100 books like The Queerness of Home

By Stephen Vider,

Here are 100 books that The Queerness of Home fans have personally recommended if you like The Queerness of Home. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought

Donna J. Drucker Author Of Fertility Technology

From my list on the history of sexuality in modernity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been drawn to how people of the past think about their sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors. I conducted my PhD research at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, where I spent many happy hours reading letters and books voicing people’s unfiltered desires for sexual arousal, connection, and expression. I found the punched-card machines that Alfred Kinsey used to organize data from his personal interviews oddly compelling, and that interest developed into a long-term engagement with the intersection of gender and sexuality with science and technology. I share my fascination with readers through my books on Kinsey, machines used in sex research, contraception, and fertility technology.

Donna's book list on the history of sexuality in modernity

Donna J. Drucker Why did Donna love this book?

Mitra’s book centers on the colonial period in India, when European scholars, British officials, and Indian intellectuals, focused on sexuality, specifically the figure of the prostitute, in order to study and to understand the place of women in modern Indian society.

The specter of deviant female sexuality structured fiction and intellectual thought on topics ranging from caste domination to trafficking, to widowhood and inheritance, to abortion and infanticide.

Indian Sex Life compellingly illustrates the importance of female deviance in the imagination of scholars and writers, and how they used their ideas about women’s sexuality to solidify rigid gender ideals—and to blame women for the failures of modern society. Mitra’s accounting of this history is richly drawn and hard to put down.

By Durba Mitra,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How British authorities and Indian intellectuals developed ideas about deviant female sexuality to control and organize modern society in India

During the colonial period in India, European scholars, British officials, and elite Indian intellectuals-philologists, administrators, doctors, ethnologists, sociologists, and social critics-deployed ideas about sexuality to understand modern Indian society. In Indian Sex Life, Durba Mitra shows how deviant female sexuality, particularly the concept of the prostitute, became foundational to this knowledge project and became the primary way to think and write about Indian society.

Bringing together vast archival materials from diverse disciplines, Mitra reveals that deviant female sexuality was critical…


Book cover of A Marsh Island

Donna J. Drucker Author Of Fertility Technology

From my list on the history of sexuality in modernity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been drawn to how people of the past think about their sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors. I conducted my PhD research at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, where I spent many happy hours reading letters and books voicing people’s unfiltered desires for sexual arousal, connection, and expression. I found the punched-card machines that Alfred Kinsey used to organize data from his personal interviews oddly compelling, and that interest developed into a long-term engagement with the intersection of gender and sexuality with science and technology. I share my fascination with readers through my books on Kinsey, machines used in sex research, contraception, and fertility technology.

Donna's book list on the history of sexuality in modernity

Donna J. Drucker Why did Donna love this book?

A Marsh Island was nineteenth-century New England writer Sarah Orne Jewett’s favorite novel among her many books, but it has had less acclaim than The Country of Pointed Firs.

A Marsh Island is the story of Dick Dale, who is on vacation from New York City in the Sussex, Massachusetts area (in real life, Essex County). When Dale stays with the rural Owen family following an injury, he develops an interest in the family’s daughter Doris and feels a kinship to her brother Israel Jr., who died in the Civil War.

Don James McLaughlin introduces Jewett as one half of the best-known “Boston marriage” with Annie Adams Fields and reflects on this novel’s themes of queer hiddenness and visibility in post–Civil War New England.

By Sarah Orne Jewett, Don James McLaughlin (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Marsh Island has not fared well among Jewett's works. Critics have given it almost no attention at all. Except for Margaret Roman in Sarah Orne Jewett: Reconstructing Gender, most of the few people who have reported reading it have seen it as one of Jewett's lesser works. Below are two typical evaluations of the novel. As I have prepared this work for the Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project, I have found much to like about it. I have wondered whether previous readers have made too much of the love story and too little of the story of the artist…


Book cover of Sexual Progressives: Reimagining Intimacy in Scotland, 1880-1914

Donna J. Drucker Author Of Fertility Technology

From my list on the history of sexuality in modernity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been drawn to how people of the past think about their sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors. I conducted my PhD research at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, where I spent many happy hours reading letters and books voicing people’s unfiltered desires for sexual arousal, connection, and expression. I found the punched-card machines that Alfred Kinsey used to organize data from his personal interviews oddly compelling, and that interest developed into a long-term engagement with the intersection of gender and sexuality with science and technology. I share my fascination with readers through my books on Kinsey, machines used in sex research, contraception, and fertility technology.

Donna's book list on the history of sexuality in modernity

Donna J. Drucker Why did Donna love this book?

