It is (almost) officially summer! Which means one thing: summer reading! Especially since we’re pretty much all stuck inside or in our own backyards. (You heard me, California. Stop going to the beaches and not wearing masks so this whole thing stops getting worse.) I had planned to share some kind of summer reading list today. But then I realized I had been concentrating on sharing content related to the Black Lives Matter movement – for obvious reasons, also it’s very important – and completely neglected Pride Month! There was only one solution: LGBT+ Summer Reading List!
To me, summer reading means fun books. Books that make you laugh or make you happy. Easy reads that are perfect for
a day at the beach sitting in front of your AC pretending it’s not a million degrees outside. So, today, I thought I’d share some fun LGBT+ reads that make perfect summer reading. And, by that, I mean some great LGBT+ books that won’t make you cry. (Why are most of the LGBT+ books I end up loving so sad? There’s clearly something wrong with me.)
I tried to come up with a list that has something for everyone. Contemporary new adult? Check. Historical YA? Autobigraphy? Also check. So there is no excuse for you not to find something you like here. Also, I loved all of these books and think you should probably read them.
Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I am pretty sure this is the only contemporary romance novel I have ever given five stars. But it is just so good! It’s about the president’s son, who after a publicity mishap, is “encouraged” to hang out with his nemesis: the crown prince of England. Sparks fly, and not just the “I hate you” kind. Which would be a cute book by itself. But what makes this book is the humor. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. There is a scene with a pardoned turkey that still makes me chuckle, and it’s been over a year since I’ve read this.
Not only is this a must-read gay romance (seriously, I don’t think any other romance book will ever even come close), Casey McQuiston is an openly bisexual author. I’ve met her, and she is truly a lovely person, which is always a bonus. Definitely follow her on social media. If only so you can find out more about her second novel (out next year), which sounds fantastic!
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Every time I think about this book, it makes me smile. Monty and Percy are the cutest couple ever! And this book is so fun. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of teenage characters who partake in ridiculous and irresponsible hijinks. Which is pretty much this entire book. But they’re doing it for noble reasons, which makes it okay. It helps that I laughed the entire time.
Mackenzi Lee wrote a sequel, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, centered around Monty’s sister, Felicity. Who just so happens to be asexual. Which is honestly really refreshing to see in a historical young adult novel. The finale to this trilogy will be out in December, so it’s the perfect time to read (or reread) these books.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
This entire series is fantastic. It’s about the kids who visit other worlds (like Narnia) and come back. I highly recommend reading Every Heart a Doorway first, but the rest can be read in any order you feel like. There is a large cast of characters, and they are diverse in every way possible. Which is absolutely amazing, and one of the reason I think this series speaks to so many people. I wouldn’t say this is exactly “fun” in the way the others are. It’s definitely not a comedy. But it is a lot of fun to visit so many different worlds.
I haven’t read the latest installment yet, but my favorite so far is probably In an Absent Dream. Each world fits the person who is allowed to visit, and I think my world would be most similar to that one. There are five books in this series (the sixth one is coming out in January), but they’re all around two-hundred pages, so don’t let that put you off. I can’t recommend this series enough!
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
I love this comic series so much! It’s crazy fun. It’s one of those stories that is so ridiculously entertaining. I don’t want to give too much away, because it’s more fun to read that way, but just trust me on this one. It’s about a girl’s summer camp. But a lot of weird things happen. And there are Greek gods and velociraptors. Still not convinced? The first volume is called “Beware the Kitten Holy”. You’ll just have to read it to find out what the hell that means. I haven’t read all of them yet, but I am definitely going to!
Noelle Stevenson also fits into the LGBT author category, since she is openly lesbian. So if you’re looking to read more books by LGBT authors, this is definitely a great pick!
Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
I never read a “choose your own adventure” book as a kid. Honestly, the prospect of them stressed me out. I couldn’t get over the fact that you left things unread! Blasphemy! I definitely had a little bit of that same anxiety going into this one, but I did the smart thing and listened to the audiobook. Which means I experienced every single page. NPH also makes it really easy to do so. I don’t want to spoil anything, but he basically makes it difficult to actually miss anything when you’re reading.
This was just really fun. I learned a lot about Neil Patrick Harris, which I liked (there’s a reason I read celebrity memoirs). But it also made me laugh. A lot. I listened to a lot of this at work, and had to stop at one point because I snorted very loudly trying to hold in a laugh (my office is very quiet). I absolutely recommend the audiobook, but feel like it should come with that warning.
That’s it for my LGBT+ summer reading recommendations! I hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe found a new book or two to add to your TBR. I think all of these will make brilliant summer reads, whether you’re at the beach (if it it’s ever allowed) or sitting on your sofa. If anything, they’ll distract you from what’s going on outside, which we all need right now.
Are you reading anything for pride month? Are there any books you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!