LGBTQ Book Round-Up: Pride Month Edition

Books to read during Pride Month. (Photo Credit: Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins UK, Blue Box Press, and Macmillan Publishers)

With Pride Month in full swing, it’s time for a list of books written by LGBTQ authors that tell stories focused on LGBTQ individuals. Books written for the LGBTQ community written by LGBTQ authors are abundant here recently, so much so that they are more accessible.

The following list is only a sampling of the LGBTQ books that are available.  This is, by no means, not a comprehensive or definitive list.  The books on this list, for the most part, are from the past two or three years, with at least one from the past five years.

Photo Credit: Macmillan Publishers

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

One of the subgenres of LGBTQ books that have been receiving mainstream attention is LGBTQ romance. At the end of March, The New York Times did a story on the recent LGBTQ romance boom and some of the authors driving it.  Mentioned in the article as a book responsible for the popularity of the subgenre, Red, White & Royal Blue is the story of Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the first woman President of the United States and Prince Henry, a member of the British Royal Family. After Alex causes an international incident at a British Royal Wedding, he and Henry have to act like they are best friends.  The fake friendship soon becomes a real friendship which turns into something more.  Recently, the two leads of the upcoming film adaptation of the book were announced.  The book’s author shared the casting on her TikTok account as well as Uma Thurman cast as Ellen Claremont, President of the United States and Alex’s mom.

@caseymcquiston

RED, WHITE, & ROYAL BLUE, the movie, coming soon from @Prime Video!!!!! #RWRBmovie #booktok

♬ dont slay me now – matty

@caseymcquiston

i can’t believe this is real but it is! UMA THURMAN will play President Claremont!!!!! #rwrbmovie #booktok @primevideo

♬ Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy

 

Sapphire Sunset by C. Travis Rice

Don’t let the author’s name confuse you. Sapphire Sunset is written by Christopher Rice.  While Rice usually writes novels revolving around the supernatural or crime thrillers, Sapphire Sunset is purely a gay men’s romance novel.  The official description of Sapphire Sunset is:

Logan Murdoch is a fighter, a survivor, and a provider. When he leaves a distinguished career in the Marine Corps to work security at a luxury beachfront resort, he’s got one objective: pay his father’s mounting medical bills. That means Connor Harcourt, the irresistibly handsome scion of the wealthy family that owns Sapphire Cove, is strictly off limits, despite his sassy swagger and beautiful blue eyes. Logan’s life is all about sacrifices; Connor is privilege personified. But temptation is a beast that demands to be fed, and a furtive kiss ignites instant passion, forcing Logan to slam the brakes. Hard.

Haunted by their frustrated attraction, the two men find themselves hurled back together when a headline-making scandal threatens to ruin the resort they both love. This time, there’s no easy escape from the magnetic pull of their white hot desire. Will saving Sapphire Cove help forge the union they crave, or will it drive them apart once more?

While it is a departure from Rice’s usual writing genre, Sapphire Sunset is a book you will not want to put down until you reach the end. Rice sets up the romance between his protagonists with a quick ignite and then a slow, satisfying burn. Sapphire Sunset is the first in a trilogy (although Rice has teased there might be more than three) set at the fictional resort Sapphire Cove.  Sapphire Spring, the next book in the series is set to be released in October and will focus on a different romance.   Update (6/15/22): Christopher Rice tweeted on June 14 Sapphire Spring‘s new release date along with the cover of the book.

Rice posted from his Twitter account last week that Sapphire Sunset in e-book format could be purchased for only 99 cents on Amazon and Apple in honor of Pride Month so right now would be the best time to get the book.

 

A Star is Bored by Byron Lane and The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Photo Credit: Macmillan Publishers

Released in 2020, A Star is Bored is a story about a news writer who becomes the personal assistant to a famous actress inspired by Lane’s own experiences as personal assistant to Carrie Fisher. In the original review from this publication, A Star is Bored was described as a “whirlwind tale of the co-dependency between Charlie and Kannon will have you laughing in some parts and crying in others.”  Lane also used the acknowledgments section in his book to propose to his partner, Steven Rowley.

