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Pride-perfect books

Pride-perfect books
Pattern for Book Club

In celebration of Bristol Pride, we give you a thoroughly un-comprehensive list of our favourite queer reads at the moment. 

Compiled by me, Cat, and Katie Connell, our brilliant Saturday bookseller. 

Rosewater, Liv Little

I knew I’d love Rosewater before I’d read a single page, and I was right. Set in London, 28-year-old Elsie is trying to make her way as a poet in a climate of rising rents, unstable accommodation, and a chaotic job market. This whilst navigating a complicated friendship, situationships, and conservative parents. It’s a journey of love and self-discovery that I couldn’t put down.  

– Cat  

Vagabonds, Eloghosa Osunde 

A gorgeous, lyrical journey through Lagos, where Lagos is actually a personified deity named Eko, with narration provided by Eko's once loyal servant Tatafo. Tatafo shines light on the living and not-living, the flesh and not-flesh of the queer and marginalized spirits of the city. 

– Katie

Chase of the Wild Goose, Mary Gordon 

A forgotten queer novel, first published in 1936. Celebrates the search for queer foremothers, following the iconic Ladies of Llandogen from Ireland to rural Wales. 

– Cat

None of the Above, Travis Alabanza 

A thoughtful mediation on being gender nonconforming and the assumptions people project onto folks outside the binary. 

– Katie 

Love, Leda, Mark Hyatt 

Written before the Sexual Offences Act and published this year, Love, Leda feels like a precious relic from the past. Leda lives hand-to-mouth, striding from cafes to bars to other people’s houses. His days are measured in coffee and coins, but it’s the love story at the book’s core that keeps you turning the pages. 

– Cat 

Don’t Call Us Dead, Danez Smith 

Stunning, heartbreaking, so honest, so liberatory. It's a hymn to being young, Black and queer in the US, as well as Smith's reckoning with being HIV+.

–  Katie 

Young Mungo, Douglas Stuart 

Incredibly beautiful and affecting, Young Mungo is the story of starcrossed lovers. Set primarily in Glasgow’s East End, where young men are expected to act in a certain and specific way, Mungo doesn’t fit the mould. He meets a boy who understands him, but finding the space for their love to unfurl isn’t easy.

–  Cat 

We Can Do Better Than This, various contributers 

A great collection of essays that capture thoughts and visions from folks across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Read for a taste of a lot of contemporary artists and authors whose other works you will surely = want to check out! 

– Katie 

Buy on