Top 5 Books by LGBTQIA+ Authors

Whether reading or listening to a book, it’s often nice to be swept away into a different reality. As readers, these realities allow us to travel emotionally, mentally—all without the baggage of the actual trip. These realities are what introduce us to new perspectives and cultures; these realities are why reading from LBGTQIA+ authors is key.

While I search for novels from my TBR through the library system, I realize that many novels by LGBTQIA+ authors are missing. Because I live in a rural city, this realization is not much of a surprise—but shouldn’t it be? Shouldn’t there be a diverse range of authors flooding the shelves? While this question may pose an obvious answer, its solution isn’t always as clear. As readers, however, we can take steps to ensure we encounter these new perspectives and experiences. Just by sharing and talking about favorite novels from LGBTQIA+ authors, we have already taken a few steps to bring their stories to light. From there, we can begin to see the world through new lenses and become more well-rounded readers.

Reading LGBTQIA+ authors means we can amplify their voices and, hopefully, discover our own, too. Here are my recommendations for books by LGBTQIA+ authors for Pride Month:

1. The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Watching Charlie and Dev, the main characters of The Charm Offensive, grow as individuals and as a unit is beautiful. Cochrun skillfully writes about mental health in a way that makes my heart ache, and I believe everyone will learn something from this novel.

2. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

Similar to The Charm Offensive, Austin’s novel Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead deals with mental health in a relatable, often humorous way. Austin weaves a small bit of mystery as well, creating an engaging, fulfilling story that I loved.

3. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Not only does this novel amplify an LGBTQIA+ voice, but it also shines a light on a Chinese American voice. In Last Night at the Telegraph Club Malinda Lo creates a piece of historical fiction, artfully showing how Lily discovers her identity—and perhaps helping us too.

4. Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer immediately throws us into a whirlwind of events in Less, capturing my attention from the very start. Arthur’s journey through life and love is both palpable and amazing, and I left feeling satisfied.

5. Kiss Her Once For Me by Alison Cochrun

Another novel by Alison Cochrun, Kiss Her Once For Me, reels in readers through the same skillful writing. Jack and Ellie are a couple whose journey is instantly captivating, and there’s no mistake that a sequel needs to be written.

What books have you been reading in honor of Pride Month?

Maggie Chen is a senior at Heritage High School in Ringgold, GA. She is the Communications Officer of her school’s NEHS chapter, and she’s loved connecting with her community through literacy events such as Books With Santa. Her passion for reading began in elementary school with Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me and has continued to grow ever since. Now, Maggie mostly indulges in thriller and romance novels, reading the occasional historical fiction here and there. After high school, she plans to major in Environmental Science while continuing her love for language through a minor in writing. 

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The National English Honor Society (NEHS), founded and sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, is the only international organization exclusively for secondary students and faculty who, in the field of English, merit special note for past and current accomplishments. Individual secondary schools are invited to petition for a local chapter, through which individuals may be inducted into Society membership. Immediate benefits of affiliation include academic recognition, scholarship and award eligibility, and opportunities for networking with others who share enthusiasm for, and accomplishment in, the language arts.

America’s first honor society was founded in 1776, but high school students didn’t have access to such organizations for another 150 years. Since then, high school honor societies have been developed in leadership, drama, journalism, French, Spanish, mathematics, the sciences, and in various other fields, but not in English. In 2005, National English Honor Society launched and has been growing steadily since, becoming one of the largest academic societies for secondary schools.

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