And speaking of Rowley, his third novel, The Guncle, released in 2021, tells the story of Patrick, an actor who has secluded himself in Palm Springs after the death of his partner.  When Patrick’s best friend and wife to his brother dies, Patrick is given the responsibility for his niece and nephew when his brother goes into rehab.  While Rowley and Lane married on April 1, 2021, Rowley used the acknowledgments section in The Guncle to answer Lane’s marriage proposal. The paperback, which has a quote from the original Instinct Magazine review, is now available in bookstores.

 

Coming Up For Air by Tom Daley

While Olympic diver Tom Daley released his memoir, Coming Up For Air last year, it wasn’t widely available in the United States until a couple of weeks ago. The official publisher’s description for Daley’s memoir explains:

Tom Daley captured the hearts of the nation with his unforgettable medal-winning performance in the London 2012 Olympics. At this year’s Games in Tokyo, he triumphed to win gold and became the most decorated British diver of all time.

In this deeply personal book, Tom explores the experiences that have shaped him and the qualities to which he owes his contentment and success; from the resilience he developed competing at world-class level, to the courage he discovered while reclaiming the narrative around his sexuality, and the perspective that family life has brought him.

Candid and perceptive, Coming Up for Air offers a unique insight into the life and mindset of one our greatest and most-loved athletes.

Forgoing the usual chronological style in most memoirs, Daley told about points in his life including meeting his husband, Dustin Lance Black, and the birth of their son through chapters devoted to different qualities in his life.

Miss Memory Lane by Colton Haynes

From the publisher:

A brutally honest and moving memoir of lust, abuse, addiction, stardom, and redemption from Arrow and Teen Wolf actor Colton Haynes.

Four years ago, Colton Haynes woke up in a hospital. He’d had two seizures, lost the sight in one eye, almost ruptured a kidney, and been put on an involuntary psychiatry hold. Not yet thirty, he knew he had to take stock of his life and make some serious changes if he wanted to see his next birthday.

As he worked towards sobriety, Haynes allowed himself to become vulnerable for the first time in years and with that, discovered profound self-awareness. He had millions of social media followers who constantly told him they loved him. But what would they think if they knew his true story? If they knew where he came from and the things he had done?

Now, Colton bravely pulls back the curtain on his life and career, revealing the incredible highs and devastating lows. From his unorthodox childhood in a small Kansas town, to coming to terms with his sexuality, he keeps nothing back.

By sixteen, he had been signed by the world’s top modeling agency and his face appeared on billboards. But he was still a broke, lonely, confused teenager, surrounded by people telling him he could be a star as long as he never let anyone see his true self. As his career in television took off, the stress of wearing so many masks and trying to please so many different people turned his use of drugs and alcohol into full-blown addiction.

A lyrical and intimate confession, apology, and cautionary tale, Miss Memory Lane is an unforgettable story of dreams deferred and dreams fulfilled; of a family torn apart and rebuilt; and of a man stepping into the light as no one but himself.

 

Known for his roles in MTV’s hit show, Teen Wolf and CW’s superhero show, Arrow, Colton Haynes tells, in heartbreaking detail, the story of his tumultuous childhood, coming out as gay as a teenager only to be forced back into the closet to pursue an acting career, and his struggle with his mental health and addictions in his memoir, Miss Memory Lane.  The book, released almost two weeks ago, is a must-read for fans of Haynes or anyone who has struggled with their demons.

What books are on your list for Pride Month? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.


Sources: The New York Times, Casey McQuiston Official TikTok Account, Christopher Rice Official Twitter Account, Harper Collins UK, ChristopherRicebooks.com, Simon and Schuster,

 

Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one contributing writer and may not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors

 

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