9 Must-Reads To Extend Your Pride Month TBR All Summer

These nine books spotlight both fiction and nonfiction stories of the LGBTQ+ community. Let’s get into them.

LGBTQIA+ Reads Recommendations

It’s always Pride Month at Bookstr, and whether you’re looking for a gripping sapphic romance or a moving history of the battle for equal rights, we’ve got a recommendation for you.

Fictional Favorites

The Unbroken by C.L Clark 

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark book cover depicting a person walking through an archway shrouded in smoke and dust.

Luca is a member of the royal family of a crumbling empire, vying for the throne. Touraine is a hardened soldier, stolen from her home during childhood and raised as a deadly weapon. When Touraine’s company is forced to return to their homeland to squash a rebellion and her path crosses with Luca’s, blood will spill, loyalties will be tested, and hearts will either rise to the occasion — or be crushed.

Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica 

Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica book cover

When Astrid’s father dies and she inherits his home, she discovers an incredible secret. For years, her father had been channeling vitagua, a magical liquid that can imbue items and people with incredible powers. It all seems exciting, but when havoc reaches Indigo Springs and the true powers of vitagua are revealed, Astrid and her friends are unwillingly launched into a world of power and betrayal that they never could have imagined.

The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles 

The Magpie Lord by K.K. Charles book cover. Depicting two silhouettes standing in front of an ornate gate left  hanging partially open.

When Lucien Vaudrey receives word that his father and brother have died under mysterious circumstances, he finds himself doing something he never thought possible. Returning to England from his 20-year exile to a new earldom and a horde of enemies eager to punish him for his family’s misdeeds, he needs help fast. Magician Stephen Day has a long list of reasons to join those seeking to punish, but he just can’t keep his attraction bottled up around the charming, unusual aristocrat. As their attractions grow and tensions rise in the worst of situations, the pair must get a grip on their emotions and the plots creeping in, or it spells the end for them both. 

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller book cover. Depicting an ancient Greek helmet.

Achilles is the son of cruelty and legend, beautiful and irresistible. Patroclus is an awkward and endearing young prince living in exile. When a chance circumstance brings them together and they form an inseparable bond, they risk incurring the wrath of the gods. They train together in the arts of war and healing, and when the time comes to play their role as heroes, Patroclus reluctantly follows Achilles into the fray. What they don’t know is that they will be tested by cruelty and swords, and they may have to sacrifice all they’ve worked for.

Nonfiction Essentials

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts

And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts book cover.

By the time the AIDS epidemic reached the public, the disease had already killed thousands across the nation. America was left to question: How did such a serious epidemic lie dormant in the media for so long before it was publicly recognized? Was it an accident? Who was responsible? Between the government’s intentional shortcomings, scientists more concerned with reputation than lifesaving, and media apathy, the AIDS virus ran rampant and went unchecked. Author Randy Shilts tells the stories of the people who championed the movement for awareness and protection, from politicians and health professionals to passionate members of the gay community advocating for recognition of the perils of the disease.

We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown

We Are Everywhere by Mathew Riemer and Leighton Brown book cover. Depicting a couple standing in front of a vintage-looking cigar store.

The fight for justice and equal rights began long before the protests at Stonewall. In this intersectional introduction to the LGBTQ+ rights movement containing more than 300 images from over 70 photographers and 20 archives, authors Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown provide a thoroughly researched and diligently compiled narrative highlighting the roots of queer activism. Stretching beyond mainstream sources and interviews, this book grants readers the experience of not only reading the history behind the movement but seeing it like never before. 

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde 

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde book cover. Depicting Lorde in a painted style in a light green headdress and brown patterned top in front of an evening sun.

Fifteen essays and speeches make up this lyrical and eloquent collection, highlighting Lorde’s takes on and experiences involving racism, sexism, homophobia, and more. She tells stories of hardship and despair but maintains a message of hope throughout. She encourages readers to keep their eyes open, or open them for the first time, to the world around them, and to consider how their experiences and the experiences of others are pieces of a much larger, complicated, and sometimes devastating puzzle. 

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle book cover by Lillian Faderman book cover. Depicting shadows of protestors atop a rainbow pride flag.

Beginning in the 1950’s, this narrative tells the story of the fight for gay and lesbian rights, from the elation of the victories to the heart wrenching defeats, and triumphs far beyond the dreams of the movement’s pioneers. This comprehensive history tells the still-unfinished history of the fight for civil rights. Setting readers in a world where gayness was criminalized, psychiatrists deemed it a mental illness, and society lashed out with vitriol against those who said anything differently. Faderman paints a vivid and devastating picture, taking readers on a journey through decades of the fight for progress and acceptance.

The LGBTQ+ History Book by DK 

The LGBTQ+ History Book by DK book cover. Depicting a variety of LGBTQ+ iconography over a horizontal rainbow pattern.

In this overarching global account spanning thousands of years, author DK brings to light major cultural moments, key figures, and insight from activists and philosophers, highlighting often hidden truths of the story of LGBTQ+ history. From the brutality of the Renaissance Italian “Night-Police” to the inception of modern “gaybourhoods,” this collection of insights and discussions on elements of LGBTQ+ culture and developments is wide-reaching. 

From vast histories of victory and defeat to gripping queer romances, these essential reads spotlight different aspects of the LGBTQ+ experience throughout fiction and time. Immerse yourself in these poignant stories during Pride Month and every Month of the year. Because they matter.

Looking for more LGBTQ+ reads? Click here for a list of classic tales retold with a queer twist

Click here to shop these and more reads from LGBTQ+ voices on our Bookstr Bookshelf!