Read This Next…Pride Month

June is LGBTQIA Pride Month!  We hope you attended one of our events or browsed the many displays throughout the library.  We spent the month reading some great fiction titles that focus on LGBTQIA authors and themes.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Deanna Recommends:

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

“Maisie and Grant have just lost their mother Sara, and their father, who made it through his wife’s illness with the aid of pain pills, is about the enter rehab. The kids are going to stay with their Uncle Patrick, affectionately known as GUP (Gay Uncle Patrick), for the summer while their father gets his bearings.  Patrick is himself grieving for Sara, who was his oldest friend, and for Joe, the love of his life, who he lost in car accident four years earlier.  Patrick has retreated from his acting career and is living a quiet life in Palm Springs.  He does not feel ready to be a caregiver to his niece and nephew, but wants to be there for his brother.  Over the course of the summer, these three, with the help of an increasing list of “Guncle Rules”, will start to navigate their grief.  Their relationship is wonderful – Patrick talks to them like they are adults but can also channel his inner child to understand exactly what they need, whether that be a pink Christmas tree, a new dog, or a special birthday cake.  The book is sometimes laugh out loud funny but mainly, it is so full of heart that you will be routing for these characters, especially Patrick, to find a way forward together.  If you liked Rowley’s previous book, Lily & the Octopus, or if you liked The Rosie Project or Evvie Drake Starts Over, then you will love meeting GUP.”

Memorial by Bryan Washington

“Benson and Mike are a couple.  Mike works as a chef, Benson as a day care teacher.  They live in a trendy diverse neighborhood.  They love each other, at least they think they still love each other.  But their relationship has reached the “big decision” phase – do they even want the same things anymore?  The book opens with Mike leaving for Osaka, to visit his estranged dying father, just as his mother arrives for a visit.  He leaves Benson and his mother together, to work out how to be roommates as best as they can.  The book gives us both Benson’s and Mike’s perspectives on their relationship and on their current situation.  We meet Benson’s coworkers and friends, learn about his slightly dysfunctional family, and watch him become interested in someone new.  We follow Mike to Osaka, where he attempts to take care of his irascible father, helps to tend his bar, and also becomes interested in someone new.  Where do they go from here?  When Mike returns from Osaka, they will have to decide.  It is a book about love, friendship, and acceptance. It’s about how your family can bring you down and raise you up. But mostly, it is a novel about finding your home in the world.  If you liked Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Milk Fed by Melissa Broder, or Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, then check this one out.”


Lisa Recommends:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

“Follow the 18th-century escapades of Henry “Monty” Montague, expected to be a gentleman by his family, but wanting to play the rogue, and in love (he thinks!) with his best friend, Percy Newton. Monty and Percy set off on the Grand Tour of Europe which quickly devolves into a swashbuckling, penniless adventure of being chased and chasing their hunters. Will Monty and Percy escape? Will Monty confess his love for Percy? Prepare to be delighted with Mackenzi Lee’s historical fiction romp, and the swoonablity factor of Monty’s potential romance with Percy. As an aside, Monty’s sister, Felicity, is a resourceful, intelligent, and fierce companion throughout the book, and will be the main character in Lee’s second book in the series: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.  Plus, the audio version performed by Christian Coulson is delectable!”


Laura Recommends:

With Teeth by Kristin Arnett

“Arnett’s humor is as prevalent and amusing in With Teeth as in her 2019 New York Times Bestseller Mostly Dead Things. Set in balmy and bizarre Florida, With Teeth follows the undoing and coming together of a queer family—two moms and a donor-conceived son. The narrative is shaped mainly from one mother, Sammie’s, perspective with brief shifts to the supplemental characters she interacts with adding nuance and complexity to the story. These changes in narrator encourage the reader to question perceptions and the multiplicity of experience. As the novel unfolds, more is revealed about Sammie, her wife, her son and their varied efforts to exemplify or defy the notion of a happy and healthy queer family. With Teeth brilliantly tackles how motherhood, manipulation, mirroring, and misbehavior tangle.”


Jessica Recommends:

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

“Arthur Less is about to turn 50 and is not all that happy about it. Where he once enjoyed moderate success as a novelist, he has yet to produce a follow-up of equal renown. Now he faces an invitation to his younger ex-boyfriend’s wedding and is driven to avoid going. So, he decides he will accept every invitation he has accumulated to literary events around the world, even if they are embarrassingly mediocre. What ensues is a hilarious journey around the world, from New York to Mexico, to Morocco, Italy, India and Japan. Along the way, Less meets various strangers and friends, and reflects on his own life and past loves. Greer imbues the text with wise constructions and witticisms. It’s a truly unforgettable read.”

And check out our list of other LGBTQIA favorites!