Any time is a good time for a queer book, but Pride Month is an especially significant time to support queer authors.
In June, we celebrate LGBTQ lives and honor the brave hearts of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. Luckily for bookworms, a ton of great LGBTQ books have been published this year, with plenty still to come.
These 10 recently released or soon-to-be-released books are celebrations, excavations and contemplations of queerness and include meaty novels, charming YA, a thought-provoking essay collection, winning rom-coms, heartfelt memoirs and even a queer reimagining of "The Great Gatsby."
All books are currently on sale unless otherwise noted.
1. ‘With Teeth’
By Kristen Arnett (Riverhead, fiction)
From the author of “Mostly Dead Things” comes this queer, dysfunctional drama that plunges deeply into a family’s psychological dynamics. Sammie Lucas is increasingly scared of her son, whose unruly behavior turns into physical aggression she must confront. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “a novel that is not afraid to look at the underbelly of parenting, queer relationships, and middle age.”
2. ‘Broken Horses’
By Brandi Carlile (Crown, nonfiction)
The singer, songwriter and Grammy winner opens up in an intimate memoir, from her impoverished and dysfunctional childhood through the events that shaped her life and art. She describes coming out as gay at age 15 – prompted by Ellen DeGeneres' historic coming-out episode of "Ellen" in 1997 – and the intolerance she faced as a result. (Carlile's pastor refused to baptize her and she was kicked out of a band.) “The older people in my life accepted it so much more readily than even people my age,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY.
3. ‘Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir’
By Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead, nonfiction, on sale June 8)
The acclaimed author of “The Death of Vivek Oji” and “Freshwater” pens a singular memoir engaged in candid correspondence with friends, family and lovers. Emezi, born in Nigeria, identifies as ogbanje – an Igbo spirit born to a human mother – and made transformative decisions about their gender and body in navigating the human world. “Tribal spiritual beliefs meet contemporary literary acclaim in a powerful memoir,” says Kirkus Reviews.
4. ‘The Queer Bible’
Edited by Jack Guinness (Dey Street, nonfiction, on sale June 15)
An illustrated collection of essays from contemporary queer figures pays homage to queer heroes who paved the way. Singer and songwriter Elton John writes about drag icon Divine; comedian Mae Martin writes about actor Tim Curry; author Joseph Cassara writes about filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, plus many more.
5. ‘Films of Endearment: A Mother, a Son and the ’80s Films That Defined Us’
By Michael Koresky (Hanover Square Press, nonfiction)
Cinephile Koresky alighted on a clever personal project that formed this unique memoir's foundation: Over the course of months, he and his film-loving mother would revisit an '80s movie together, one for each year of the decade in which Koresky was an impressionable gay child who did not yet know it. The result is a tender ode to a loving mother-son relationship.
6. ‘Little and Often’
By Trent Preszler (William Morrow, nonfiction)
Estranged from his father since college, when he revealed he was gay, Preszler had left behind his hardscrabble South Dakota cattle-ranch upbringing for a prominent winery on Long Island’s North Fork. Reconciliation was hopeless. Until his father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Preszler's one inheritance was his dad’s toolbox, with which the grieving Preszler set out to build a canoe. A ★★★★ (out of four) review for USA TODAY calls it "a profound father-and-son odyssey."
7. ‘The Guncle’
By Steven Rowley (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, fiction)
From the bestselling author of “Lily and the Octopus” and “The Editor” comes the story of Gay Uncle Patrick, a once-famous sitcom star who’s tasked with caring for his young niece and nephew for the summer when family tragedy strikes. His Palm Springs lifestyle isn’t exactly suited for young children, but his heart is open to the task. “A novel with some real depth beneath all its witty froth,” says Kirkus Reviews.
8. ‘Playing the Palace’
By Paul Rudnick (Berkley, fiction)
This dashing gay royal romance (from the screenwriter of “Sister Act” and “Addams Family Values”) follows the unlikely but sweet love affair between New York event planner Carter and British royal Prince Edgar. The pair meet – and flirt – ahead of a press conference Carter helps facilitate, and quickly become entangled in each other's lives.
9. ‘The Darkness Outside Us’
By Eliot Schrefer (Katherine Tegen Books, fiction)
Ambrose and Kodiak wake up with few memories aboard a spaceship with secrets, on a rescue mission to find Ambrose’s long-lost sister. They couldn’t be more opposite, but the teenage boys will need to work together to survive – even if it means falling in love. “3, 2, 1…blastoff for mystery, adventure, and queer intergalactic bodice-ripping,” says Kirkus Reviews.
10. ‘The Chosen and the Beautiful’
By Nghi Vo (Tordotcom, fiction)
What if “The Great Gatsby,” but sexy star golfer Jordan Baker is a queer Vietnamese adoptee? And there’s magic? That’s the irresistible hook of fantasy/sci-fi writer Vo’s debut novel, which reinvents the Jazz Age classic. “The Gatsby-related details and hints of magic will keep readers spellbound from start to finish,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LGBTQ books to celebrate Pride: Gay ‘Great Gatsby,' 'Queer Bible'