Under Consideration for March 2024

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror.

Fiction and Poetry

Austin, Emily. Interesting Facts About Space. Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2024.
Chupeco, Rin. Court of Wanderers. SAGA PR, 2023.
Cameron, Briony. The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye. Atria Books, 2024.
Osler, Rob. Cirque Du Slay. Crooked Lane Books, 2024.
Malburi, C. G. Markless. Levine Querido, 2024.
Anderson, M. T. Nicked. Pantheon Books, 2024.
Lowkis, Carmella. Spitting Gold. Atria Books, 2024.
King-Miller, Lindsay. The Z Word. Quirk Books, 2024.
Lemberg, R. B. Yoke of Stars. Tachyon Publications, 2024.
Alexander, T. J. Second Chances in New Port Stephen. Emily Bestler Books/Atria, 2023.
Ordorica, Andreìs N. How We Named the Stars. Tin House, 2024.
Felker-Martin, Gretchen. Cuckoo. Nightfire/Tor Publishing Group, 2024.
McQuiston, Casey. The Pairing. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2024.


Milchtein, Chaya M., and Mechanic Shop Femme. Mechanic Shop Femme’s Guide to Car Ownership : Uncomplicating Cars for All of Us. Little, Brown Spark, 2024.
Bossiere, Zo. Cactus Country : A Boyhood Memoir. Harry N Abrams, 2024.
Telfer, Cec. Make It Count : My Fight To Become The First Transgender Olympic Runner. Grand Central Pub, 2024.
Waters, Michael. The Other Olympians : Fascism, Queerness, and the Making of Modern Sports. First edition, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2024.
Gill-Peterson, Jules. A Short History of Trans Misogyny. Verso, 2024.
Garside, Emily. Gay Aliens and Queer Folk : How Russell T. Davies Changed TV. Calon, 2023.


Under Consideration for February 2024

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror.

Fiction and Poetry

Korn, Gabrielle. Yours for the Taking. St. Martin’s Press, 2023.
Gallagher, Elaine. Unexploded Remnants. Tordotcom, 2024.
Huang, Justinian .The Emperor and the Endless Palace, Mira, 2024
Medlock, Noah. A Botanical Daughter. Titan Books, 2024.
Tingle, Chuck. Bury Your Gays. Nightfire, 2024.
Titley, Renee M. . Looking for Love (In All the Wrong Places) 2023
Veen, Johanna van. My Darling Dreadful Thing. Poisoned Pen Press, 2024.      Dorn, Anna. Perfume and Pain. Simon & Schuster, Incorporated, 2024.
Saab, Alana. Please Stop Trying to Leave Me. Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2024.
Hansbury, Griffin. Some Strange Music Draws Me in. W.W. Norton & Company, 2024.
Espinoza, Alex. Sons of El Rey. Simon & Schuster, 2024.
Alexander, T. J. Triple Sec. Emily Bestler Books, 2024.
Kingfisher, T. What Feasts at Night. Tom Doherty Associates/Tor Publishing Group, 2024.


Yussuf, J. R. Dear Bi Men : A Black Man’s Perspective on Power, Consent, Breaking down Binaries, and Combating Erasure. North Atlantic Books, 2024.
Moed, C. O.It Was Her New York : True Stories & Snapshots. Rootstock Publishing, 2024.
Alberto, Alex. Entwined : Essays on Polyamory and Creating Home. Quilted Press, 2024.
LaPointe, Sasha taqwšeblu. Thunder Song : Essays. First Counterpoint edition, Counterpoint, 2024.


Over The Rainbow 2023 Shortlist

The shortlist of titles considered for the Over the Rainbow final bibliography for books published in 2023 are the following:

Fiction & Poetry

Any Other City. Hazel Jane Plante. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023. This musical novel takes readers into the life of a fictional musical artist and depicts how trauma evolves through time. This lyrical book spans both the past and present as a young queer woman grows up and develops her art.

BindedH. WarrenBoreal Books, 2023. A gripping collection of poetry focusing on the experience of living as someone non-binary. These poems eloquently tackle difficult topics and express a deeply personal and meaningful message of sense of self.

The Boy in The Rain. Stephanie Cowell. Regal House Publishing, 2023. Two young men in 1903 England fall in love in this beautiful, atmospheric novel. Cowell weaves together an emotional masterpiece using historical facts, poignant scenes, and lyrical prose.  

