100 books like Urban Aboriginals

By Geoff Mains,

Here are 100 books that Urban Aboriginals fans have personally recommended if you like Urban Aboriginals. 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 Giovanni's Room

Arnold Miles Author Of Special Delivery

From my list on exploring sexuality and intimacy in and between men.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for the themes and moods of this list because they explore so many parts of my emotions. They rile me, they work me up into a hot frenzy, they turn me on, they fascinate me, they bruise me, they heal me. I see myself in these books, and I feel that I understand other people. I’ve enjoyed (and still enjoy) reading these books published for free on blogs online, but now I want to write more and read more than I’ve done before. This list is a starting point, and I hope you enjoy them!

Arnold's book list on exploring sexuality and intimacy in and between men

Arnold Miles Why did Arnold love this book?

I love this book because line after line and paragraph after paragraph floor me.

"People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their deci­sions are not really decisions at all—a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named—but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not."

It lifts you with perfect prose and then hammers you with something so traumatic and blunt that you need to take a breath. At times, it's too good–like, annoyingly good. Its design, thought process, execution, implementation, weaving, cornering, boundary setting, battling, and emotions are just so well executed. I will never write as well as this, but I will try harder…

By James Baldwin,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Giovanni's Room as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend's return to Paris destroys everything. Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened - while Giovanni's life descends into tragedy.

United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love,…

Book cover of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

Sara Nasserzadeh Author Of Love by Design: 6 Ingredients to Build a Lifetime of Love

From my list on how to move from surviving to thriving in your relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, speaker, researcher, and thinking partner with a PhD in Social Psychology and specialization in the fields of human sexuality, intercultural fluency, and relationships. I have over two decades of experience working with individuals, couples, companies, and governments across 40 countries. I truly believe that we can create world peace one relationship at a time, and embrace it as my mission. My third book in English, Love By Design, is the result of two-decade-long research on the status of thriving relationships and its key ingredients. These could be applied to relationships in all spaces, from bedrooms (most intimate) to the boardrooms (most public).

Sara's book list on how to move from surviving to thriving in your relationships

Sara Nasserzadeh Why did Sara love this book?

Esther Perel's exploration of the intricate dance between intimacy and desire resonates with many couples who are in long-term relationships, want it to work so desperately, and yet find themselves stuck. This book builds on the concepts of differentiation and attachment styles while inviting readers to embrace a new paradigm of eroticism within committed relationships.

What resonates deeply is Perel's grounded yet unflinching approach to addressing taboo topics and dismantling societal norms. Through her eloquent prose and compelling case studies, she illuminates the path to unlocking erotic intelligence and reigniting passion in long-term partnerships.

By Esther Perel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mating in Captivity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York City therapist examines the paradoxical relationship between domesticity and sexual desire and explains what it takes to bring lust home.

One of the world’s most respected voices on erotic intelligence, Esther Perel offers a bold, provocative new take on intimacy and sex. Mating in Captivity invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home.

Drawing on more than twenty years of experience as a couples therapist, Perel examines the complexities of sustaining desire. Through case studies and lively discussion, Perel demonstrates how more exciting, playful,…

Book cover of The Ethical Slut

Nadya Okamoto Author Of Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement

From my list on challenging perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a social entrepreneur, I'm passionate about gender equality and always challenging myself and my perspectives. From exploring feminine power in The Red Tent to understanding complex societal structures in 100 Years of Solitude to appreciating the blend of science and womanhood in Lessons in Chemistry, to promoting sexual freedom in Ethical Slut, and finally, recognizing intersectional struggles in Hood Feminism, each book deepens my understanding and fuels my passion for change.

Nadya's book list on challenging perspectives

Nadya Okamoto Why did Nadya love this book?

I deeply appreciate Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy's book for its courage in challenging societal norms around relationships.

The book's exploration of ethical non-monogamy pushes me to examine my personal boundaries and expectations. I value its discussion not just on sexuality but on all relationship dynamics.

The book resonates with me intensely, serving as a catalyst for self-discovery and understanding, which is why I hold it in such high regard.

By Janet W. Hardy, Dossie Easton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic guide to love, sex, and intimacy beyond the limits of conventional monogamy has been fully updated to reflect today’s modern attitudes and the latest information on nontraditional relationships. 

