IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Best 24 LGBTQ books of 2019, according to Lambda Literary

Find your next LGBTQ read with these works in fiction and nonfiction, poetry, science fiction and horror, graphic novels and more.
Image; Top LGBTQ Books
"The Tiger Flu" by Larissa Lai; "Out of Step: A Memoir" by Anthony Moll; "Jonny Appleseed" by Joshua Whitehead

From memoirs to young adult novels, 2019 brought with it a bounty of books published by LGBTQ authors. If you want to get into reading one of them but feel intimidated by the onslaught of options, don’t fret. Lambda Literary, the premier organization promoting the development of emerging queer writers, recently relased its annual list of Lammy Award Recipients.

The foundation has been issuing the awards since 1987. This year, 24 books earned Lammy awards, spanning distinct categories ranging from transgender poetry to lesbian romance. William Johnson, deputy director of Lambda Literary, explains Lammy Award categories could change depending on which books readers nominate.

Queer writers are changing the master narrative

William Johnson, deputy director of Lambda Literary

“A lot of the categories are submitted by the community, which is how we can track trends throughout the years,” Johnson told NBC News. “Humor used to be a category, but now it’s no longer, and we’re finding that the number of young adult books has been exploding each year, so there’s a lot more to select from.”

Johnson added that each category is judged by a panel of three or so authors who write in the same genre they judge.

“Queer writers are changing the master narrative,” Johnson said, adding that as a result, more mainstream media organizations have been taking note of LGBTQ authors’ contributions. “But at Lambda Literary we continue to provide a platform for the truly transgressive and outsider voices because highlighting these voices can help readers feel less alone.”

As 2019 closes, here are Lambda Literary’s awardees — a list that denotes some of the most impactful, provocative LGBTQ literature of the past year, according to the foundation.

Lesbian Fiction

1. "The Tiger Flu" by Larissa Lai

Gay Fiction

2. "Jonny Appleseed" by Joshua Whitehead

Bisexual Fiction

3. "Disoriental" by Négar Djavadi; Translated by Tina Kover, Europa Editions

Bisexual Fiction

4. "Out of Step: A Memoir" by Anthony Moll

Transgender Fiction

5. "Little Fish" by Casey Plett

LGBTQ Nonfiction

6. "Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry" by Imani Perry

Transgender Nonfiction

7. "Histories of the Transgender Child" by Julian Gill-Peterson

Lesbian Poetry

8. "Each Tree Could Hold a Noose or a House" by Ru Puro

Gay Poetry

9. "Indecency" by Justin Phillip Reed

Bisexual Poetry

10. "We Play a Game" by Duy Doan

Transgender Poetry

11. "lo terciario/the tertiary" by Raquel Salas Rivera

Lesbian Mystery

12. "A Study in Honor: A Novel" by Claire O'Dell

Gay Mystery

13. "Late Fees: a Pinx Video Mystery" by Marshall Thornton

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

14. "Chronology" by Zahra Patterson

Gay Memoir/Biography

15. "No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America" by Darnell L. Moore

Lesbian Romance

16. "Beowulf For Cretins: A Love Story" by Ann McMan

Gay Romance

17. "Crashing Upwards" by S.C. Wynne

LGBTQ Erotica

18. "Miles & Honesty in SCFSX!" by Blue Delliquanti and Kazimir Lee

LGBTQ Anthology

19. "As You Like It: The Gerald Kraak Anthology Volume II" by The Other Foundation and Jacana Media

LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult

20. "Hurricane Child" by Kacen Callender


21. "Draw the Circle" by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen

LGBTQ Graphic Novels

22. "The Lie and How We Told It" by Tommi Parrish


23. "The Breath of the Sun" by Isaac R. Fellman

LGBTQ Studies

24. "Toxic Silence: Race, Black Gender Identity, and Addressing the Violence Against Black Transgender Women in Houston" by William T. Hoston

Follow NBC Out on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.