100 books like The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams

By Jonathan Ned Katz,

Here are 100 books that The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams fans have personally recommended if you like The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams. 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 Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government

Jim Elledge Author Of An Angel in Sodom: Henry Gerber and the Birth of the Gay Rights Movement

From my list on gay history before Stonewall.

Why am I passionate about this?

In post-Roe America, gay people face the very real possibility of our rights being stripped from us, underscoring the importance of this adage: “Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.” That's why years ago, when I realize that many gay men were ignorant about gay history before Stonewall, I began editing anthologies of gay writings from the past. That led me to writing biographies and histories in which I explore gay men’s experiences, hoping my work shines a light on our forgotten past.

Jim's book list on gay history before Stonewall

Jim Elledge Why did Jim love this book?

One of the darkest events in gay history has been brought to light in Johnson’s book. During the late 1940s and ’50s, the Federal Government engaged in a purge of gay men (and women) who worked in its offices by linking them to communism, an association politicians strengthened as the Cold War progressed. Fueled by their lies and guided by FBI Director (and closeted gay) J. Edgar Hoover, the persecution, called the “Lavender Scare,” spread from Washington, D.C. across the U.S. The government-sanctioned homophobia cost thousands their jobs, families, and friends when their sexuality was made public. Some committed suicide. Having this book at hand helped me understand the complexities of gay men’s lives during this horrific period.

By David K. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Lavender Scare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Cold War America, Senator Joseph McCarthy enjoyed tremendous support in the fight against what he called atheistic communism. But that support stemmed less from his wild charges about communists than his more substantiated charges that "sex perverts" had infiltrated government agencies. Although now remembered as an attack on suspected disloyalty, McCarthyism introduced "moral values" into the American political arsenal. Warning of a spreading homosexual menace, McCarthy and his Republican allies learned how to win votes. Winner of three book awards, "The Lavender Scare" masterfully traces the origins of contemporary sexual politics to Cold War hysteria over national security. Drawing…


Book cover of The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America

Lillian Faderman Author Of The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

From my list on LGBTQ history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came out as gay in the 1950s. I was a literary teenager, starved for the history of those who came before me. As I learned, there were no such books. As a Ph.D. candidate in the 1960s, I thought about writing a dissertation on a gay subject; but “homosexuality” was still “the love that dare not speak its name.” However, the 1970s saw a “gay revolution”; and finally, as an academic in those new times, I was able to write and publish about what had so long been forbidden. My first book, Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present, was followed by a half-dozen other books on LGBTQ history.

Lillian's book list on LGBTQ history

Lillian Faderman Why did Lillian love this book?

Cervini’s biography of Frank Kameny shows that gay militancy began years before the iconic riots at the Stonewall Inn. In 1965, Kameny led pickets for gay civil rights in front of the White House and the State Department. He was soon teaching people who lost their jobs because they were “homosexual” how to fight and win in the courts. Understanding that as long as homosexuals were considered sick, gay people would never be granted civil rights, Kameny organized the first protests against the American Psychiatric Association that led to the declassification of “homosexuality” as a mental disorder. Cervini situates Frank Kameny in his rightful place as the father of America’s first militant gay movement. 

By Eric Cervini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Deviant's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

FINALIST FOR THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY. INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER. 
 
New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. Winner of the 2021 Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction. One of The Washington Post's Top 50 Nonfiction Books of 2020.  
 
From a young Harvard- and Cambridge-trained historian, the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall. 
In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual, and after…


Book cover of Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community

Lillian Faderman Author Of The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

From my list on LGBTQ history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came out as gay in the 1950s. I was a literary teenager, starved for the history of those who came before me. As I learned, there were no such books. As a Ph.D. candidate in the 1960s, I thought about writing a dissertation on a gay subject; but “homosexuality” was still “the love that dare not speak its name.” However, the 1970s saw a “gay revolution”; and finally, as an academic in those new times, I was able to write and publish about what had so long been forbidden. My first book, Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present, was followed by a half-dozen other books on LGBTQ history.

Lillian's book list on LGBTQ history

Lillian Faderman Why did Lillian love this book?

