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


HEROpsycop property300


a better place



I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

Mary M
Wave, you do know you’re asking for trouble by asking for additional recs, right?? From the number of comments, I bet you’re already drowning in them. Lol. Thanks for doing this list. I’ve read only one of the “classics” (the one I recommended you *g*), but I see a lot of my own favs in the “current” section – which is not very surprising given that I read a lot of them on YOUR recommendation :-D. I have a feeling I might be ordering several more books-that-I-won’t have-the-time-to-read-before-a-while using his list :). As for additional recs, I don’t have many… Read more »

Eye of the Storm by Lee Rowan was just re-published with a lovely new cover and some edits to make it a better book (it has gone from very good to great, imho). It also features Will Marshall and David Archer and some very nice lovemaking, plus a bit of an adventure. It’s for sale at All Romance.


I do understand that I’m looking for trouble but since this list is for the readers I think they should have a major input on the recommended books. I’ll add Heroes and Ghosts to the list. Now go out and spend some money on print books.:)


Thanks for your recs. Josh. I’ll add these authors to the YA list. Much appreciated.

Josh Aterovis

Wave asked me to make a few suggestions for some other great gay YA authors, so these are the ones that came to mind: Brent Hartinger, Alex Sanchez, Davis Levithan, Peter Cameron, Martin Wilson, and Perry Moore. I’m sure I’m missing some obvious ones, so if I think of any more, I’ll be back!

Jordan Castillo Price

Wow, how exciting to make the list *twice*.

Tales from the Flat Earth by Tanith Lee is my favorite classic series. I may need to go re-read it!


I think you made the list 3 times, not twice, you lucky woman.:)

I’ll add Tales from the Flat Earth by Tanith Lee to the list. Thanks for the rec.

Aunt Lynn


Re: Sticks & Stones
We’re trying! We’re trying! We have to sleep!

No sleep for you two until it’s done, dammit! 🙂
Oh, and look for a review of Warrior’s Cross on Monday!

Aunt Lynn

The majority of mine have been either included on the original list or have been mentioned in comments. I would add:
Snowball in Hell/Josh Lanyon
St. Nachos/ZAM
I’ll also help when it comes time.

Madeleine Urban

Re: Sticks & Stones

We’re trying! We’re trying! We have to sleep!


Thought of a few more:
Edward Unconditionally by Lynn Lorenz
Regularly Scheduled Life by K.A. Mitchell
Henry and Jim by J.M. Snyder
Windows in Time by M. Jules Aedin

Sean Kennedy

Oh, a really good YA I read recently was “A Really Nice Prom Mess” by Brian Sloane. Like a John Hughes movie with a gay lead, all about the hellish (and hilarious) situations he gets into on prom night.

Great Idea on the Book lists! I love getting recommendations, and sharing (tell me to shut up it i list too much. I am a book addict I’ll admit it). m/m paperback Before i discovered ebooks and it was a rare treat to discover actual m/m books anywhere even on line. it used to be such a limited selection available, or at least that i could find. Here are some of those i remember enjoying. Mel Keegan Dangerous Moonlight (historical) Neil S. Plakey (gay detective) Mahu Series Cochrane Lambert Three Fortunes in one cookie Scott Sherman (mystery ) First you… Read more »
Kim W.

Wonderful list as well. I’m surprised at the wealth of authors we have. I’m glad you mentioned Lynn Flewelling. The Nightrunner books are both my favorite fantasy, and m/m novels. Did you know the series is being considered for movie/miniseries adaptation. http://otterdance.livejournal.com/314932.html

Maybe we could also have a list of m/m books that have been adapted into other media?


Thanks for the recs. I had never heard about the Nightrunner books so now I’ll be off to amazon to place them in my cart.:)
“Maybe we could also have a list of m/m books that have been adapted into other media?”
I think I need to finish this project first.:)


Hi Tara,
I also enjoyed “Three Fortunes in One Cookie” by Cochrane Lambert. Did you know it’s a writing partnership? Becky Cochrane and Timothy J Lambert both have Live Journals, and post some of the best entries I’ve read. I often laugh out loud about Tim’s latest adventures, and Becky’s a wonderful dressmaker to the “stars”.

T.A. Chase

Hey Wave,
Thanks for including Stealing Life and High Line on your list.
Wow…there are a whole bunch of books that I need to add to my list and pick up. They all look great. I can’t wait until the YA list is compiled because I’d love to pick up some of them.
Thanks again.


