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Best LGBTQ+ Books to Read During Pride and Beyond

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
Every year, the American Library Association's Rainbow Round Table honors books "for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience" with the Stonewall Book Awards.There is therapeutic power in these great books that explore the LGBTQ experience, offering comfort and relief to readers who historically did not see themselves represented in literature.Independent scholar T. J. West highlighted how the Stonewall Book Award-winner “Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller explored the gay relationship at the heart of a famous myth. They wrote:

“For me, what really made this an emotionally wrenching (yet satisfying) experience is the way that Miller manages to capture the visceral and intense nature of same-sex desire between men. Even now, when queer representation is better than it has been in ages past, there is something uniquely powerful about reading a book that really seems to get it.” 

The digital publishing revolution has helped more LGBTQ authors share more stories, according to an essay at the Los Angeles Review of Books. Thanks to publishing boom and authors like Miller, a new generation of LGBTQ readers can find themselves on the bookshelf.From brilliant social justice books to unforgettable thrillers to critically acclaimed poetry, LGBTQ authors have made a mark in every category of literature. To celebrate Pride Month, discover more great books by LGBTQ authors on Fable!

20 LGBTQ+ Books to Read

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder digital book - Fable

Milk Fed

By Melissa Broder

Rachel is a young, lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. Miriam, is a zaftig Orthodox Jewish woman who is intent upon feeding her. As they grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey.

Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie digital book - Fable

Ophelia After All

By Racquel Marie

Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi digital book - Fable

The Final Strife

By Saara El-Arifi

In a world with its roots in the mythology of Africa and Arabia, an empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, setting the stage for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart digital book - Fable

The Bone Shard Daughter

By Andrea Stewart

A stunning tale of magic, mystery, and revolution in which the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her power and her place on the throne.

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen digital book - Fable

She Drives Me Crazy

By Kelly Quindlen

But when an opportunity arises for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex—and climb her school’s social ladder—she bribes her nemesis, Irene, into an elaborate fake-dating scheme that threatens to reveal some very real feelings.

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong digital book - Fable

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

By Ocean Vuong

A letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. The letter unearths a family’s history that began before Little Dog, the narrator, was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam and leads to an unforgettable revelation.

She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick digital book - Fable

She Gets the Girl

By Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick

Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But as the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer digital book - Fable

Less

By Andrew Sean Greer

A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" (The New York Times Book Review).

Felix Ever After  by Kacen Callender digital book - Fable

Felix Ever After

By Kacen Callender

Felix Love has never been in love. He secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

Cemetery Boys  by Aiden Thomas digital book - Fable

Cemetery Boys

By Aiden Thomas

A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas's New York Times-bestselling paranormal YA debut.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker digital book - Fable

The Color Purple

By Alice Walker

In an attempt to transcend a life that's often too much to bear, Celie writes letters to God. She records a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug, who challenges her to fight for independence.

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde digital book - Fable

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.

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus digital book - Fable

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

By Junauda PetrusFable Club Pick

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman digital book - Fable

Radio Silence

By Alice Oseman

Frances has always had one goal: elite university. Nothing will stand in her way. Not friends, not a guilty secret—not even the person she is on the inside. But when Frances meets the genius behind her favorite podcast, she finds a new freedom.

The Song of Achilles  by Madeline Miller digital book - Fable

The Song of Achilles

By Madeline Miller

A thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War.

This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves digital book - Fable

This Is Why They Hate Us

By Aaron H. Aceves

This summer romp is Netflix’s 'Never Have I Ever' meets 'What If It’s Us' about a high school senior determined to get over his unrequited feelings for his best friend by getting under someone else.

All Boys Aren’t Blue  by George M. Johnson digital book - Fable

All Boys Aren’t Blue

By George M. Johnson

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson digital book - Fable

A Dowry of Blood

By S.T. Gibson

Constanta begins to unravel her husband's dark secrets. With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, she will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death.

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant digital book - Fable

Into the Drowning Deep

By Mira Grant

Years ago the Atargatis was lost at sea. Now a new crew has been assembled. Some seek to validate their life's work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. But for the young scientist Victoria, this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Ace by Angela Chen digital book - Fable

Ace

By Angela Chen

An engaging exploration of what it means to be asexual in a world that’s obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.

Book recommendations featuring LGBTQ authors

We regularly share Fable Folios— exceptional books handpicked by tastemakers, experts, acclaimed authors, world-class athletes, and industry titans.This month, a few of these creative collections will introduce you to great stories written by LGBTQ authors, ranging from classic novels to heartbreaking love stories. Each curator offers you a unique and inspiring reading journey.

Let’s Talk About Love

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria MachadoIrish novelist Naoise Dolan, best known for her breakout novel “Exciting Times,” put together a list of love gone horribly wrong. On this list is “In the Dream House” about a lesbian relationship that turned shockingly abusive.

LeVar Burton Book Recommendations

Go Tell It Mountain by James BaldwinActor and director LeVar Burton recommended “Go Tell It on the Mountain” by prominent queer author and activist James Baldwin. The book follows 14-year-old John as he finds his identity and reconsiders his religion and sexuality in 1950’s Harlem.

Diverse YA Book Club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda LoThis Fable book club is hosted by Selene Valez, known as @moongirlsreads on TikTok. Selene included “Last Night at the Telegraph Club” on her curated list of book recommendations. The story tells of a young Asian American girl living in the time of the Red Scare while simultaneously exploring her queer identity.

Books by LGBTQ Authors in Every Genre: A List of Lists!

To help you find more books to read, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite lists of LGBTQ authors in different genres. Share links to your favorite lists on social media and we’ll add them to our list of lists!Sci-Fi: 15 of the Best LGBTQ Science Fiction BooksCrime fiction: 10 LGBTQ Crime Fiction Must-ReadsThrillers: Amazon Best Sellers: Best LGBTQ+ Mysteries and ThrillersRomance: 16 Queer Love Stories To Read This Pride MonthHorror: 7 LGBTQ+ Horror Authors to Read During Pride Month and BeyondHistorical fiction: 28 Fabulous Works of Queer Historical Fiction for Pride MonthFantasy: 24 Queer Fantasy Books That Should Be On Your RadarYoung Adult: Must-Read LGBT YA Fantasy Novels Short stories: Six queer short stories you should read right now Memoirs: 10 LGBTQ memoirs to read for National Memoir Writing MonthSocial justice: LGBT Social Issues Books10 of the Best Queer Romance Novels About Social JusticeChildren: The best selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, YA, and educators: LGBTQ+ Early Childhood: Learning about Gender IdentityPoetry: LGBTQ Poetry and Literature

Celebrating pride all year round

Fable is a social reading platform for book clubs. Our community members enjoy the many benefits of reading while making deeper human connections with other readers. Even after Pride Month, we'll keep celebrating the work of LGBTQ authors all year long. One place to start is the work of poet, critic, and transgender activist Stephanie Burt, who curated a Fable Folio with poetry book recommendations called Being Alive Right Now!

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