*** READ FOR LGBT PRIDE MONTH ***

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We at Thoughts on This ‘n That and our partners, BookSparks and Shelf-Awareness believe the best way to celebrate any occasion is to read all about it! June is LGBT Pride Month and BookSparks and Shelf-Awareness has come up with a list of inspirational voices that celebrate equal rights and equal love for all. Once you read one of these novels, we think you’re going to want to add all to your TBR list!

Blue Apple Switchback (She Writes Press, June 7) by Carrie Highley 

Carrie Highley was the definition of a tomboy growing up and her lust for women started at an early age. But that didn’t stop her from going down old society’s approved path and hiding her true identity and feelings. Committed to a heterosexual relationship and her two children, Highley’s memoir delivers a refreshingly raw account of her love affair with a female cyclist and explores the path that led to courageous boldness to finally be herself.  

Here Comes the Sun  (Liveright, July 5th) by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Jamaican drama is everything. Transport yourself inside the country’s real culture with this vivacious portrait of life in Montego Bay. Margot works at one of the island’s most luxurious resorts and hustles daily – and nightly – so her younger sister avoids the fate of most Jamaican girls: selling her body for survival. When Jamaica’s tourism industry takes a turn, Margot sees a chance for independence and the long-awaited opportunity to reveal her forbidden love for another woman.

Gridley Girls  (SparkPress, June 21st) by Meredith First

Facing deep-rooted secrets, let alone sharing them with everyone you love, is always a harrowing moment. Coming out to the world is equal parts terrifying and liberating, and is easily the most vulnerable moment in life for every member of the LGBT community. It’s easier when friends have your back. Gridley Girls explores the lives of four friends, the secrets they’ve fiercely protected for decades and the astonishing strength they find in the bonds of friendship

The Chosen One (Amazon, May 7th) by T.B. Markinson

Having both true love and a successful political career isn’t easy when you’re gay. Ainsley Carmichael is a  college freshman and her powerful political family expects her to become president one day. Maintaining her politically polished image is tested when she falls in love with a mysterious and not-so-polished girl named Maya. Worlds apart and both harboring personal secrets, will their love survive or will the Carmichael legacy triumph?  

The Shelf Life of Ashes (She Writes Press, May 1oth) by Hollis Giammatteo

This honest novel examines a part of life many of us try to ignore: aging. Written by one of the leading LGBT voices in literature, this memoir is Giammatteo’s reflection of her time working with the elderly and her refreshing insights on the possibilities of being healthy and happy  while aging. Don’t reach for the botox and lip injections just yet, Giammatteo’s touching observations may surprise you.

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Marriage equality has created so much conversation in the United States recently that it is perhaps easy to forget that gay rights are a global battleground. UNDER THE UDALA TREES(HoughtonMifflin) by Chinelo Okparanta throws into sharp relief the historical and continuing struggles of the LGBTQ population of Nigeria.

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Anna North’s second novel, THE LIFE and DEATH of SOPHIE STARK (BlueRiderPress) are stories based on very private filmmaker, Sophie Stark’s, films which have never been shared. The book is a fascinating and provocative portrait of a woman revealed through the stories of others, and those who wanted it that way.

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In Kirsty Logan’s, THE GATEKEEPERS (Crown), water covers most of the planet’s surface and land is a precious and limited resource. This speculative tale explores the harmful nature of isolation and the serenity that comes from finding one’s place in the world.

If you can think of any other books that celebrate the LGBT community, please share it in our comments section and we’ll add it to our Pride Month list for next June. Next year, we’ll post our list at the beginning of June!

Thank you BookSparks and Shelf-Awareness for providing this information for LGBT Pride Month. #SRC2016 #BestSummerEver   @BookSparks

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