Celebrating Pride Month

In honor of Pride Month, TBF reached out to queer-owned and -operated bookstores in Texas for book recommendations! From horror to poetry, we’re looking camp right in the eye to bring you plenty of excellent reads. We encourage our audience to engage with LGBTQIA+ authors this month and all year round by purchasing their books and sharing and attending their in-person and virtual events. We also invite our audience to show these bookstores some love online and in-store. Click book titles or book cover thumbnails to purchase these recommendations directly from the bookstore.

Reverie Books was established in South Austin’s ’45 neighborhood in the late fall of 2021 right when it looked as though the pandemic would wane (it didn’t). Reverie Books is a queer-owned neighborhood bookstore dedicated to social justice and community building, with a mission of uplifting marginalized voices and youth empowerment through their high school internship/community giveback program.

“Look, if you’re queer these books are going to make your heart sing,” said Thais Perkins, owner of Reverie Books. “If you’re an ally, or if you want a read that will help you better understand the queer zeitgeist, these stories bring a lot to the table. They’ll make you laugh, cry, scream, think, and maybe just help bring us all a little closer together.”

Reverie recommends The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne if you need something for your mom/family member/colleague:

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is one of our absolute favorites at Reverie. It’s a story about an orphanage full of magical children run by a fellow that is being investigated, like in a British way, by a lovely man who is just trying to do his job well. The two of them just constantly show up for the kids in the most caring way, and maybe fall in love a little in the process? Next out in that ‘series’ (the books stand alone) will be Somewhere Beyond the Sea, releasing September 9, and we are on FIRE for it!”


Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne is a sapphic cozy fantasy about dragons and setting up a tea shop. Mostly the tea shop. Got problems with the dragons? Don’t kill them, talk to them! The next in the new series, A Pirate’s Life for Tea, releases October 1.”



Reverie recommends Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle if you need something for a friend who wants to know how gay conversion camp felt:

Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle is the schadenfreude you need! Part thriller, part slasher, part childhood trauma working itself out, it’s for any of us who were worried we were headed for hell just for being who we are. Next up from Chuck is Bury Your Gays, out July 9, in which Hollywood gets the Tingle Treatment!”



Reverie recommends This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel if you want to give a book to a family supporting a trans kid:

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel is one of the most compassionate, nuanced portraits of a family supporting their trans child I’ve ever read. It’s not simplistic in its portrayal of how the parents grapple with their intense instinct to protect and understand their kid, and the fact that the book persists into the traumatic teenage years is brave and powerful. This book truly is for family members who are always striving to do better and be better for their kiddos.”


Reverie recommends Pretty by KB Brookins if you want something raw about growing up intersectionally Black, queer, and trans in Texas:

“Our own Austin poet KB Brookins has just come out with their memoir Pretty, being hailed as fierce and deeply human. It’s a compendium of short stories, poetry, and photography, and it’s drawing the kind of breathless early praise that makes an impression. It’s going to save someone’s life, probably many people’s. KB has really knocked it out of the park with this one.”


BookWoman is a 100% queer-owned and -operated bookstore that began 48 years ago in an upstairs shop on Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX. It began as a collective called The Common Woman Bookstore (based on the Judy Grahn poem.) From there, the store moved into Susan Post’s house at the time, and the collective eventually dissolved. The store took on the name BookWoman and moved to 6th Street. After that, BookWoman moved to 12th and Lamar, and since 2008 the store has been located at 5501 North Lamar. They are known as the “oldest, queerest, feminist-ist bookstore in Texas”.

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

“After an extensive and tragic undersea submarine expedition, Mari must confront the fact that her wife, Leah, has changed and is still changing. Our Wives Under the Sea is an exquisite exploration of the unknowable depths and the difficult transformations relationships must often undergo. If you like a slow burn or are new to the horror genre, this is the book for you.” – Susan (Staff member)

In Memoriam by Alice Winn

In Memoriam portrays war, human nature, and the transcendent power of love with breathtaking honesty. With characters who will stick with you for a lifetime and utterly consuming prose, Winn poignantly captures the beauty of young love and the lengths we will go to save those who matter most. A memorable love story that breaks the boundaries of queer romance, In Memoriam is for those who’re craving a title crafted with tenderness and an emotional read of a lifetime.” – Aivry (Staff member)

Cuckoo by Gretchen Felker-Martin

Cuckoo reflects the current attacks on Queer and Trans youth and begs us to do something about it. Felker-Martin captures both the terror and tenderness of queer youth through an unflinching vision of nostalgia with a bite. Every character is so rich and full of life—they’re people you know and love—which makes their fates all the more terrifying. Both a love letter to horror classics and to queerness, Cuckoo will inspire you to go bash in some brains and save some kids.” – Aud (Staff member)

The Little Gay Shop is an unapologetically queer gift store and bookshop supporting exclusively LGBTQIA+ artists, authors, and makers. TLGS was founded in 2019 in the heart of Texas to support and promote exclusively LGBTQIA+ artists from around the world, the first store of its kind. They carry an array of books, art, and giftable items from hundreds of makers that not only allow customers to feel safe, seen, reflected, and represented, but to expose them to unique worldwide perspectives.

TLGS lives by the adage “by queers, for all” and encourages people to shop local, shop small, and shop queer all year long!

Greta and Valdin by Rebecca K. Reilly

“When this book came out earlier this year in the United States, we all immediately understood why it was a run-away bestseller in Reilly’s home country of New Zealand: it’s one of the funniest, smartest, gayest family sagas we’ve ever read! You’ll absolutely fall in love with Māori-Russian-Catalonian siblings, Greta and Valdin, who are, to put it quite honestly, both queer hot-messes who are painfully relatable despite being some of the most original characters you’ll find in contemporary publishing. This book actually made us both laugh out loud AND tear up at times, a feat that’s much less common than you’d think!”


The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide by Steven W. Thrasher

“We have all been deeply changed and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and so many (if not all) of us are still carrying the grief, stress, and difficulty of these impacts with us. This book affirms and validates those feelings while inspiring readers to show up and continue to care for one another. Dr. Thrasher’s beautiful, moving, and thought-provoking exploration of viruses, including the novel coronavirus and HIV, reveals important truths about who is most likely to get sick and how health disparities harm us all. Blending terrific journalism, memoir, and accessible, yet rigorous, theoretical analysis, Dr. Thrasher, himself a Black, queer man, highlights the brilliance of queer activists throughout this compelling read.”


Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle (Out July 9)

“Usually by July 9 businesses have packed up their rainbow flags, swept up the last of the lingering glitter, and ended their seasonal promotions, marking the end of Pride Month (until we get to do it all over again for Austin Pride in August). So, to really hammer home the importance of reading queer all year, here’s a recommendation for your summer TBR that you have to wait to read until after Pride Month. Bury Your Gays follows Hollywood TV and film writer, Misha, who’s under pressure to kill off the gay characters in his television series while seemingly being haunted by the scariest villains from his own shows and movies. Whether you’re a dedicated horror fan or new to the genre, Tingle will scare, surprise, and entertain you in equal measure in this fun and creepy horror read. Tingle writes complex, compelling queer characters whose queerness feels central to the narrative in creative and thoughtful ways, even as they’re battling some of the most unsettling, scary horror monsters we’ve ever encountered!”