Thursday, November 24 2022

The LGBTQ+ community has flourished on screen and on the page this year.

In a recent study, at least 11.9% of characters airing in prime time in the United States were LGBTQ+, an increase of 2.8% from the previous year.

But that jump doesn’t even compare to the increase in LGBTQ+ literature.

In 2021, around 5 million LGBTQ+ novels were sold in the United States, doubling sales from the previous year, according to NPD BookScan.

To mark this historic achievement, here is a list of book recommendations from the past five years that have focused on the LGBTQ+ community, and that would make ideal summer reading.

A lady for a duke

Alexis Hall’s “A Lady for a Duke” is about a trans woman who faked her death fighting Napoleon at Waterloo.

After returning to England, she meets her long-lost friend, who does not recognize her.

Of course, they fall in love and have to decide if it’s worth fighting against society to be together.

That’s why this book is a great beach read. It will restore some of your faith in humanity, at least for the 480 pages until the end.

winter’s orbit

Everina Maxwell’s “Winter’s Orbit” is space opera, meets crime thriller, with an arranged marriage thrown into the mix.

It has a unique origin story, beginning life as a self-published original story on Archive of our Own (A03), a fanfiction website.

And perhaps because of that, this book feels like it was written for the author’s friends, in the best possible way.

Much of the world-building is beautifully utopian. More impressively, gender is not expressed by modern signifiers, such as hair or clothing. Rather, it is shown through a person’s hairpiece, hairpin, or jewelry.

darling stone

Austin Chant’s “Peter Darling” is a queer and trans retelling of Peter Pan.

In this story, Peter is transmale and he was known as Wendy in England. But in Neverland, everyone knows him by Peter Pan.

When he returns to the island, the only person he has missed is his old enemy, Captain Hook.

The couple, both adults at this point, fall in love upon discovering that Neverland may not be as safe as they originally thought.

This book is also perfect for a weekend getaway as it reads quickly, at just over 51,000 words.

The origins of the iris

“Origins of Iris” by Beth Lewis is the closest thing to a horror novel on this list. The story is that of a woman who runs away from her abusive wife.

While hiding in an abandoned cabin in the woods, she meets herself, or a version of herself, who has made all the “right” choices. Choices that the main character wished he had made.

This novel deals with the theme of regret and assumptions.

For example, what if the main character hadn’t dumped his original girlfriend? What if she had a different relationship with her father?

What if she would be just as unhappy if she made different choices?

the abyss

“The Deep” by Rivers Solomon, starring Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, imagines a world where the children of African women who were thrown overboard in the Pan-Atlantic slave trade survived.

And their descendants, now living in an underwater society, are known as Wajinru.

Most members of the community thrive while “forgetting” their traumas, even if one person holds all of their negative memories.

The story is from that person’s perspective as they face the burden of generational trauma without the sense of community that helps ease it. She will eventually find beauty and community within that story.

This is great news that is truly unique.


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