Reading is a powerful way to immerse ourselves in new perspectives, explore experiences different from our own, and develop our understanding of the world around us. That’s why Pride Month, the annual celebration and commemoration of the LGBTQ+ community, is the perfect opportunity to broaden our horizons and discover new literary favourites by brilliant queer authors.

“There’s never been a better time to be a queer reader,” says Paul Burston, Welsh activist, Amazon Publishing author, and founder of award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon Polari.

 In 2011, Paul established the Polari Prize, the annual UK literary prize for LGBTQ+ literature, which is supported by Amazon Editors’ Choice.

Paul says: “As the growing number of submissions to the Polari Prize shows, there are more books by and about LGBTQ people being published now than ever before.”

To celebrate Pride Month, here are five of Paul’s all-time favourite queer reads.

Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

“Maupin was writing ’LGBTQ fiction’ before the term was invented. Set in the gay Mecca of San Francisco, his much-loved Tales series features characters of all sexualities – and a groundbreaking trans character in the form of maternal landlady Mrs Madrigal. This was the book I chose when I was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read – and it’s a series I return to often. Maupin has returned to it many times, too. He recently published the tenth – and possibly last – instalment, Mona of the Manor.”

Heartstopper - Alice Osman

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

“Osman’s graphic novel for young adult (YA) readers has had an enormous cultural impact, spawning several sequels and a popular tv show, which made a star of actor Kit Connor. The coming-of-age tale of two school boys in love, it’s unashamedly romantic and provides younger readers with the kind of positive role models earlier generations were denied. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Heartstopper has the power to save lives.”

You can find and purchase an eBook in moments on your Kindle.

The Colour Purple - Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“Before the 1985 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, before the stage musical and recent film remake, Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel introduced us to Celie Harris and jazz singer Shug Avery – two embattled African American women in the Deep South. Avery is a wonderful creation – glamorous, sassy, a woman in charge of her own destiny – but it’s Celie who steals the reader’s heart. Her letters to God chart her sexual awakening in a world where male brutality is a constant threat, but love between women conquers all.”

Skin Lane - Neil Bartlett

Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett

“Skin Lane is the story of a furrier, the mysterious Mr F, ’a perfectly ordinary middle-aged man’ who develops an unsettling obsession with a young man he first encounters in a dream. Set against the 1967 vote to decriminalise male homosexuality in England and Wales, it’s also a portrait of gay self-repression at a time when living openly carried the risk of arrest. Part historical fiction, part psychological thriller, this is a novel which gets under your skin and stays with you long after the final page.”

Modern Nature - Derek Jarman

Modern Nature by Derek Jarman

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Derek Jarman due to an AIDS-related illness. The great British film director was also a keen gardener and a queer activist who was open about his HIV status at a time when few others were. His diaries offer a fascinating insight into the man and the turbulent times he lived through. I was privileged to have known Derek. This book reminds us of what a truly great man he was.”

Don’t miss our selection of the best movies to watch on Prime Video this Pride Month. For information about the Polari Prize, visit