LGBTQ Books For Every Reader

Recently there has been a big movement amongst the book community to diversify our reading lists. There are lots of people making more impressive efforts than I including the wonderful But I figured there may be some people out there looking for some good book recommendations from HerCampus and I am here to help. LGBTQ literature is often put in its own special category. This sometimes throws people off and makes them unsure whether it is the genre for them. Have no fear I am here to tell you that no matter what kind of reader you are there is a LGBTQ book for you.

Realistic FictionThis is where you will find most LGBTQ books.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David LevithanYes everyone John Green, your favorite YA darling, has written a book with a LGBTQ main character! But I should give you a warning this book is not The Fault In Our Stars. It’s a very different story written earlier in his career and also is co-written by David Levithan. The novel is about two boys named Will Grayson, each Will is written by one of the authors in alternating chapters. It’s a funny and wonderful novel with one of the best passages about sex in any young adult novel.

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCourIf you read a lot of LGBTQ books you are probably accustomed to them being generally sad affairs that hardly ever end anywhere that could even be considered happy. These sorts of books are important and meaningful but reading too many at a time may make you a little depressed. Lucky for you I have the perfect cure! Everything Leads To You is an adorable fluffy lesbian romance set against the backdrop of independent movie-making in LA. It’s a quick read that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzThe beautifully written story about two boys coming of age and becoming friends won the Stonewall Book Award for LGBT fiction, the Pura Belpré Narrative Medal for Latino fiction, the American Book Award and the Michael L. Printz Award honor for Young Adult fiction as well as other awards. I would highly recommend this novel to just about any reader.

Just about anything by David LevithanOkay this isn’t completely accurate. David Levithan has written books about heterosexual couples but the vast majority of his works are about LGBTQ couples. A couple of his greatest hits include: Boy Meets Boy, Two Boys Kissing. I think it’s pretty obvious what these two novels are about. Really, if you see anything by David Levithan in your bookstore you should check it out.

Historical NovelsOkay so this category goes hand in hand with realistic fiction. Though these books unlike those featured above were written a while ago. They also were important pieces of literature for the Gay/Queer/LGBTQ movement.

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie FeinburgStone Butch Blues is one of, if not, the most impactful and important pieces of literature I have ever read. The book is about a butch lesbian in living in the Stonewall Era. It’s a fantastic look at gender and gender roles during the early days of the modern LGBTQ movement. It is an essential read for anyone who cares for this movement. This book is a bit hard to find but if you need help drop me a line at [email protected] (Also I want to include trigger warnings for police violence and rape).

Well Of Loneliness by Radclyffe HallThis is THE lesbian novel. If you are take a LGBTQ literature class this will absolutely be on your reading list. You can probably tell by the title it is a bit of a downer about a lesbian at the turn of the century.

Giovanni’s Room by James BaldwinThis is one of the most beautifully written book I have ever read. Set in Paris in the 1950s, Giovanni’s Room is about the queer experience of an American expatriate.

Fantasy Novels

Ash and Huntress by Malinda LoAll I have to say about Ash is QUEER CINDERELLA. Huntress is set in the same universe as Ash in the distant past. Both are excellently written with compelling queer female romances and complex fantasy worlds.

Everyday by David LevithanOkay so this isn’t fantasy in the same way that the other two are but there are fantastical elements to the story. The book is about a genderless character named A who wakes up in a different body everyday. The problem comes when they fall in love. This exploration of gender and love is fresh and completely unparalleled.

Graphic NovelsPerhaps you are not one for prose-have no fear there is still a LGBTQ book for you!

Fun Home, Are You My Mother, and Dykes To Watch Out For by Alison BechdelFun Home is a graphic memoir about Bechdel’s relationship with her father. You have probably at least heard of this book especially given that the musical version is slated to open on Broadway next month. Are You My Mother is a follow-up to Fun Home about Bechdel’s relationship with her mother. I would not recommend reading this without having first read Fun Home. Dykes to Watch Out For is a comic strip Bechdel wrote from the mid-80s until 2008. It is funny and honest portrayal of lesbian life. This comic is the where the famous Bechdel test originated.