100 books like Jeb and Dash

By Ina Russell (editor),

Here are 100 books that Jeb and Dash fans have personally recommended if you like Jeb and Dash. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Invention of Heterosexuality

Jeff Stookey Author Of Acquaintance

From my list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known all my life that I am gay. At age 50 I decided to try my hand at writing. After an image of two men kissing in a 1920s vehicle landed in my head, I began writing my Medicine for the Blues trilogy (Acquaintance is book one). But knowing nothing about LGBT history, I began a deep dive into gay and lesbian history, into the history of Portland and Oregon, into the era of the 1920s, the KKK, Prohibition, Freud, eugenics, and more. During 20 years of writing the trilogy, I’ve read dozens of books that roiled through my imagination and the information spilled out in the story.

Jeff's book list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century

Jeff Stookey Why did Jeff love this book?

I love the subversive title of this book. If there is no “heterosexuality” then there is no “homosexuality.” A challenging read, because of the subtle and complex reasoning Katz uses to untangle early erotic/procreative/love relationship concepts that were very differently structured from our own homo/hetero dichotomy. He uses history to show the slow development of the concept of heterosexuality, and that it is not “an essential, eternal, normal.” Katz draws on Michel Foucault regarding ancient Greece, on the Puritans, the Victorians, on Krafft-Ebing, Freud, and Alfred Kinsey, showing how language reveals the changing ways of conceptualizing and valuing differing modes of sexual expression. The critiques of Freud are a revelation.

By Jonathan Ned Katz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Invention of Heterosexuality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Heterosexuality," assumed to denote a universal sexual and cultural norm, has been largely exempt from critical scrutiny. In this boldly original work, Jonathan Ned Katz challenges the common notion that the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality has been a timeless one. Building on the history of medical terminology, he reveals that as late as 1923 the term "heterosexuality" referred to a "morbid sexual passion" and that its current usage emerged to legitimate men and women having sex for pleasure. Drawing on the works of Sigmund Freud, James Baldwin, Betty Friedan, and Michel Foucault, "The Invention of Heterosexuality" considers the effects…


Book cover of Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest

Jeff Stookey Author Of Acquaintance

From my list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known all my life that I am gay. At age 50 I decided to try my hand at writing. After an image of two men kissing in a 1920s vehicle landed in my head, I began writing my Medicine for the Blues trilogy (Acquaintance is book one). But knowing nothing about LGBT history, I began a deep dive into gay and lesbian history, into the history of Portland and Oregon, into the era of the 1920s, the KKK, Prohibition, Freud, eugenics, and more. During 20 years of writing the trilogy, I’ve read dozens of books that roiled through my imagination and the information spilled out in the story.

Jeff's book list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century

Jeff Stookey Why did Jeff love this book?

This book was essential background for my trilogy. What I like most is its descriptions of the different sex practices of the different homosexual “types”—lower/working class men (“trade” or “wolves”) preferred anal intercourse with boys or young men (“punks” or “lambs”); upper class men preferred oral sex with “queens” or “fairies.” Focusing on the Pacific Northwest of the USA, Boag does great research into criminal and court records, which were some of the only records of these “aberrant” activities. A bonus is Boag’s tracing of the influence of the Oscar Wilde trial (1895) on attitudes in the Western USA.

By Peter Boag,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Same-Sex Affairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the turn of the twentieth century, two distinct, yet at times overlapping, male same-sex sexual subcultures had emerged in the Pacific Northwest: one among the men and boys who toiled in the region's logging, fishing, mining, farming, and railroad-building industries; the other among the young urban white-collar workers of the emerging corporate order. Boag draws on police logs, court records, and newspaper accounts to create a vivid picture of the lives of these men and youths - their sexual practices, cultural networks, cross-class relations, variations in rural and urban experiences, and ethnic and racial influences.


Book cover of The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935)

Jeff Stookey Author Of Acquaintance

From my list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known all my life that I am gay. At age 50 I decided to try my hand at writing. After an image of two men kissing in a 1920s vehicle landed in my head, I began writing my Medicine for the Blues trilogy (Acquaintance is book one). But knowing nothing about LGBT history, I began a deep dive into gay and lesbian history, into the history of Portland and Oregon, into the era of the 1920s, the KKK, Prohibition, Freud, eugenics, and more. During 20 years of writing the trilogy, I’ve read dozens of books that roiled through my imagination and the information spilled out in the story.

Jeff's book list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century

Jeff Stookey Why did Jeff love this book?

