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Diverse Books

The Best LGBTQIA+ Books to Read Right Now

The books on this list will broaden your perspective and fill your shelves.

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle

best lgbtq books

Every June, there is increased visibility on LGBTQIA+ life, culture, history, creators, and authors.  Reading books by LGBTQ authors and books with queer characters should be something we strive to do all year long, and Pride Month is a great time to add some LGBTQ books to your bookshelves.  This list is only a jumping-off point to help broaden your perspective and your reading list.  There is a lot of variety here, classic and contemporary, and I hope you will find and enjoy a new book or two!

The Best LGBTQIA+ Books to Read Right Now

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Next up is James Baldwin’s captivating novel, Giovanni’s Room.  Set in 1950s Paris, this personal favorite explores the complex themes of identity, love, and societal expectations through the eyes of David, a young American man torn between his love for a man named Giovanni and the societal norms that condemn homosexuality.  Baldwin’s prose is vivid and transportive, delving deep into the psyche of his characters and exposing their vulnerabilities and fears with great depth and sensitivity.

You can get a copy of Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin on Amazon or Bookshop.

Read and learn more about Giovanni’s Room: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin: A Literary Masterpiece.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Real Life follows Wallace, a black, queer, introverted young man from Alabama pursuing a biochem degree in a Midwestern university town. Struggling with his past and maintaining a cautious distance from friends, Wallace’s life is upended over a late-summer weekend by confrontations and an unexpected encounter, revealing hidden hostilities and desires. The novel explores whether we can truly overcome our personal wounds and at what cost.

You can get a copy of Real Life by Brandon Taylor on Amazon or Bookshop.

Burn the Place by Iliana Regan

Burn the Place by Iliana Regan

A memoir that chronicles one chef’s journey from foraging on her family’s Midwestern farm to running her own Michelin-starred restaurant and finding her place in the world.

You can get a copy of Burn the Place by Iliana Regan on Amazon or Bookshop.

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change.

You can get a copy of Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde on Amazon or Bookshop.

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she’s not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer–what’s sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet’s coming out crashes and burns, she’s not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.

You can get a copy of Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera on Amazon or Bookshop.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

When first published in 1899, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was criticized for immorality and faded into obscurity, damaging her reputation. Now celebrated as a significant work of early feminist literature, it portrays Edna Pontellier’s tragic quest for personal and erotic freedom. Penguin Classics introduces a new hardcover series, Penguin Vitae, offering timeless American classics that inspire and engage readers.

You can get a copy of The Awakening by Kate Chopin on Amazon or Bookshop.

Here For It by Eric Thomas

Here For It by Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas narrates his journey of feeling different in various environments, from his suburban high school to his conservative church and Ivy League college. Through a series of humorous and heartfelt essays, he explores themes of identity, code-switching, and reconciling his Christian faith with his sexuality. Thomas shares experiences like accidentally becoming internet famous and covering the 2016 election for Elle. Ultimately, he questions the worth of the future and finds answers by redefining “normal” and embracing self-acceptance. His book Here for It resonates with anyone who has felt marginalized or struggled with self-acceptance.

You can get a copy of Here For It by Eric Thomas on Amazon or Bookshop.

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

It is a coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself within his family, within his country, and within his own hopes, desires, and fears.

You can get a copy of Good Material by Dolly Alderton on Amazon or Bookshop.

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

Jess Wong is deeply in love with her best friend, Angie Redmond, who is oblivious to Jess’s feelings. Jess is content being unnoticed until Angie falls for Margot Adams, revealing a world of secrets and cruelty. As Angie gets closer to Margot, Jess fears the dark consequences. In the end, Angie will need Jess more than ever. A Line in the Dark explores themes of love, loyalty, and murder.

You can get a copy of A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo on Amazon or Bookshop.

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafet

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafet

A debut novel that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman navigating her cultural, religious, and sexual identities. The story told through vignettes spanning the U.S. and the Middle East, traces her journey from a shamed adolescent to a DJ and aspiring writer. Struggling with love addiction, she explores her desires and internal traumas, ultimately seeking healing in an unconventional treatment center. The novel delves into her quest for love and a sense of belonging.

You can get a copy of You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafet on Amazon or Bookshop.

The Tradition by Jericho Brown

The Tradition by Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown’s The Tradition explores the normalization of evil through a blend of personal and historical lenses. The collection addresses themes of safety, national identity, and freedom while celebrating survival amidst adversity. Brown’s mastery is evident in his innovative duplex form and his deeply human poetic concerns, making this a powerful and necessary work.

You can get a copy of The Tradition by Jericho Brown on Amazon or Bookshop.

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Simone Garcia-Hampton, an HIV-positive teen, starts fresh at a new school, making friends and falling for a guy named Miles. As their relationship deepens, she’s afraid to reveal her HIV status. When she receives an anonymous threat to expose her secret, Simone must decide whether to protect her privacy or confront prejudice and fear directly.

You can get a copy of Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett on Amazon or Bookshop.

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

A novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyer Ava.

You can get a copy of Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan on Amazon or Bookshop.

Sissy by Jacob Tobia

Sissy by Jacob Tobia

A deeply personal story of trauma and healing, a powerful reflection on gender and self-acceptance, and a hilarious guidebook for wearing tacky clip-on earrings in today’s world, Sissy guarantees you’ll never think about gender–both other people’s and your own–the same way again.

You can get a copy of Sissy by Jacob Tobia on Amazon or Bookshop.

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

André Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera.

You can get a copy of Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman on Amazon or Bookshop.

What do you think about the LGBTQ books on this list?

Have you read any books from this list?  What are your favorite LGBTQ books and authors? What books with queer characters at the center are your favorite?  What books would you add to the list? Let’s talk about the best LGBTQ books more in the comments below.

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The Best LGBTQ Books to Read Right Now

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