarious honesty. He writes about discovering his identity as a gay man, feeling like an outsider, and finding his voice, all while injecting hilarious pop culture references, bits of wisdom, and his signature wit. While he relays plenty of difficult experiences, his tone is persistently hopeful. I highly recommend the audiobook version, narrated by the author, for full humorous effect. After enjoying this story I'm eager to read Thomas's YA debut novel Kings of B'More, which just came out on May 31. More info →
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Broken Horses: A Memoir

Broken Horses: A Memoir

Author:
I've long enjoyed Brandi Carlile's music but knew nothing about her personal life until I gobbled up this memoir. From a chaotic childhood to nearly dying from bacterial meningitis at age 5 to her pastor refusing to baptize her because she was an openly gay teen, Carlile’s honesty about her upbringing was breathtaking. Her life could have gone in so many directions but with the support of her small town, she retained her faith and found solace in music. She shares her musical influences, the inspiration behind her songs, and the highlights of her career, along with how she met her wife and started a family. Each chapter flows beautifully into a song—or more often, two. Audiophile alert: because Carlile draws heavily from her life experience when writing lyrics, the exceptional audiobook works beautifully: her stories leave you hungry to hear the music, which often captures the experience she just wrote about in prose. The last 90 minutes consists of all those songs together, as a bonus chapter. More info →
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Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood

Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood

Author:
This memoir by bisexual poet and activist June Jordan is told in a series of short and vivid vignettes, detailing her tumultuous upbringing in post-World War II Harlem and Brooklyn, the only child of immigrant parents from Jamaica and Panama. Her father desperately wanted a son and in many ways, he raised June as such. She captures her childhood voice and memories through rich details. I especially appreciated glimpsing Jordan's early love of words and rhyme, and the cadence of her storytelling, as she often juxtaposed difficult moments with snapshots capturing childhood delights, like her ardent love for orange juice. Her prose is exquisite. More info →
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Untamed

Untamed

Author:
Shortly before the release of her second memoir Love Warrior, which was supposed to explore marriage and healing within her own, Glennon Doyle announced she was lesbian and divorcing her husband. Untamed is her account of that divorce, navigating a new relationship with soccer star Abby Wambach, and forming a blended family. So many friends have read this as well, and I appreciate how the book has prompted many meaningful conversations. More info →
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Tomorrow Will Be Different

Tomorrow Will Be Different

Author:
This grabbed me from the first page: why had no one mentioned McBride is an incredible storyteller? This is her powerful and brilliantly written memoir about coming out as a trans woman in college, her activism around trans rights, and the heartbreak she experienced after her husband died of cancer a few days after they married. She takes readers behind the scenes of her entry into politics and her work at the Human Rights Campaign, including the passing of the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act of 2013 in Delaware. This is a great starting point for anyone wanting to better understand gender identity and the issues facing the trans community, or interested in getting a firsthand glimpse into the political sphere. More info →
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Favorite LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels and Graphic Memoirs

Spinning

Spinning

Author:
This superb graphic memoir about competitive figure skating is penned by my Scotland pal Tillie Walden. The story spans the ten years where figure skating was her entire life. Skating is not only what she did, it who she was. And it was her safe place. But then as life so often goes, she started exploring the world of art and met her first girlfriend and began to question the role skating—and its closed-minded community—had in her life. And how that changes everything. More info →
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Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride

Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride

Author:
You can’t go wrong when it comes to Lucy Knisley’s graphic memoirs. In this one, she pulls back the curtain on how she met and then married her now-husband John, including their three year break after they couldn’t come to an agreement about whether or not to have kids. Lucy doesn’t shy away from discussing the complexities of the relationship, including dealing with bierasure as a bisexual woman married to a man. She also wrestles with how to make their wedding their own, instead of conforming to the conservative standards of the wedding industry. It’s a fun, creative look at their special day. More info →
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Bingo Love

