27 Fantastic LGBTQ+ Books To Read Before 2020
Let's Get Books Today, Queens.
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1. At the height of the Biafran civil war, Ijeoma and Amina meet. Neither woman will ever be the same. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta is a story of love, shaken faith, and resilience.
2. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston follows the love story between Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the American president, and Henry, the Prince of Wales.
3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara tells the story of four graduates who move to New York and how their relationships struggle and deepen over the decades. This story about pride, addiction, friendship, and trauma was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
4. Madeline Miller's debut novel, The Song of Achilles, is a queer re-telling of Homer's The Illiad (because we all know that the real love story of The Trojan War was Patroclus and Achilles). Warning: do not read without tissues nearby.
5. Set in the 1970s, Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran is a witty, moving, and electric masterpiece. Anthony Malone, the protagonist, leaves his closeted life behind for the wild, wonderful, and hedonistic New York gay scene. But Malone soon grows tired of crazy nights at Fire Island and begins to search for a deeper connection.
6. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson is a semi-autobiographical novel about a girl growing up in an evangelical community.
7. If you loved the film Love, Simon, you'll probably love its inspiration, Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda even more.
8. In They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera, Mateo and Rufus meet through "Last Friend," an app designed to connect people who are both going to die in 24 hours.
9. We all know Alan Cummings is a queer icon but apparently?!? He's also?!?! An author?!?! His novel Tommy's Tale deals with issues like commitment, parenthood, drugs, and trying to find your purpose before you turn 30.
10. Magic and mystery collide when a handsome ex-Pinkerton agent and a reserved linguist must work together to solve a murder. If you ever shipped Watson/Sherlock or Harry/Draco, Widdershins is for you.
11. Based on a true story, The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater explores hate crimes, class difference, and the failings of the American justice system.
13. In Skylarks by Karen Gregory, Joni falls for Annabel, the beautiful daughter of the richest family in town. Meanwhile, Joni's family is struggling to save their house from foreclosure. This distance between them feels insurmountable, but Joni and Annabel find out that together, there is little they cannot overcome.
14. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich is a spy novel about two young men locked in a deadly competition.
15. At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neil tells the story of two young boys in Ireland during the Easter rising.
16. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz follows two isolated teenagers, Aristotle and Dante, as they become friends and then something more. An extremely well written, character-driven slow burn, this book is technically YA, but can (and should) be read by all ages.
17. Aki, the protagonist of Our Own Private Universe, knows that she's bisexual, and a vacation to a small Mexican town (where the older, more experienced Christa lives) seems like the perfect opportunity to explore her sexuality.
18. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour is a beautiful, but gut-wrenching novel about how we deal with loss and uncertainty.
19. Maria and Lily are the ultimate power couple, and they will do anything to achieve their ambitions – anything. As I Descended is a fantastic queer retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth and a must-read.
20. Amanda Hardy has just started a new school, a school where nobody still thinks of her as Andrew. And she wants to keep it that way. Partially inspired by author Meredith Russo's own experiences, If I Was Your Girl is an absolutely essential read.
21. Also by Meredith Russo, Birthday is novel about two best friends struggling to embrace their true identities.
22. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin is a fun and touching story about people finding themselves and their community in 1970s San Francisco. Also, the series has been adapted for a miniseries starring Ellen Page on Netflix!
23. Who Killed My Father is simultaneously a story about author Edouard Louis's relationship with his father and a scathing critique of homophobia, toxic masculinity, poverty, and the policies that enforce and create these injustices. It is a eulogy, a call to action, and a must-read.
24. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson is a breathtakingly written, highly relatable novel about being fifteen and being trans.
25. Kimia Sadr, the protagonist of Disoriental by Negar Djavadi, fled Iran when she was ten and now lives in France. Iranian history and politics overlap with family drama as Sadr looks back at heritage.
26. Call Me By Your Name was one of the best films of 2017 and now I burst into tears whenever I listen to "Visions of Gideon." But before it was a tearjerking movie, Call Me By Your Name was a critically acclaimed, tearjerking book.
27. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the story of a young woman sent to a gay conversion camp, inspired the critically acclaimed film of the same name.
Note: submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.