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Your Pride 2022 Reading List: 14 Underrated Books by Queer Authors

14 LGBTQ books to read this Pride, and beyond.

Another month, another stack of books — this time we’re diving into our favorite underrated books by queer authors. See NYLON’s full list of books to read this Pride month, ahead.

Nevada: A Novel by Imogen Binnie - MCD x FSG Originals, June 7

Originally published in 2013, this out-of-print cult classic novel is getting republished just in time for Pride. Nevada follows Maria, a trans NYC punk rocker party girl who works at a used bookstore. When she and her girlfriend break up, she steals her girlfriend’s car and goes on a cross-country road trip where she meets James, who may also be trans, in a backwater Nevada town — putting her in the awkward position of being a trans role model who could help James or lead to his downfall.

MCD x FSG Originals

rainbow rainbow: stories by lidia conklin - catapult, May 31

In this collection of stories with characters who span the vastness of queerness, a nonbinary writer enters into a risky lockdown-era affair on the eve of their top surgery, and a lonely office worker questions their identity while taking their nephew to a trans YouTube conference, among other sweet, funny stories.

catapult

the third person by emma grove - Drawn & Quarterly, May 3

This cult classic graphic memoir in the tradition of other queer writers like Alison Bechdel and Jennifer Finney Boylan is about a trans woman seeing a therapist in hopes of getting hormone therapy. Most of it takes place in the chair, à la Sopranos, except eventually, she discovers she has dissociative identify disorder.

Drawn & Quarterly

AS SHE APPEARS by Shelley Wong - Yes Yes Books, May 10

This debut book of poetry has the stamp of approval from Ocean Vuong, and if that’s not enough of a cosign, Wong’s prose stands confidently alone. As She Appears is about queen women of color in their becoming stages of life: a time that Wong explains in the images of Pride dancing, late-night meals in Chinatown, Los Angeles on fire, and trees that “burst into glamour.” "As a girl, I never / saw a woman / who looked like me," Wong writes. "I had to invent her."

Yes Yes Yes Books

The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch - Hawthorne Books (2011)

Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water is a poetic coming of age story about abuse, queerness, and creation. Originally published by a tiny Portland, Oregon publisher, Kristen Stewart is currently adapting the memoir for the big screen. Read it before everyone else does.

Hawthorne Books

Margarita in Retrograde by Vanessa Li and Bowen Goh - Abrams Books (2022)

The owners of Brooklyn’s queer bar Mood Ring combined two of life’s greatest small joys: astrology and cocktails, into a books of cocktails with names like “Sorry I Ghosted You” to “What’s My Age Again?” featuring everything from CBD drops to oat milk to make the next time you sit around and read your friends’ charts.

Abrams Books

We Both Laughed In Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan 1961-1991, edited by Ellis Martin and Zach Ozma - Nightboat Books (2019)

Known as the first publicly gay man to transition, Lou Sullivan kept a collection of journals from ages 11 through 39, when he passed from AIDS-related complications. Throughout 24 diary entries, Sullivan charts both his personal journey as well as challenges the cultural, political, and medical mores of his time.

Nightboat Books

Women by Chloe Caldwell - Emily Books (2014)

You’ll devour this devastating, addicting novella about a love story between a young woman and her first relationship with an older woman in a matter of hours.

Emily Books

Sassy Planet: A Queer Guide to 40 Cities, Big and Small by David Dodge, Nick Schiarizzi and Harish Bhandari, illustrated by Braulio Amado - Penguin Random House (2021)

It’s hard to find a travel guide that’s not lame and even harder to find one that caters to your specific needs. Sassy Planet is like a Resident Advisor for LGBTQ scenes in various cities. For example: RuPaul’s Alaska shares her favorite recommendations in Pittsburgh where she first got her start, or you can check out a guide to the hundreds of queer bars in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood — so you don’t have to end up just going to, like, The Stonehenge Inn.

Penguin Random House

Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz - Simon & Schuster, March 8

Jill Gutowitz’s memoir in essays is a lesbian pop culture guide that celebrates and untangles the late aughts' queer pop culture and how it affected her own life, with humor and sincerity. Prepare yourself to jump back into the Just Jared era, a time when Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson were locking lips in Miami and when The O.C.’s Marissa Cooper became network TV’s most famous bisexual.

Simon & Schuster

Future Feeling by Joss Lake - Soft Skull Press (2021)

Future advanced technology and witchcraft come together in this wickedly funny, inventive, and eloquent satire about two trans guys, their mutual resentment, and the other trans guy who gets stuck in the crossfire. Themes include trans kinship, magic, social media, human connection, and jealousy.

Soft Skull Press

The Ex-Girlfriend of My Ex-Girlfriend is My Girlfriend by Maddy Court, Illustrated by Kelsey Wroten - Chronicle Books (2021)

Former creator of niche lesbian Instagram memes Maddy Court and illustrator Kelsey Wroten created an illustrated how-to for queer relationships where Court offers advice sympathetic, straightforward advice from the big, queer sister you always wished you had.

Chronicle Books

T is for Trash by Becca Stickler (2021)

Becca Stickler’s Substack newsletter “Read Something Queer,” is full of recommendations for underrated books — but she also made her own. T is for Trash is a lesbian pulp fiction zine about the history of the genre, lesbian bar culture in the ‘50s & ‘60s, literary lesbian drama, and trashy entertainment.

Becca Stickler

A World Between by Emily Hashimoto - The Feminist Press (2020)

Described as a “lesbian When Harry Met Sally,” Leena and Eleanor meet in an elevator in college and fall in love. Years later, they meet again on the streets of San Francisco, both of them partnered, but find themselves pulled back in. Let the queer longing ensue!

The Feminist Press