Pride Month is an annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and a chance to educate, commemorate and showcase the community’s history and achievements in an inclusive display of love, unity and resilience.
Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite LGBTQ+ books for Pride – ranging from inclusive guides to regency-era romance.
Rhubarb Lemonade – Oskar Kroon
Vinga spends the long summer holiday on her beloved grandad’s remote Swedish island, escaping the turbulence of her home life and aching for a future filled with adventure. Here she meets Ruth, and a bond swiftly forms between these two very different young women. Oskar Kroon has penned a poetic novel about a pair right on the cusp of adulthood. Over the seemingly endless days, as the sea crashes against the cliffs, and the heat hangs heavy in the skies, their friendship evolves into something deeper. As wistful and evocative as a hazy summer memory.
Infamous – Lex Croucher
Aspiring writer Edith ‘Eddie’ Miller and best friend Rose have always done everything together – sneaking bottles of wine, pelting grapes at pantaloon-wearing lads, practicing kissing… But now they’re out in society, Rose is suddenly talking about marriage, and Eddie is horrified. As the pair head to poet Nash Nicholson’s gothic pile for a hedonistic country jaunt, feelings new and old rise to the surface. Lex Croucher’s follow-up to the acclaimed Reputation is both sweet queer romance and a regency romp with enough heat to make a baron blush. The bathtub scene alone could give anything in Bridgerton a run for its breeches…
Camp! – Paul Baker
Hot on the sparkling heels of Fabulosa! and Outrageous!, comes the latest instalment in what will surely one day be dubbed Paul Baker’s exclamation mark trilogy. Camp! is an essential reappraisal of the attitude that conquered the world, guiding the reader through its rebellious and revolutionary past, and from its position on the fringes of society and into the mainstream. Baker takes us from the court of Louis XIV to the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race and demonstrates how this inescapable part of popular culture has played a pivotal role as a form of protest against inequality and discrimination.
Honest – Milly Evans
Everything they don’t tell you about sex, relationships and bodies… An authentic and accessible guide to sex education for teens written – finally! – by someone of the same age as the young people who need it most. From anatomy and consent to gender and sexuality, Milly Evans has the answers. Her refreshingly honest and bare-all book is worthy of a spot on any young person’s bookshelf. An inclusive, invaluable resource.
Honeymoon for One – Rachel Bowdler
Sure, it may be the height of summer, but we always have time for a heart-warming snow-capped winter romcom… A broken engagement. A non-refundable honeymoon. And a standoffish ski instructor who captures Robin’s heart. This is a Christmas Robin and Neve will never forget. Rachel Bowdler’s debut is a gorgeous sapphic romance under the starry Canadian skies. Ignore the sun outside, get the hot chocolate on, and settle in.
How It All Blew Up – Arvin Ahmadi
Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew that coming out to his Muslim family would be messy, but he wasn’t expecting it to end in an airport interrogation room… Fleeing boys, bullies and blackmail, he makes his way to Rome and the adventure of a lifetime in one of the most romantic cities on earth. A nuanced – and frequently very funny – take on growing up gay and Muslim in today’s America, How It All Blew Up is the story of one boy’s struggle to come out to his family, and his journey to self-acceptance over the course of a silly, steamy, romp through Italy (via a date or two in the Sistine Chapel).
Wild Geese – Soula Emmanuel
New home, new name and newly thirty: Phoebe Forde has stepped into emigrant life in Copenhagen with her anxious dog, Dolly. Almost three years into her gender transition, she has learned to move through the world carefully, savouring small moments of joy. A woman without a past can be anyone she wants – that is, until an unexpected visit from Grace, her first love, brings memories of Dublin and a life she thought she’d left behind… Soula Emmanuel’s stunning debut, set over the course of a single weekend, is a delicate wonder of romance, nostalgia and hope.
This Book is Gay – Juno Dawson
Juno Dawson marries the lessons learnt (and taught) as a former PSHCE teacher with the laugh-out-loud wit, honesty, and relatable writing of her years as an acclaimed YA author to offer an uncensored look at what it means to grow up LGBTQ+. Filled with first-hand testimonials and Spike Gerrell’s lively illustrations, this book is an essential resource, packed with knowledge and compassion, and delivered with no-nonsense pragmatism. An inclusive book both for those within the community, and allies looking to self-educate and support.