Reading for Pride

Happy Pride Month, y’all! I thought I would share some resources for finding queer books as well as highlighting a few recent queer books that I’ve enjoyed.

I had originally planned to post something like this on Facebook, but I’m still a little nervous about being out as demisexual and (probably) gray-romantic there. I also worried that parts of this would come off as too promotional. So I’m writing it as a post here instead.

Without further ado, here are the lists (below the fold)!

Places where I find queer books:

  • LGBTQReads. This has very thorough lists for traditionally published books, and it’s pretty good for self-pubs as well. I like this site especially because the lists mark which books are ownvoices (in this case, books where the author shares the character’s queer identity) and which books are by authors of color. There is also some cool sorting by trope in the Romance section. Dahlia Adler, who runs the site, also puts together Fave Five lists each week around specific themes. Also, check out posts in the “Around the Blogosqueer” series; those will have a more extensive list of resources.
  • The Gay YA. They keep an excellent masterlist of queer books, have a number of excellent guest posts, and run a book chat on Twitter every other week.
  • The Aro and Ace Fiction Database. This was put together by Claudie Arseneault, and it’s excellent. The spreadsheet has different sheets for ace characters and aro characters, but the romantic and sexual orientations of each character is marked. Other columns specify the character’s gender, what kind of relationship (romantic or qpp) the character is in if any, and whether the representation is on page or word of God. It was originally focused on speculative fiction but has now expanded; it’s still more thorough in spec fic.
  • Laya’s Aro and Ace Book List. This has a lot of overlap with the above (especially because it leans towards speculative fiction as well), but there are some different books and additional information here.
  • Quiet YA’s Books With Asexual Characters List. Again, there’s a good deal of overlap with the two above, but this is a little less speculative-leaning and focuses just on ace/ace-spec characters. It’s also a more barebones list (just marking ownvoices work and whether the word asexual/demisexual/gray asexual etc. is used on page).

This one’s not a place where I find books, but it’s usually something I’ll check before reading a book with a significant trans character. Corey Alexander keeps a page of reviews by trans and/or nonbinary people of trans and/or nonbinary lit.

Queer Books I’ve Enjoyed Recently

These will lean heavily towards aspec representation; I’ve been seeking that out recently. (I also feel more comfortable recommending it because it’s my own rep.) However, a couple of these have a main f/f pairing, and one has a main m/m pairing. All but the last two have trans characters.

  • The Mangoverse books by Shira Glassman is a very Jewish fantasy series. The first book is The Second Mango, which features an adorable f/f couple and a demi woman. There are more queer couples and characters later in the series. This is wonderfully fluffy. (It was part of my post-quals happy reading.)
  • City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault. This is high fantasy full of queer characters, including a handful of ace and aro characters. It is indeed about a city full of strife, but I also found it a very comforting read because I loved the characters so much. Warning that there are graphic depictions of mental abuse here; tread carefully.
  • Chameleon Moon by Roanna Sylver. This is the most hopeful dystopia you’ll ever find, and it has a lot of queerness and some ace and aro characters. I think only one is explicitly aspec on page here, but the conversation about asexuality was everything I wanted, and several others have been confirmed by the author. There are more on-page aspec characters in the second book in the series.
  • Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee. This is YA sci fi f/f with a trans side character (who will be the main character of Not Your Villain, the second book). The premise is that a daughter of superheroes gets an internship with the local supervillain. It’s cute and silly, and the characters are the best. Read it and then come drool over the Not Your Villain cover with me.
  • Fourth World by Lyssa Chiavari. This is YA sci fi and takes place in two different times. In one time the setting is Mars, colonized by people from Earth. In the other time, the setting is Iamos. There is time travel and conspiracy (and also a massive cliffhanger). This book has two main ace-spec characters, one demi and one asexual and sex-repulsed.
  • History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. This is YA contemporary m/m and has several gay characters and a bi character. This is very sad, but the sadness is not because it’s queer. The depiction of grief here is really well-done, and it’s also ownvoices in its portrayal of a character with OCD.

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