The Celebrants. Steven Rowley. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2023. A touching story of lifetime friends as they deal with a coming loss. This book is lighthearted but not without its deeper moments. Highlighting the intersection of queer community and chosen family, The Celebrants is filled with both tears and laughter. Surely, a book for everyone to enjoy!  

Chef’s Choice. T.J. Alexander. Simon & Schuster, 2023. Succeeding in its goal of being a sweet rom-com with a lot of heart, this book is a fun read from start to finish. With both humor and thoughtfulness, this book explores the developing relationship between two trans individuals as they work to navigate love, family, self-worth, and their own trans identities.  

Confidence. Rafael Frumkin. Simon & Schuster, 2023. Following the life of a professional con man as he and his lifelong friend create a fake health empire, this book is a classic caper story mixed with a tale of unrequited love. Leave it to Frumkin to leave you feeling for the villain. It’s a perfect scheme that you’ll want to buy into again and again.  

Endpapers. Jennifer Savran Kelly. Algonquin Books, 2023. Told from a single perspective, this is still a story that spans decades as a New York conservative investigates a series of queer love letters. Even those who do not have a fondness for history can find something to relate to as the characters struggle with their sexuality, gender, love life, and their place in a world that doesn’t seem to understand them.  

Flux. Jinwoo Chong. Melville House, 2023. Reality goes topsy-turvy in this confusing tale of crime, time travel, and family. It’s a much-needed representation for both queer individuals and Asian individuals. Masterful storytelling brings together so many moving parts that for a lesser author would be a confusing mishmash but for Flux comes together in a satisfying conclusion.

Gay Poems for Red States. William Edward Taylor Carver Jr. University Press of Kentucky, 2023. From the heart of the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, this collection is a heartrending series of poems about what it’s like living as queer in a country that is increasingly anti-LGBTQ. Every piece is dripping with heart, some tragicly so, but even so every single one is a letter of support to queer people who may be struggling. With this collection, they will know fully that they are not alone.  

Girlfriends. Emily Zhou. LittlePuss Press, 2023. This collection of seven short stories focuses on women’s lives. These stories take readers through life, love, and loss through the eyes of queer women.

I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself. Marisa Crane. Catapult, 2023. Set in a dystopian universe where individuals are charged with additional shadow for every perceived crime that they do, this story follows a mother’s grief as she struggles with the loss of her partner. Despite the dystopian setting, this story is an accurate reflection of our reality. In only a handful of chapters, it poetically handles serious issues such as acceptance, discrimination, consent, grief, and parenting with both tact and emotion.

Monstrillo. Gerardo Sámano Córdova. Zando, 2023. Opening with the loss of a child, it’s clear right away that this is going to be a heartwrenching tale, and Monstrillo does not disappoint. The oddness of a child growing from a lung, while central, is overshadowed by the authentic emotion bursting from every scene. No emotion is too deep or dark for this book as it tackles everything from a parent’s grief to the hurt and shame that can stem from not being accepted as who you really are.

More Sure: Poems and Interruptions. A. Light Zachary. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023. Not often do you have a book that tackles so expertly queerness and neurodivergence in the way that this collection of poetry does. While clearly an act of love and self-acceptance, these poems can help others find the same. It offers support and love while also acknowledging the hurt that comes with struggling to know who you are in a world that is telling you to be somebody, anybody else.

The Salt Grows Heavy. Cassandra Khaw. Tor Nightfire, 2023. A nonbinary plague doctor and a mermaid wander a devastated land in this short story, but this doesn’t need to be a long story for the diverse and authentic characters to really shine. Dark and dystopian, the writing is poetic and sensual showing that there’s joy in being seen as monstrous.

Small Joys. Elvin James Mensah. Ballantine Books, 2023. A novel about chosen family, friendship and love. This book explores how important connection is when dealing with depression, as well as how much of an impact a single person can have in your life.

Something Wild and Wonderful. Anita Kelly. Grand Central Publishing, 2023. In a meet-cute to end all meet-cutes, two very different men meet while traveling on the Appalachian Trail. With humor and tears along the way, this delightful rom-com is a gem of its genre, especially as it tries to keep in the realm of realism to give a wonderfully loud and extravagant ending.  

