The humble quest to read all things lesbian
March 3, 2015 6:19 AM   Subscribe

The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources.

The Lesbrary elsewhere - Tumblr: Fuck Yeah Lesbian Literature (and more!), Twitter (@Lesbrary), and the exhaustive Lesbrary Good Reads List ("lists of les/bi/etc books by topic and genre!").

Good Lesbian - "A guide to books about lesbians, and books by lesbians - from romance to graphic novels!"

Sistahs on the Shelf - "The Home for Readers of Black Lesbian Fiction"

Bibliography of 20th-Century Queer Chicana (and a few Latina) Fictions: 1971-2000 and beyond: MLA version | Chronological

Books on the African American Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experience (Black Stripe)

Asian/Pacific (Islander) gay and lesbian fiction - three-page entry written by David L. Eng and Candace Fujikane at glbtq.


Popular Lesbian Fiction at Goodreads

Ten Books for Queers and Feminist to Read This Spring - from Autostraddle, 2014 article.

Also from Autostraddle: Top Ten - Lesbian Literature - The Classics. Alternatively, there's Curve Magazine's Ten Classic Books Every Lesbian Should Read.

Lesbian Books: More Than 150 Fascinating Finds, also from Curve. The print preview puts everything on one page.

United Kingdom

UK Lesbian Fiction

Everything you need to know about UK Lesbian Fiction at When Sally Met Sally

Historical perspectives

​glb​tq, "the world's largest​ encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer culture":
​Historical Dictionary of Lesbian Literature [pdf], by Meredith Miller, Scarecrow Press

Different Genres of Lesbian Fiction

Science Fiction

Science Fiction for Lesbians (over 200 books)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Science Fiction - at the website, Feminist Science Fiction, Fantascy, & Utopia (established 1994)
The Lesbian Detective Novel Fan Site - you can go directly to the book reviews.

Lesbian Pulp Fiction

Autostraddle: You Probably Want to Read Some Lesbian Pulp Fiction
BuzzFeed LGBT: Peek Inside 22 Vintage Lesbian Pulp Novels
Duke University Libraries: Lesbian & Gay Pulp Fiction - you can jump right to the selected lesbian pulp titles.


The Stonewall Book Awards - "The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since Isabel Miller's Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience."
​The Gay and Lesbian Presence in American Literature​- how to approach teaching gay and lesbian American literature, by Professor ​David Bergman, Towson State University​.​

Finally, Lesbian & Feminist Publishing Houses list from Wikipedia's List of Lesbian fiction page; see also the entry for Lesbian fiction, which has notable works and authors.

Previously: Ask Nicola, The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction, Teenagers in Love
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (27 comments total) 97 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, this is excellent.
posted by Fizz at 6:24 AM on March 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well there goes my year.
posted by kyrademon at 6:27 AM on March 3, 2015 [5 favorites]

This is an awesome post.

Throwback for context: When I was in college (80's), I took a class with Eloise Klein Healy . The class was called Women-Identified Women Writers, because the dean of the Humanities department thought it would be a disservice to students to carry transcripts with the word "lesbian" for the rest of our academic careers.
posted by Sophie1 at 6:48 AM on March 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is the FPP I always wanted but never knew I needed.
posted by custardfairy at 7:07 AM on March 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

posted by triage_lazarus at 7:08 AM on March 3, 2015

*makes long, smouldering eye contact over a copy of Annie on My Mind*
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:20 AM on March 3, 2015 [5 favorites]

Thanks so much for this great post. Awesome resource.

Since the K. Tempest Bradford diversity challenge, I've been adding books by a wider variety of authors to my 'to read' list. There are many listed at these links I've never read or heard of. Very cool.
posted by zarq at 8:23 AM on March 3, 2015

This is the perfect place to say that last month I read The Price of Salt (aka Carol) by Patricia Highsmith, written under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, and it is just fantastic.

(I'm sure it's on some of these lists, though some of them are weirdly blocked by work filters, which is annoying me.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:44 AM on March 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

now i'm piste: from a two-star review of that book: "Not as arousing as the title would have you believe. Plus, it is no larger than a regular sized book of lesbian horse stories." Also, Amazon further recommends Make Your Own Sex Toys, and from that title, Images You Should Not Masturbate To and Dancing with Jesus. Phwoar!
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:30 AM on March 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, hey wait, is this a thread where we can make recommendations? I bet this is a thread where we can make recommendations!

Fantasy novels, top picks:
Broken Wings by L-J Baker
The Elemental Logic series by Laurie J. Marks

Fantasy novels, honorable mentions:
Lady Knight by L-J Baker
Promises Promises by L-J Baker
Cage the Darlings by Elora Bishop
Twixt by Sarah Diemer
The Lyremouth Chronicles by Jane Fletcher
Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai
Ash by Malinda Lo
Huntress by Malindo Lo
Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack
Roses and Thorns by Chris Anne Wolfe
posted by kyrademon at 9:40 AM on March 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

Science Fiction novels, top picks:
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman

Science Fiction novels, honorable mentions:
The Fortunate Fall by Raphael Carter
Solitaire by Kelly Eskridge
The Celaeno Series by Jane Fletcher
The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall
The Annunciate by Severna Park
Machine by Jennifer Pelland
The Fever Crumb series by Philip Reeve (but note: no lesbian content until Scrivener's Moon)
The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson
The Year Seven by Molly Zanger

Off to dinner more later!
posted by kyrademon at 9:46 AM on March 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

MCMikeNamara - thanks for reminding me about The Price of Salt! I've been meaning to read that.

