Our Queerest Shelves

8 Great New Pride Reads for 2024

Laura Sackton

Senior Contributor

Laura Sackton is a queer book nerd and freelance writer, known on the internet for loving winter, despising summer, and going overboard with extravagant baking projects. In addition to her work at Book Riot, she reviews for BookPage and AudioFile, and writes a weekly newsletter, Books & Bakes, celebrating queer lit and tasty treats. You can catch her on Instagram shouting about the queer books she loves and sharing photos of the walks she takes in the hills of Western Mass (while listening to audiobooks, of course).

Penguin Random House

Celebrate Pride year-round with Penguin Random House! Sign up to get this year’s Pride in Your Words zine, PLUS an exclusive flash tattoo sticker sheet, and check out the Pride in Your Words website for hundreds of queer book recommendations. Books offer community, even when we’re alone. And seeing yourself represented in the pages of a book is something everyone should be able to experience. Find your next read at prh.com/pridereads, this month and every month.

It’s always a good time to read queer books, but June is an especially good time to read new queer books. There’s always an avalanche of new queer releases during Pride, so why not take advantage of it? Throw a few of these fantastic reads in your beach bag, put in some preorders, get your library holds in early — you know the drill.

Honestly, making lists of new queer releases is getting harder and harder, simply because there are so many! This is, of course, a fantastic problem to have. These books are the ones I’m personally most excited to get my hands on ASAP. It’s a mix of fiction and nonfiction. There are a few buzzy titles and several under-the-radar books I hope will surprise and delight you. I’ve included both recent releases and upcoming titles, so you’ll have some things to read now and some things to look forward to. You’ll find memoirs and essay collections, an anthology of work by queer Arab writers, magical realist short stories, novels set in Colombia and Nigeria, a sapphic romance, nonfiction about lesbian history, and more.

I know how I’ll be celebrating Pride: by throwing myself a month-long queer reading party! Everyone’s invited.

a graphic of the cover of Another Word for Love: A Memoir by Carvell Wallace

Another Word for Love by Carvell Wallace (May 14)

If you’re looking for a memoir to carry you through June, this is the one. It’s a beautiful, earnest book about the hard and joyful work of healing. Though Wallace touches on the traumas he experienced growing up a Black queer kid, his focus is on the moments that have sustained him since: making art, cooking, and music; romantic, sexual, and platonic connections; parenting. His raw and insightful writing often feels like prose poetry. This is a book full of the hope of collective liberation.

Cover of I'm a Fool to Want You

I’m a Fool to Want You by Camila Sosa Villada, translated by Kit Maude (May 28)

I’ve been waiting for another one of Villada’s books to be translated into English ever since I read and loved Bad Girls, and now the wait is over! In this book of short stories, Villada blends the mundane and the extraordinary, bringing touches of magical realism to contemporary moments. Queer and trans characters face challenging — and sometimes downright strange — situations, and the result is stories that feel alive and surprising.

cover of A Little Kissing Between Friends

A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higgins (May 28)

A lesbian best-friends-to-lovers romance? Sign me up! Cyn is a music producer who’s always been happy to keep her flings casual. That is, until she suddenly starts seeing her best friend, Jucee, in a new way. Jucee is a talented dancer at a strip club and a single mom who, like Cyn, has never made lasting relationships a priority. But what will happen if they just kiss a little? No big deal, right? Higgins’s first romance was a delight, and I can’t wait to see what joys this one brings.

cover of A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women's Culture by June Thomas

A Place of Our Own by June Thomas (May 28)

I adore queer history books, and when a queer history book is also about place, geography, and landscape? Swoon. In this blend of personal recollections and historical research, Thomas delves into queer women’s history in the second half of the 20th century through the lens of important lesbian spaces. She looks at sex toy shops, feminist bookstores, and rural communes (to name a few), exploring how these spaces helped shape lesbian culture and politics. Thoughtful, intimate, and often surprising, this is a must-read for all lovers of sapphic history.

cover of Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh

Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh (June 4)

This heartbreaking but tender coming-of-age novel follows Obiefuna, a young gay man struggling to make sense of himself and his world in mid-2000s Nigeria. When his dad catches him with another boy, he’s sent to a strict religious boarding school, where he endures years of homophobia and violence. It’s not until he finds and makes connections with other queer people in his early twenties that he’s finally able to confront the traumas of his past. This is a layered, complex novel that acknowledges queer suffering while also uplifting and celebrating queer love.

cover of Hombrecito

Hombrecito by Santiago Jose Sanchez (June 25)

Fan of books about complicated family relationships: you’re going to want to run to this one. Santiago is a boy when he moves from Colombia to Miami with his mother and brother. As the family struggles to make ends meet, Santiago begins to explore his queerness. Over the next decades, he moves between cities, countries, and relationships, looking for belonging. This is a sharp, poignant exploration of queer immigrant experiences and the messy bonds of family and homeland.

Cover of Dancing on My Own

Dancing On My Own by Simon Wu (June 25)

The subtitle of this collection (Essays on Art, Collectivity, and Joy), is all I need to know to want it immediately. But everything else about it is just as tempting. Art and cultural critic Simon Wu approaches art, fashion, queer history, identity, belonging, and pop culture with an eye for how the personal is always also the collective. He infuses these essays with his own interests, longings, and experiences, even as he stretches them beyond himself, asking what it means to love and create in such a fraught and constantly changing world.

Cover of El Ghourabaa edited by Samia Marshy & Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch

El Ghourabaa edited by Samia Marshy & Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch (June)

Did I actually scream when this anthology was announced? I did! Metonymy Press hasn’t published a bad book yet. This collection brings together an eclectic array of queer Arab and Arabophone writing from both new and established writers. The diverse styles bridge genres, generations, and nations, highlighting the multifaceted and nuanced realities of queer Arab lives. I can’t wait to dig into what I know will be an incredibly rich and creative collection of world-opening work.

Looking for more great queer books to read this Pride Month? Check out this fantastic list of the best 2024 queer releases and this collection of the best and buzziest LGBTQ+ fantasy of the year so far!

You can also keep up with new LGBTQ book releases by signing up for Book Riot’s Our Queerest Shelves newsletter, which will keep you up to date with new queer books and queer book news!