Stop Lying. Aaron Smith. University of Pittsburg Press, 2023. A deeply personal collection of poetry that really tackles what it means to be gay when your existence is viewed as a sin. The grief and sadness will surely bring a tear to your eye as will the moments of self-acceptance and joy. No poetry collection captures the myriad of emotions that is not only human existence but specifically queer existence so beautifully.

Tell Me I’m Worthless. Alison Rumfitt. Tor Nightfire, 2023. A horror book that mines the hatred that many queer people face both internally and externally. It’s a gruesome and bloody haunted house story that gives queer representation to a genre that has been lacking such viewpoints for far too long, and it gives this representation with the accuracy of a knife sliding home.

The Unfortunates. J. K. Chukwu. Harper, 2023. A student’s message to her university’s thesis committee on death, racism, capitalism, and life. The Unfortunates focuses on those people in society who are often missed or overlooked.


Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World. Christian Cooper. Random House, 2023. Following the life of black birdwatcher Christian Cooper and his time at Marvel as well as the Central Park Birdwatching Incident, this book is a surprise from beginning to end. Told with Cooper’s characteristic calm, it reflects on society regarding both race and queerness with a true birdwatcher’s attention to detail. Reading it feels like being given a Birdseye view into parts of the world you may not have seen or even thought about before.

Black on Black: On Our Resilience and Brilliance in America. Daniel Black. Hanover Square Press, 2023. This series of essays by well-known writer Daniel Black not only cover race in America but also queerness in America and how the two intersect. It’s an honest portrayal looking back on how the past shapes the present and how the present can in turn shape the future. More than anything Black on Black understands that there is no absolute and that there always exists a gray in between.

Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto. Zachary Zane. Abrams Image, 2023. Told through a series of essays that express the joy of sex without shame, this is very much a coming-out story. It is a must-read for anyone who has felt shame for their sexual desires, regardless of who you might be desiring.   

Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance, Francesca Royester. Abrams Press, 2023. Told through the recollections of a mother as she begins the process of adopting a child with her partner in Chicago, this is an honest story that is sure to give any perspective adopting parents hope. It does not shy away from the difficulties that come with such a choice nor does it hide the ugliness that is the foster care system. Even with such darkness, it shows the beauty in both, especially when there’s love to be had.

Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir. Iliana Regan.Agate Publishing, 2023. With the same down to earth style yet graceful nature that Iliana Regan gives to her cooking so does she give to this intimate memoir. Flowing seamlessly through her childhood in Indiana, her ancestry, and finally her time as a chef, the reader not only experiences the land in much the same way she does but also gender. This book is a stunning illumination on food, gender, sexuality, and humanity.

Hijab Butch Blues. Lamya H. Dial Press, 2023. Few books tie in religion, mental health, and queerness in the way that this memoir does. With prose that varies from poetic to straightforward, Hijab Butch Blues strikes the perfect tone, shaping religion into a tool for protection for queer people rather than harm. This is a book about a girl who learns to trust herself and no longer fear the answers that asking questions may bring.

Horse Barbie. Geena Rocero. Dial Press, 2023. Full of the same confidence needed to win drag beauty contests and to be a trans model when it was very dangerous to do so, Rocero hides nothing in this tell-all memoir. Tempering confidence with humility, Rocero gives voice to many people’s feelings of danger and powerlessness that comes from both their family and society.  Of course, she does not let that stop her, showing how power can be taken back as long as one has the right support and the right attitude.

How far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures. Sabrina Imbler. Little, Brown and Company, 2022. Taking creatures deemed ordinary and others not so ordinary, Imbler not only expands the reader’s understanding of sea life but also one’s understanding of life itself. This book tackles every subject from race, sex, gender, climate change, and, of course, sea life. It is a masterful queer weaving of how all the world is connected and told in such a way that one can’t help but sink further and further into it.

Leg: The Story of a Limb and the Boy Who Grew from It. Greg Marshall. Abrams Press, 2023. Both deeply humorous and deeply honest, this memoir grapples with family, disability, and queerness. Very much a universal story, Marshall shows how understanding yourself does not often come all at once. Rather it comes through stops and starts, and how sometimes it takes someone pointing out the closet to recognize you’ve been locked inside your whole life.

