It is impossible to make a list of the best queer books. These 40 are merely a drop in the vast ocean of queer stories. These are books that have challenged me, comforted me, broken my heart, and pieced it back together.
They have opened me up to new worlds of queer experience and reflected my own particular queerness back to me. This is primarily a list of the best queer books from the past few years. These books reflect a wide range of queer stories.
The authors and characters here are of different races, religions, sexualities, genders, ages, abilities, classes, nationalities. But this list is in no way exhaustive or inclusive of every queer experience. No list—even a list of the very best queer books—will ever contain the wild diversity of queer experiences.
These books represent the truths, told through fiction and nonfiction, of forty queer writers. Read these 40, and then go read 40 more, and 40 more after that. Disowned by her parents, and bearing the scars of the political upheaval of the Philippines in the s, she finds an unexpected home in the tight-knight immigrant community.
In this epic fantasy set in an Africa-inspired world, a man renowned for his sense of smell sets out to track a lost boy. Tracker encounters betrayal as well as surprising moments of intimacy as he navigates living as a queer person in a sexist, violent, and homophobic world. This is a dense, meandering book, but one that it is worth every word. Living under a repressive dictatorship in s Uruguay, a group of gay women find freedom in an isolated seaside town, where they build their own queer family.
The novel follows these women throughout their lives, as they deal with the fear of living under a violent and homophobic government, and revel in the love they find with each other. In this gorgeously imagined novella, based on a song by clipping.
When Yetu, a young woman who carries memories for her people, flees to the surface, she uncovers truths about herself and her history.
When her girlfriend dumps her, Maria, a trans woman living in New York City, impulsively decides to drive cross-country. In an unforgettable, bitterly funny, and no-nonsense voice, she tells the story of this transformative road trip. The language so incandescent that reading it sometimes feels like looking directly into the sun. Epic in scope, this stunning book is an unflinching upheaval of the conventional narratives of how mothers, daughters, and queer women are expected to behave.
This novel tells the story of Jess Goldberg, who comes out as a butch lesbian in the pre-Stonewall era and sets out on a journey of gender discovery. It celebrates the beauty and complexity of trans lives without glossing over the trauma created by a transphobic society. Wallace is a black gay grad student living in a small Midwestern city. Moss has been suffering from panic attacks ever since his father was murdered by police.
He and his friends decide to fight back. But this book is not escapist fun: Danny has an abusive father, her best friend suddenly thinks he has a right to make passes at her, and she faces transphobia at every turn, including from her fellow superheroes. He finds himself drawn to Jackson, the boy Griffin was dating when he died. A lot of complicated feelings ensue. Silvera handles the serious subject matter with tenderness and depth.
The characters feel utterly real, constantly surprising both themselves and the reader. Juliet is a year-old Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx. But instead of answers, she finds a lot more questions. This funny, warm story is an ode to being open and curious, and to all the different ways that young people discover their queerness and themselves.
When Ben comes out as nonbinary, their parents kick them out of the house, forcing them to move in with their estranged sister. Starting over at a new school, Ben finds new community, new family, and a new sense of self. This is a beautiful love story between two black teenage girls with distinct and unforgettable voices.Below are gorgeous graphic memoirs, epic fantasy tales, twisty thrillers, swoony romances, exceptional essay collections, and more!
They deal with feelings, internet dating, bad decisions, and more. Read about how this book is queer, hilarious, familiar, and perfect in Autostraddle review. In this thriller, year-old Madison is a freshly minted bisexual journalist dying for a huge scoop. Read about how Bury the Lede reshapes the modern thriller in the Autostraddle review.
Shraya turns her real life experience with internet hate mail into a moving, complex memoir about being a trans women online and art as resistance.
The girl Freddy is dating, Laura Dean, is cute, charming, confident, and popular. The problem is: Laura is kind of a terrible girlfriend. Stunning art and authentic words combine to tell us a story about a teen over and over falling into an unhealthy relationship.
While on the run in West Texas, Bea runs into Lou. Soon they are joined by a mysterious cat, being chased by scary men, and journeying into a dreamily changing landscape. As they move forward, Bea and Lou also share stories of heartbreak, loss, and horrifying sexual assault.
In addition to falling in love, Tam and Nova also have to battle emerging evil forces who want to steal the magic from wolves. Read about how Molly thought Mostly Dead Things was dark, funny, and mess in the review on Autostraddle here.
Patsy is finally able to leave Jamaica for the US, where she wants to leave poverty behind and reunite with her oldest friend and former young love Cecily. But her evangelical mother and 5-year-old daughter interrupt their plans.
