Top 15 LGBT+ Books

a gentleness that comes,
not from the absence of violence,
but despite the abundance of it
– Richard Siken, from Crush

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In honor of Pride month and the recent horrific Orlando shooting, where a gunman opened fire in a gay club and killed at least 50 and injured 50+ people, I’ve compiled a list of the very best LGBTQ+ books I’ve read. I remember the first time I held hands with a girl walking down a public street. It was late at night, and I never thought it would be so frightening, but it was. I felt an honest, bone-deep fear. I was afraid someone would say something, do something, try to hurt us or yell slurs. I couldn’t even enjoy the fact that I was walking there with a lovely, beautiful girl. I wish the world was a safer place than it is, but one of the ways to ensure it’s made safe for future generations is through understanding. And what better way to understand another human being than through art? What better way to show how different and yet alike we are? What better way to tell beautiful stories about love, hope and life?

So here, in no particular order, are the fifteen best LGBTQ+ books I’ve ever read, and of course I recommend every single one of them. I promise you’ll find something among these that you’ll love:

  1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe  by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  3. Crush by Richard Siken
  4. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
  5. At Swim, Two Boys by Jaime O’Neill
  6. Carol by Patricia Highsmith
  7. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  8. The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox
  9. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
  10. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
  11. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  12. Honey Girl by Lisa Freeman
  13. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
  14. Salvation Army – Abdellah Taïa
  15. Emma, Emma – Ida Holmegaard

    And a secret 16th one:
  16. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin (because it questions gender in such a beautiful way – talk about being genderfluid!)

These books span so many genres, and present so many captivating realities. And most of them are perfect summer reading too. Do you have any good recommendations not on the list? Or a LGBTQ+ book you’re dying to read?

Personally I plan on reading Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda this summer, and I’d love to read more books with bisexual and asexual characters. A book I didn’t include is The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, because honestly everyone’s pretty straight, but it did include the very first openly bisexual character I’ve encountered in literature. The word bisexual was actually used.

I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments or on twitter/instagram etc., nothing like stories to be reminded the world is full of light if you look in the right places.

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5 thoughts on “Top 15 LGBT+ Books

  1. Det er virkelig en god liste, du har skrevet – jeg er selv meget berørt af tragedien, og det er sådan en fin måde at ære ofrene på. Jeg kan også anbefale “Girl Meets Boy” af Ali Smith, som er virkelig tankevækkende.

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    1. Tusind tak 🙂 Jeg synes simpelthen det var så forfærdeligt, og det her gav mening som en måde at mindes dem på. Ali Smith har været på min læseliste i lang tid, så den vil jeg helt sikkert se på!

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      1. Det er nemlig så forfærdeligt – jeg har følt mig så magtesløs de sidste par dage, men skrev også selv et par ord om det. “Girl Meets Boy” kan i hvert fald virkelig anbefales, jeg var rigtig glad for den. 🙂

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