This book taught me that the gay rights movement started long before Stonewall. Published in 1974, this little book opens by reporting on a Hungarian Dr. Benkert, who “devised” the term “homosexuality” in 1869 and argued for acceptance, making the 1969 Stonewall riots a 100th anniversary. In under 90 pages, the book gives a concise history of the movement against the 1871 German law that included Paragraph 175, which criminalized male homosexual acts. The authors go on to outline less robust movements in other European countries and the USA. Later chapters cover scientific inquiries, political connections with Nazism and Bolshevism, and short bios of significant movement figures.

By John Lauritsen, David Thorstad,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Revised Edition of the seminal work on the history of the Gay movement; included discussion of science, the role of women, differences in individual countries, Socialism, and Oscar Wilde. Also includes notes on five pioneers, including Walt Whitman, Sir Richard Burton, and Edward Carpenter.


Book cover of Bertram Cope's Year

Jeff Stookey Author Of Acquaintance

From my list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known all my life that I am gay. At age 50 I decided to try my hand at writing. After an image of two men kissing in a 1920s vehicle landed in my head, I began writing my Medicine for the Blues trilogy (Acquaintance is book one). But knowing nothing about LGBT history, I began a deep dive into gay and lesbian history, into the history of Portland and Oregon, into the era of the 1920s, the KKK, Prohibition, Freud, eugenics, and more. During 20 years of writing the trilogy, I’ve read dozens of books that roiled through my imagination and the information spilled out in the story.

Jeff's book list on revealing LGBT life in the early 20th century

Jeff Stookey Why did Jeff love this book?

While trying to learn about gay life in the 1920s, I was delighted to find this novel, “privately” published in 1919. One soon learns that Bertram Cope, who comes to teach at an undergraduate college as he works on an advanced degree, has a relationship with another young male with whom he plans to cohabit—interesting that two men could openly set up housekeeping together, even back then. Meanwhile an older matron, an aging homosexual man, and various young women hope to attract Cope’s attention. Though seen by some as a trivial social satire, Fuller’s light touch and subtle wit mask an undertone of eroticism and homosexual associations. His anonymous, authorial, third-person narrative voice is humorous and incisive, revealing his penetrating observations of social niceties and the layers of his characters’ maneuverings. Clever and understated, the book implies much that is never declared.

By Henry Blake Fuller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bertram Cope's Year as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Entertaining . . . eminently readable, distinguished by beautifully evoked period atmosphere and sly humor.”—The New York Times

America’s first gay novel, published in 1919.


Book cover of Lord of the White Hell: Book One

Nicole Kimberling Author Of The Sea of Stars

From my list on LGBT fantasy to make you believe in love again.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a novelist and the editor and publisher of Blind Eye Books—a small press focused on producing LGBT genre fiction as well as a lifelong aficionado of queer media, especially BL, yaoi, and danmei. 

Nicole's book list on LGBT fantasy to make you believe in love again

Nicole Kimberling Why did Nicole love this book?

This novel is everything—a school story, a coming-of-age story, a fish-out-of-water story as well as being chock-full of swords and sorcery. It follows genius mechanist Kiram Kir-Zaki as he journeys far away from his home to attend the prestigious Sagrada Academy where he hopes to make the connections that will earn him a place in the king’s court. Instead, he finds himself shunned on account of his race and compelled to share a room with a man who is widely believed to have no soul. If two hot outcasts being forced to share a room and eventually falling so deeply in love that death itself cannot separate them, then this book is your cup of tea.

By Ginn Hale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lord of the White Hell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kiram Kir-Zaki may be considered a mechanist prodigy among his own people, but when he becomes the first Haldiim ever admitted to the prestigious Sagrada Academy, he is thrown into a world where power, superstition and swordplay outweigh even the most scholarly of achievements.
But when the intimidation from his Cadeleonian classmates turns bloody, Kiram unexpectedly finds himself befriended by Javier Tornesal, the leader of a group of cardsharps, duelists and lotharios who call themselves Hellions.
However Javier is a dangerous friend to have. Wielder of the White Hell and sole heir of a dukedom, he is surrounded by rumors…


Book cover of Maurice

Ruth Vanita Author Of Memory of Light

From my list on lesbian and gay literary fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Thanks to my mother, I grew up immersed in English literature. I was educated in Delhi and co-founded the first nationwide feminist magazine, but same-sex love was never mentioned either in the classroom or in the women’s movement. I educated myself in Indian literature and discovered that same-sex sexuality had been practiced and written about until the British criminalized it. I wrote several books about same-sex unions in Indian literature and history and translated poetry and fiction from Hindi and Urdu to English. My first novel, Memory of Light, is a love story between two courtesans, based in pre-colonial India, where poets freely wrote about same-sex, as well as cross-sex love. 

