Rainbow Books for Adults

Rainbow Books for Adults

This list features many award-winning books written by or about people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, genderqueer, queer, intersex, agender, and asexual community.


Compiled by:
Morning W.
Cantoras

Carolina De Robertis

From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new novel about five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find each other as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family. A genre-defining novel and De Robertis's masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. This title is available as an eBook through cloudLibrary and as a physical book through the library.


Disintegrate/Dissociate: Poems

Arielle Twist

In her powerful debut collection of poetry, Arielle Twist unravels the complexities of human relationships after death and metamorphosis. In these spare yet powerful poems, she explores, with both rage and tenderness, the parameters of grief, trauma, displacement, and identity. Weaving together a past made murky by uncertainty and a present which exists in multitudes, Arielle Twist poetically navigates through what it means to be an Indigenous trans woman, discovering the possibilities of a hopeful future and a transcendent, beautiful path to regaining softness. Short-listed for the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature (2020). Available as an eBook through Hoopla and a physical item through the library.


The Great Believers

Rebecca Makkai

This is a dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris. It was a 2019 Pulitzer Prize nominee and 2018 National Book Award finalist and won the L.A. Times Book Prize for Fiction (2019) and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction (2019).


How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir

Saeed Jones

Haunted and haunting, Jones's memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence--into tumultuous relationships with his mother and grandmother, into passing flings with lovers, friends and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another--and to one another--as we fight to become ourselves. This book won the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. Available as an eBook through cloudLibrary and a physical book through the library.


I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World

Kai Cheng Thom

In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author's characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. This provocative book is a call for nuance in a time of political polarization, for healing in a time of justice, and for love in an apocalypse. Winner of the 2020 Triangle Publishing Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature. This item is available on Hoopla.


I Hope You Stay

Courtney Peppernell

From heartbreak to dreaming of and finding a new love to healing the heart to ultimately finding peace, the themes in this book are universal but also uniquely individual to readers. Just as moving and endearing as Peppernell's previous books, I Hope You Stay is a reminder of the resilience and hope needed after heartache and pain. The book is divided into five sections, with poems ranging from free verse to short form. These words are a light in the deepest hours of the night: Hold on. The sun is coming. Available through Hoopla and the library.


The Lie and How We Told It

Tommi Parrish

A friendship fumbles and falls apart after an uncertain encounter in this graphic novel from a remarkable new voice. Parrish's emotionally loaded, painted graphic novel is a visual tour de force, always in the service of the author's themes: navigating queer desire, masculinity, fear, and the ever-in-flux state of friendships.


Me, Myself, They

Joshua Ferguson

Me, Myself, They examines what it means to live with a non-binary identity in today's world. Through their exploration of the discourse around gender, sex, and sexuality, Joshua M. Ferguson challenges common notions of these terms. They discuss their public and private life and what it is like to live as neither man nor woman. Combining private and personal stories alongside an analysis of emerging trends in popular culture that signal a massive shift in our understanding of gender and sex, Me, Myself, They promises to counter non-binary trans exclusion, erasure, and invisibility. With the growing discourse on transgender identities, now is the time for a book that argues for an inclusive understanding of gender diversity. Available through Hoopla.


Mean

Myriam Gurba

Myriam Gurba's debut is the bold and hilarious tale of her coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Mean turns what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, funny, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously.


My Favorite Thing is Monsters

Emil Ferris

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late 1960s Chicago, and narrated by 10-year-old Karen Reyes, Monsters is told through a fictional graphic diary employing the iconography of B-movie horror imagery and pulp monster magazines. As the precocious Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her beautiful and enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, we watch the interconnected and fascinating stories of those around her unfold. Winner of a 2018 Lambda Literary Award. Available on Hoopla and through the library.


Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture

Roxane Gay
- Editor

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face. Often deeply personal and always unflinchingly honest, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that "not that bad" must no longer be good enough. This title is available as an eBook through Hoopla and cloudLibrary and as both a physical book and audio book on CD through the library.


On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling. It reads as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born--a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam--and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Nominee for the National Book Award for Fiction and the Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Available through cloudLibrary as an eBook on 12 June 2020 and as an eAudiobook at the end of June. Also available as physical items through the library.


Under the Udala Trees

Chinelo Okparanta

A young Nigerian girl, displaced during their civil war, begins a powerful love affair with another refugee girl from a different ethnic community until the pair are discovered and must learn the cost of living a lie amidst taboos and prejudices. Available through Hoopla, cloudLibrary, and the library.


We Had No Rules

Corinne Manning

Corinne Manning’s defiant, beautifully realized story collection about the messy complications of contemporary queer life follow a cast of queer characters as they explore the choice of assimilation over rebellion, feeling the promise of a radically reimagined world but facing complicity instead.