A small number of Scots at the end of the Victorian era and throughout the Edwardian era were eager to live in a world ungoverned by Protestant Christianity and unrestricted by its strict sexual morality.

Cheadle introduces readers to socialists, freethinkers, and writers in Glasgow and Edinburgh who advocated for sexual freedoms grounded in new forms of political, religious, and cultural thought. One example is Jane Hume Clapperton, who was deeply involved in the suffrage movement, described birth control methods in her 1888 novel Margaret Dunmore, and demanded full sexual freedom for women. 

Sexual Progressives brings them to life, showing how they questioned dominant morality and envisioned a way of life in which people could prioritize sexual freedom and pleasure. You won’t forget them.

By Tanya Cheadle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sexual Progressives is a major new study of the feminists and socialists who campaigned against the moral conservatism of the Victorian period. Drawing on a range of sources, from letters and diaries to radical newspapers and utopian novels, it provides the first group portrait of Scotland's hitherto neglected sexual rebels. They include Bella and Charles Pearce, prominent Glasgow socialists and disciples of an American-based mystic who taught that religion needed 're-sexed'; Jane Hume Clapperton, a feminist freethinker with advanced views on birth-control and women's right to sexual pleasure; and Patrick Geddes, founder of an avant-garde Edinburgh subculture and co-author of…


Book cover of Racism and the Making of Gay Rights: A Sexologist, His Student, and the Empire of Queer Love

Donna J. Drucker Author Of Fertility Technology

From my list on the history of sexuality in modernity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been drawn to how people of the past think about their sexual identities, attractions, and behaviors. I conducted my PhD research at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, where I spent many happy hours reading letters and books voicing people’s unfiltered desires for sexual arousal, connection, and expression. I found the punched-card machines that Alfred Kinsey used to organize data from his personal interviews oddly compelling, and that interest developed into a long-term engagement with the intersection of gender and sexuality with science and technology. I share my fascination with readers through my books on Kinsey, machines used in sex research, contraception, and fertility technology.

Donna's book list on the history of sexuality in modernity

Donna J. Drucker Why did Donna love this book?

Interest in the German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld and his Institute for Sexual Science (active 1919–1933 in Berlin) has grown since the television program Transparent included him in its second season in 2015.

Laurie Marhoefer’s new book challenges his status as a queer history hero, highlighting how his views on sexual emancipation, cross-dressing (as drag was then known), and transgenderism were embedded in racism and colonialism. Marhoefer also tells the lesser-known history of Hirschfeld’s companion in later life, Li Shiu Tong, who after Hirschfeld’s death in May 1935 continued his own research on human sexuality. 

Li’s previously unknown manuscript and notes—rescued serendipitously from a waste bin soon after his death in Vancouver in 1993—is a stark reminder of how many histories of sexuality are at risk of being (almost) similarly lost.

By Laurie Marhoefer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Racism and the Making of Gay Rights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1931, a sexologist arrived in colonial Shanghai to give a public lecture about homosexuality. In the audience was a medical student. The sexologist, Magnus Hirschfeld, fell in love with the medical student, Li Shiu Tong. Li became Hirschfeld's assistant on a lecture tour around the world.

Racism and the Making of Gay Rights shows how Hirschfeld laid the groundwork for modern gay rights, and how he did so by borrowing from a disturbing set of racist, imperial, and eugenic ideas.

Following Hirschfeld and Li in their travels through the American, Dutch, and British empires, from Manila to Tel Aviv…


Book cover of The Law and Economics of Marriage and Divorce

Kathleen E. Akers Author Of Law and Economics in Jane Austen

From my list on love, law, and money.

Why am I passionate about this?

The fundamental connection between law and economics rules most of the world. This is especially true in romantic relationships, whether the parties realize it or not. Being “Janites” ourselves, in addition to our day jobs of family law professor and economic consultant, we could not help but read Jane Austen and be blown away by her genius understanding of both law and economics. Moreover, the principles she draws out that govern much of her characters’ decision-making are just as applicable today in the world of online dating and Tinder. We hope our book enlightens you on law and economics in new, surprising, and romantic ways.

Kathleen's book list on love, law, and money

Kathleen E. Akers Why did Kathleen love this book?

The key role of "incentives" in family law is considered in this economic approach to family law.

The book discusses the possible adverse consequences emanating from faulty legal design, while demonstrating that good family law should provide incentives for consistent and honest behavior.

Economists, specialists in the economic analysis of law, and academic lawyers discuss recent advances in specialized studies of marriage, cohabitation, and divorce.

