A Holiday Gift Guide to LGBTQ-Themed Books

Put these nine literary offerings on your list.

The mistletoe is hung, and so are the garlands, ornaments, window decorations, and lights. You’d be ready for the holidays, too, if you weren’t hung up on buying just the right gift for that one certain person. Now what? Now head to the bookstore with this list in hand, and look for some of these great books.

Who doesn’t like a mystery? Your giftee sure does, and if there are chills inside it, all’s the better—so wrap up Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn. It’s the story of a small but dying village that’s lost its last reason for tourists to visit. Even so, one young woman still lives there with her mother because she has nowhere else to go. She wishes she did, though, because her small hometown holds terror. Wrap this book up with Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller, the second book in a fantasy series in which the main character is gender-fluid.

For readers who love books that may make them think, look for So Famous and So Gay by Jeff Solomon. It’s a book about Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein, and how their fame still lingers while so many other almost-celebrities barely get a nod today, no matter what they did to advance LGBTQ rights. 

The person on your list who is thinking about transitioning (or who recently has) will love unwrapping Trans Like Me by CN Lester, a series of essays on gender diversity, being trans, and how to tackle tacky people whose questions are too nosy. Pair it with Being Emily by Rachel Gold, a book about a trans woman that’s been updated to include new material. 

For the traveler on your list (and/or the person who also loves history), you can’t go wrong with Riviera Dreaming by Maureen Emerson. It’s the true story of an architect and an ex-officer in the British Army who teamed up to create a mansion that took society by storm, with socialites clamoring to have the two men decorate their Riviera mansions. Wrap it up with Global Gay: How Gay Culture Is Changing the World by Frédéric Martel for your well-traveled friends. 

And for some self-published fiction for the gay reader, go online to find You Can’t Tell by Looking by Russell J. Sanders, a romance about love between two high school boys, one of whom is also dealing with his antigay Islamic family; and Aesop Lake by Sarah Ward, a unique book based on three of Aesop’s Fables to tell the tale of a hate crime and its aftermath.  

This article appears in the October 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.


Terri Schlichenmeyer

Terry Schlichenmeyer is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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