First published in 1993, Kennedy and Davis focus on working-class women who were part of the butch-femme lesbian bar culture in Buffalo, New York from the 1930s to the 1960s. Through 45 oral histories, Kennedy and Davis allow their subjects—Black, white, and Native American—to speak poignantly for themselves. They help the authors argue that far from emulating traditional heterosexual relationships (which had been an accusation often hurled at butch-femme couples), these women were pioneers of resistance; and that far from living lonely lives (drowning in a “well of loneliness”) they formed a vibrant community.  

By Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, Madeline D. Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold traces the evolution of the lesbian community in Buffalo, New York from the mid-1930s up to the early 1960s. Drawing upon the oral histories of 45 women, it is the first comprehensive history of a working-class lesbian community. These poignant and complex stories show how black and white working-class lesbians, although living under oppressive circumstances, nevertheless became powerful agents of historical change. Kennedy and Davis provide a unique insider's perspective on butch-fem culture and argue that the roots of gay and lesbian liberation are found specifically in the determined resistance of working-class lesbians.

This…


Book cover of Female Husbands

Simon Joyce Author Of LGBT Victorians: Sexuality and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century Archives

From my list on showing that trans people have always existed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an academic researcher interested in this topic but also one of the people who gets demonized in conservative media: the parent of a transgender child. I want my daughter to know that similar people have existed in history and that lawmakers are wrong to claim that we’re in a scary new world when we advocate for respect and the rights of trans people. While doing that advocacy work, I’m alarmed by positions within the LGBTQI+ movement echoing right-wing ones, including what’s known as “gender critical feminism.” My book argues a positive case for coalition in the face of pressures to fracture along distinct lines of sexuality and gender identity. 

Simon's book list on showing that trans people have always existed

Simon Joyce Why did Simon love this book?

If you’re wondering in practical ways how to do trans history, Manion’s book is a great place to start. It takes one of the categories that preceded a transgender identity (the name typically given to people affirmed female at birth who identified as men and married women) and reimagines how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century lives might look with the benefit of the tools of our modern politics. The book is boldly inclusive, resisting deciding ahead of time how the category should be defined and who should be ruled in or out. Manion is also a role model in respecting the ambiguities of the past, mostly using neutral pronouns and offering non-judgmental speculations about what these subjects and their partners might have thought at key moments in their courageous and inspiring lives. 

By Jen Manion,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Female Husbands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Long before people identified as transgender or lesbian, there were female husbands and the women who loved them. Female husbands - people assigned female who transed gender, lived as men, and married women - were true queer pioneers. Moving deftly from the colonial era to just before the First World War, Jen Manion uncovers the riveting and very personal stories of ordinary people who lived as men despite tremendous risk, danger, violence, and threat of punishment. Female Husbands weaves the story of their lives in relation to broader social, economic, and political developments in the United States and the United…


Book cover of Milk Fed

Liz Faraim Author Of Canopy

From my list on gritty queers figuring their lives out.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a contemporary fiction author, I dig down into and expose the dirty underbelly of my characters’ lives and experiences. As a reader and television viewer, I am drawn to stories that do the same. My fascination with reading and writing gritty stories about queer characters figuring their lives out stems from my own confused upbringing. I have written four full-length contemporary fiction novels that all put the main character’s experiences and choices under a microscope. Additionally, while I didn’t set out to try to destigmatize therapy and friends talking openly about their struggles, reviewers have pointed out that those are themes in my books.

Liz's book list on gritty queers figuring their lives out

Liz Faraim Why did Liz love this book?

I stumbled upon Milk Fed by accident, and boy am I glad I did. A protagonist after my own heart, Rachel has control issues, which for her manifest in disordered eating, over-exercising, seeking approval and acceptance in the wrong places, and yearning. Ohhh, so much gloriously unhealthy, obsessive yearning. Broder includes a level of grit and physical descriptors that some reviewers deemed “gross,” but to me those details added to the story and made me love it even more. Milk Fed made me laugh, cringe, gasp, and groan.

