Books by LGBTQ+ Authors: Staff Picks for the 2019 Reading Challenge

May 31, 2019 | Book Buzz

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Are you taking our 2019 Reading Challenge? So are library staff all across the city. To celebrate Pride month, we've asked staff for their recommendations for the category "A book by an LGBTQ+ author".

These books can also be used in the category "A book recommended to you by library staff". We've also included other categories for some of the titles.

 

Grace's recommendation: Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Annie on my mind

All formats

Why did Grace pick it?

"It was published in 1992 but still relevant to today's teens dealing with understanding their own sexuality, falling in love and the nonacceptance from parents and friends. I've read it twice - once as a teen and as an adult - works for all."

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book that has been banned or challenged

Nalini's recommendation: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe

All formats

Why did Nalini pick it?

"Written for teens, but I read it as an adult and really enjoyed it. I read this a few years ago, and remember raving about it for weeks to anyone who would listen. Its a well written and beautiful story of two young teens in 1980s Texas. It was also nominated for a ton of awards, and won a few too." (YA)

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book by an author in a visible minority

Alice's recommendations: I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver; Like a Love Story by  Abdi Nazemian

Why did Alice pick them?

I wish you all the best

All formats

"This is the story of Ben, an enby (non-binary) teen who comes out to their controlling, religious parents and is promptly evicted from the family home. They take refuge with their sister, who helps get them back on their feet and move forward at the same time that the two of them heal old wounds from her earlier departure. Ben also finds refuge in art while wrestling with whether to come out at their new school, and finds friends and eventually romance, ending on a sweet, satisfying note." (YA)

Like a Love Story by  Abdi Nazemian

Like a love story

All formats

"Reza is coming of age and discovering his identity as a gay man in NYC in the 1980s, while AIDS is ravaging the gay community. He is terrified to be himself in this environment, but also finding love and community and a purpose in the activism that is arising. This book is heartbreaking, hopeful, and beautiful all at once, and the author calls it a love letter to the community and the activists that made all the difference." (YA)

What other categories can you use it for?

  • A book by an author in a visible minority

Myrna's recommendation: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Miseducation of emily post

All formats

"For teens but I think it has a lot of appeal for adults as well. I love how vivid the settings and characters are in this book, it manages to really transport you to small town Montana in the 1990s." (YA)

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book that has been banned or challenged
  • A book that has been adapted into a movie or show

Debby's recommendations: Natural Order by Brian Francis, Stealing Nasreen by Farzana Doctor

Why did Debby pick them?

Natural order

All formats

"Near the end of her life, Joyce reminisces about times gone by and tries to resolve her negative feelings about her son's homosexuality."  

Stealing nasreen

All formats

"Struggling to cope with family pressures and come to terms with a recent break up, psychologist Nasreen's life becomes tangled up with the lives of Salma and Shaffiq, recent immigrants from Mumbai. It's set in Little India at Gerrard and Coxwell. I grew up in that neighbourhood so it was a comfortable read for me." 

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book from a Canadian award-winning author
  • A book set in Toronto
  • A book by an author in a visible minority

Maggie's recommendation: Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

Strangers on a train

All formats

Why did Maggie pick it?

"Two men meet on a train and decide to "trade" murders. Guy Haines will kill Charles Bruno's father and Bruno will murder Guy's wife. Guy does not believe that the conversation is anything more than a fanciful exchange but Bruno carries out his part of the agreement. Recommended because I love classic mysteries and this is a great read even if you've seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie." 

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book that has been adapted into a movie or show

Other recommendations from Reading Challenge Facebook group participants:

What are your picks or recommendations? Share in the comments section.

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