Bingo Love

Author:
This is a heartwarming, heartbreaking, laugh, cry, and clutch-the-book-to-your-chest-after-reading graphic novel. In 1963, Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray meet and fall in love as they come-of-age. But society rejects their love, and their families force them apart. Both women marry men and have families of their own, resulting in grandchildren and plenty of responsibilities. Decades later, both women are in their 60's when they unexpectedly meet at a Bingo hall. Their feelings for each other rush back, and the grandmothers take a risk for happiness and love. The illustrations are beautiful in this own voices queer love story. More info →
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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Thanks to team member Brenna for putting this on my radar. Freddy is a 17 year old lesbian Asian American who loves her girlfriend Laura Dean ... except for when she doesn’t. When things are good, they’re really, really good. But when things are bad, Freddy falls apart. Her friends are starting to lose patience with their on-again, off-again relationship and for that matter, so is she. But it's hard to break the cycle of an abusive relationship, and Freddy finds it impossible to resist when Laura keeps luring her back in. Luckily, Freddy has the help of an advice columnist and new friends, who help her figure out how to move forward. More info →
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Check, Please!

Check, Please!

Originally published as a webcomic, this delightful graphic memoir follows Eric Bittle, a freshman on a college hockey team. It’s a coming of age and coming out of the closet story where everything goes right. Eric’s a baker, vlogger, and figure skating champion who played co-ed hockey at his Georgia high school. The Samwell University hockey team is quite the level up. Eric is figuring out how to be an integral part of a team, while adjusting to the demands of college. The answer involves baking a whole lot of pie. He’s also figuring out what to make of his feelings for the enigmatic team captain Jack. The illustrations add a lot to the story, with hockey hijinks and pranks adding a comedic factor. More info →
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What are your favorite LGBTQ+ reads? Please tell us all about them in the comments section!

20 favorite LGBTQ+ novels and memoirs

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89 comments

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  1. Chris says:

    The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune would be a great addition to the fiction category. I recently finished Broken Horses on audiobook and agree that it’s fantastic in that format.

    • Donna says:

      An emphatic yes to House in the Cerulean Sea. The audio book narrator, Daniel Henning, is superb. Have listened to it twice and am sure I will revisit often. Such a warm hug of a book.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you for posting this! I was just about to comment that I couldn’t believe The House in the Cerulean Sea wasn’t on the list!

    • Colleen Bonilla says:

      I also strongly endorse The House in the Cerulean Sea. And I’ll add The Guncle by Steven Rowley. Two very sweet, touching, funny, and delightful books.

  2. Allison says:

    The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was fantastic. I loved how it explored not only sexual identity, but what role it can play in your life, especially as a woman. So many interesting explorations, and so many powerful and lovable characters.

  3. Alex says:

    A Dutiful Boy by Mohsin Zaidi is a brilliant memoir to add to this list. I loved it on audio as it’s read by the author. For fiction, my pic would be The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne which I’m sure I heard mentioned on the podcast a while back.

  4. Meghan says:

    The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai is one of my absolute favorites. A recent new love is, “The House on the Cerulean Sea.”

  5. The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune is one of my favorite books, period!

    Others I love:
    Red White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

    Heartstopper graphic novels

    All the Young Dudes fanfiction

  6. Mary Hawkins says:

    Canadian author Tom Ryan is a gay man who has written a number of exciting LGBTQ novels for the YA audience. As a senior, I have to say, I find his plots really grab my interest. At least one of the main characters is LGBTQ but that is not a big deal…just part of who the character is. So far I have read and loved Keep This To Yourself and I Hope You’re Listening.

  7. Nanette says:

    Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House is a fascinating memoir about an abusive lesbian relationship. It is a series of essays written in a very unique style. I’ve heard the audio (read by the author) is excellent – though I read it in print.

  8. Jess says:

    House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune were some of my favorite reads ever.

    Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston cannot be missed either!

  9. Christen says:

    I liked the Becky Chambers you mentioned. I think she does a good job in her other books also describing a variety of species with different sexual practices.

    Ursula Le Guin also did that in Left Hand of Darkness, where expressing only one gender was considered wrong (the whole race was gender fluid).

