Some LGBT Reading This Summer

It has been the start of the Pride season around the world this weekend. After verbalising my lack of pride in my country on Friday (I have left some of the tame responses up but deleted the ones about encouraging rapists into the country and other racist hate filled bile which have appeared on and off over the last few days) I was unsure if I wanted to talk about Pride, could I really face any homophobia when I was already feeling saddened by it all. Then I thought fuck it this is my blog and I will write what the bloody hell I want. So I am, well I will be speaking it mainly as there is a video coming up.

As many of you will be aware I am part of the LGBT community. I am a gay man, to me it is just a part of my life, nothing special nothing dreadful – though in the past it has felt like the latter on occasions. Who I love shouldn’t really matter, to me it is just who I am, I don’t feel the need to shout about it but maybe it should. As we have seen in the news in America not long ago in Orlando we haven’t come as far as we like to think we have, it does still scare/anger people, difference still breeds fear and contempt. Which means we need to be talking about it and making a stand for it all, be it in the bigger ways like Pride or something smaller. I will be taking part in some Pride’s this summer,I also thought I could do something smaller this summer, something that I could get all of you involved with if you fancied it? I thought it would be good to read some LGBT themed fiction over the summer months and I would love it if you wanted to join in with me. You can watch a video below to hear me talking about the choices, I will also list the titles below too.

The Bells – Richard Harvell
We Are The Ants – Shaun David Hutchinson
Beijing Comrades – Bei Tong
Sphinx – Anne Garreta
The Narrow Door – Paul Lisicky
Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
The Art of Being Normal  – Lisa Williamson
Boy Erased – Garrard Conley

This list is by no means exhaustive, I actually had another 5 I wanted to talk about but I don’t like the number 13 and I would have ended up talking on the channel for ages. So if you fancy reading any of these then do let me know. Boy Erased, Sphinx and The Art of Being Normal are whizzing up the TBR the more I think of them, so I may read them quite soon. If you just fancy reading some LGBT literature of your own choice over the summer let me know which books you’ll be heading to AND as always do recommend me some LGBT titles new and old that you think I should be giving a read. I know it might seem small but it is still doing something. If you need any further inspiration for books the do head to The Green Carnation Prize (which I co-founded and will be back later in the year) website where lists of longlisted, shortlisted and winning titles reside, some corking reads there. Let’s get reading and discovering the worlds of all walks of life from all diverse backgrounds, after all that is all part of the wonder of books isn’t it?

35 Comments

Filed under LGBT Literature, Random Savidgeness

35 responses to “Some LGBT Reading This Summer

  1. I am so glad you added “We Are The Ants,” it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It came out at the beginning of this year, and I’ve already read it three times. Great list! I have not heard of many of these, but I will definitely add some of them to my ever growing TBR.

  2. “Then I thought fuck it this is my blog and I will write what the bloody hell I want.”

    And so you should x

    I would love to join you in your LGBT readathon, but I’m not sure what I have in my TBR that fits the bill. I shall investigate. Otherwise (as I am on another reasonably strict book-buying ban) I shall be with you in spirit!

  3. Sarah Cubitt

    My current book bingo square is lgbt (good timing!) & I chose Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. So far really enjoying it.

  4. Astrid Helene

    One of my dearest friends are transgender, and I’m glad that I have that experience. I am also glad that we supported her so she could make her steps more “easy”. I’m so proud of her, and I never felt weird about it. This month I am a proud friend.

    • You should be. I have several transgender friends and having known some of them before and after transitioning they are so much happier and that is a wonderful and right thing.

  5. I’ve heard The Bells and The Art of Being Normal are really good so those are definitely on my TBR list.

  6. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read any LGBT fiction (an unfortunate consequence of my penchant for 19th-century literature:-/ ), so thanks for this list and the video! I’m really looking forward to reading these!

  7. I’m in (and have a similar Pride-related post planned for this week, too). The Full Spectrum, edited by David Levithan, is on my list and I’m sure there will be more. Looking forward to checking out these.