By Melissa Broder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A scathingly funny, wildly erotic and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex and god from the Women's Prize longlisted author of The Pisces

A STYLIST, INDEPENDENT, THE WEEK AND RED HIGHLIGHT FOR 2021

'Sexy and fun and a little weird ... This riot of carnal pleasure will make you laugh as well as gasp' The Times

'A revelation ... Melissa Broder has produced one of the strangest and sexiest novels of the new year ... Exhilarating' Entertainment Weekly

'A luscious, heartbreaking story of self-discovery through the relentless pursuit of desire. I couldn't get enough of this devastating and extremely sexy…


Book cover of Redwood and Ponytail

Jennifer Richard Jacobson Author Of Crashing in Love

From my list on middle grade about first love.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I was an avid reader of romance when I was a tween, the middle grade novels I wrote prior to Crashing in Love were about more “serious” topics. Yet, much of the mail I received from kids had pressing questions about the future of potential love interests. That’s when I realized that I’d been guilty (like many) of considering romance to be “light” fiction. What could be more important, more serious, than discovering ourselves while making genuine connections with others? Those letters changed my mind. Learning to love is essential and not to be taken lightly at all.

Jennifer's book list on middle grade about first love

Jennifer Richard Jacobson Why did Jennifer love this book?

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this heartfelt novel in verse about Tam (Redwood) and Kate (Ponytail) who fall in like while finding their authentic selves. Kate (like Peyton in my book) is a perfectionist—she’s got her list of boxes to check. But then Tam comes along, and Kate is set on an invigorating path of discovery. K.A. Holt’s brilliant poetry dazzles as she shares two journeys that are often joyful, satisfying introspective, and completely engrossing.

By K.A. Holt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Redwood and Ponytail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

2020 Odyssey Honor Award
2020 Rainbow Booklist Title
NCTE 2020 Notable Poetry Book
ALSC Notable Children's Recordings

Kate and Tam meet, and both of their worlds tip sideways. At first, Tam figures Kate is your stereotypical cheerleader; Kate sees Tam as another tall jock. And the more they keep running into each other, the more they surprise each other. Beneath Kate's sleek ponytail and perfect facade, Tam sees a goofy, sensitive, lonely girl. And Tam's so much more than a volleyball player, Kate realizes: She's everything Kate wishes she could be. It's complicated. Except it's not. When Kate and Tam…


Book cover of Stars Collide

Kay Stephens Author Of The Porn Star's Daughter

From my list on sex-positive reads you may have missed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent nearly two decades as a highly successful corporate attorney. Or, perhaps I should say, a successful attorney with a crude mouth and a love for all things spandex. And my unabashed personality was a differentiator in my career—it allowed me to cut through the corporate nonsense and personally connect with my opposition. But my career imploded when I became the subject of overt sexual harassment in my workplace and my employer worked harder at a coverup than resolution. Rather than sell back my story through litigation, I decided to write openly about sexual empowerment in the face of systemic slut-shaming.

Kay's book list on sex-positive reads you may have missed

Kay Stephens Why did Kay love this book?

I am a sucker for any and all sapphic romance but throw in two main characters that are individually powerful before they find love...and I’m done. Stars Collide got to me, folks, and not just for its portrayal of strong female leads.

This book sticks with me because of its thoughtful description of an older woman discovering her sexuality. It challenges the idea that all people are able to define their orientation early in life and allows older people to question their sexuality, despite any past romantic relationships (even, gasp, the infallible institution of marriage!). 

By Rachel Lacey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Rachel Lacey, award-winning author of Read Between the Lines, comes a sexy slow-burn romance about two dynamic divas who collide on the world’s biggest stage.

Eden Sands has been a star for twenty years, but it’s lonely at the top. Her mediocre marriage just ended, and her inner circle is smaller than ever. The stage is the only place she’s ever felt like she truly belonged, and yet, her last album flopped, and her upcoming tour hasn’t sold out. Eden’s desperate for her star to shine bright again, but when her team suggests a collaboration with an up-and-coming young…


Book cover of Everybody (Else) Is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes

Alyssa Hardy Author Of Worn Out: How Our Clothes Cover Up Fashion's Sins

From my list on style.

Why am I passionate about this?