    I also like Ancillary Justice and Kaiju Preservation Society where at least some of the characters are deliberately not gendered and it is up to the reader to decide.

  10. Robin Dickman says:

    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is my absolute favorite. It’s an oldie but one of the best imo.

  11. Lori says:

    I just finished The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne which is “the story of the life of one man, told against the backdrop of twentieth century Ireland. It is simultaneously heart-breaking, funny and life-affirming.” It tells you of his life every 7 years and it chronicles the struggles of becoming who you are in a society that condemns you for being who you are. It’s a beautiful book.

    • Christa says:

      The Heart’s Invisible Furies is probably my favorite read this year. Such a beautiful, emotional story. I was coming here to recommend it too.

      Guncle was also lots of fun!

  12. Christy says:

    Great list of books, most of which are new to me! I don’t know if they count because they’re not about being LGBTQ, but their protagonists are: Under the Whispering Door and House by the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune are incredible – 5 stars both!

  13. Indiana Gigi says:

    Three memoirs that I absolutely loved fit this category beautifully. TV star Leslie Jordan’s “How Y’all Doing” was a delight on audiobook read in Jordan’s inimitable voice. I was not prepared for how poignant his memoir would be as Jordan is known for his comic acting. He grew up in a close knit southern Baptist family during a time when homosexuality was not accepted or discussed. I recently finished Gary Janetti’s memoir “Start Without Me”, and found it touching and hilarious. Janetti is now a famous writer and produce (Will and Grace, Family Guy), but grew up gay and closeted in the 1980’s as a lonely teenager in parochial school. There is a chapter detailing his friendship with an older neighbor woman who loved and accepted him in the midst of his crushing loneliness that absolutely wrecked me. Finally, I greatly enjoyed Andy Cohen’s memoir “Most Talkative”. Even if you aren’t a Bravo fan, there is much to love in Cohen’s journey growing up in St Louis to hitting the big time with the Real Housewives franchise. This book is also great on audio.

  14. I’m just finishing up Chasten Buttigieg’s memoir I Have Something to Tell You and it’s lovely. He’s adapting a version for younger readers which I think is a wonderful idea. I kept thinking while I read it that it would be great for kids to read in a “it gets better” kind of way.

  15. Janet says:

    I recently read The House in the Cerulean Sea on a hood friend’s recommendation. Really liked it, and I see lots of others feel the same!

    Also, This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel.

    Many interesting suggestions today, my library hold list will be growing…

    Thank you to the commenters who left suggestions for my post-op recuperation reading yesterday. I appreciate your kind words.

  16. Kathy says:

    Hi! I agree that it’s important to see yourself mirrored in books. To that end, could you make a list of fiction/memoirs where the main characters are born again Christians? Thanks!

    • CJ says:

      It’s interesting (not really because its pretty clear what sort of response you’re hoping to provoke) that you assume that none of the characters or authors are Christian. Leslie Jordan and Glennon Doyle talk a lot about their faith in both these memoirs and in many interviews. Many of the characters in the fiction list are Christian and that’s an integral part of the character.

  17. Caitlan C says:

    Thank you for this post and reminder about the importance of representation in fiction! I’d like to add The Guncle by Steven Rowley and Less by Andrew Sean Greer.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I agree with Red White and Royal Blue, and This is How it Always Is—loved both of these!

    Also the 100 Years of Lenni and Margot (Marianne Cronin). It was so amazing. A must read!

  19. Marty Zych says:

    LESS by Andrew Sean Greer.
    OUTLAWED by Anna North
    GUNCLE and THE EDITOR by Steve Rowley. (Both full of wit and compassion)

  20. Carnley Proud says:

    The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert

    The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

    Landing by by Emma Donoghue

    The Lottery’s Series by Emma Donoghue

    Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

    The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Alma Cuervo

  21. Lauren J says:

    I listened to Here For It on audio and it was outstanding! The author R. Eric Thomas reads it himself and he is so funny! He had me laughing out loud so many times.

