June doesn’t just mean summer. It’s also LGBT pride month! Which merits celebrating. And what better way to celebrate than through books? I’m not personally a member of the LGBT community, but I definitely support them – has anyone seen Always Be My Maybe yet? Because that “thank you for your service” moment keeps popping into my head. I also really enjoy reading diverse books, which includes books featuring LGBT characters and books written by LGBT authors. Here are ten of my favorites I think would make great reads for pride month.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. This was just released last month, and if it’s not on your radar, it should be. It is the ultimate summer romance. That just happens to be about the son of the US President falling in love with the Prince of Wales. It’s just one of those books that made my heart happy (and one of the few books on this list that won’t make you cry). Read it. Trust me.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t say much about this book. But don’t let the Hollywood aspect turn you off. This book is so much more than that. I was not prepared for how much this book destroyed me. I finished it in a single day and sobbed. And I loved every second.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. If you’re looking for a fun historical read, this is it. I absolutely loved this story, and I loved Monty and Percy even more. I read this years ago, and still smile whenever I think about it.
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. This one focuses on Monty’s sister, Felicity. Who is an absolute badass. If Monty is fun, Felicity is fire. She’s also asexual, which is explored in this novel.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. There is a decent amount of historical evidence that Achilles and his best friend Patroclus were lovers. Which was pretty common in ancient Greece. Their story is both beautiful and completely heartbreaking. I loved the audiobook, but the amount of crying I did while driving home was probably not safe. Just a warning.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. There have been a few books on this list that made me cry, but they don’t compare to this book. It’s probably the most painful story I’ve ever read, but it was so worth it. I sobbed, hard, for at least three hours. Don’t let the size of this book scare you – I couldn’t put it down, and flew through it in just a couple of days.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This is an absolute classic. It’s made it on so many of my reading recommendation lists over the years, and for good reason. But one of the most notable aspects of this book is Celie’s exploration of her sexuality. As a black woman in the south in the 1930s.
Hunger by Roxane Gay. This is a memoir about Roxane Gay’s experience with her own body, and how it impacts and is impacted by her life. She discusses how her body plays into her sexuality, and the realization that she is bisexual. While I can’t say I’ve had the same experience, I related to a lot about her story, and I think other people probably will as well.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. I love when there are LGBT characters in stories that are about something completely different. If there are LGBT people in real life, why shouldn’t there be LGBT characters in fantasy? V. E. Schwab is also an LGBT author, so she’s great at making her characters realistically reflect society.
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Yes, I am still talking about this book. And I will keep talking about it until (at least) one of you reads it. Because it’s amazing. Leonardo was an incredible artist and inventor who also happened to be gay. So go read a biography of one of history’s most influential figures to celebrate pride month.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe added something new to your TBR! Slight disclaimer: while I try to read as much diverse literature as I can, I have by no means read as comprehensively as I’d like. I know there are a lot of great books out there that could easily belong on this list, so share your favorites in the comments!