As she explores her new lesbian life, Julia starts dating Sam. What starts out as liberating soon turns dark. In this story at once funny, sad, smart, and charming, a queer trans woman writes love letters full of grief and desire to her straight trans friend who has passed away. Interspersed with the love letters are fan fiction-esque encyclopedia entries about a fictional TV show set on an island.
In Uruguay amidst a fascist military government, five lesbians find each other and claim an uninhabited island as a sanctuary.Alex Stern only got her spot at Yale because of an ability to see ghosts called Grays. This novel follows two high school teens who forge a connection during senior year, despite running in different social circles. They continue to be inexplicably drawn to each other at Trinity College Dublin, despite their new surroundings.
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Reclusive Janina is a passionate astrologer and advocate for animals, happy to keep to her quiet life until her neighbor turns up dead and things take a strange turn in her community. But who would listen to an eccentric older woman? A genre-defying novel, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is part investigative thriller and part fairytale, with biting social critique and a wicked sense of humor.
As Jess Pryde pointed out on When In RomanceWaite takes world-building seriously despite writing in a setting many readers will presume to know. The result is the emotionally rich story of Lucy and Catherine finding each other tied to their story of finding a larger community of marginalized scientists and artists. Little Dog is writing a letter to his mother, though she cannot read. In it, he recounts the often heartbreaking trauma and hardships his family has experienced, from the war in Vietnam to being immigrants in a mostly white city, as well as his own personal conflicts.
As a queer teen of color, it is difficult for Little Dog to find love in his town.
The language in this book is pure poetry, and Vuong uses it to form a thousand little necessary gut-punches. Life is ugly and hard and painful and wondrous. How lucky we are to have a book such as this to remind us. The way it handles the aftermath of coming out and nonbinary identity feels so thoughtful and real, perhaps because it comes from a nonbinary author.
Although it deals with heavy topics such as emotional abuse and anxiety, it also explores the freedom that comes from being loved unconditionally and as your authentic self. Interspersed throughout is a story about a mountain lion. The narrator, an Ohio baker and mother of four, thinks about books, movies, pies, gun control, Trump, climate change, her children, her social anxieties, the everyday objects that fill her life, and so much more.
She is funny, reflective, worried, angry, and above all endlessly entertaining. When you read this book, you can feel the love of culture and food within its pages. More importantly, you can see how entangled food, culture, and family can become. This book was my favorite summer read, hands down, by far.
40 of the Best Queer Books
First of all, the cover grabbed me.Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound happiness, he considers undergoing a revolutionary memory-altering procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. Classic queer young adult novels are something of a more recent phenomenon. Although I can read the tenderness of the boys in The Outsiders through a queer lens, S.
Hinton would have a problem with that interpretation. Before young adult was even a viable publishing category, the history of queer literature was under attack from people determined to erase the existence of queer narratives. In recent years, there has been a lot of movement for queer YA narratives in publishing. Although it feels like large strides have been made in the world of queer young adult fiction, it is still an incredibly small sector of the publishing world writ large.
There are still book burnings and bannings and general no-fun types screaming at teens exploring their sexualities.
The latest books are more likely to speak to the teens consuming them. This list of classics is far from conclusive, but I tried to pull from historical queer novels as well as recent ones that have made a big splash. There are so many books that have come out in the past 20 or 30 years that speak to a queer experience that had yet to be represented.
Originally published inthis novel is the first to explore a relationship between teenage boys so explicitly. Davy is a year-old and, since the death of his grandmother, now must navigate an impossible relationship with his mother. He meets and falls for another boy, Altschuler. In a not entirely shocking turn of events, their relationship is left to the imagination—most likely written by Donovan in this way to avoid total and complete annihilation of the book.
Published inthis is the earliest young adult book with a main character who was a queer girl of color. After moving from the West Indies to Harlem with her family, the titular character Ruby struggles to adapt to a very unfamiliar world, missing the comfort of the sun and feeling alone.
She also deals with her burgeoning attraction to her sophisticated friend Daphne. Banned, publicly burned in Kansas City in the s, and also declared one of the most influential books of the 20th century, Annie on My Mind has caused controversy since its release in The book, instead of condemning homosexuality, allows the two protagonists, Liza and Annie, a happy ending.So far, it looks like is off to a similarly strong start: This year will see a slew of new memoirs from the likes of Daniel M.
Lavery and Cameron Esposito, debut novels from a disparate variety of millennial voices, and queer subversions of genres long considered staid four words: neo-Western about resistance librarians.