Liberated: The Radical Art and Life of Claude Cahun. Kaz Rowe. Getty Publications, 2023.

Following the life of artist Claude Cahun as they navigate a world that is filled with hatred in all its tragic forms, this graphic novel is for all readers regardless if they know Cahun’s work or not. The real photographs give only the barest glimpse into Cahun’s mind but leave no doubt that this was an individual who stood up for what they believed in and inspired others to do the same.

Miss Major Speaks: Conversations with a Black Trans Revolutionary. Toshio Meronek, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Verso, 2023. This book is a profoundly personal interview with renowned trans-advocate, Miss Major. Overcoming oppression, chosen family, and strength are key messages that strike a tone throughout. Miss Major’s words call for community and perseverance as she shares past experiences.

Nobody Needs to Know. Pidgeon Pagonis. Topple Books & Little A, 2023. Many queer tales nowadays focus on trans individuals, but there is not many that discuss intersex people. In this gripping memoir, not only do we have an authentic(and heartbreaking) look of activist Pidgeon Pagonis’s experience being intersex, but also how you can support these individuals to make the world a better place for all regardless of gender.

The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics. The Kao, David Daneman, Min Christensen. Andrew McMeel Publishing, 2023. In this beautiful anthology series, numerous and diverse authors share their coming out, coming of age, and coming to terms stories. It is beautifully illustrated with each of the creators showcasing their distinct styles. Each stunning story makes for a cohesive sense of community that, no matter the reader, they are welcome to be a part of.

Pageboy. Elliot Page. Macmillan, 2023. An in-depth look into the life of actor Elliot Page and their transition while being in the heart of Hollywood. This memoir not only is beautiful written but gives insight into how closed off Hollywood is to queer people, how while it is making strives to be better it’s still not there. Along with this, Pageboy also gives some clarity and reassurance to trans people who are worried about being the ‘right kind’ of trans.  

A Transman Walks into a Gay Bar. Harry Nicholas. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2023. Following a trans man in his journey of being a “lesbian to straight man to gay may”, this book is amazingly honest and beats back against the narrative of what it means to be trans. Rather, Nicholas stresses the fact that trans people are not broken and that an individual’s path to being their authentic self can take many forms. Inspirational and heartfelt, this is a book that everyone needs to read regardless if they struggle with their gender or not!

We See Each Other: A Black, Trans Journey Through TV and Film. Tre’vell Anderson. Andscape Books, 2023. Often times and unfortunately, Trans individuals are thought of as a new trend, but this groundbreaking book shows us that trans people have been around for a long time. While representation is not as apparent as one would like, this book shows that trans stars were very much there throughout the decades in all kinds of TV shows and movies.

The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Football. Ryan Russel. Andscape, 2023. There are not many books that accurately and positively represent bisexuality and of that already limited number there are even fewer that do so in the realm of professional sports. Because of this, Russel’s book is a welcome breath of fresh air. It is an impactful read for anyone who fears how coming out will affect their life, and it makes clear that true strength does not come from how fast you run or how far you can throw a ball but rather from living as your true self and the people you connect with along the way.

You’re That Bitch: & Other Cute Lessons about Being Unapologetically Yourself. Bretman Rock. Harper Publishing, 2023. A laugh-out-loud and inspirational collection of essays by a young internet star. From start to finish, this is a ready that will keep your attention. It gives honest advice for all people struggling, not just those struggling with their sexuality and/or gender. Rather, this is honest advice from someone who has seen it all, done it all, and lived to tell the tale, quite literally!


Under Consideration for October 2023

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:


And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu

A searingly honest and resonant debut from a Nigerian writer and queer liberation activist, exploring what love and freedom cost in a society steeped in homophobia

apocrifa: Poems by Amber Flame

APOCRIFA is a nongendered love story told in verse, the journey of a lover and their beloved finding each other, falling apart, and then creating their own way to love together.

The Bell in the Fog by Lev A.C. Rosen

The Bell in the Fog, a dazzling historical mystery by Lev AC Rosen, asks—once you have finally found a family, how far would you go to prove yourself to them?

