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Books

Best LGBT books you must read

Tijen Butler April 9, 2019
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Super Bowl: Shirtless Adam Levine and Janet Jackson nipple

Shirtless Adam Levine (L) at 2019 Super Bowl and Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl (Getty Images)

Here are the LGBT books that we recommend that you put on your to-read list.

From novels and romance fiction, to memoirs and books that have been made into movies, we list the best LGBT books for your shelves.

A Little Life

You cannot list the best LGBT books without mentioning A Little Life.

Written by Hanya Yanagihara, this 2015 fictional tale became a bestseller.

The book features the depth of male relationships, and it focuses on four friends in New York City.

The main character is Jude, a lawyer with a troubled history and health issues.

In The Atlantic, Garth Greenwell said that A Little Life is “the long-awaited gay novel.”

Greenwell continued: “It engages with aesthetic modes long coded as queer: melodrama, sentimental fiction, grand opera. By violating the canons of current literary taste, by embracing melodrama and exaggeration and sentiment, it can access emotional truth denied more modest means of expression.”

To get the book go to Amazon here.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

This novel has to end up on your bookshelf. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is the book that inspired the hit film Love, Simon.

The story follows a gay teenage boy in high school who is still in the closet from his friends and family. What comes next involves love, blackmail, tears and laughter.

The novel was adapted into a film which was released in 2018.

To get the book go to Amazon here.

Tales of the City

Tale of the City is a series of nine books written from 1978 to 2014 by Armistead Maupin. All of the titles are excellent LGBT books.

The tales follow several characters of different sexual orientation. It particularly focusses on LGBT relationships throughout the 1970s.

Channel 4 turned the LGBT books into a TV series, bringing the characters to live, following their relationships and drama.

To get the first book in the series go to Amazon here.

Maurice

Maurice is a gay novel written by E. M. Forster in 1913-1914.

The book follows a tale of homosexual romance in England during the time he wrote it.

Due to the time period, Forster didn’t pursue the novel’s publication. It was during a time where same-sex love was looked down upon, making the book extremely controversial. He had written a note reading: “Publishable, but worth it?”

The novel was eventually published in 1971 and has since been adapted for film and stage.

To get the book go to Amazon here.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a 2006 graphic memoir by lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

The piece did extremely well, winning several awards including the Stonewall Book Award for non-fiction.

Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel wrote Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, a LGBT graphic memoir

The LGBT book follows the relationship she had with her father growing up.

The piece delves into important societal themes and personal subjects including gender roles, sexual orientation, suicide and abuse.

To get the book go to Amazon here.

Disobedience

Written by Naomi Alderman, this award-winning lesbian novel is about forbidden love.

The story follows a rabbi’s lesbian daughter as she returns from New York to her Jewish community in London.

The novel was adapted into a film directed by Sebastián Lelio, starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams.

Much like the book, the movie became very popular.

To buy the book go to Amazon here.

Hot Milk

Published a year later, Hot Milk is a fictional novel by Deborah Levy.

The storyline follows a mother Rosie and daughter Sofia on their way to a Spanish clinic in search of a cure for the mother’s mystery illness.

The story explores feminine potency and the nature of womanhood. The relatable Sofia grows throughout the story, learning more about the essence of her identity, what she wants to do and her sexuality.

Levy told The Guardian: “In all my own books, far more important than being a female writer is, in my view, female subjectivity. So when we think about that old chestnut of men not reading female authors, well, you know, we can all read what we like, but I think if we don’t read books by women, we’re missing essential data.”

To get the book go to Amazon here.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Published in 2012, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is about a 12-year-old girl called Cameron who’s discovering her homosexuality.

Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck in The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane (centre) and Forrest Goodluck in The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Vertigo Releasing)

Cameron’s parents passed away after being involved in a car accident, so she was sent to live with a conservative aunt. It’s there that feelings flourish for her best friend but when her sexuality is discovered, she gets sent to conversion camp.

This LGBT book was also adapted into a movie this year (2018), starring Chloë Grace Moretz.

To get the book go to Amazon here.

Call Me By Your Name

Another LGBT book that was adapted into a movie, Call Me by Your Name is a 2007 gay novel by André Aciman.

The story is about a relationship between two young Jewish men, Elio and Oliver, a 17-year-old American-Italian Jewish boy and 24-year-old American Jewish scholar respectively.

The story shows their summer romance during the 1980s in Italy, and then the 20 years that follow.

To get the book go to Amazon here.

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