The 10 Best LGBTQ+ Books to Read for Pride Month 2023

This June, celebrate Pride Month with these must-read books from a variety of genres, providing an insight into the LGBTQ+ experience. 

No matter if you’re looking for a love story, an inspiring memoir or a thought-provoking exploration of queer history, you won’t be able to put down our pride book recommendations. 

You’ll discover amazing stories which inspire you, educate you, and above all, remind you that love knows no boundaries.

Happy reading! 

pride book recommendations

1. ‘Nevada’ by Imogen Binnie 

One of our favourite books which explores LGBTQ+ experiences and relationships is ‘Nevada’. 

Written by American transgender novelist Imogen Binnie, Nevada is the hilarious, groundbreaking cult classic which inspired a whole literary movement. 

Nevada is an absolute must-read Pride Month and beyond, it tells the story of Maria, a trans woman in her thirties, working in a New York bookstore who’s going nowhere. 

After her girlfriend cheats on her, Maria steals her car and heads for the Pacific, embarking on her version of the Great American Road Trip. 

What will happen next? We’ll leave that up to you to find out, it’s now published in the UK for the very first time so make sure to give it a read! 

Imogen Binnie Nevada

Photo by: Amazon

2. ‘Giovanni’s Room’ by James Baldwin

When it comes to pride book recommendations, ‘Giovanni’s Room’ by James Baldwin will leave an indelible mark on your heart.

Written in 1956, the novel explores themes of love, identity, and societal expectations through the story of an American man living in Paris. 

It focuses on the protagonist, David’s feelings and frustrations with his relationships with other men in his life, particularly an Italian bartender named Giovanni whom he meets at a Parisian gay bar. 

Groundbreaking in its treatment of homosexual relationships and the stigma surrounding them in the 1950s, Giovanni’s Room is considered a 20th century classic.

Giovanni's Room james baldwin

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3. ‘The Stonewall Reader’ by New York Public Library

Possibly the most essential book to read for Pride Month is ‘The Stonewall Reader’ by the New York Public Library. 

The Stonewall Riots are considered the most significant event in the gay liberation movement, and the catalyst for the modern fight for LGBTQ rights not only in the United States but in many parts of the world. 

Published in 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the uprising, The Stonewall Reader is an anthology which draws from the New York Public Library’s archives.  

It’s a collection of first accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years leading up to and the years following the riots.

Featuring a diverse array of voices and shining a light on forgotten figures who were central to the movement, it’s definitely one to add to your reading list! 

The Stonewall Reader

Photo by: Amazon

4. ‘Young Mungo’ by Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart’s Sunday Times Bestseller, ‘Young Mungo’, is a vivid portal of working-class life and a suspenseful love story of two young men. 

Born under different stars, Protestant Mungo and Catholic James live in the hyper-masculine world of Glasgow’s housing estates. 

The two boys should be sworn enemies and yet they become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the pigeon shed that James has built for his prize racing pigeons. 

As the two begin to fall in love, they dream of escaping the brutal Glasgow where they can be their true selves and have a future together.

This gripping novel shows the violence queer people can face, and the dangers of loving someone too much.

young mungo pride book recommendations

Photo by: Good Reads

5. ‘The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice Is Justice for All’ by Shon Faye 

If compelling reading material is what you’re after, we urge you to pick up a copy of ‘The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice Is Justice for All’ by Shon Faye. 

In this powerful book, journalist Shon Faye reclaims the idea of the ‘transgender issue’ to uncover what it truly means to be trans in a transphobic society. 

A brilliant introduction to trans politics in the UK, this study explores systemic transphobia and argues that the fight for trans rights is necessary to any struggle for social justice.

Faye touches upon issues of class, family, housing, healthcare, the prison system, and trans participation in the LGBTQ+ and feminist communities. 

‘The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice Is Justice for All’ by Shon Faye 

Photo by: Amazon

6. ‘Imogen, Obviously’ by Becky Albertalli

Are you searching for pride-themed book recommendations? ‘Imogen, Obviously’ is a page turner that you’ll want to read again and again. 

Written by Becky Albertalli, this New York Times and Indie bestseller tells the story of Imogen, a hopeless heterosexual who’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.

When Imogen visits her best friend, Lili, at college who is newly-out, newly-graduated, and newly thriving, with a cool new squad of queer college friends, no one knows that Imogen’s a raging hetero – not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.

The more time Imogen spends with Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if she might be bisexual. 

Exploring sexuality, identity, and friendship, this romantic comedy will take you on a literary adventure. 

‘Imogen, Obviously’ by Becky Albertalli

Photo by: Amazon

7. ‘Honey Girl’ by Morgan Rogers

On the hunt for a heartwarming LGBT+ coming of age novel? ‘Honey Girl’ by Morgan Rogers is one you have to read! 

Honey Girl follows the story of a twenty-eight-year-old black, lesbian, Grace Porter, who goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate her newly completed PhD in astronomy. 

Whilst on her Vegas girls trip, Grace does something she never thought she would, she gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know. 

Staggering under the weight of her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace leaves her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

Written by Morgan Rogers, a queer Black millennial, Honey Girl is an emotional and stunning novel. 

'Honey Girl’ by Morgan Rogers pride books

Photo by: Good Reads

8. ‘Girls Like Girls’ by Hayley Kiyoko

Based on Hayley Kiyoko’s billboard-charting of the same name, ‘Girls Like Girls’ is a coming-of-age romance between two young girls. 

Girls Like Girls tells the story of 17-year-old Coley who’s forced to move to the middle of nowhere Oregon after losing her mother.

Whilst she’s in no position to risk her already fragile heart, she meets Sonya, and the attraction is immediate. 

Coley worries she isn’t worthy of love as up until now, everyone she’s loved has left her. And Sonya’s never been with a girl before.

What if by opening her heart, Coley’s risking it all?

Hayley Kiyoko’s debut novel is for sure one to add to your essential reading list for Pride month. 

‘Girls Like Girls’ by Hayley Kiyoko

Photo by: Amazon

9. ‘Straight Jacket’ by Matthew Todd

If you’re more of a non-fiction reader then you have to pick up ‘Straight Jacket’.

Written by Matthew Todd the editor of Attitude, the UK’s best-selling gay magazine, Straight Jacket is a revolutionary clarion call for gay men, the wider LGBT community, their friends and family.

Shedding light on Todd’s own experiences, this award-winning book offers invaluable practical advice on how to overcome a range of difficult issues that are prevalent within the LGBTQ+ community.

Sir Elton John deemed it “an essential read for every gay person on the planet” so make sure to add a copy to your bookshelf this June. 

‘Straight Jacket’ by Matthew Todd pride book recommendations

Photo by: Waterstones

10. ‘We Have Always Been Here’ by Samra Habib

Looking for a good pride book recommendations? It has to be Samra Habib’s uplifting book, ‘We Have Always Been Here’.

A queer Muslim memoir on forgiveness and freedom, Samra’s story starts with her experience as part of a threatened minority sect in Pakistan. 

After fleeing Pakistan, Samra arrives as a refugee in Canada and faces a whole host of new challenges, from bullying to racism to the threat of poverty to an arranged marriage to discovering their identity and sexuality. 

Samra’s uplifting story shows how Muslims can embrace queer sexuality, and families can embrace change! 

‘We Have Always Been Here’ by Samra Habib pride book recommendations

Photo by: Amazon

There we have it, our top pride book recommendations that celebrate LGBTQ+ experiences, history, and identities! 

We hope you enjoy exploring and celebrating the diversity of queer literature.

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