  8. Karen B

    I’m intrigued! I’m going to find The Bells first. I like many of the books Michael recommends, so I’m hoping to really like this one. I also want to read We Are The Ants. Sounds really good! It’s Pride weekend here in NY and my beautiful niece and her amazing girlfriend posted a great picture of them down in Manhattan for the parade. I’m hearing that it had a huge turnout. The horrible event in Orlando had a totally unexpected outcome. I’ve never seen such support for the LGBT community before. Lets hope it lasts after the shock of Orlando wears off.

    • I hope it does. Though it’s sad that an event like Orlando is what has to push people to show their support at Prides around the world, it’s a positive outcome to such a tragic event.

  9. As a long transitioned transgender man I want to call everyone’s attention to a book that is simply not getting the attention it deserves. Recently released from Europa Editions, it is called Sergio Y by Alexandre Vidal Porto (translated by Alex Ladd). The author is a gay man, a lawyer and LGBTQ activist from Brazil and this is the most unusual, sensitive and accurate examination of the transgender experience I have ever read. It’s also a fast, absolutely engaging read. Literary works that realistically deal with trans themes are exceptionally rare. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. There is a review on my blog from last month.

    Thanks for listening.

  10. Su

    I am going to look through your pile in the picture and probably read a couple. Good idea. A small personal pride activity I can do. I’m in Petoskey, Michigan for the weekend (Booktopia!) and tomorrow I’ll wander over to McLean and Eakin and see what they’ve got. It’s hard to live with all this new violence from people who hate whoever doesn’t agree with them. Your blog inspires me tonight as I sit on the shady porch of the Perry Hotel, just hoping people can leave each alone enough to quit hurting them. Thanks

    • Oh Booktopia how I wish I could be at everyone that happens. I loved Petoskey and McLean and Eakin. Sighs. Anyway… I hope you get some great books. The team there will be more than happy to help I am sure.

  11. From Australia…I recently finished Magda Szubanski’s Reckoning. A good read. I should post it up. I have many friends who are gay, a close relative and a transgender friend. Pride is important to the whole community. Stuff the anti-everythings.

  12. realbooks4ever

    I will join in and read Kiss of The Spider Woman, by Manuel Puig. It has sat on my TBR shelf for far too long!

  13. Kateg

    I read The Song of Achilles because of you and Gav and it has stayed with me for several years. I just loved it so much. The Bells is on my TBR due to Michael Kindness and now in your honor I will read it this summer. I have so many gay people in my life (family, friends and coworkers) and intolerance and homophobia just make me crazy. We love who we love and we are who we are and that is that.

    • Oh, sighs, The Song of Achilles. What a brilliant book. On behalf of myself and Michael I say hoorah and hooray. Your last line is the sentiment exactly. Thank you Kate.

  14. ex-ICB

    There are so many good LGBT novels but please don’t miss this one: We The Animals, by Justin Torres, which is one of the best I’ve ever read.
    Thanks to you and all the contibutors in the comment section for all your astute suggestions.

  15. Well stated! And happy belated PRIDE! I’ve got a few burning holes on my shelf that I should get to, but who knows when that will happen.

  16. I actually own We are the Ants and had NO IDEA it was LGBTQ! (It was sin one of my Book Riot YA boxes) Now I am even more exited to read it.

  17. P.S. I highly recommend Jenni Fagan’s The Sunlight Pilgrims for an LGBTQ summer read. The main character is a 12 year old trans girl. It’s like a literary fiction and climate/dystopian fiction hybrid. Beautiful writing. Plus, it’s nice to read in the summer because in the novel the temperature in Scotland starts of at -6. It makes you feel cool in the heat.

  18. Happy Pride! Shockingly, I have not heard of any of the books on your list. That’s pretty poor. I’m pretty sure most of the LGBT+ books I’ve loved have been previous recommendations by you, so I shall take note!

  19. I’m late but definitely count me in. I like the sound of those ants …

  20. Thanks for the recommendations🙂

  21. Pingback: Some LGBT Reading This Summer | Savidge Reads | writerchristophfischer

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