Ruth's book list on lesbian and gay literary fiction

Ruth Vanita Why did Ruth love this book?

Forster captures the loneliness and enforced celibacy many experienced when homosexuality was criminalized, and which I also experienced.

Forster had his first sexual experience at 37. His hero Maurice, like characters in many novels of the early twentieth century, tries therapy to change himself, and remains in a celibate relationship until his partner marries a woman. Maurice was published after Forster’s death, though it was written six decades earlier.

It inspired younger writers like Isherwood and was made into a great film with the young Hugh Grant as Maurice’s partner Clive. Forster’s statement that he would not have bothered to write unless he could give his hero a happy ending, also inspired my fiction-writing.

By E.M. Forster,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Maurice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As Maurice Hall makes his way through a traditional English education, he projects an outer confidence that masks troubling questions about his own identity. Frustrated and unfulfilled, a product of the bourgeoisie he will grow to despise, he has difficulty acknowledging his nascent attraction to men.

At Cambridge he meets Clive, who opens his eyes to a less conventional view of the nature of love. Yet when Maurice is confronted by the societal pressures of life beyond university, self-doubt and heartbreak threaten his quest for happiness.


Book cover of Numbers

Rasheed Newson Author Of My Government Means to Kill Me

From my list on LGBTQ+ books that are sexy and subversive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up attending Catholic school in conservative Indiana. Sex—especially if it was of the homosexual varietywas the ultimate taboo. I can’t overstate how damaging it is to believe that one of your natural urges is proof of your depravity. Books that depict queer sexual relations, be they fleeting or romantic, gave me my first glimpse of a wider world where my sexual identity could be expressed. These books liberated me. Even now, I find that sexy and subversive novels help me understand parts of myself that can still be difficult to discuss in polite company. We all need our boundaries pushed. 

Rasheed's book list on LGBTQ+ books that are sexy and subversive

Rasheed Newson Why did Rasheed love this book?

I was a freshman in college and still closeted about my homosexuality when I found Numbers in an LGBTQ+ bookstore. The description on the dust jacket got my blood racing: in an effort to reclaim his youth, a handsome gay man strikes out to see how many sexual conquests he can rack up during a ten-day stay in L.A. I bought the book and read it in my dorm room when my roommate wasn’t around.

I got more than I bargained for. Along with descriptions of sexual encounters, the novel opened my eyes to the ramifications of internalized homophobia and explored the value of sex among an oppressed people who are persecuted for their carnal desires. This novel written in 1967 spoke to me across the decades. It still can.

By John Rechy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Numbers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An aging male hustler wages an obsessive battle against the passing of his youth in this darkly compelling follow-up to the cult hit City of Night.
 
Johnny Rio, a handsome narcissist no longer a pretty boy, travels to Los Angeles, the site of past sexual conquest and remembered youthful radiance, in a frenzied attempt to recreate his younger self.
 
Like a retired boxer—an undefeated champion—who refuses to accept the possible ravages of time, Johnny is led by some unfathomable force to return to combat once again. Combat, for him, takes place in the dark balconies and dismal bathrooms of LA’s…


Book cover of The Swimming-Pool Library

Tim Murphy Author Of Speech Team

From my list on LGBTQ+ characters who are a total mess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a 54-year-old gay man who has led my own messy life here in New York City, marked as much by sex, romance, friendship, and culture as by drug addiction, relationship drama, mental illness and youthful trauma. I’ve published five novels, all of which contain queer characters who’ve not exactly been poster children for mainstream-world-approved LGBTQ behavior. I’m drawn to novels like the ones I’ve mentioned because they show queer people not as the hetero world often would like them to be—sanitized, asexual, witty and “fabulous”—but as capable of dysfunction, mediocrity, unwise choices and poor conduct as anybody else.

Tim's book list on LGBTQ+ characters who are a total mess

Tim Murphy Why did Tim love this book?

The book that put British literary giant Hollinghurst on the map in 1988, this gorgeously written, fast-paced novel follows Will, a ridiculously privileged, idle, and good-looking young gay man in early 1980s London who has torrid sexual affairs with a racially diverse group of working-class men and also inadvertently saves the life of a very elderly gay aristocratic man with a homoerotic colonial past.

