2021 Over the Rainbow Book List features 48 titles for adult readers

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/02/2021


Monica Chapman

Program Coordinator, Coretta Scott King Book Awards and ODLOS Round Tables




CHICAGO - The Over the Rainbow committee of ALA’s Rainbow Roundtable gave careful consideration to 312 books this year. The committee chose 29 fiction and poetry titles and 19 nonfiction titles to make up the complete 2021 Over the Rainbow book list.  The titles on this list all exhibit commendable literary quality and significant authentic LGBTQIA+ content.

In the books that were reviewed, the committee is pleased to note the increased diversity of transgender, asexual, immigrant, indigenous, and asexual experiences.  Authors explored history and contemporary politics through new lenses, while we also saw innovations in formats -- including a cookbook.

The top ten fiction and nonfiction titles are:

  • "Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex." Angela Chen. Beacon Press, 2020.
  • "Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America." R. Eric Thomas. Ballantine Books, 2020.
  • "A History of My Brief Body. Billy-Ray." Belcourt. Two Dollar Radio, 2020.
  • "Homesick: Stories. Nino Cipri." Dzanc Books, 2019.
  • "Homie: Poems." Danez Smith. Graywolf Press, 2020.
  • "My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir." Jenn Shapland. Tin House, 2020.
  • "Plain Bad Heroines." Emily M. Danforth. William Morrow, 2020.
  • "The Prettiest Star." Carter Sickels. Hub City Press, 2020.
  • "Real Life." Brandon Taylor. Riverhead, 2020.
  • "What's Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She." Dennis Baron. Liveright, 2020.

To view the complete 2021 bibliography, please visit: https://www.glbtrt.ala.org/overtherainbow/

The charge of the Over the Rainbow Book List Committee is to promote the improved quality and accessibility of LGBTQIA+ literature through the creation of an annual annotated bibliography of books for general adult readership. Committee members select titles that exhibit commendable literary quality and significant, authentic LGBTQIA+ content and are recommended for adults over age 18. The Over the Rainbow Book List Committee (OTR) coordinates with other Rainbow Round Table committees to promote the improved quality and accessibility of LGBTQIA+ literature.

The Rainbow Round Table (RRT) – formerly known as the GLBTRT - of the American Library Association, is the oldest professional association for LGBTQIA+ people in the United States. It is committed to serving the information needs of the LGBTQIA+ professional library community and information and access needs of individuals at large. It is home to Rainbow Book Month, a nationwide celebration every June, and the Stonewall Book Award, the first award honoring LGBTQIA+ books. The Rainbow Round Table is committed to encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association and democratic institutions.