  22. Michelle says:

    I was hoping you would have a middle grade section. I loved “The Flight of The Puffin” which is not totally based on an LGBTQIA storyline, but does include a character in this category. It was a beautiful book. I also recently read “Too Bright To See” which is a middle grade story with a character discovering he is transgender. I am also about 80% through a middle grade new release, “The Civil War of Amos Abernathy” which deals with topics such as racism as well as LGBTQIA. There is also George, about a transgender girl, which has recently been rereleased under the title Melissa. The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James was another middle grade novel that dealt in part with having feelings for your friend of the same sex.

    I also enjoyed the Heartstopper graphic novels and the duology, “What if it’s Us” and “Here’s to Us.”

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Conversations surrounding reading are often deepened by differing opinions, which I support. But I do delete comments that are hurtful to members of this community and won’t hesitate to do so, particularly if they are left by first-time commenters.

    • Stefanie says:

      Homophobia has no place on a post about books. To be honest, the homophobes need to read more to open their minds and dismantle the lies they have been taught.

  23. Kathryn says:

    Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniels (indigenous Canadian story with 2SLGBTQ protagonists)
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    The Guncle and The Editor by S Rowley also get hearty endorsements from me. Just moved House in the Cerulean Sea up my TBR list.

  24. Pam Price says:

    I just finished When you Call my Name by Tucker Shaw. A YA novel of queer love in NYC amid the raging AIDS epidemic in the late 80s, early 90s and how that it impacted the LBGQT community. A great read.

  25. Cliff says:

    What a great list! One set of novels that explores LGBTQ+ themes that rarely gets mentioned on lists like this is the Lilith’s Brood series (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago) by Octavia E. Butler. Butler often explores gender identity and sexuality in her works and Lilith’s Brood does this in a really interesting way by introducing an alien species (the Oankali) who have three genders (male, female, and ooloi). It’s a wonderful series that I can’t recommend enough.

    • Elisabeth says:

      I’ve been seriously slacking on my science fiction (and speculative fiction in general) reading! Butler has been on my list for years. Thank you for mentioning this series!

  26. Elisabeth says:

    I am obsessed with Casey McQuiston’s novels. Their newest release is YA called I Kissed Shara Wheeler and I devoured it in two nights. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall on this list was also the SWEETEST STORY. I swooned.

    I’ll admit that I absolutely hated Untamed; it was the most pretentious memoir I’ve ever read, and had a hard time finishing it. 🙁

  27. Beth says:

    In fiction:
    Alexandria Bellefleur’s Written in the Stars series
    Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
    TJ Klune’s Under the Whispering Door
    Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

    Some great nonfiction:
    Samantha Irby’s books
    A Wild and Precious Life by Edie Windsor
    Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

  28. Allison says:

    I’m glad to see Tomorrow Will Be Different, by Sarah McBride on this list. I highly recommend the audio version, where Sarah narrates. I learned so much from her story.

  29. Michelle Wilson says:

    The House of Impossible Beauties-Joseph Cassara, especially if you have any interest in ballroom culture.
    For NF, I think that And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic-Randy Shilts. It was originally published in 1987. It is difficult to remember how it was, back when HIV was first isolated. Equally interesting may be to contrast and compare pandemics-HIV and Covid. Covid was first isolated in late 2019 with a vaccine coming late 2020 while HIV was first discovered in 1981, no vaccine and effective treatment was not widely available until the early 2000s.

    • Carolyn Haun says:

      Psalm for the Wild Built was my favorite read last year. Absolutely beautiful! I discovered it through MMD and am grateful for that recommendation.

      Thanks for this wonderful list. I’m looking forward to diving in!

    • Stephanie says:

      And The Band Played On is such a powerful and well-written book. There are at least a couple of inaccuracies in terms of what we now know about how the AIDS virus started spreading in the US, but I’d still highly recommend it. It’s probably up there in the top 5 of nonfiction books that I’ve read.

  30. Janice Cunning says:

    I have read and enjoyed a few of these. Excited to add Let’s Talk About Love to my TBR. Always fun to discover a new author and I haven’t read anything by Claire Kann yet.

