You’re probably familiar with the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, Grammys and CMA Awards, but you’ve probably never heard of the “Lammys.” Short for the Lambda Literary Awards, the annual awards—now in their 26th year— celebrate the best in LGBT literature in 24 categories including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, academic, erotica as well as the just debuted Graphic Novel category.

“This is our fifth straight year of record-breaking Lambda Literary Award submissions,” said LLF Board President, S. Chris Shirley, in a press release. “We’re especially excited to add an LGBT Graphic Novel category to accommodate their explosive growth over the past few years and to recognize the extraordinary talent behind them.”

This year’s winners will be announced Monday, June 2 in New York City but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start in adding several of these finalist titles to your summer reading list. So no matter your identity—lesbian non-fiction, transgender fiction, or even gay erotica—the Lammy award finalists will provide some of your best summer LGBT poolside and vacation reads.

Visit lambdaliterary.org for a full list of finalists and for this year’s winners.

 

Lesbian General Fiction

Fat Angie by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

candlewick.com

 

Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of "crazy mad cow!") away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. A girl who is one hundred and ninety-nine percent wow! A girl who never sees her as Fat Angie, and who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. With an offbeat sensibility, mean girls to rival a horror classic, and characters both outrageous and touching, this darkly comic anti-romantic romance will appeal to anyone who likes entertaining and meaningful fiction.

 

 

Gay General Fiction

The Desperates by Greg Kearney

cormorantbooks.com

 

Edmund was dying, but now he isn’t. Granted a reprieve from the HIV that took everyone he loved away from him, Edmund decides — after a period of holing up in his Rosedale home – to jumpstart his new lease on life by diving hard into the sex and drugs of the party scene.

Teresa is dying, and she’s livid. Determined not to let her illness slow her down, she uses the year she has remaining to avenge past grievances and correct certain “mistakes” she feels she made – both in connection to her estranged son.

Joel isn’t dying, and probably won’t be for a while. Coddled to a state of perpetual naivety by his mother, he moves to the big city of Toronto with dreams of becoming an artist and finding true love. What he finds is somewhat less than he bargained for — though he won’t admit it.

In telling the intersecting stories of Edmund, Teresa, and Joel — all of whom leave trails of hopeful chaos in their wake — ReLit Award-winning author Greg Kearney has painted a blackly comic, yet surprisingly earnest, portrait of modern loneliness. The Desperates is one of the rare novels that leaves you laughing even as it breaks your heart.

 

Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain

us.penguingroup.com

It’s October 1990. Jacob Putnam is young and full of ideas. He’s arrived a year too late to witness Czechoslovakia’s revolution, but he still hopes to find its spirit, somehow. He discovers a country at a crossroads between communism and capitalism, and a picturesque city overflowing with a vibrant, searching sense of possibility. As the men and women Jacob meets begin to fall in love with one another, no one turns out to be quite the same as the idea Jacob has of them—including Jacob himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bisexual Fiction

In His Secret Life by Mel Bossa

boldstrokebooks.com

When Allan's boyfriend leaves him for a younger man, Allan lets him go without a grudge. When his sister, Elsie, gets pregnant and ditched, he becomes her support system and father figure to his niece.Then Elsie becomes engaged to Dayton, and Allan meets Dayton's older brother, Davinder—a fierce and exceptionally gifted artist with a thousand secrets breathing in his eyes. But Davinder is a married man and father of two young boys. From the moment they meet, and for over four decades, Allan and Davinder will walk along the edge of their secret lives, never allowed to push open the gates. And though their love is a head-on collision, a meeting of the minds, a fusing of two lost souls, both men know that it is also, and above all...impossible.

 

 

 

Transgender Fiction

Nevada by Imogen Binnie

topsidepress.com

Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.

 

 

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For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

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