6 Books That Will Have You Saying, “Beach, Please!”

Because reading is fundamental.

Your summer beach read is just as essential an item for your sojourn to the shore as is your swimsuit or sunscreen. So, here are six queer books you will want to have handy while relaxing on your beach towel. And, should you be inspired to get your hands on one of our recommendations, we’ve linked each title to a local LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly specialty bookstore.

  1. Author Becky Albertalli’s follow-up to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (the novel that Love, Simon is based on) follows high school senior, drummer, and Simon’s best friend, Leah, as she copes with her bisexuality—something only her mom knows about her—and her crush on one of her friends.

  2. Arthur Less, a failed novelist approaching 50, doesn’t want to attend his ex’s wedding, so he attends a series of literary happeings around the globe to get out of going. This sharp, satirical novel from Andrew Sean Greer won the Pulitzer Prize for literature this year.

  3. This debut novel from author Henry Lien recounts the tale of plucky Peasprout Chen, one of the first students from the nation of Shin to be admitted to Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword. As she strives to be head of the class in wu liu, the art of martial arts figure skating, she must fend off a troupe of popular girls with the help of a mysterious pair of siblings. This fast-paced and immensely entertaining book is a delight to read and offers some delicious twists as a payoff.

  4. Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school longing to fit in, but after a kind, affable classmate befriends her, she fears how he’ll react when he finds out she was known as Andrew at her previous school. This Meredith Russo novel is a Stonewall Book Award Winner and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

  5. This romantic comedy from Camille Perri, author of The Assistants, introduces us to twentysomething lawyer, Katie Daniels, a blissfully in love Kentucky transplant who has her world turned upside when her fiancee abruptly ends their relationship leaving her at a loss for what to do next. That is until she meets Cassidy, a powerful woman who makes Katie reexamine everything she thought she knew about herself and what she really wants out of life.

  6. Author Eric Poole’s humorous journey of self-discovery relates the details of his quirky adolescence spent playing trumpet, dodging attractive bullies, and striving to be a world-famous star. To become his best self (which is to say, anyone but himself), Eric mimics some famous idols: Barry Manilow, Halston, Tommy Tune, and Shirley MacLaine.

And, as a bonus sidebar, if you are one of the 36% of U.S. adults who reads their books digitally, you may want to consider the MyFlipShade accessory for iPhone6 and above. This handy accessory blocks the harsh glare so you can read every word and enjoy the sun at the same time.

Bryan van Gorder usually writes about the places he's been or the famous people forced to talk to him.
@bvangorder