This work is of considerable interest to lawyers, policy-makers, and economists concerned with family law.

By Antony W. Dnes (editor), Robert Rowthorn (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Law and Economics of Marriage and Divorce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What sort of contract is marriage? What does it offer the parties? What are the difficulties of enforcement, and the result of failed effective enforcement? This book takes an economic approach to marriage and divorce, considering the key role of 'incentives' in family law: it highlights the possible adverse consequences emanating from faulty legal design, while demonstrating that good family law should provide incentives for consistent and honest behavior. Economists, specialists in the economic analysis of law, and academic lawyers discuss recent advances in specialist work on marriage, cohabitation, and divorce. Chapters are grouped around four topics: the contractual perspectives…


Book cover of The Constitutional Parent: Rights, Responsibilities, and the Enfranchisement of the Child

Ned Lecic Author Of The Law is (Not) for Kids: A Legal Rights Guide for Canadian Children and Teens

From my list on demonstrating that children are people too.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a deep-set interest in and passion for human and civil rights, particularly children’s rights. I see the law, with which I have had a fascination since the age of 14, as the primary vehicle for advancing those rights. My research on the law has always been on my own, and apart from several legally themed high school and university courses, I am a layman in this field. Nonetheless, I have extensively studied law privately for many years, with a particular focus on how it affects relations among people, including those between children and adults. Activism for social change is one of my primary motivators in life, my main purpose and direction, and my reason for being. 

Ned's book list on demonstrating that children are people too

Ned Lecic Why did Ned love this book?

I loved the bravery of the author in tackling a controversial question.

This book deals with the US Supreme Court’s “parental rights doctrine.” Through a complete overview of jurisprudence from the earliest days of the country’s existence, Shulman challenges the commonly-held modern idea that parental rights have long held an exalted position in American jurisprudence. He demonstrates that, on the contrary, the American state originally entrusted parents with custody of the child for the purpose of meeting the child's needs and that the notion of the custody of one’s child as an entitlement is a relatively modern one.

I think this is a message that is vital to be brought out into the public sphere, and I am happy that the author was willing to devote an entire book to it.

By Jeffrey Shulman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this bold and timely work, law professor Jeffrey Shulman argues that the United States Constitution does not protect a fundamental right to parent. Based on a rigorous reconsideration of the historical record, Shulman challenges the notion, held by academics and the general public alike, that parental rights have a long-standing legal pedigree. What is deeply rooted in our legal tradition and social conscience, Shulman demonstrates, is the idea that the state entrusts parents with custody of the child, and it does so only as long as parents meet their fiduciary duty to serve the developmental needs of the child.…


Book cover of Suffer the Little Children: Child Migration and the Geopolitics of Compassion in the United States

Maria Cristina Garcia Author Of State of Disaster: The Failure of U.S. Migration Policy in an Age of Climate Change

From my list on U.S. refugee policy.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family and I were among those prioritized for admission to the United States during the Cold War—a migration I discussed in my first book, Havana, USA. Not all who seek refuge are as fortunate, however. Less than one percent of refugees worldwide are ever resettled in the top resettlement nations like the United States. My scholarship examines how US refugee policy has evolved in response to humanitarian, domestic, and foreign policy concerns and agendas.

Maria's book list on U.S. refugee policy

Maria Cristina Garcia Why did Maria love this book?

The recent arrival of unaccompanied minors at US ports of entry is not a new phenomenon. In this book, Anita Casavantes Bradford examines the history of child migration to the United States since World War II.

Readers learn about the foreign policy, domestic, and humanitarian concerns that shaped U.S. policies towards unaccompanied minors; the governmental and nongovernmental actors who advocated on children’s behalf; and the emerging notions of children’s rights in U.S. society that contributed to the often-heated debates on immigration policy. She provides a much-needed historical context for understanding the challenges child migration poses today.

By Anita Casavantes Bradford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Suffer the Little Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this affecting and innovative global history-starting with the European children who fled the perils of World War II and ending with the Central American children who arrive every day at the U.S. southern border-Anita Casavantes Bradford traces the evolution of American policy toward unaccompanied children. At first a series of ad hoc Cold War-era initiatives, such policy grew into a more broadly conceived set of programs that claim universal humanitarian goals. But the cold reality is that decisions about which endangered minors are allowed entry to the United States have always been and continue to be driven primarily by…


Book cover of The Sleeping Car Porter

Eleanor P. Sam Author Of The Wisdom of Rain

From my list on Caribbean slavery and its aftermath.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a human product of a Demerara sugar plantation, and spent most of my formative years in this environment. If you’ve added brown sugar to your coffee, tea, or baking, or indulged in chocolate or candy, you’ve probably come into contact with part of my heritage. It’s a heritage with a sweet and a bitter side. My novel The Wisdom of Rain follows Mariama, an enslaved girl struggling with life on a nineteenth century plantation. She could have been my ancestor. Canada has become my home and I’m a proud alumna of York University and the University of Toronto. Most days, I enjoy the diversity and promise of this country.