  31. Rachel says:

    The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels is wonderful! A story about a young man from rural Ohio dying of AIDS, it is heartbreaking but so well written and will definitely stay with you for a long time.

  32. Rhonda Lippert says:

    First, I have to say this was well said:

    “ Good books matter for a zillion reasons, including reading’s inherent power to influence hearts and impact lives. The lives, stories, and voices that grace our pages matter. To see yourself in the pages of a book matters. To read about and educate yourself on the experiences of others that are totally unlike your own matters.” Thank you!!

    Secondly, I have read a few of the books mentioned and have bought or requested from my library about 6-7 additional titles—both from Anne’s list and also recommendations from others.

  33. Wendy Barker says:

    Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family by Amanda Jette Knox is the author’s memoir of how her family transformed itself when both a parent and a child came out as transgender. It’s a remarkable insight into how love can conquer anything life throws at you.

  34. Michelle Wilson says:

    And I just remembered 2 more…
    After Francisco by Brian Malloy
    Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (This book is on my list of lifetime favorites)

  35. Pam Goen says:

    I don’t see Jeff Chu’s Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America on any of the posts yet. Part memoir, part investigation, it was written way back in 2013, and unfortunately, the title question is still asked to day by some Christians. Jeff writes thoughtfully and eloquently about himself and others who are gay and Christian in America.

    • Indiana says:

      Great suggestion! He was close friends with Rachel Held Evans who also addressed a lot of issues of the church and homophobia. I’ll have to look for his book, thanks!

  36. Pam Goen says:

    Oh! Another great title is On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
    by Ocean Vuong. It read like a memoir to me, but it’s fiction. Heartbreakingingly beautiful story of Little Dog, a Vietnamese American who tells the story of his life by writing letters to his illiterate mom.

  37. Christine says:

    So many great books here!
    I am reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters after I watched The Handmaiden that it was based upon. If you love lesbian historical fiction with twists and turns it’s a great one!

  38. Jennifer K says:

    I confess this a genre that I have only dabbled in, so don’t know how these stories compare to others that have been recommended, but I loved I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (a recommendation from an early WSIRN episode) and Far From the Tree by Robin Benway.

  39. *The Heart’s Invisible Furies – one of the most beautiful novels I have ever read.
    *Gunkle is a sweet summer read with some depth mixed with witty dialogue.
    *Red White and Royal Blue seemed to break into some new territory in Romance and is fun if you are into politics and/or want to imagine if the world went the other way in 2016… Currently reading *I kissed Shara Wheeler by the same author and is also a good queer affirming summer read. It’s kind of YA, but not classically so.

  40. Maryanne Trengove says:

    Really great list- some I’ve read and some I haven’t. I HIGHLY recommend The Miseducation of Cameron Post- truly one of the most beautiful and influential coming of age stories I’ve ever read- SO GOOD regardless of your sexual orientation. I also loved Wilder Girls by Rory Power – such a unique story and a very fast read- really good!

  41. Kathy says:

    A powerful book about the murder of the gay college student Matthew Sheperd is October Mourning by Leslea Newman. It’s a young adult book written in verse.

  42. Cara says:

    So many good books on this list and in the comments! One I didn’t see mentioned was ‘Darius the Great Is Not Okay’ and ‘Darius the Great Deserves Better’ by Adib Khorram (YA) – coming of age and coming to terms with his Iranian heritage (‘Fractional Persian’ as he calls it)

  43. Laura says:

    One of my personal favorites is When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perry! Also second the recommendation for The Miseducation of Cameron Post

  44. Rhonda Lippert says:

    The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is a new release I just bought. About a 65-year old man forced into retirement. After some soul searching, he decides to become the person he has always been and to find George, someone from his past who he has never stopped loving.

  45. Love this list, Anne, thank you! I would add:
    –anything by Jeanette Winterson (including her excellent memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal)
    –anything by Jackie Kay (poetry, short stories, and her novel, Trumpet)
    –In the Key of Us, a brand-new middle grade release by Mariama Lockington set at a musical summer camp!

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