Any time is a good time for a queer book, but especially Pride month. In June, we celebrate LGBTQ lives. Luckily for bookworms, a ton of great LGBTQ books have been published in the past few months.
These 10 recently released books are celebrations, examinations and contemplations of queer lives and include historical nonfiction, rom-coms and graphic memoirs.
1. We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation, by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown (Ten Speed Press, nonfiction)
What it’s about: This large and artful illustrated history of the Queer Liberation Movement comes from the creators of the Instagram account @lgbt_history. Hundreds of photographs and archival materials have been carefully curated to present a fresh view of queer history.
2. Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston (St. Martin’s Press, fiction)
What it’s about: Alex Claremont-Diaz is the handsome, single son of the American president, and he’s got a beef with Prince Henry across the pond. When the tabloids put a strain on U.S.-British relations, the countries stage damage control. But before long, their fake friendship starts to turn into something more.
3. Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister, by Anne Choma (Penguin, nonfiction)
What it’s about: The HBO series Gentleman Jack, set in 1832 England, is inspired by the real-life journals of Anne Lister, which documented her lesbian relationships in secret code. This series tie-in book, written by the show’s historical adviser, tells the story of this incredible, trailblazing woman in greater detail.
4. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong (Penguin Press, fiction)
What it’s about: The celebrated poet makes his fiction debut with a transcendent and gorgeously written autobiographical novel. Written as a letter from a son to his mother, Vuong has penned a coming-of-age story of a queer Vietnamese immigrant growing up and becoming sexually awakened in America.
5. The Stonewall Reader Paperback, edited by the New York Public Library (Penguin Classics, non-fiction)
What it’s about: June 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, one of the most significant events in the gay liberation movement. This anthology, drawing from the New York Public Library’s archives, chronicles the fight for LGBTQ rights in the 1960s and celebrates the activists who spearheaded it.
6. Naturally Tan, by Tan France (St. Martin’s Press, nonfiction)
What it’s about: Queer Eye star Tan France has already left a fashion legacy. But in his new memoir, France intends to leave another kind of legacy, offering insight into what it’s like for a queer Pakistani person of colour growing up in a small town in England.
7. Mostly Dead Things, by Kristen Arnett (Tin House Books, fiction)
What it’s about: Jessa walks into the family’s Florida taxidermy shop one day to find her dad dead by suicide. Tasked now with running the business, Jessa must navigate grief while coming to terms with the crazy family left behind (including a mother who poses the stuffed animals in … interesting sexual positions). It’s funny, dark, complex and queer, with a lesbian protagonist in love with her brother’s wife.
8. Mama’s Boy, by Dustin Lance Black (Knopf, nonfiction)
What it’s about: The LGBTQ advocate and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk pays tribute to his religious and politically conservative mother Anne in a memoir of an enduring mother-son bond that transcends the deepest ideological divides.
9. Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men’s Lives, by Walt Odets (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, nonfiction)
What it’s about: A clinical psychologist, Odets has long worked with and written about the lives of gay men and the psychological and social challenges they face in a hostile world. His latest book explores, through clinical analysis and moving personal stories, how trauma and stigmatization shape the lives of gay men.
10. Gender Queer, by Maia Kobabe (Lion Forge, nonfiction)
What it’s about: In this heartfelt graphic memoir, comics artist and writer Kobabe takes the reader on a personal journey of self-identity and relates the experience of growing up gender nonconforming. “I don’t want to be a girl. I don’t want to be a boy either. I just want to be myself.”