Bellies by Nicola Dinan

It begins as your typical boy meets boy. While out with friends at their local university drag night, Tom buys Ming a drink. Confident and witty, a magnetic young playwright, Ming is the perfect antidote to Tom’s awkward energy, and their connection is instant. Tom finds himself deeply and desperately drawn into Ming’s orbit, and on the cusp of graduation, he’s already mapped out their future together. But shortly after they move to London to start their next chapter, Ming announces her intention to transition.

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor

The Booker Prize finalist and widely acclaimed author of Real Life and Filthy Animals returns with a deeply involving new novel of young men and women at a crossroads.


Creep: Accusations and Confessions by Myriam Gurba

A ruthless and razor-sharp essay collection that tackles the pervasive, creeping oppression and toxicity that has wormed its way into society—in our books, schools, and homes, as well as the systems that perpetuate them—from the acclaimed author of Mean, and one of our fiercest, foremost explorers of intersectional Latinx identity.

The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Football by R.K. Russell

A groundbreaking memoir from professional NFL player, writer, and advocate R.K. Russell, who made history by becoming the first out active NFL player to identify as bisexual.


Under Consideration for September 2023

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:


A Lot of People Live in This House by Bailey Merlin

A Lot of People Live in This House follows Rachel as she arrives at the house on the hill alone as Job attends a meditation retreat in India for two weeks to unpack his own grief. She’s greeted by housemates who smile, bring her cups of tea, and seem happy she’s there. She hates it. Not long after, Job is trapped in India by a virus that’s grounded just about every plane in the world.

The Boy in the Rain by Stephanie Cowell

Set in England between 1901 and 1910, The Boy in the Rain portrays the illicit passion between two men. 

Boys Weekend by Mattie Lubchansky

From the award-winning cartoonist and editor at The Nib, a hilarious trans-“final girl” horror graphic novel about a bachelor party gone very, very wrong.

Dykette by Jenny Fran Davis

An addictive, absurd, and darkly hilarious debut novel about a young woman who embarks on a ten-day getaway with her partner and two other queer couples.

Feed them Silence by Lee Mandelo

Lee Mandelo dives into the minds of wolves in Feed Them Silence, a novella of the near future.

Last Drop of Hemlock by Katharine Schellman

In The Last Drop of Hemlock, the dazzling follow up to Last Call at the Nightingale, even a dance can come with a price…

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

A thrillingly told queer space opera about the wreckage of war, the family you find, and who you must become when every choice is stripped from you, Some Desperate Glory is Astounding Award Winner Emily Tesh’s explosive debut novel.


Glitter and Concrete: A Cultural History of Drag in New York City by Elyssa Maxx Goodman 

From journalist and drag historian Elyssa Maxx Goodman, an intimate, evocative history of drag in New York City exploring its dynamic role, from the Jazz Age to Drag Race, in queer liberation and urban life.


August 2023Books Under Consideration

These books have received at least one ‘Yes’ votes by the Over the Rainbow Roundtable readers.


The Celebrants by Steven Rowley

A deeply honest tribute to the growing pains of selfhood and the people who keep us going, coupled with Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, The Celebrants is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.

Chef’s Choice by TJ Alexander

A fake dating arrangement turns to real love in this deliciously delightful queer rom-com from the author of the sweetly satisfying Chef’s Kiss.

Girlfriends by Emily Zhou

Seven heartstoppingly gorgeous stories about young transgender life from the Upper Midwest to New York City.

Infamous by Lex Croucher

Will Eddie be forced to choose between her friendship with Rose and her literary dreams––or will she be able to write her own happily ever after?

The Love We Make by Harper Bliss

Best-selling sapphic romance author Harper Bliss brings you a heartfelt romance about overcoming differences, found family, and learning to see yourself through the eyes of the person you love.

Roaming by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Spring break, 2009. High school best friends Zoe and Dani are now freshman college students, meeting in a place they’ve wanted to visit forever: New York City. Tagging along is Dani’s classmate Fiona, a mercurial art student with an opinion on everything. Together, the three cram in as much of the city as possible, gleefully falling into tourist traps, pondering so-called great works of art, sidestepping creeps, and eating lots and lots of pizza (folded in half, of course).

Transitioning Home by Heather K. O’Malley

Thomas Simmons nearly died when a rocket-propelled grenade threw him ass over teakettle while flanking insurgents in Mosul, ending his military career. Recovery’s rough and gives him all the time in the world to face the question he’s avoided all his life: Why does he feel jealous of women?

