Who doesn’t like a mystery? If your giftee does, especially one that includes chills, wrap up Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn. It’s the story of a small dying village that has lost its last attraction for tourists. Even so, one young woman returns to live there with her mother because she has nowhere else to go. She wishes she did, though, because her small hometown holds terror. Wrap it up with Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller, the second book in a fantasy series in which the main character is gender-fluid.
More fiction for the gay reader: You Can’t Tell By Looking by Russell J. Sanders, which is about love between two high school boys, one of whom has an anti-gay Islamic family; and Aesop Lake by Sarah Ward, a book based on three of Aesop’s Fables that tells the tale of a hate crime and its aftermath.
For readers who love books that may make them think, look for So Famous and So Gay by Jeff Solomon. It’s about Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein and how their fame still lingers, even though so many other almost-celebrities of the past barely get a nod today, no matter what they did for LGBTQ rights.
The person on your list who is thinking about transitioning (or who recently has) will love unwrapping Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us by CN Lester, a series of essays on gender diversity, being trans, and how to tackle the problem of tacky people whose questions are too nosy. Pair it with Being Emily by Rachel Gold, a novel about a trans woman, now updated to include new material.
For the traveler on your list and the person who loves history, you can’t go wrong with Riviera Dreaming by Maureen Emerson. It’s the true story of an architect and an ex-officer in the British Army, how they teamed up to create a mansion that took society by storm, and who vied to hire these two men to decorate their Riviera mansions. Wrap it up with Global Gay: How Gay Culture is Changing the World by Frédéric Martel, which covers 50 countries.
Pets and animals (since we all love our furry animal children!)
Both dog lovers and the dogs they love probably enjoy a day at the beach. If so, they’ll want to unwrap Dogs on the Beach by Lara Jo Regan. It’s filled with photos of doggos in the surf and sand, enjoying warm weather and taking every advantage of summer.
Here’s something you don’t have to tell an animal lover: Animals have personalities. But even if your giftee knows that, he or she will still enjoy Mousy Cats and Sheepish Coyotes: The Science of Animal Personalities by John A. Shivik. It’s all about the science, yes, but it’s also about the stories, you know? Wrap it up with How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Rebecca Green. It’s a memoir that includes 13 animals that Montgomery has known and loved.
For the future farmer or the person who is clucking awesome, wrap up Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance by Martin Gurdon, a book about raising chickens of all kinds. It’s helpful and interesting, and it includes full-color pictures. Your giftee will crow about it!