“One of the most useful relationship books you could ever read, no matter what your lifestyle choices. It’s chock-full of great information about communication, jealousy, asking for what you want, and maintaining a relationship with integrity.”—Annie Sprinkle, PhD, sexologist and author of Dr. Sprinkle’s Spectacular Sex 

For 20 years The Ethical Slut—widely known as the “Poly Bible”—has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle…

Book cover of The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World

Nicholas McInerny Author Of How to Have a Perfect Marriage: A BBC Radio 4 Comedy Drama

From my list on being emotionally monogamous and sexually promiscuous.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am someone who has lived a number of different lives. Although I loved being a father and husband I knew I wasn’t being authentic. At 45 that all changed utterly when I finally came out as gay – and accepted myself for perhaps the very first time in my life. However, even before coming out I was a professional writer – it was my only way to make sense of the world. But I also knew that although a successful writer I wasn’t a truthful one – and the most beautiful thing in life is discovering your own truth, isn’t it? Join me here in a safe space to experience yours.

Nicholas' book list on being emotionally monogamous and sexually promiscuous

Nicholas McInerny Why did Nicholas love this book?

When I first came out – at 45! – this book became the whisper on every new gay friend’s lips – you must read this. You may not agree with it all, but please read.

Alan Downs explores the impact of growing up and surviving as a gay man in a society – he examines why we are both massive over-achievers in career and status, whilst simultaneously massively indulging in a hedonistic lifestyle that can be destructive. He’s particularly good at skewering issues around shame and anger, and the importance of primary relationships, for example with our Fathers.

I believe this book – a quick, vital read – can inform so much debate about self-acceptance and be genuinely empowering.

By Alan Downs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This groundbreaking and empowering book examines the impact of growing up and surviving as a gay man in a society still learning to accept all identities.

In The Velvet Rage, psychologist Alan Downs draws on his own struggle with shame and anger, contemporary research, and stories from his patients to passionately describe the stages of a gay man's journey out of shame and offers practical and inspired strategies to stop the cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior. The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that has already changed the public discourse on gay culture and helped shape the identity of…

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 Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career teaching high school. I attended amazing professional development institutes, where scholars showed me how the stories I’d learned and then taught to my own students were so oversimplified that they had become factually incorrect. I was hooked. I kept wondering what else I’d gotten wrong. I earned a Ph.D. in modern US History with specialties in women’s and gender history and war and society, and now I’m an Associate Professor of History at Iowa State University and the Coordinator of ISU’s Social Studies Education Program. I focus on historical complexity and human motivations because they are the key to understanding change.

Amy's book list on books about twenteith-century U.S. History that make you rethink something you thought you already knew

Amy J. Rutenberg Why did Amy love this book?

If you’ve ever wondered about where the terms “coming out,” “tea room,” or “fairy” came from, this book has the answers. But more importantly, this book showed me the extent to which my preconceived notions about the relationship between gender and sexuality were simply wrong.

Chauncey’s careful and readable reconstruction of gay communities in early twentieth-century New York illustrates very clearly that ideas of masculinity and deviance and the meanings attached to sex between men are socially constructed and change over time.

His story also showed me how much history can hide in plain sight and how there are still so many stories left to tell.

By George Chauncey,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Gay New York as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning, field-defining history of gay life in New York City in the early to mid-20th century

Gay New York brilliantly shatters the myth that before the 1960s gay life existed only in the closet, where gay men were isolated, invisible, and self-hating. Drawing on a rich trove of diaries, legal records, and other unpublished documents, George Chauncey constructs a fascinating portrait of a vibrant, cohesive gay world that is not supposed to have existed. Called "monumental" (Washington Post), "unassailable" (Boston Globe), "brilliant" (The Nation), and "a first-rate book of history" (The New York Times), Gay New Yorkforever changed how…

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 God of Fury

Liz Ashlee Author Of Moving Forward

From my list on romance novels with pet names that will make you smile.

Why am I passionate about this?

Pet names in romance can make or break a book, in my opinion. Sometimes, they can be offputting, but other times, pet names make me smile. They elevate the chemistry between characters–turn the heat up a notch on a steam scene, make you blush, and make you fall in love with the characters. When I read a pet name I can imagine the tone, level, and timbre. It makes me feel like I'm there in the pages with the characters. I think it's because a pet name or nickname is special. A person assigns it to you because they care–or, better yet, within the pages of a romance, they love.

