As the omicron variant spreads across the world at an unprecedented rate, it may be a good time to stay inside and read a good (and maybe even a little weird) book.
Here are 10 of the best-selling, award-winning, and barrier-breaking LGBTQ books from 2021. They range from a history of the political movement that was started by the AIDS crisis to a book about a queer love triangle that gets pregnant.
‘The Prophets’ by Robert Jones Jr.
In this story, two enslaved boys living on a plantation in Mississippi fall in love with each other, but it’s against the law. When an enslaved Christian evangelist betrays them, their lives are in danger. This is Robert Jones Jr.’s first book. It was a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction. It shows the horrors of slavery and the beauty of a sustaining love.
‘¡Hola Papi!’ by John Paul Brammer
“Hola Papi!” is named after a popular LGBTQ advice column. It tells the heartwarming story of John Paul Brammer, who grew up in the heartland of the United States.
“In a fit of gay mania” is how Brammer came out in college. He also talks about a relationship that didn’t work out. “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” is how his publisher refers to Brammer, who has written for NBC News, in an interview. He says that.
‘Detransition, Baby’ by Torrey Peters
This novel is very important because it looks at three main characters: a transgender woman who wants a baby; her ex, a man who doesn’t want to be transgender; and a pregnant cisgender woman. When the Wild Woman Writing Club found out that Torrey Peters is transgender, they didn’t like it. Her first book was nominated for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.
‘Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks’
As one of the 20th century’s most famous and misanthropic writers, he wrote “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Strangers on a Train,” and, most famously, “The Price of Salt.” At 999 pages, this collection gives readers a rare chance to learn about him (which was made into the film “Carol”). Her notebooks and diaries, which are made up of 8,000 pages, go back to 1941, when she was a student at Barnard College. They also go back to 1995, when she died.
‘Broken Horses’ by Brandi Carlisle
In her long-awaited memoir, Brandi Carlile, a singer-songwriter and six-time Grammy winner, talks about sexuality, fame, and being a parent. Variety’s Chris Willman called it “the best-written, most interesting rock autobiography since her childhood hero, Elton John, published ‘Me.'” She wrote the book herself. It was one of the best books of 2021, according to NPR, which is a radio station.
‘Let the Record Show’ by Sarah Schulman
Schulman talks about the history of ACT UP, a New York City grassroots group that wants to end the AIDS crisis. ACT UP is better known as the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. The book was nominated for the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize in 2021. It talks about how angry people were when the government didn’t do anything in the early days of the deadly crisis.
‘Yes, Daddy’ by Jonathan Parks-Ramage
This gripping book tells the story of a young playwright named Jonah Keller, who wants to make it big in New York City as a playwright. His journey up the ladder of success takes a dark turn when he meets an older, more successful playwright. The older playwright draws Jonah into a world of the rich and notorious. Before it came out this year, “Yes, Daddy” had already been made into a TV show by Amazon Studios.
‘100 Boyfriends’ by Brontez Purnell
This collection of short stories is brutally funny. It tells the stories of a group of Black, gay men in America who use drugs, have relationships, and have sex. Brontez Purnell, the author of a group of short stories about everyday life, was nominated for the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize in 2021.
‘With Teeth: A Novel’ by Kristen Arnett
The Washington Post, Vogue, Reader’s Digest, and other publications have named this book one of this year’s best works of fiction. It tells the story of a mother’s struggle to enjoy parenthood and project the image of a picture-perfect queer family.
It was the Washington Post’s Ron Charles who called Kristen Arnett “that rare, brave writer who is willing to speak out about the darkest thoughts even the best parents have while trudging through the most difficult job in the world.”
‘Last Call’ by Elon Green
Nonfiction book: “Last Call Killer,” which was praised by the New York Times, is about a serial killer who targeted gay men in New York City in the 1990s. He was called the “Last Call Killer.” At least two people were killed on Staten Island in 2001. Richard Rogers, a nurse, was charged with two of the killings at the time. Life in prison: Rogers is now 71 years old.
“The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle” by Lillian Faderman
This book is a good introduction to the history of the gay and lesbian civil rights movements. It includes interviews with politicians, military officials, and members of the LGBTQ community that explain the early struggles of LGBTQ people from the 1950s to the present day.
“And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic” by Randy Shilts
Investigative reporting and vivid storytelling are used in this account of the rise of the AIDs epidemic. Doctors who were on the front lines of the outbreak, politicians and scientists who didn’t, and real people who were hurt by the government’s negligence are all told in this book.
“Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality” by Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell
When a group of people who work in law, activism, and other fields came together to show that everyone should be able to marry the person they love, “Love Wins” shows the personal moments and conversations that took place between them.