The Unfortunates by J.K. Chukwu

An edgy, bitingly funny debut about a queer, half-Nigerian college sophomore who, enraged and exhausted by the racism at her elite college, is determined to reveal the truth about The Unfortunates—the unlucky subset of Black undergrads who Just. Keep. Disappearing.


Better Living Through Birding: Notes by a Black Man in the Natural World by Christian Cooper

Central Park birder Christian Cooper takes us beyond the viral video that shocked a nation and into a world of avian adventures, global excursions, and the unexpected lessons you can learn from a life spent looking up.

Crying Wolf by Eden Boudreau

It’s a tale as old as time. Girl meets boy. Boy wants girl. Girl says no. Boy takes what he wants anyway.

It’s Hot in Here(Or Am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth) by Zach Zimmerman

In this debut collection of essays, lists, musings, and quips, New York-based comedian Zach Zimmerman delicately walks the fine line between tear-jerking and knee-slapping and does so with aplomb.

The Last Gay Man by Ype Driessen

A delightful graphic memoir told in photographs. 

Miss Major Speaks: Conversations with a Black Trans Revolutionary by Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Toshio Meronek

Miss Major’s incredible story of a life lived and a world survived becomes a conduit for larger questions about the riddle of collective liberation. For a younger generation, she warns about the traps of ‘representation,’ the politics of ‘self-care,’ and the frequent dead-ends of non-profit organizing; for all of us, she is a strike against those who would erase these histories of struggle. Miss Major offers something that cannot be found elsewhere: an affirmation that our vision for freedom can and must be more expansive than those on offer by mainstream institutions.

We See Each Other: A Black, Trans Journey Through TV and Film by Tre’vell Anderson

A groundbreaking look at the history of transgender representation in TV and film, by an of-the-moment and in-demand culture reporter.


Under Considerations for July 2023

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:


Horse Barbie by Geena Rocero

A dazzling testimony from an icon who sits at the center of transgender history and activism, Horse Barbie is a celebratory and universal story of survival, love, and pure joy.

Nobody Needs to Know by  Pidgeon Pagonis 

From intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis comes a candid and life-affirming true story of identity, lies, family secrets, and the healing power of truth.

Page Boy by Elliot Page

Full of intimate stories, from chasing down secret love affairs to battling body image and struggling with familial strife, Pageboy is a love letter to the power of being seen. With this evocative and lyrical debut, Oscar-nominated star Elliot Page captures the universal human experience of searching for ourselves and our place in this complicated world.


Under Consideration for June 2023

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:


Bad Cree by Jessica Johns

In this gripping, horror-laced debut, a young Cree woman’s dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.

Couplets: A Love Story by Maggie Milner

A dazzling love story in poems about one woman’s coming-out, coming-of-age, and coming undone.

Open Throat by Henry Hoke

A lonely, lovable, queer mountain lion narrates this star-making fever dream of a novel.

The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw
You may think you know how the fairy tale goes: a mermaid comes to shore and weds the prince. But what the fables forget is that mermaids have teeth. And now, her daughters have devoured the kingdom and burned it to ashes.


And Don’t F&%k It Up by Maria Elena Fernandez

A definitive history and celebration of the groundbreaking show RuPaul’s Drag Race in its first decade, from a Burbank basement set all the way to the Emmy’s, and every weave in-between,  as told by its stars, producers and fans.

Engine Running: Essays by Cade Mason

Lush and innovative, these essays contemplate childhood memories and family secrets, religion and queerness in the rural South, and the ways rituals and contours of manhood are passed through generations. Most of all, we feel with Mason what it is to grapple with and love a place even as you yearn to leave.

Fat Off, Fat On by Clarkisha Kent

In this disarming and candid memoir, cultural critic Clarkisha Kent unpacks the kind of compounded problems you face when you’re a fat, Black, queer woman in a society obsessed with heteronormativity.

Floppy: Tales of a Genetic Freak of Nature at the End of the World by Alyssa Graybeal

One of the first books to explore the emotional landscape of living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome from a patient’s perspective; a playful story of falling down, getting back up again, and realizing you should have gone to the hospital sooner.

