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As the world begins a new chapter of self-isolation, we asked our community of LGBTQ+ travellers what gay and/or travel lit they recommend curling up to.


Written by Andrew Sean Greer

Recommended by Steven Charlton

Struggling 49-year-old novelist, Arthur Less, begins an international adventure to avoid an awkward wedding and grapple with his “…sorrows.” This darkly comedic recommendation won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

In A Sunburned Country

Written by Bill Bryson

Recommended by Jules Villareal Van Opijnen

Travel writer Bill Bryson ventures Downunda to explore a country as dangerous as it is beautiful. Hilarious, insightful, and brimming with uproarious Aussies.

London Triptych

Written by Jonathan Kemp

Recommended by Bill Baker

This nuanced piece of queer lit explores the lives of three rent boys at three different points in history. Think The Hours, but with an LGBTQ+ twist.

Ancillary Justice

Written by Ann Leckie

Recommended by Brian Yamanaka

Allow your imagination to enter deep-space on this intergalactic recommendation by nine-time Out Adventurer, Brian Yamanaka. The series follows Breq – an artifical intelligence that once linked thousands of soldiers – as she adapts to the new, singular human body she’s been assigned.

Tales of the City

Written by Armistead Maupin

Recommended by Lino DiNallo

Tales of the City is a series of nine light and fluffy novels that capture a bygone era of San Francisco. Pre-AIDS, gay marriage and Pete Buttigieg.

Another Country

Written by James Baldwin

Recommended by Vince Contrucci

This character-driven novel is heavily based in 1950s New York City and tackles many taboos of the time including bisexuality and interracial relationships.

Song of Achilles

Written by Madeline Miller

Recommended by David Danish

An extraordinary (and gay) retelling of the Battle of Troy from the POV of Patroclus (an awkward and exiled young prince) and Achilles (the half-god warrior). The narrative is imaginative while the love story is timeless.

The Autumn Balloon

Written by Kenny Porpora

Recommended by Rick Kong

This powerful memoir by one of Out Adventures’ very own travellers, Kenny Porpora, is darkly comedic yet entirely enlightening. The novel was recommended by Porpora’s fellow Kenya: Safaris & Savannahs traveller, Rick Kong (pictured on the right).

Queer YA

Recommended by Marco Zannier Virginillo

As a librarian, Marco was never going to recommend ONE piece of gay lit. Instead, he recommended an entire genre: queer young adult fiction! In no particular order, his list included They Both Die at the End (by Adam Silvera), The Gravity of Us (by Phil Stamper), Reverie (by Ryan La Sala), Every Day (by David Levithan), and, Ask the Passengers (by A. S. King).

Snake Lake

Written by Jeff Greenwald

Recommended by Brian Farmer

In the words of Brian himself, it’s “…about the uprising and demonstrations in Nepal in the 1990s giving you a great insight into the people and culture while describing the sights and experiences that entice you to come and visit. I loved it and hope others will too.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck

Written by Mark Manson

Recommended by Anthony Nove

Mark Manson’s wildly popular anti-self-help-self-help book takes ‘positive thinking’ to task. He argues the world is not fair, but it’s not always your fault. And admitting so is the first step to living a happier life.

The Great Believers

Written by Rebecca Makkai

Recommended by Carl Hiehn

Decades before covid-19, AIDS ripped through urban queer communities across America. Meanwhile, the world largely turned its back on those affected. The Great Believers dives into the onset of this crisis, narrowing in on the tender story of a small group of friends living through it all.

100 Places You Will Never Visit

Written by Daniel Smith

Recommended by Clarence Chant

From Three Mile Island to the Vatican archives, this guide book takes you to destinations either so hard to reach or so secret that “they are near impossible to visit any other way.”

Thrilling Cities

Written by Ian Fleming

Recommended by Peter Graham

From the author of the James Bond canon comes this observational travelogue featuring 14 cities across Asia, Europe and North America. Just like 007 himself, Fleming was a world traveler. Both his war experiences and career in journalism took him around the globe, and inevitably influenced his famous series.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders

Written by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton

Recommended by Robert Sharp

Our final recommendation comes from Out Adventures’ fearless leader, Mr Robert Sharp. In his own words, “When we are ready to travel again, it will be so important to support not only the go-to tourist destinations, but the hidden gems as well.”

Header photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash.com.

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