People say all women turn into their mothers sooner or later. Best known for his work founding, running, and writing for the much-missed website The Toast, Daniel M. Lavery has shown himself to have a knack for shrewd literary analysis. He brings that skill to bear in his new memoir, interweaving his own story of gender transition with his uniquely sharp brand of cultural criticism. The Fire Never Goes Out sees Stevenson chronicling her experiences wrestling with faith, ambition, and love with a kind of revelatory intimacy.
Looking for a more aggressively raucous personal account of reconciling faith with sexuality? Acclaimed comic Cameron Esposito is your source.
Bazaar Bride. United States. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Lavery as Daniel Mallory Ortberg. Atria Books amazon. Grand Central Publishing amazon. Out June 2. Out June 9. Keely Weiss Keely Weiss is a writer and filmmaker. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano. More From Celebrating Pride.Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender.
Originally meaning "strange" or "peculiar", queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the lateth century. Beginning in the lates, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert a politicized identity distinct from the gay political identity.
Book Riot's 40 of the Best Queer Books
Queer identitites may be adopted by those who reject traditional gender identities and seek a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternati Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. Queer identitites may be adopted by those who reject traditional gender identities and seek a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to the label LGBT.
New Releases Tagged "Queer". More new releases tagged "queer" Most Read This Week. More most read this week Queer Books. Related Genres. Growing up, my nose was constantly stuck in a book. Growing up as a lesbian, I was told over and over and over by the lack of gayness in said books that I did not exist. That I was invisible. Why are we telling our kids this? She recognised many of the same faces from the last time she'd been single, and the thought that she was close to running out of lesbians in London depressed her greatly.
Groups Tagged "Queer". The Lit Show. If you're able to return the favor, please do! Worlds Beyond the Margins. About us: We are a friendly and chatty group with monthly reads and an annual book challenge. Request to Join Info: a We love new members but only accept those with active public profiles.
We also have a sister group, Women of the Future, which focuses on adult Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction written by womxn authors. Swallow the sun 1 chapters — updated Jul 14, AM — 0 people liked it. Tags contributing to this page include: queer, queer-stuff, queerinterest, queerness, and queers. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.I tend to pick up comics in very specific situations. Sometimes I need a reset during a reading slump, and have discovered that the comics medium is the perfect thing to get my mind moving in a different way.
Or maybe I just see something I want to read and read it immediately.
It varies. This has been a rough reading year for a lot of us. While many people have managed to read way more than usual because of an extended amount of free time, many others have lost their reading mojo.
But what I have always managed to finish, whether reading a single volume or a bit of a series, have been comics. Soft, lovely, queer comics.
Okay, mostly soft. But always lovely. The title was definitely catching, and I love a good marriage of convenience story, especially between two people of similar genders. But feelings are feelings, and they eventually make themselves known. This book.
This absolutely heartbreaking, soul crushing book. I mean, not actually. It has a happy ending. But the whole thing was just. My heart. When one person thinks the best way for the other to be happy is for them not to be together? But it was also super sweet and angsty and beautifully drawn.
CW for internalized homophobia, emotionally abusive parents, sex on the page, undiagnosed depression? When Himari sees Yori sing with her band during the opening ceremony for school, she is immediately in love. Okay, confession time. I apparently bought the first volume of Fence in Two thousand and eighteen.
Nicholas is a fencer with promise. Always Human is a gorgeous, quiet book about a relationship. Sunati notices her precisely for the fact that she looks the same every day, and she finally gets the courage to approach her about it. From there, things just flow in a very normal courtship, including dates, misunderstandings, and All The Feelings. This book is all about a girl and her relationship with the sea. Told in gentle colors and a lot of silence, Aquicorn Cove introduces us to Lana and the fantasy sea creatures, the aquicorns.
When you take the boy who just wants to perform with his band and the new boy who works at his family bakery and put them together, you never know what might happen. Ari still has to work at the bakery in the meantime, and Hector loves it like he was part of the family, so they spend a lot of time together as Hector learns the ins and outs of the bakery.
The blue tones of the art are wildly soothing, even when the story is fraught, and the balance is perfect for readers looking for a quiet story of first love. Maia Kobabe is a master memoirist, and while there is some trouble and trauma, this still fits as a quiet, lovely book. CW for gender disphoria and euphoria; traumatic experience getting a pap smear; misgendering; casual homophobic and transphobic language checked and unchecked.
If you want to talk about the most joyful two volumes of panels to ever land on a page or screen, Check, Please! A coming-of-age story and a story of love, friendship, and baking, it hits all the buttons somebody might need to have a really good time.