5 Must-Read Gay-Themed Books That Will Get You in the Mood for Pride Month
Article written by Maya Vukovska
Reading is important and fun. And we don’t mean reading the text on the back of a Cheerio box. But whether or not you're already an avid reader, we suggest you check out these five 2010s gay themed books that will add some glee and pride to your summer!
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (2019)
28-year-old Casey McQuiston’s debut novel was all over social media last summer. In case you missed that, now is your chance to catch up with your reading. And don’t let yourself be fooled by the bubblegum pink cover - it is NOT mere girly pulp! This is how the story goes: The son of the President of the United States develops a rivalry with the British prince Henry. In order to smooth out the diplomatic faux-pas, the administrations of the two countries stage a truce for PR purposes. The problem is that the scenario works so well that the fake friendship between the two young royals grows into a secret romantic/sexual affair! Scandal!
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (2016)
It’s witty, it’s fun, it’s dazzling. We have three magical words for you that will convince you to buy/borrow the book: young, bisexual, British (mind the accent!). If you are a lover of romance AND adventure, this is the perfect read for you this summer. The story is set in the 1700s, and the protagonist is Lord Henry “Monty” Montague who embarks on a grand tour of Europe accompanied by his best friend Percy and his sister. What adds extra flavor to the story is that Monty has a secret crush on his buddy. The book is a New York Times bestseller, and the guy on the cover looks like young Jude Law, only even more beautiful. What's not to like?
Leading Men by Christopher Castellani (2019)
The author of this captivating novel (and also a great by-the-pool read) revives the years Tennessee Williams spent in Italy with his lover, Frank Merlo - a charming war hero. The two were a couple from 1947 to 1963 - a time during which the playwright created some of the American theater's classics. Merlo was the playwright’s factotum, an errand boy for pleasure. When asked what he did for living, he’d answer, “I sleep with Mr. Williams.” What the two men had is described as a “one-night stand that lasted 15 years.” In this biographical novel, Castellani creates a world inhabited by young and delightful gay men, a world of late nights, endless picnics and all sorts of hedonistic pleasures. A world we wish we knew from personal experience…
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (2012)
This may be a book that one would find in the YA section, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a 15-year old queer kid with pimples and self-esteem issues to read it. Actually, it’s far from an easy read, and you’ll be astonished how complex and finely nuanced the characters are. The story of the friendship-turned-romantic love between the two Latino boys can be anybody’s story, really. It’s the perfect novel to pick up if you want to put yourself in a happy and lovey-dovey mood. And that’s what the Pride month is all about, right?
Find Me by André Aciman (2019)
This novel doesn’t need advertising; it’ll be enough to just say it’s the eagerly anticipated sequel to Call Me By Your Name. Let us warn you, though, that it’s not as fascinating as the first book, but we bet you are certainly curious to know what happens next in the lives of Elio and Oliver. One of the weakest points of the sequel is its structure. The whole first part tells nothing about the two lovers. Instead, it is narrated entirely from the perspective of Elio’s father, who’s now divorced and infatuated with a much younger woman he met on a train. As for Elio and Oliver… Spoiler alert! 15 years have passed since they first met in Italy, and now Elio lives in Paris and is having a relationship with a much older Frenchman (are we even surprised?). And we find poor Oliver stuck in New York and in an unhappy marriage to a woman, with whom he has two sons. Which, of course, doesn’t mean he’s given up his strong liking for sensitive, beautiful boys…
Of course, this list can be much, much longer, but we leave it to your curiosity and resourcefulness to find more wonderful books by gay authors or with gay characters. Happy reading!!