Some of my other favorite recent books by queer women:

Like Son by Felicia Luna Lemus is about a Chicano struggling to accept his father and salvage his relationship. His transness is just an established fact, not part of the plotline; I love that it's not a transition story, and I love that it's by a queer Latina. I also looooooove her book Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties, which is about baby dyke love; it's super fun and cute and I want to go to all the fictional bars and homes described within.

The Creamsickle by Sister Spit alum Rhiannon Argo is about a bunch of sloppy, broke, hard partying baby queers in SF. All the main characters are MOC/genderqueer and one of them comes out as a trans man and begins HRT during the book.

The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie is the debut novel on Black Girl Dangerous Press. This is reason enough to buy it, since the profits will go to publishing other QTPOC authors; but no such altruism is needed to recommend it, because it's an incredible book about grief, healing, colorism, the role of the church in the African-American community, family, art, and the blossoming of queer love. I literally could not put it down - like I was walking around my neighborhood reading it because I couldn't put it away between the bus stop and my house.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:53 AM on March 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

YA Novels top pick:
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

YA Novels honorable mentions:
Dare Truth or Promise by Paula Boock
Good Moon Rising by Nancy Garden
Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
Rage by Julie Anne Peters
Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
The Rules for Hearts by Sara Ryan
posted by kyrademon at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Love Stories top picks:
Landing by Emma Donoghue
The Price of Salt by Clare Morgan (Patricia Highsmith)

Love Stories Honorable mentions:
Pages for You by Sylvia Brownrigg
Stir Fry by Emma Donoghue
Curious Wine by Katherine Forrest
An Emergence of Green by Katherine Forrest
Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule
posted by kyrademon at 10:07 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Other top picks:
The Beebo Brinker chronicles by Ann Bannon
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell (no seriously, in the book, she totally is)

Other honorable mentions:
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth
The Falling Sky by Pippa Goldschmidt

And some books I inexplicable forgot to put into Fantasy honorable mentions earlier:
The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
Nightshade by Shea Godfrey
posted by kyrademon at 10:10 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Comics and Graphic Novels top picks:
Dykes to Watch Out For series by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Definition by Ariel Schrag
Potential by Ariel Schrag

Graphic Novels honorable mentions:
Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel
Batwoman series as written by W. Haden Blackman and drawn by J. H. Williams III
Likewise by Ariel Schrag

(There's definitely more that should go in this category but I haven't been keeping up)
posted by kyrademon at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

kyrademon, I love Ariel Schrag's cartoon diaries, because of how both her art and her outlook on life evolves over high school. Also, of course, Bechdel's books and the pre-"no they can't be married because of reasons" Batwoman.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:57 AM on March 3, 2015

If anyone's looking for more queer graphic novels, Skim is incredible. I finished reading it and immediately restarted it. There's a certain two-page spread, where a piece of truth is revealed in an awe-inspiring, sweeping artwork when you turn the page; it's breathtaking. Also, DEPRESSED GAY TEEN WITCH HOW COULD I NOT LOVE IT.

Here's an interview with the Tamaki cousins, who created it; illustrator Jillian has a really cool book called SuperMutant Magic Academy coming out this year (many funny excerpts live here) and Mariko is a great writer and extremely cute and queer and I wanna marry her? Here is a cute photo of them at a con I'm dying..
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:36 AM on March 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

Kyrademon, you may want to check out Jacquelin Koyanagi's Ascenscion if you haven't done so yet.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:20 PM on March 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have little to contribute to this thread except the fact that The Price of Salt has a film adaptation by Todd Haynes and starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara to be released sometime this year (likely the fall festival season) under the novel's alternate name, Carol.
posted by dhartung at 12:47 PM on March 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I actually, despite my love of Patricia Highsmith, had never heard of The Price of Salt/Carol until this year when I was at an event at the MCA for the "Bowie Is..." exhibit where Todd Haynes was speaking after a screening of Velvet Goldmine and he started talking about "the movie he was making starring Cate Blanchett as a lesbian in the 1950s based on a book that Patricia Highsmith had written under a pseudonym" and I nearly passed out.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:53 PM on March 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

All of you owe me a new bookshelf.
posted by wintersweet at 6:53 PM on March 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is relevant to my interests.
posted by kassila at 7:28 PM on March 3, 2015

I am so excited to go through all of these blogs! Thanks so much for posting, joseph conrad is fully awesome!
posted by bile and syntax at 3:24 AM on March 4, 2015

Come to think of it, Corinne Duyvis' Otherbound is also a book to check out if you like seeing lesbian love stories (in a subplot).
posted by MartinWisse at 6:32 AM on March 4, 2015

Hey, Nicola Griffith's The Blue Place, which has gotten recced pretty strongly here, is on sale for $4 in ebook form today. Here's a Kobo link. I just bought a copy, but thought I'd pass it on for the interested.
posted by sciatrix at 11:29 AM on March 12, 2015

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