You’re welcome TA. Just get your credit card handy when the final list is ready next week.:)

Hm, a good opportunity to peek out of lurkdom. 😉 I’d like to add the Raised by Wolves series by W. A. Hoffman, an epic historical in 4 parts (Brethren, Matelots, Treasure; Wolves to be released this year). It’s freaking fantastic and really huge, every book has about at least 500 pages. A bit pricy but it’s worth it. Placed in the 1660s in the West Indies amongst the buccaneers. Love (maybe a little bit “gay for you” but absolutely believable and very moving), angst and adventure, vividly narrated in first person POV. Quite a bit philosophical and edgy. Love… Read more »

I’m so glad I found something to get you out of lurkdom and I hope you will continue to contribute. Thanks for the recs. and I look forward to seeing you here more than occasionally.:)


Hi Lilli!

My comment only looks longer because I stuck all those asterisks in there! Your’s has much more substance.
The Raised by Wolves books are great, aren’t they? I think W.A. Hoffman changed her direction a little with the last one, though, and her teaser chapters for the next book in the series didn’t appeal to me much. Did you read them on her web-site? I’m quite nervous about this final book. :/


Hi gaycrow, nice to meet you here.
I definitely second the Shadow of the Templar Series.
The Wolves Book teasers struck me as “poor Will, poor poor Will”, which is nothing new, but this time Will meets real hardship, I think.


Hi Feliz! It’s great to find another Simon/Jeremy fan here. The Shadow of the Templar books are compulsive reading, aren’t they?


Regarding the final Raised by Wolves book – yes, without giving too much away, I’m not really looking forward to seeing what Will goes through. 🙁

Hi gaycrow! The books are definitely great! After reading the first I wanted to quit work, find me a matelot and go roving. *ggg* And the second book was even better. But as I haven’t yet read the third book (I’m a slow reader and I always need some free days in a row to read such a huge book. Otherwise I’d be a complete mess at work being completely occupied with other things… ;)) I avoid reading the teasers for “Wolves”. Don’t want to pick up spoilers or anything… I can’t wait for it to be published and looking… Read more »

Lilli, well, unless Hoffman changes things dramatically, I might be reading the final book with my eyes closed. 😀

Rowan McBride

Thank you for including “Paul’s Dream” in your list! And thanks for adding so many reads to *my* TBR list. 🙂


Hi Rowan
You’re welcome. I’m sure you know how much I enjoyed Paul’s Dream which is quite an unusual book.


I’m still waiting for the sequel.

Wow! Thanks for doing this Wave. I was very interested to read the list, and was surprised to have read only 16 of them, and of those, there are seven I wasn’t so keen on. It’s great to see everyone’s different favourites. * Here are some of mine: * Classic: * Joseph Hansen’s David Brandstetter’s series – nice to see Batboy’s reccing this too. * The Wraeththu series by Storm Constantine * Vampires Anonymous by Jeffrey N. McMahan * Current: * The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox (which has just been released as a movie, but is apparently very disappointing)… Read more »

The Vitner’s Luck is one of my all time favorites!!! No one I know even has heard of it, but then I am a literary nerd and have read stuff that most people would balk at!

What about Gordon Merrick’s books? They are amazingly well written and hot to boot!


I’m not sure if I responded to your extensive list of recs but thank you so much. The list was thoughtfully put together and I will try to include as many as I can. Any book that didn’t make it will be found here on the post and readers can refer back to them whenever they wish. You guys rock!


oh yes, the Brethren: Raised by Wolves Series can’t be left out! The fourth book of the series is due this year, by the way.


I guess I need to get The Brethren Raised by wolves next because everyone seems to be so enthusiastic about this series.*g* Thanks for your recs.

Madeleine Urban

I’m so pleased you like my books well enough to include them on your list. *hug*


I’m one of your biggest fans as I’m sure you have figured out.:) I can’t wait for Cut & Run – the series. Can’t you write faster?


Did you notice that The One That Got Away is on the list?


Some of my ‘currents’ might belong in ‘classics.’ I’m not always certain of the publication dates.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf
Kiss Of The Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin
The Married Man by Edmund White
A Queer Kind Of Death by George Baxt
Social Disease by Paul Rudnick
The Brandstetter mysteries (series) by Joseph Hansen

Breakfast With Scot by Michael Downing
The Object Of My Affection by Stephen McCauley
The Pornographer’s Poem by Michael Turner
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
Nick Hoffman mysteries (series) by Lev Raphael
Henry Rios mysteries (series) by Michael Nava
Russell Quant mysteries (series) by Anthony Bidulka
Detective Lane mysteries (series) by Garry Ryan


Hi Batboy
Thanks for adding your recs.


