So diverse book recommendations is a little vague - diverse covers a lot - but there also huge gaps in my knowledge. A lot of countries I haven't read books from - a lot of LGBTQIA+ and not as many POC as there should be, which I will be getting on. I try to be aware of it but I've also been in such a weird reading mood the last... well, the last year and a half that I haven't done a great job. Better then I was but not great.
I was originally going to stuff them all together - so I'd get it out early in the readathon, incase anyone was still looking for recs. (Though, how could you be, really, with this google doc of heaven). There were just too many of them, I had to split them up. The one place I was lacking the most, though, was physical disabilities and mental health.
There is, however, very little order into how this is going on. Not all of these books - or the ones I'll be recommending in the posts about POC and then about mental illnesses and physical disabilities - are #ownvoices books, but I tried to get as many as I had read that were #ownvoices. However, hat doesn't mean I don't think #ownvoices are incredible important, it is so damn important.
If you're looking for something to read right now - that is short and sweet. Kind of gay, kind of badass and brutal. If you haven't read anything by Catherynne M. Valente you are in for a treat. Her short story The Lily and the Horn is available online for free and is incredible.
David Levithan - the author. You've probably heard of him. I haven't read all his books yet, not by a long shot, but: Love is a Higher Law is one I loved. It's also timely considering it revolves around where the characters were during 9/11, as they're all in New York. It's hard to read but it's amazing. (I can't remember specifics about it but I know there's at least one queer character, I think a gay teenager, but it's fuzzy since I read it in 2012).
Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen - queer characters in 1919, one of them was a soldier in World War One (pretty sure both men are gay but I don't remember if they're ever specific about it). Either way - it's gorgeous and New York in this is vivid and beautiful. I loved it and want to reread it soon.
Virgil by Steve Orlando, J.D. Faith - There's a lot going on in this one shot graphic novel. It's set in Jamaica - which is the only thing I've read set there - and follows two gay men in a very homophobic place and time. It's a tad bit very heartbreaking but so worth it. The story is incredible, the art is gorgeous.
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark - I have a full review of this one. Basically it's written in prose about a transgender and genderfluid (never labeled but heavily hinted) characters. And I cried through most of it because I just felt so much for these characters, wanted to try and show them not everyone was like that. Just, man, I wanted to hug the fictional characters, basically. (The author herself isn't transgender or genderfluid but from what I read she worked closely with many people, teenagers I think, who were).
Ask the Passangers by A.S. King - I loved this book, it's just so damn incredible. The magical realism elements were my favorite, and continue to be in every A.S. King book I read. She's just an incredible writer and this is an incredible book that I really want to reread. The MC is LGBTQIA+ and it has a f/f romance. Also she talks out her problems to the planes that fly over her house and that's part of the magical realism and I loved it so damn much.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - this book destroyed me. If you haven't heard about it - it's an Achilles/Patroclus retelling but with none of the: no, no cousinnsss, totally just friends. Just dudes being dudes. Basically it's perfect?
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, - an ongoing comic series that is the shit. It has LGBTQIA+ characters - two of the main girls - their identities aren't clear yet and they're young, but they're not straight. Also, just in general, you should read this comic. Girl power, magical realism, crazy shit going downnn. The art is awesome, I love these characters so damn much. Read it.
All for the Game series by Nora Sakavic - so this is a YA dark contemporary series with LGBTQIA+ characters (yes, multiple) and it has some problems. It's not perfect, but it's... so damn good? It's listed as a romance on goodreads, but that doesn't happen until the last book and isn't ever really romance-y, they've got too many problems. It's the first book I've ever read where the character can be - and I think is suppose to be - read as demisexual/demiromantic and it was kind of incredible? (If you've got any recs with other characters who are demi, please, please, leave pass them onto me in the comments, on twitter. Anything). Trigger warnings: torture, rape, child abuse, self harm, probably more things, just as if you're worried or want clarification. (Really, though, this is my current obsession, I just bought a sweatshirt related to and am actually wearing it as I type this. As one does).
The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz (split into two subseries - The Red Years, The White Years). - dark BDSM erotica series. There are various characters who are gay, straight, bi, and I'm sure many other things, quite a few of them are POV characters. Michael is the most precious of them all. I would recommend reading the White years and then the Red years. Technically the red years are the "earlier" years but they're told through Nora telling them to people in the future, so you'll get super spoiled if your ead them first. Basically: Start with The Siren, then The Angel, then Then Prince (feelings!!), and so on. Trigger warnings for a lot of things - if you're worried, just ask in the comments and I'll let you know, don't worry about being annoying or judgement. (I'd list them but I know I'd miss some)