Canadian Living Books

LGBTQ+ Books to Read This Pride Month

LGBTQ+ Books to Read This Pride Month


Canadian Living Books

LGBTQ+ Books to Read This Pride Month

Pride Month is a time of celebration, reflection and honouring the progress and struggles of the LGBTQ+ community.

One of the best ways to engage with the rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ experiences is through literature. 

From timeless classics to contemporary gems, LGBTQ+ books offer diverse perspectives, profound insights and unforgettable stories. Here’s a curated list of some of the best books  to read during Pride Month.

Recent Highlights (2023-2024)

  1. "Pageboy" by Elliot Page (2023) In this powerful memoir, actor and activist Elliot Page shares his journey of self-discovery and coming out as transgender. Page's candid and heartfelt narrative offers an intimate look into his life, struggles and triumphs, making it an inspiring read for anyone seeking to understand the transgender experience.
  2. "The Late Americans" by Brandon Taylor (2023) Brandon Taylor, acclaimed author of "Real Life," returns with this compelling novel that explores the lives of a diverse group of friends in Iowa City. Through their interconnected stories, Taylor delves into themes of love, identity and the search for meaning in a rapidly changing world.
  3. "Venomous Lumpsucker" by Ned Beauman (2023) This speculative fiction novel imagines a world where you can trade endangered species for carbon credits. At its heart is a queer love story that examines the intersections of environmentalism, capitalism and human connection. Beauman's sharp wit and imaginative storytelling make it a standout read.
  4. "The Seaplane on Final Approach" by Rebecca Rukeyser (2023) This darkly comedic novel follows Mira, a young woman who takes a job at a remote Alaskan lodge. As she navigates the eccentricities of lodge life and her own burgeoning sexuality, Rukeyser offers a unique exploration of desire and self-discovery.
  5. "Out of Character" by Jenna Miller (2024) This heartwarming YA novel centers on Cass, a teenager navigating her bisexual identity while balancing her love for cosplay and an online friendship with a fellow cosplayer. Miller's story is a joyful celebration of fandom, friendship and finding one's true self.

Contemporary Gems

  1. "Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston (2019) This charming rom-com tells the story of Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, who falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales. It's a delightful, heartwarming exploration of love and identity in the public eye, blending humour with tender moments.
  2. "The House in the Cerulean Sea" by TJ Klune (2020) A whimsical fantasy about Linus Baker, a caseworker for magical children, who is sent to investigate an orphanage run by the enigmatic Arthur Parnassus. This book is a beautiful tale of found family, acceptance and the transformative power of love.
  3. "On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous" by Ocean Vuong (2019) This poetic and evocative novel is written as a letter from a son to his illiterate mother. It explores themes of race, class and sexuality, drawing on Vuong’s own experiences as a Vietnamese-American. The prose is lyrical and deeply moving.
  4. "Detransition, Baby" by Torrey Peters (2021) A groundbreaking novel that follows Reese, Ames, and Katrina as they navigate complex relationships and parenthood. Peters’ work offers an insightful look into the lives of transgender individuals and the nuances of gender identity.
  5. "Honey Girl" by Morgan Rogers (2021) This contemporary coming-of-age novel follows Grace Porter, a newly minted PhD, who impulsively marries a woman she just met in Las Vegas. As she navigates this new chapter of her life, Grace learns about love, self-discovery and the importance of mental health.

Timeless Classics

  1. "Giovanni’s Room" by James Baldwin (1956) A seminal work in LGBTQ+ literature, Baldwin’s novel tells the story of David, an American living in Paris, who grapples with his sexuality through his relationship with Giovanni. The book is a poignant exploration of identity, love and societal expectations.
  2. "Orlando" by Virginia Woolf (1928) This groundbreaking novel follows the life of Orlando, a nobleman who mysteriously changes sex and lives for centuries. Woolf’s exploration of gender fluidity and identity was revolutionary at its time and remains a profound read today.
  3. "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown (1973) A classic coming-of-age story about Molly Bolt, a feisty and determined young lesbian navigating her way through life. Brown’s semi-autobiographical novel broke new ground with its unapologetic portrayal of lesbian life.
  4. "Maurice" by E.M. Forster (written 1913-1914, published 1971) Written in the early 20th century but published posthumously, "Maurice" is a tale of homosexual love in Edwardian England. Forster’s novel is a courageous depiction of love and desire in a time of repression.
  5. "The Price of Salt'' by Patricia Highsmith (1952) Also known as "Carol," this novel tells the story of a love affair between Therese, a young aspiring set designer, and Carol, an older woman going through a difficult divorce. The novel was groundbreaking for its happy ending, a rarity for LGBTQ+ stories at the time.

Honourable Mentions

  1. "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller (2011) A modern retelling of the Iliad through the eyes of Patroclus, this novel explores his deep bond and romantic relationship with Achilles. Miller's prose is both lyrical and immersive, bringing ancient Greek mythology to life with a fresh perspective.
  2. "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" by Alison Bechdel (2006) This graphic memoir chronicles Bechdel's coming-of-age and coming-out story, interwoven with her relationship with her closeted father. The book is poignant, insightful and beautifully illustrated, offering a unique narrative style.
  3. "Call Me by Your Name" by André Aciman (2007) A tender and passionate exploration of first love between Elio, a young man living in Italy, and Oliver, a visiting scholar. Aciman's evocative prose captures the intensity and beauty of their relationship, making it a modern classic.
  4. "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides (2002) This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel follows the life of Cal Stephanides, who is intersex. Spanning three generations, the book delves into issues of identity, gender and the complexities of family heritage.
  5. "The Color Purple'' by Alice Walker (1982) A powerful and poignant story of African American women in the early 20th century South, focusing on the life of Celie, who finds love and redemption through her relationships with other women. Walker’s novel is a landmark in both LGBTQ+ and African American literature.





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Canadian Living Books

LGBTQ+ Books to Read This Pride Month