With its Forsterian attunement to the prejudices and vanities of the Thatcher-era British upper class, its explicit evocation of the early 20th century gay British novelist Ronald Firbank and its sometimes cringe-y look at cross-class and cross-racial desire, the novel showcases gay men driven ecstatically and obsessively by both libidinous and aesthetic yearnings—all of them oblivious to the dark clouds of AIDS gathering on London’s horizon.

By Alan Hollinghurst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Swimming-Pool Library as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Deserves first prize in every category... Superbly written, wildly funny' Daily Telegraph

THE BOOKER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR OF THE LINE OF BEAUTY

Young, gay, William Beckwith spends his time, and his trust fund, idly cruising London for erotic encounters. When he saves the life of an elderly man in a public convenience an unlikely job opportunity presents itself - the man, Lord Nantwich, is seeking a biographer. Will agrees to take a look at Nantwich's diaries. But in the story he unravels, a tragedy of twentieth-century gay repression, lurk bitter truths about Will's own privileged existence.


Book cover of Love That Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life

Mary E. Twomey Author Of Angry Girl

From my list on “LGBTQ people are allowed to exist” reads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have an inclusive family with LGBTCuties whom I love dearly. I write and read paranormal romance, but quickly realized that my family might not be able to connect with my favorite genre because they don’t often see themselves represented as anything more than tragic plot points. I gaped at the horror that was hard to face, and realized I had work to do. Paranormal romance has enough room for all of us, so I set out to ensure that my children have books to read in my favorite genre, so we can all be one silly, magical family together, casting spells and looking around every corner for shifters and vampires.

Mary's book list on “LGBTQ people are allowed to exist” reads

Mary E. Twomey Why did Mary love this book?

Did you think I would only recommend one Queer Eye book on my list? Do you know me at all?

Love That Story has a lot of laughs, of course, but like the author, the depths of compassion laced with gentle education speaks to the heart of everything I wish I’d always known. Do not read unless you want to better understand this lovely soul. You might just finish this book as a better version of yourself.

By Jonathan Van Ness,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love That Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness dives into his favourite subjects in Love That Story, a collection of heartfelt and entertaining essays.

From experiencing heartbreaking grief to uncovering the hidden LGBTQ history of his hometown, Quincy, from overcoming body image issues and living with HIV to cultivating his personal style, JVN speaks out a wide range of topics with heart, honesty and flair.

He not only shares his personal experiences, but with the help of conversations with experts, he also offers captivating perspectives on the wide number of issues we are dealing with today: the current nature of race issues…


Book cover of These Violent Delights

L.A. Fields Author Of Homo Superiors

From my list on queer love and murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of over a dozen LGBT novels. I wrote my college thesis on queer criminal coding in Victorian London novels vs. 20th-century American literature. I was a teenage fan of Leopold and Loeb fiction before I added to the canon myself. I chose these books for a queer murder compendium because each offers something unique to the genre. Challenge yourself by asking: do you have sympathy for these murderers? Is it dangerous when queer characters are criminals? Is it fair representation, since homosexuality is illegal to act on, identify with, or speak of in many places? Read these stories, and let their implications disturb you.

L.A.'s book list on queer love and murder

L.A. Fields Why did L.A. love this book?

We’ll start with another novel (there are many) inspired in part by the Leopold and Loeb crime. This one swaps Chicago for Pittsburgh, and changes their mismatch in IQs for a stark class divide.

One of the variations I most enjoy in this retelling is that university students Paul Fleischer and Julian Fromme are both damaged when they meet. Julian is scarred physically from a car crash in his youth, and Paul is still recovering emotionally from the death of his father.

Additionally, since the book is set in the 1970s, their sexual involvement with one another is more explicit than the original story could allow (though it still comes with social stigma).

A captivating work of dark academia and crime, the obsession between these two compels them to court their own ruin.

By Micah Nemerever,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked These Violent Delights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Literary Hub Best Book of Year * A Crime Reads Best Debut of the Year * A Newsweek 25 Best Fall Books * A Philadelphia Inquirer 10 Big Books for the Fall * An O Magazine.com LGBTQ Books That Are Changing the Literary Landscape * An Electric Lit Most Anticipated Debut * A Paperback Paris Best New LGBTQ+ Books To Read This Year Selection * A Passport Best Book of the Month

The Secret History meets Lie with Me in Micah Nemerever's compulsively readable debut novel-a feverishly taut Hitchcockian story about two college students, each with his own troubled…


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