Best of Rainbow Reading 2020

It’s time to look back at 2020 and highlight my favorite LGBTQ reads of the year! I read a total of 332 LGBTQ books and I enjoyed the vast majority of them, which made narrowing down my favorites a struggle (as evidenced by the sheer number of books in this post).

I changed up the format a bit this year, but as always, these selections are based on my personal enjoyment of the books, not necessarily their literary quality or critical merit.

Without further ado…here are my favorite LGBTQ reads of 2020!

Fave Five-Star Reads

A High Five for Glenn Burke

Wild and Crooked

Elatsoe

A Choir of Lies (A Conspiracy of Truths, #2)

Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality

 

 

A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner (middle grade fiction, gay)
Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas (young adult fiction, queer)
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (young adult fantasy, aro-ace)
A Choir of Lies by Alexandra Rowland (adult fantasy, gay, secondary trans)
Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality by Debbie Cenziper (adult nonfiction, gay and lesbian)

Fantastic Fantasy

The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)

Burn

Sharks in the Time of Saviors

The Wise and the Wicked

The Binding

Now Entering Addamsville

 

 

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski (young adult, lesbian)
Burn by Patrick Ness (young adult, gay)
Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washington (adult, sapphic)
The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos (young adult, trans LI, secondary lesbian)
The Binding by Bridget Collins (adult, bi, m/m)
Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia (young adult, asexual, secondary sapphic)

Superb Sci-Fi

Edge of Nowhere (Nowhere, #1)

Blackout (Blackout #1)

The First Sister (The First Sister Trilogy, #1)

Sword in the Stars (Once & Future #2)Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)

 

 

Edge of Nowhere by Felicia Davin (adult, gay, bi, secondary lesbian, aro-ace, nonbinary)
Blackout by Kit Mallory (young adult, queer women, f/f)
The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis (adult, sapphic, major secondary nonbinary)
Sword in the Stars by A.R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy (young adult, gay, bi, lesbian, ace, trans, nonbinary)
Network Effect by Martha Wells (adult, asexual and agender, secondary same-sex and polyam relationships, secondary nonbinary)

Fabulous Fiction

Continental Divide

We Contain Multitudes

All the Bad Apples

The Nap-Away Motel

Breaking the Ice (Sophie Fournier, #1)

The History of Living Forever

Under the Rainbow

 

 

Continental Divide by Alex Myers (adult, transgender man)
We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra (young adult, gay)
All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (young adult, lesbian, bi)
The Nap-Away Motel by Nadja Lubiw-Hazard (young adult/adult crossover, genderfluid)
Breaking the Ice by K.R. Collins (adult, ace spectrum)
The History of Living Forever by Jake Wolff (adult, gay)
Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey (adult, lesbian, gay, bi, nonbinary)

Standout Series

Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan, #1)Starcrossed (Magic in Manhattan, #2)

The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, #1)
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain (The Singing Hills Cycle, #2)

The Last Sun (The Tarot Sequence, #1)

The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence, #2)

The Queen of Rhodia (Tales of Inthya #3)

Daughter of the Sun (Tales of Inthya, #2)

The King's Peace (Tir Tanagiri, #1)
The King's Name (Tir Tanagiri, #2)

The Prize in the Game (Tir Tanagiri #3)

Transcendent 2: The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction 2016
Transcendent 4: The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction

 

 

 

 

Spellbound and Starcrossed by Allie Therin (adult historical fantasy, gay)
Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo (adult historical fantasy, nonbinary and wlw)
The Last Sun and The Hanged Man by K.D. Edwards (adult fantasy, bi, m/m)
The Queen of Rhodia and Daughter of the Sun by Effie Calvin (adult fantasy, pansexual, f/f, cultural third gender)
The King’s Peace, The King’s Name and The Prize in the Game by Jo Walton (adult fantasy, asexual, gay, bi)
Transcendent 2 and Transcendent 4 by Bogi Takács (ed.) (adult fantasy and sci-fi, trans and nonbinary)

Notable Nonfiction

Queer  X Design: 50 Years of Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art of LGBTQ

Bordered Lives: Transgender Portraits from Mexico

Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan

Finding Self: A Transgender Person's Guide to Physical Transition (For Transmasculine and Nonbinary People)
Maggie & Me: Coming Out and Coming of Age in 1980s Scotland

 

 

Queer X Design: 50 Years of LGBTQ Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art by Andy Campbell (history, graphic design, LGBTQ)
Bordered Lives: Transgender Portraits from Mexico by Kike Arnal (photography, trans)
Edges of the Rainbow: LGBTQ Japan by Michel Delsol and Haruku Shinozaki (photography, LGBTQ)
Finding Self : A Transgender Person’s Guide to Physical Transition by Sage Buch (trans masculine)
Maggie & Me by Damian Barr (memoir, gay)

Great Graphic Novels

Snapdragon

The Magic Fish

Estranged (Estranged, #1)

The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures

Flamer

 

 

Snapdragon by K L (young adult fantasy, secondary trans, lesbian, bi)
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen (young adult fiction, gay)
Estranged by Ethan M. Aldridge (middle grade fantasy, gay, secondary uses they/them pronouns)
The Fire Never Goes Out by Noelle Stevenson (young adult memoir, queer)
Flamer by Mike Curato (young adult fiction, gay)

Remarkable Romance

Taking Stock

Coffee

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score (Seducing the Sedgwicks, #2)

Briarley

No Parking

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows (Feminine Pursuits, #2)

 

 

Taking Stock by A.L. Lester (historical, gay)
Coffee by Matthew J. Metzger (contemporary, gay, queer, trans, secondary lesbian)
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian (historical, gay)
Briarley by Aster Glenn Gray (historical fantasy novella, gay)
No Parking by Valentine Wheeler (contemporary, bi, ace, secondary trans, nonbinary, lesbian)
The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite (historical, lesbian, bi)

Marvelous Middle Grade & Prominent Picture Books

Redwood and Ponytail

Pepper's Rules for Secret Sleuthing

In the Role of Brie Hutchens...

Call Me Max

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book about Gender Identity

 

 

Redwood and Ponytail by K.A. Holt (mg fiction-in-verse, lesbian, questioning)
Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing by Briana McDonald (mg mystery, sapphic, questioning, secondary trans boy)
In the Role of Brie Hutchens… by Nicole Melleby (mg fiction, lesbian)
Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Luciano Lozano (pb, trans boy)
It Feels Good to Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn, illustrated by Noah Grigni (pb, trans, nonbinary, gender identity)

Magnificent Miscellaneous

The Black Flamingo

Meddling Kids

Rebent Sinner

 

 

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (young adult fiction-in-verse, gay)
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (adult mystery/paranormal/horror, lesbian, f/f )
Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote (adult essays, trans, nonbinary)

And there you have it: The Best of Rainbow Reading 2020! I hope you find a new favorite here as well.

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4 thoughts on “Best of Rainbow Reading 2020

  1. I liked (but didn’t love) The First Sister, but I did love Nghi Vo’s books. The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows I absolutely adored!

    Thanks for putting Effie Calvin’s Tales of Inthya on my radar – that’s a must read for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now’s a good time to get into Tales of Inthya – a new one just came out a month or so ago! I’m looking forward to catching up with it 🙂

      I want to shove Nghi Vo’s books at everyone and I can’t wait for her debut novel this summer.

      I think there’s another book in Olivia Waite’s Feminine Pursuits series out this summer too… 2021 is already looking promising!

      Like

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