Fashion has been the love of my life since I was a little kid pouring over magazines and watching shows on fashion TV in the middle of the night. But I’ve always known fashion is not about clothing, its about feeling and it’s about people. That’s why I love to read the stories about people who work in fashion, who have been impacted by fashion and those who love it just as much as I do. 

Alyssa's book list on style

Alyssa Hardy Why did Alyssa love this book?

Everybody (Else) Is Perfect is a memoir about the author, but it speaks to the ways fashion and beauty have created impossible standards for us all to live by.

Korn was the editor-in-chief of NYLON, which from the outside seems like one of the most glamorous jobs in the world. But, as she details, things are not always as they seems. While brands and magazines promote body positivity and feminism on the inside they’re doing anything but. 

By Gabrielle Korn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everybody (Else) Is Perfect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the former editor-in-chief of Nylon comes a provocative and intimate collection of personal and cultural essays featuring eye-opening explorations of hot button topics for modern women, including internet feminism, impossible beauty standards in social media, shifting ideals about sexuality, and much more.

Gabrielle Korn starts her professional life with all the right credentials. Prestigious college degree? Check. A loving, accepting family? Check. Instagram-worthy offices and a tight-knit group of friends? Check, check. Gabrielle’s life seems to reach the crescendo of perfect when she gets named the youngest editor-in-chief in the history of one of fashion’s most influential publication. Suddenly…


Book cover of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

Sara B. Franklin Author Of The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America

From my list on the stories we tell about women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Judith Jones became an important mentor and mother figure to me in my twenties, in the wake of my parents’ deaths. Her personal wisdom and guidance, which I received both in knowing her personally and from the incredible archive she left behind, have been invaluable to me during a particularly tumultuous and transformative decade in my own life. I wrote The Editor as I was coming into my full adulthood, and the books on this list helped shape my thinking along the way at times when I felt stagnant or stuck or needed to rethink both how to write Judith’s life and why her story is so vital to tell.

Sara's book list on the stories we tell about women

Sara B. Franklin Why did Sara love this book?

This book fundamentally reshaped my notion of how biography–especially biographies of women–can be written. Shapland felt intimately connected to McCullers as a person and as a writer and also had an inkling there was more to her personhood than previous biographical treatments suggest.

By inhabiting McCullers’s spaces and putting herself in proximity to the writer’s material past, Shapland demonstrates the ways in which convention has limited both the stories we tell and, thus, the possibilities we can envision for our lives as women. 

By Jenn Shapland,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked My Autobiography of Carson McCullers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award, and a Lambda Literary Award


Finalist for the National Book Award


Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction


How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered—an icon and idol—alongside your own? Jenn Shapland’s celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America’s most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory, obsession, and love.


Shapland is a graduate student when she first uncovers letters written to Carson McCullers by a…


Book cover of Tipping the Velvet

Michelle L. Teichman Author Of The Space Between

From my list on young adult books for women of all ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

At heart, I’m still just a girl. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of wanting to experience the excitement of first kisses, first loves, and of coming out, when everything was new and exciting, and the world was full of promise. That’s why we return to YA even as adults. To feel the butterflies of a first crush, the fluttering of first love, and the agony of first loss. Those transformative books, the ones that change the trajectory of our lives, are usually young adult novels. I wrote The Space Between to give readers a story to fall in love with and take with them the rest of their lives.

Michelle's book list on young adult books for women of all ages

Michelle L. Teichman Why did Michelle love this book?

If you identify anywhere on the LGBTIQ2+ scale and haven’t heard of Sarah Waters, you’ve likely been living under a rock.

Her debut novel, Tipping the Velvet, is probably better known as the three-part BBC series, but the book is what truly makes the characters come to life. From naïve, small town, oyster-girl in Kent to the life of the London Stage, Waters takes you through Victorian-era England via the point of view of beloved heroine Nan Astley.

If you’re looking for a sexy, sensuous, and downright gritty novel about what life was truly like for a ‘tom’ growing up and coming out in the nineteenth century, this is the book.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Tipping the Velvet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this was a girl: the most marvellous girl - I knew it at once! - that I had ever seen.'

A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance set in the 'roaring' 1890s, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King on her journey from Whitstable oyster-girl to music-hall star to cross-dressing rentboy to East End 'tom'.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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