I can see that I will have to add quite a few books to my list of books to buy, particularly the mysteries. I’ve heard a lot about the Brandstetter mysteries so I’m really looking forward to reading the books. Quite an extensive list – I really appreciate it BB. You always come through for me (when you want to)*g* Oh and thanks for splitting the books into current and classics, that helps a lot.


I’m just off to update my To Read list, I may be some time… 😀

Thanks for putting that list together, I’ll definitely be referring back to it for ideas.

I will help too (with Wren) & organize the books into areas other than YA if you would like. (I will do my other job too.) If the primary purpose of this list is for new readers, then I think it will need more than just titles & authors. If I look at the top 10+ of anything in an area I am unfamiliar, I want to know why it is on the list. * 100’s of ways to take this data and sort. I would be willing to set up a database so that books could be sorted by… Read more »
Cathleen ** Initially this is just a first cut to get a list of books out to the readers that their fellow readers and authors recommend. I intend to reduce the list to about 200 to start so thatit’s manageable. I understand the need for a more sophisticated database in time, but right now I would like to have this first list completed and set up within 2 weeks, which does not allow for anything more than an aphabetical listing. ** I agree that the YA books should be in a separate category and I will ensure, with the help… Read more »

About Laney Cairo’s “Bad Case of Loving You”: it’s one of my personal favourites, too.
Only I thought I was the odd one out in liking this book; it doesn’t seem to appear on many reviewers’ lists.
And the reason I love it is not because of the gritty sex/smells/safety/piercings etc, but instead because of the particular tenderness shown between the protags.


I could not agree with you more, even though that is not what I put an emphasis on. There has been much discussion on this site about how fem sensibilities effect many of the protags.
I too looked for reviews but this book is from ’06. Not a lot of reviewers for GLBT now, much less in ’06. It is why I think this list is so important.

Victor J. Banis

Oh, first of all, thanks for including so many of my books. As to who to add, well, if you do a YA category, you have to check out Josh Aterovis. As to adult – Maurice by E.M. Forster, and definitely Ruth Sims The Phoenix (her next one, Counterpoint, has found a publisher; I read the ms. It’s fabulous!) And I loved Kavalier and Clay, but not everyone did.



Hi Victor
I don’t think I included that many of your books.;) Deadly is a series, so I had to list the books in the series.


Kris is currently reviewing two of Josh’s books. He is a very talented YA author and most definitely his books will be on the YA list.


Maurice by E.M. Forster is already on the list and thanks for reminding me about The Phoenix by Ruth Sims – I have heard good things about it.


Chris Dixon

Most of my favourite books are already on your list, or have been added by others, but I’d like to recommend a few more, if I may –

Discreet Young Gentleman – M J Pearson
The Price of Temptation – M J Pearson
An Agreement Among Gentlemen – Chris Owen
Duval’s Gold – Chris Hunt
The Nightrunner Series – Lynn Flewelling
Two Gentlemen Sharing – William Corlett
The Larton Chronicles – James Anson
Kind Hearts – Evelyn Martin

All of the above fall into the ‘current’ category, btw.

Thanks so much for providing such a great resource. My letter to Santa is going to be extra long this year! *g*


“The Larton Chronicles – James Anson”

*jumps up and down* I’m so glad I’m not the only person (on this blog) to love this book. I read/re-read it 3 times within the last 2 months, giggling madly each time, always in different places.
Interestingly enough, if you check out this book on Amazon.co.uk (where it’s cheapest), you’ll see this remark:
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
“Mexican Heat” and “Death of a Pirate King”.
A couple of weeks ago those same customers also used to buy “The Art of Dying”.
Anyway, if you buy this book, you are in the very best of company (companies???).

Chris Dixon

‘Larton’ does get you like that, liade! I think I must have read it about ten times in the past few years! *g*

It was also my very first introduction to m/m fiction, slash and fandom in general and so holds a very special place in my heart.

And if ever I see a house for sale in Larton I’ll be moving there tomorrow… *g*


I just read Elisa’s review of The Larton Chronicles (never heard of it before) and I would so love to read that book. It sounds like it is right up my alley. Unfortunately, there is only one used copy for sale at Amazon and it costs $107! Darn!



You can order The Larton Chronicles from amazon.ca where it’s listed at under $12. Cdn. It’s currently out of stock but they’re pretty reliable. If you leave your email and put it in your basket they will contact you when it’s in. Here’s the link


Thanks for the Larton Chronicles info. I’ll check out Amazon. What I really would like is to find it as an ebook…sigh…


Chris Dixon

Leslie, if you’d prefer to order direct from the publisher I can give you contact details.


Leslie: check out Amazon.co.uk. They only charge £6.47 for The Larton Chronicles, and even with postage to the US that’s bound to be cheaper than $107!

%d bloggers like this: