Favourite Gay Books

call me by your nameAs promised, here is my preliminary list of favourite gay books published over the past 50 years. I used different sources to assemble this list of  books, including booksellers, many gay websites, as well as reviews on this website and I divided them into 2 categories – The Classics (books more than 15 years old – this was arbitrary and it could just as easily have been 25 years) and Current Favourites (any book released after 1994 –  again an arbitrary date). This list is not complete and I don’t know how many we will end up with when it’s done.

Since you are all consumers of M/M romances and gay fiction I would ask readers and authors to add to this list so that eventually we  have a composite list of favourite gay books, not necessarily best sellers or books that have achieved critical acclaim (although some of them are included). Your personal favourites do have a place but I hope we don’t end up with 200 books.:) Some of these titles may be familiar to you, quite a few of them have been reviewed on the site, and I hope that eventually many more will be reviewed. I have read some of the books but not as many as I would have liked. Reviewing the remaining books would probably be a lot easier if they were available in ebook format but most of the classics are only in print; however we’ll do what we can. Of course the list will evolve and change as new books are published so it will probably need to be updated every 3 – 6 months.

Please include your suggested additions in the comments section of this post. You will notice, I’m sure, the lack of historical and scifi books on the list so I would really like those recs. , also a few more contemporary M/M and gay fiction.

Favourite Gay Books 
 -The Classics 

 (for this purpose books released more than 15 years ago)

A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts
Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
City of Night by John Rechy
Comfort & Joy by Jim Grimsley
Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Maurice by E.M. Forster
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal
The Best Little Boy in the World by Andrew Tobias
The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Charioteer by Mary Renault
The Dreyfus Affair by Peter Lefcourt
The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren
The Persian Boy by Mary Renaultthe persian boy
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 

 – Current 

 (for this purpose books released 15 years ago or less)

A Better Place by Mark A. Roeder
A Bit of Rough by Laura Baumbach
A Note In The Margin by Isabelle Rowan
A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W.Day
Adrien English Mysteries (series) by Josh Lanyon
Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger
Always by M.L. Rhodes
Angel’s Evolution by T.A. Chase
As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
Angels in America by Tony Kushner
At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill
Bareback by Chris Owen
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
Captain’s Surrender by Alex Beecroft
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Caught Running by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Channeling Morpheus (series) by Jordan Castillo Price
Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell
Crossing Borders by Z.A. Maxfield
Cut and Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran
Deadly Dreams/Slumber/Wrong/Nightshade (series) by Victor J. Banis
Donald Strachey Mysteries (series) by Richard Stevenson
Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels
Falling by M.L. Rhodes
False Colors by Alex Beecroft
Heaven Sent (series) by Jet Mykles
Hero by Perry Moore
High Line by T.A. Chase
How Long has this been Going On? Ethan Mordden
LolaDances lgeLola Dances by Victor J. Banis
Longhorns by Victor J. Banis
Love & Loyalty by Tere Michaels
My Fair Captain/The Englor Affair (series) by J.L. Langley
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Mexican Heat by Josh Lanyon and Laura Baumbach
Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
Naked by David Sedaris
9-1-1 by Chris Owen
Orientation by Rick R. Reed
Out There in the Night by Laura Baumbach
Out of the Blue by Josh Lanyon
Paul’s Dream by Rowan McBride
PsyCop (series) by Jordan Castillo Price
Ransom by Lee Rowan
Running with Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
Soul Mates (series) by Jourdan Lane
Standish by Erastes
Strongman by Denise Rosetti
Sweet Oblivion (series) Jordan Castillo Price
The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson
The Back Passage by James Lear
The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke
The Draegan Lords (series) by M.L. Rhodes
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
The One That Got Away by Madeleine Urban & Rhianne Aile
The Protector by N.L. Gassert
The Tin Star by J.L. Langley
The Mercenary’s Tale by Lynn Lorenz
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy
Transgressions by Erastes
Two Steps Up by Sean Kennedy – YA
Untamed Heart by Ally Blue
VGL Male Seeks Same by Rick R. Reed
Vintage – A Ghost Story by Steve Berman
Where Flows the Water by Sean Michael
Where The Boys Are by William J. Mann
Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
Without Reservations/With Caution by J.L. Langley


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a better place



  • Another book I read recently and really enjoyed was Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg. It’s a very sweet and nicely told “coming of age” story about a high school kid who gets outed by a classmate in a newspaper article. The main character, Bobby Framingham, is the star quarterback for the football team and every time I see Wave’s quarterback picture I think of Bobby and the book (and yes, that picture is exactly what Bobby looks like to me!). It’s YA so no sex, but there is one hot kiss and Bobby ends up with a really super boyfriend by the end. Definitely recommended.

  • Tam
    It was really hard work to come up with the vintage books but amazon was a great reference source and I checked many reviews on the site (if I was unfamilar with the books) before I included them. One benefit of amazon is that as soon as you enter the name of one book the system comes up with many others, so some research was not too difficult, but it was a time consuming job which took weeks. Hopefully all of this work will be well worth it in terms of having a list of favourite gay books for readers who are always writing me asking for book recs. (Maybe my inbox will get less mail):)

  • Thanks again Leslie. Out of the Pocket will definitely be on the list. I want to include as many YA books as possible because, believe it or not, I get emails from teenagers asking for book recs.

  • If you’re looking for YA I really enjoyed Without Sin by J. Tomas. I’m still bugging my daughter to read it. LOL She enjoyed Vintage though.