Eleanor's book list on Caribbean slavery and its aftermath

Eleanor P. Sam Why did Eleanor love this book?

The story is set in Canada during the 1920s but Baxter, the main character, is an immigrant from the Caribbean and exemplifies a consequence of the region’s slave history. He is part of the diaspora of descendants seeking better lives in other parts of the world. But although in a different country, Baxter does not escape the pressure to accept a position in a subservient class.

Mayr effectively creates the sense of threat that pervades Baxter’s environment, intensified by his sexual orientation. A saving grace is his peer group of fellow porters. Initially they seem cruel and disinterested, but when faced by oppressive authority, they rally around him. This book reminded me that though the physical confinement of slavery has ended, the devaluation of Blackness continues.

By Suzette Mayr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Sleeping Car Porter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2022 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY TOP 20 LITERARY FICTION BOOKS OF 2022

OPRAH DAILY: BOOKS TO READ BY THE FIRE

THE GLOBE 100: THE BEST BOOKS OF 2022

CBC BOOKS: THE BEST CANADIAN FICTION OF 2022


When a mudslide strands a train, Baxter, a queer Black sleeping car porter, must contend with the perils of white passengers, ghosts, and his secret love affair

The Sleeping Car Porter brings to life an important part of Black history in North America, from the perspective of a queer man living in a culture that renders him invisible in two…


Book cover of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories

Verity Croker Author Of Jilda's Ark

From my list on YA set in Australia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Australian author and an avid reader. Although I love reading books set in other countries, I particularly enjoy stories that take place in Australia, as I can really identify with them. I especially relate to those set in the Australian outback or small rural towns, as for several years I lived in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. I understand how in small towns it is very difficult to keep secrets, as everybody knows everyone else’s business, and I now realise this is becoming an underlying theme in my writing. I have a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Tasmania.

Verity's book list on YA set in Australia

Verity Croker Why did Verity love this book?

I really enjoyed reading all the #OwnVoice short stories, several of which have intersectional representation, in Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories. The twelve authors demonstrate a wide range of writing styles, writing about different themes in a variety of genres from medieval to contemporary to dystopian. It’s a book you can return to again and again, choosing different stories to read depending on your mood and interests. 

By Michael Earp (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kindred 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?

Twelve of Australia’s best writers from the LGBTQ+ community are brought together in this ground-breaking collection of YA short stories.

What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #LoveOzYA collection, twelve of Australia’s finest writers from the LGBTQ+ community explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us. This inclusive and intersectional #OwnVoices anthology for teen readers features work from writers of diverse genders, sexualities and identities, including writers who identify as First Nations, people of colour or disabled. With short stories by bestsellers, award…


Book cover of A Queer History of the United States for Young People

Robin Stevenson Author Of When You Get the Chance

From my list on queer communities throughout history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love reading about queer history: It’s the story of a diverse, courageous, and creative community, and it’s filled with inspiring actions and fascinating people. It’s also a history I had to seek out for myself because it was never taught at school—and although there has been progress since I came out as queer three decades ago, this is still true for most teens today. Over the last few years, I have written LGBTQIA+ books for all ages, and spoken to thousands of students. The books on this list explore queer history in ways that I think many teens will find highly enjoyable as well as informative.

Robin's book list on queer communities throughout history

Robin Stevenson Why did Robin love this book?

After reading all that historical fiction, you might be ready to learn more about the time periods and events that you’ve been introduced to. This non-fiction book is based on the author’s 2012 Stonewall Award-winning A Queer History of the United States and is adapted for teen readers. It includes some well-known figures, alongside profiles of many people that readers may never have heard of. Engaging and easy to read, this is a fascinating and richly detailed telling of queer American history, particularly in the years before the Stonewall Riots.

By Michael Bronski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Queer History of the United States for Young People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named one of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2019 by School Library Journal

Queer history didn’t start with Stonewall. This book explores how LGBTQ people have always been a part of our national identity, contributing to the country and culture for over 400 years.

It is crucial for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth to know their history. But this history is not easy to find since it’s rarely taught in schools or commemorated in other ways. A Queer History of the United States for Young People corrects this and demonstrates that LGBTQ people have long been vital to…


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