Presenter of the National Book Awards

Recommended Reading for Pride Month, 2016

But something we can all do, right now, and everyday, is pick up a book.  While we mourn and rage and protest and change laws, we can read the stories of queer people.  We can celebrate their voices and their histories.  We can share these stories with our families and friends.  We can sit with the discomfort and pain these stories may bring up.  In reading, we become better listeners, empaths and advocates.  Reading is not the only thing we need to do, but it is an essential part of how we change ourselves and our country.
—Amy Gall, program manager,
National Book Foundation
Books have long been a place of solace and strength for queer people. Before movies and TV shows, literature provided a way for the LGBTQ community to express its full humanity in all it’s messiness, complexity and beauty.  
It is rare for queer people, especially queer people of color, to find a place in the physical world that provides a protected and lasting sense of home, as the tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando underscores.  The work to change this reality is essential.  It requires many different communities and political bodies to act together to radically alter the world we live in.  But something we can all do, right now, and everyday, is pick up a book.  While we mourn and rage and protest and change laws, we can read the stories of queer people.  We can celebrate their voices and their histories.  We can share these stories with our families and friends.  We can sit with the discomfort and pain these stories may bring up.  In reading, we become better listeners, empaths and advocates.  Reading is not the only thing we need to do, but it is an essential part of how we change ourselves and our country.
To celebrate Pride Month, and to commemorate the end of our first year of BookUp LGBTQ at the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York City and the launch of our first BookUp LGBTQ at the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, The National Book Foundation presents our second annual Pride Month Reading List.
Titles were drawn from a variety of sources, including the National Book Awards, past Lambda Literary Award winners and nominees, this year’s Stonewall Book Award winners and nominees, book lists featured on queerbookclub.tumblr.com and lithub.com, and books dear to our staff.
We believe these titles are an important part of empowering LGBTQ writers and readers alike, but this is by no means an exhaustive list, and we encourage everyone to visit your local libraries and bookstores for a larger list of titles.  
—Amy Gall
List compiled with Christopher Estes & Courtney Harrell

FICTION:

Recommended Reading for Pride Month


NONFICTION:

Recommended Nonfiction Reading for Pride Month, 2016


POETRY:

Suggested Reading for Pride Month - Poetry Books


YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE:

Recommended Reading for Pride Month, Young People's Literature