  • Awesome list, Wave! Thank you so much for including Untamed Heart! I feel very honored to have one of my books in such esteemed company 😀


    As far as my own favorites, I think you got them, really. You have Brokeback Mountain on there, right? What a DEPRESSING story, but OMG, I could NOT stop thinking about it. The damn thing HAUNTED me. Still does, many many years after I first read it. To this day, I can’t read — can’t even THINK about — those last few paragraphs without getting all teary. It isn’t even what she says in that story, exactly; it’s all the things she says by NOT saying them, if you get my meaning. Just beautiful.

  • Wow, thanks for including me.

    One book I really love, even though the gay relationship isn’t the main one, but it is really beautiful (with a fantastic love scene inside the abandoned grounds of the World Fair) is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

  • Ally
    You know how much I LOVE Untamed Heart. Anyone reading my review of this book would understand why.


    Yes to Brokeback Mountain. This book really resonates even years later. I want to review it but I’m not sure I can do it justice. So sad. It’s like The Front Runner which is an exquisite book but so sad.

  • Wow. This could go on. For-ever!
    Some suggestions:
    Pandora Project: Runaway Star by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
    Blue Ruin Series by Katrina Strauss
    Shadow Hunt by LM Prieto and Jayson Taylor
    Like Coffee and Donuts by Elle Parker
    Drawn Together by ZA Maxfield
    Hot Cargo by Bennet and Tachna
    I also second Rough Canvas, heartily.
    Do you feel you could might possibly have every m/m book ever published on this list by the end of the project? We all have such different tastes!
    Would it be asking too much to have a separate YA category?
    Do you need help putting this all together?

  • No problem Sean. I really enjoyed Tigers and Devils.


    I had heard about The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but ran out of time to research the reviews on the book and didn’t want to include it without first checking. Based on your rec. I’ll definitely include it.

  • Wave, if you’re looking for YA, Common Sons and Uncle Sean by Ronald Donaghe are both good. (Also, 2 of the books I mentioned before, Leave Myself Behind and Strings Attached, are YA).

  • Wren
    Thank you for the suggestion about a separate YA list. Are you offering to help? Maybe you could put together the YA book list. I’m serious – this project could go on forever if I’m going to do it by myself.


    Thanks for your recs. I recognize all of them. Damn – this is going to be so difficult.

  • I suspect this could indeed go on forever. People have such different tastes.
    I would also suggest The Long Way Home by ZA Maxfield, and especially Border Roads by Sarah Black.

  • What a great list, I have MOST of them in my library, and it looks like I will be adding to it soon! I agree that Rough Canvas could be added, it is, personally, one of the best books I have ever read…..I Thanks for taking the time to compile the list and thanks to readers for adding to it, it’s wonderful to have a resource other than my own research…..gives me more time to read great books:)

  • I highly recommend The God Eaters, by Jesse Hajicek. It has been on my nightstand for nearly 2 years now, not because I can’t finish it but because I go back to it over and over when I can’t find anything else to read. It’s available from Amazon and is a bit pricey for a trade paperback, but well worth it.
    Kirith Kirin, by Jim Grimsley is another old favorite. Both are “speculative fiction” as it’s apparently called nowadays. Both excellent.

    • Megan
      Thanks for the recs. I will definitely add The God Eaters to the list along with Kirith Kirin by Jim Grimsley. As you can see, I really like Grimsley – there are two other books by this author on the list.

  • Dammit Wave, more money spent… Actually I can’t wait to read them…

    I third ‘Rough Canvas’… Also
    Zero to the bone by Jane Seville
    Deviations Series by Chris Owen
    On Fire by Drew Zachary
    Details of the Hunt by Laura Baumbach
    Stealing Life by T A Chase
    Love in an Elevator by Sean Michael

    • Suzi
      thanks for the recs. I love the Deviations series, just haven’t had the time to review the 4 books. I guess i should make a concerted effort to take Rough Canvas out of mothballs and review it.:) Your other books struck a chord because I love most of them.

  • I am so honored to be on the list Wave! Thanks for including Crossing Borders. It looks like I have some reading to do as well, what a great list, one-stop shopping for great books.


  • Wren said: Do you feel you could might possibly have every m/m book ever published on this list by the end of the project? We all have such different tastes!
    and I reply: I don’t think we’ll have *every* book ever published. I have read a few turkeys which I am *not* going to mention (no need to embarass the author and no need to clutter up the list). LOL.

  • This is a great list, and such an ambitious project! For your Classic section, I’d recommend Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner.

    For your Current section, I’m glad you’ve got N. L. Gassert’s book The Protector and Tamara Allen’s book Whistling in the Dark, and I’d second that recommendation for Elle Parker’s book, Like Coffee and Doughnuts, and that other rec for Border Roads by Sarah Black.

    Also for Current I’d recommend
    Turnskin by Nicole Kimberling,
    the Hell Cop series by Amara Astrid and Nicole Kimberling and Ginn Hale,
    The Men of Smithfield – Gobsmacked by L. B. Gregg,
    Notturno by Z. A. Maxfield,
    Gym Dandy by Storm Grant,
    Nikolai by Angelia Sparrow
    Glad Hands by Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks
    Scarlet and the White Wolf series by Kirby Crow
    Angels of the Deep by Kirby Crow
    Her Majesty’s Men by Marquesate
    Uneven by Anah Crow
    The Bonds of Love by J. M. Snyder
    Sleight of Hand by Katrina Strauss
    and Practical Purposes by Yeva Wiest

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