Liberated by Kaz Rowe

Creative and courageous, Surrealist artist Claude Cahun championed freedom at every turn, from rejecting gender norms and finding queer love to risking death to sabotage the Nazis.

Shotgun Seamstress by Osa Atoe

A cut & paste celebration of Black punk and outsider identity, this is the only complete collection of the fanzine Shotgun Seamstress, a legendary DIY project that centered the scope of Blackness outside of mainstream corporate consumerist identity.

Who does that bitch think she is? By Craig Seligam  

A vivid new history of drag told through the life of the pioneering queen Doris Fish.


Under Consideration for May 2023

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one committee member:


Charlotte Iles is Not a Detective by Katie Siegel.

For anyone seeking to satisfy their Harriet the Spy or Encyclopedia Brown nostalgia, this modern, witty debut based on the popular @katiefliesaway TikTok series stars a twentysomething former kid detective who’s coaxed out of retirement for one last case.

Daughters of Nantucket by Julie Gerstenblatt

Set against Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846, this sweeping, emotional novel brings together three courageous women battling to save everything they hold dear.

A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon

In A Day of Fallen Night, Samantha Shannon sweeps readers back to the universe of Priory of the Orange Tree and into the lives of four women, showing us a course of events that shaped their world for generations to come.

Our Hideous Progeny by C.E. McGill

A queer, feminist masterpiece inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic, Our Hideous Progeny is a sumptuous tale of ambition and obsession, of forbidden love and sabotage and a twisty Gothic adventure that may forever change your view of human nature.

Pomegranate by Helen Elaine Lee 

The acclaimed author of The Serpent’s Gift returns with this gripping and powerful novel of healing, redemption, and love, following a queer Black woman who works to stay clean, pull her life together, and heal after being released from prison.

Rosewater by Liv Little

For fans of Bolu Babalola and Tia Williams comes a “tender, soulful, and sexy” (Phoebe Robinson) debut novel about finding love in an unexpected place.

Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah

As secrets and jealousies endanger all that Harley has come to depend on, he finds himself faltering once again, even though he finally has something—and someone—to live for. Soul-stirring and witty, full of hope and peopled with characters who feel like close friends, Small Joys explores a young man’s turbulent journey toward happiness and announces the arrival of an exciting voice in fiction.

We Could be so Good by Cat Sebastian

Casey McQuiston meets The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in this mid-century rom-dram about a scrappy reporter and a newspaper mogul’s son.


The Girl that Can’t Get a Girlfriend by Mieri Hiranishi

From first crush to first crushed! The autobiographical manga about one woman’s quest for the hot short-haired girlfriend of her dreams!

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler

A fascinating tour of creatures from the surface to the deepest ocean floor, inviting us to envision wilder, grander, and more abundant possibilities for the way we live.

Leg by Greg Marshall

A hilarious and poignant memoir grappling with family, disability, and coming of age in two closets—as a gay man and as a man living with cerebral palsy.

The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics Compiled by The KaoDavid Daneman and Min Christensen

In this vibrant and affirming comics anthology, 29 trans & nonbinary comic artists share their personal journeys of self-discovery and acceptance.

Until I Love Myself, Vol. 1: The Journey of a Nonbinary Manga Artist by Poppy Pesuyama

A bravely blunt autobiography about confronting the tangled traumas of gender dysphoria and workplace sexual harassment.


Under Consideration April 2023

These titles have gotten at least one yes from our committee readers.


Behind the Scenes by Karelia Stetz-Waters

Fans of Abby Jimenez and Meryl Wilsner will fall in love with this hilarious and refreshingly authentic novel about second chances, pugs, and finding the perfect muse . . .

Best Men by Sidney Karger

When two best men in a wedding party fall for each other, they realize love isn’t a piece of cake in this hilarious and heartfelt romantic comedy debut by screenwriter Sidney Karger.

Blinded: Poems by H. Warren

“I sew myself together / again and again” in urgent vulnerability, H Warren’s debut collection, Binded, discloses their reality of living nonbinary in the rural context of Alaska. With breasts bound by compression, these poems explore the space that binds the body into itself, stuck in unrelenting forces of binary politics and violence. Each poem is a stitching and restitching of the self—an examination of trans-survival. This is a courageous collection—an anthem of Queer resilience and a reminder of the healing powers of community care.

