Last month I suggested LGBTQ+ parents encourage their kids to do some summer reading. Why should the kids have all the fun? It’s a great time for parents to pick up a good book, too! Just in time, Lambda Literary, the nation’s premier LGBTQ literary organization, announced the winners of its 33rd Annual “Lammys”, the most prestigious awards in LGBTQ publishing. Here are some of the winners:
- Lesbian Fiction: Fiebre Tropical by Juli Delgado Lopera
Uprooted from her comfortable life in Bogotá, Colombia, into an ant-infested Miami townhouse, fifteen-year-old Francisca is miserable and friendless. But then she meets Carmen: opinionated, charismatic, head of the youth group, and the pastor’s daughter. Francisca soon falls intensely in love with Carmen, and to get closer to her, she turns to Jesus to be saved.
- Gay Fiction: Neotenica, Joon Oluchi Lee
In this novel, the reader encounters casual sex, arranged marriage dates, cops, rowdy teenagers, lawyers, a Sapphic flirtation, a rival, a child, and two important dogs – all in the life of a Korean couple. Young Ae is a Ph.D. student, and her husband is a male inhabiting interior femininity, neither transgender nor homosexual.
- Transgender Nonfiction: The Black Trans Prayer Book by J. Mase III and Dane Figueroa Edidi
This is an interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic, and theological work that collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black trans and non-binary people.
- Gay Memoir/Biography: Dutiful Boy: A Memoir of a Gay Muslim’s Journey to Acceptance by Mohsin Zaidi
Growing up in a devout Muslim household, it felt impossible for Mohsin to be gay. Unable to be open with his family, and with difficult conditions at school, he felt his opportunities closing around him. Despite the odds, Mohsin’s perseverance led him to attend Oxford University, where new experiences and encounters helped him to discover who he truly wanted to be.
- Lesbian Romance: Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So, she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.
- Gay Romance: The Ghost and Charlie Muir by Felice Stevens
Bad enough the big old house Charlie Muir inherits is next door to Ian Gregg, the most gorgeous guy he’s ever seen—it also happens to be occupied by Rachel, the ghost who keeps running off his dates. When Ian helps Charlie search for the source of strange noises in his house, they stumble upon a stack of photographs hiding century-old secrets and end up solving a mystery with the help of the meddling ghost, a magical mirror, and a way too Smart TV.
- LGBTQ Young Adult: Flamer by Mike Curato
It’s the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone’s going through changes―but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.
These are just a handful of the Lammy winners. You can see a full list of the winners, as well as all the other finalists on the Lamba Literary website at lambdaliterary.org. The books are also available for sale on the site, or – as always – stop by The King’s English Bookshop; if they don’t have the title you want on the shelves, they’ll be glad to order it for you!
Special thanks to Jodie Hockensmith for all her help.