Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is the top ten books from my favorite genre. Because there aren’t any pride-themed topics this month – which is quite the oversight – I’m picking my top ten favorite LGBTQIA+ fiction books!
On Saturday I did a roundup of ALL the LGBTQIA+ books I’ve reviewed on this blog so far, but I’m going to narrow it down to my favorite ten today!
In a rough order but not an exact one:
The Merry Spinster is a collection of short fantasy stories that explore gender in interesting ways, by transgender author Mallory Ortberg. It’s a pretty trippy collection and quite fun.
The Spy with the Red Balloon is the sequel to The Girl with the Red Balloon, but I don’t think you really need to read the first one to understand the second. The plots are pretty separate. In Spy there is a demisexual character and a gay character, and it’s a lovely magical-realism exploration of World War II. (Girl explores living in East Berlin, behind the wall, after the war, and has a time-travel element. Both books are fantastic and written by a demisexual Jewish author.)
River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow are two novellas exploring an alternate history United States in which hippos were imported to the Mississippi and used like cattle. Wranglers ride hippos, it’s great. One of the main characters is non-binary, and has a romance with another character. The author is non-binary as well.
Starless, by Jacqueline Carey, is a sprawling, epic fantasy that covers a princess and her nonbinary bodyguard as they embark on an epic quest to save their world. (And possibly fall in love with each other on the way.)
The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) is a great summer read. It’s bright and sunny and follows a teenager as she tries to determine who has the best burgers in LA while falling in love with another girl. This is also the only contemporary fiction book on the list – I mostly read fantasy, as you can tell!
The next four are all at about the same level of I LOVE THEM.
Once & Future is queer King Arthur in space. It encompasses a bunch of different identities and it’s an amazing take on King Arthur and it’s just wonderful. I cannot wait for the sequel.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo, have a pair of gay characters in the troupe of thieves, and it’s an epic heist novel followed by a revenge & rescue novel. I really need to read the rest of the Grisha-verse, because I LOVED these two.
The Wrong Stars and its sequel, The Dreaming Stars, are a pair of sci-fi novels starring an incredibly diverse spaceship crew (the captain is a bisexual demisexual!) trying to save the world from a massive alien threat. It’s a space opera with nonbinary, trans, and ace characters, as well as the bi and demi captain.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue has a pair of gay characters and the asexual sister of one of the boys, who gets her one novel in The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. Both books are really fun.
And my all-time favorite book with queer themes right now is one I keep bringing up in Top Ten lists because it’s JUST. SO. GOOD. The Priory of the Orange Tree is a beast of a book, at over 800 pages, with a F/F romance at its heart. (One of the women appears to be bisexual.) It has dragons and politics and action and big battles and assassins and magic and it’s just amazing. I will keep boosting this book because I love it so much.