Blackward by Lawrence Lindell

Lawrence Lindell’s characters pop from the page in playful Technicolor. From mental health to romance, micro—and macro—aggressions to joy, our crew tackles everything life throws at them in this heartwarming tale about building a place to belong and the power of community.

Blessed Cure by Mario Cesar

Blessed Cure narrates Acacio’s life through the decades since the 60’s. Each chapter shows the provocations of other children at school, the awakening of his sexuality as a teenager, the demands of his parents for him to fit in with the standards dictated by the majority, the beginning of his adult life, the first time he falls in love with another man, the persecution of the Brazilian military dictatorship against LGBTQ+ people, the prejudice in the workplace and the dilemma between following his most intimate instincts or going according to what society imposes and marrying a woman.

Flux by Jinwoo Chong

A blazingly original and stylish debut novel about a young man  whose reality unravels when he suspects his employers have inadvertently discovered time travel and are covering up a string of violent crimes.

In Memoriam by Alice Winn

An epic tale of both the devastating tragedies of war and the forbidden romance that blooms in its grip, In Memoriam is a breathtaking debut.

Mimosa by Archie Bongiovanni

Best friends and chosen family Chris, Elise, Jo, and Alex work hard to keep themselves afloat. Their regular brunches hold them together even as the rest of their lives threaten to fall apart. In an effort to avoid being the oldest gays at the party, the crew decides to put on a new queer event called Grind–specifically for homos in their dirty thirties.

Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova

A “genuinely scary” horror debut written in “prose so beautiful you won’t want to rush” about a boy who transforms into a monster, a monster who tries to be a man, and the people who love him in every form he takes (Ana Reyes)  

The Skin and Its Girl by Sarah Cyper

A young, queer Palestinian American woman pieces together her great-aunt’s secrets in this “enchanting, memorable” (Bustle) debut, confronting questions of sexual identity, exile, and lineage.

Something Wild and Wonderful by Anita Kelly

From the author of Love & Other Disasters comes a sparkling sullen-meets-sunshine romance featuring two men’s sweeping journey across the Western wilderness. 

Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni

An Armenian-American woman rediscovers her roots and embraces who she really is in this vibrant and heartfelt queer rom-com by debut author Taleen Voskuni.

We could be so good by Cat Sebastian

Casey McQuiston meets The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in this mid-century rom-dram about a scrappy reporter and a newspaper mogul’s son.

Your love is not good by Johanna Hedva

Your Love is Not Good stuffs queer explosive into the cracks between identity and aspiration, between desire and art, and revels in the raining debris.


365 Gays of the Year by Lewis Laney

Discover your queer hero and learn something new every day with 365 Gays of the Year, an accessible and fun introduction to LGBTQ+ history through the people that made it.

Believable: The Portraits of Lola Flash by Lola Flash

A stunning full-color collection of photographs, old and new, by the renowned photographer and LGBTQIA+ activist Lola Flash

Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir by Iliana Regan

From National Book Award–nominee Iliana Regan, a new memoir of her life and heritage as a forager, spanning her ancestry in Eastern Europe, her childhood in rural Indiana, and her new life set in the remote forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Fieldwork explores how Regan’s complex gender identity informs her acclaimed work as a chef and her profound experience of the natural world.

Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H

A queer hijabi Muslim immigrant survives her coming-of-age by drawing strength and hope from stories in the Quran in this daring, provocative, and radically hopeful memoir.

A Place for Us by Brandon J. Wolf

From one of the most vital and passionate LGBTQ+ activists comes a powerful memoir about self-discovery, community, love, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Queer Career: Sexuality and Work in Modern America by Margot Canaday

A masterful history of the LGBT workforce in America

Tar Hollow Trans by Stacy Jane Grover

Together, her essays write transgender experience into broader cultural narratives beyond transition and interrogate the failures of concepts such as memory, metaphor, heritage, and tradition. Tar Hollow Trans investigates the ways the labels of transgender and Appalachian have been created and understood and reckons with the ways the ever-becoming transgender self, like a stigmatized region, can find new spaces of growth.An epic tale of both the devastating tragedies of war and the forbidden romance that blooms in its grip, In Memoriam is a breathtaking debut.