Liz's book list on romance novels with pet names that will make you smile

Liz Ashlee Why did Liz love this book?

This book was my most anticipated read of 2023, and not just because of all the TikTok videos and reels I devoured.

Niko and Brandon's relationship had been hinted at during the previous books, and I was salivating for all of those pieces to be linked together so I would have their full love story. Even more so, I needed to know why Niko called Bran his Lotus Flower.

That nickname and romance had a chokehold on me before I even read the book, and the book did not disappoint. Niko and Bran’s relationship, trials, tribulations and that nickname are going to stay with me for a long time. 

By Rina Kent,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From USA Today bestselling author Rina Kent comes a new STANDALONE MM college romance.

I’m not attracted to men.
Or so I thought before I slammed into Nikolai Sokolov.
A mafia heir, a notorious bastard, and a violent monster.
An ill-fated meeting puts me in his path.
And just like that, he has his sights set on me.
A quiet artist, a golden boy, and his enemy’s twin brother.
He doesn’t seem to care that the odds are stacked against us.
In fact, he sets out to break my steel-like control and blur my limits.
I thought my biggest worry…

Book cover of All Down Darkness Wide: A Memoir

Simon Wu Author Of Dancing on My Own: Essays on Art, Collectivity, and Joy

From my list on overthink and cry at the club with.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the last seven years, I’ve worked with art and artists, particularly those who prioritize spaces like nightclubs as spaces of expression. Museums and nightclubs have both helped me bring my fullest self to fruition, from my queer experiences to my immigrant experiences. I believe something magical resides within those spaces that connect friends, family, and music, and it remains difficult to put a finger on, but you recognize it when you see it. These books are just a taste of a way to better understand that experience of collectivity—across love, friendship, and art—and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! 

Simon's book list on overthink and cry at the club with

Simon Wu Why did Simon love this book?

I loved Hewitt’s writing style; it’s lush and intimate and deeply personal, and overall a heartwrenching queer memoir about loving someone who doesn’t want to love themselves anymore.

Trained as a poet, Hewitt has a knack for turning very mundane personal experiences into luminous scenes infused with spirituality. 

By Sean Hewitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Down Darkness Wide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A luminous memoir from the prize-winning poet - a story of love, heartbreak and coming of age, and a tender exploration of queer identity.

'Beautiful' Colm Toibin
'Rapturous' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Observer
'Stunning' Sunday Times

When Sean meets Elias, the two fall headlong into a love story. But as Elias struggles with severe depression, the couple comes face to face with crisis.

Wrestling with this, Sean Hewitt delves deep into his own history, enlisting the ghosts of queer figures and poets before him. From a nineteenth-century cemetery in Liverpool to the pine forests of Gothenburg, Hewitt plumbs the darkness…

Book cover of Street Zen: The Life and Work of Issan Dorsey

Koshin Paley Ellison Author Of Wholehearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up

From my list on an introduction to Zen.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison is an author, Soto Zen teacher, and Jungian psychotherapist. Koshin co-founded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, which offers contemplative approaches to care through education, personal caregiving, and Zen practice. He is the author of Wholehearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up. And the co-editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care. He is a recognized Zen teacher by the Soto Zen Buddhist Association, White Plum Asanga, and American Zen Teachers Association. 

Koshin's book list on an introduction to Zen

Koshin Paley Ellison Why did Koshin love this book?

This book inspired my own integration of service and Zen. Issan Dorsey is a person who did not hold back. This portrait of a teacher whose creativity, love, honesty, joy, and compassion continues to awaken new possibilities for engaged Buddhism.

By David Schneider,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drag queen. Prostitute. Drug addict. American bodhisattva.

These words describe the unlikely persona of Issan Dorsey, one of the most beloved teachers to emerge in American Zen. From his early days as a gorgeous female impersonator to the LSD experiences that set him on the spiritual path, Issan's life was never conventional. In 1989, after twenty years of Zen practice, he became the Founding Abbot of San Francisco's Hartford Street Zen Center, where he established Maitri Hospice for AIDS patients. Featuring Bernie Glassman's foreword to the second edition, as well as a new foreword by Koshin Paley Ellison, Street Zen…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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