100 Must-Read Bisexual and Lesbian Books

When I was just a babygay, I passionately identified as both queer and bookish, but I had not yet considered the intersection between the two. It was one conversation with my mom about lesbian books that set me on a lifelong path of queer women reading. It went like this:

“Danika, have you read Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown?”
“No, what’s that?”
“And you call yourself a lesbian.”

That back-and-forth opened the door to a whole world of stories in which women could love women. At first, I thought there were dozens of these lesbian books. When I couldn’t find many, I started the Lesbrary with the “humble” goal of reading “everything lesbian”. Ten years later, that idea is laughable. There are way more lesbian and bi women books out there than I could possibly read in my lifetime, and although I want there to be even more, I am profoundly grateful for the many, many we do have. It’s easy to think that only a handful of LGBTQ books exist: the ones that are recommended over and over by mainstream book media as their token Pride examples. Happily, that’s not true. There are queer books in every genre, for every reader.

A 100 book list can’t possibly contain the multitudes of queer women books worth reading out there! I tried to make this an example of the diversity of lesbian and bi women books out there, but it does come with my own bias. For example, I don’t read much romance (yet), so there aren’t many romance titles on this list. I included some of the classics, but also titles that are my personal favourites, that are lesser-known and might be new to you.

If you feel like I’ve left off a must-read bisexual or lesbian books, definitely let me know in the comments! I want this list to be the start of a conversation, not the end of it!


The Color Purple by Alice Walker1. Odd Girl Out by Ann Bannon

2. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

3. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

4. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

5. Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller

6. Women’s Barracks by Tereska Torres

7. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

8. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson


Her Body and Other Parties Carmen Maria Machado cover9. Nevada by Imogen Binnie

10. My Education by Susan Choi

11. Missed Her by Ivan Coyote

12. Painting Their Portraits in Winter by Myriam Gurba

13. When Fox is a Thousand by Larissa Lai

14. The Collection edited by Tom Leger and Riley Macleod

15. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

16. The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie

The Summer We Got Free by Mia Mckenzie17. A Safe Girl To Love by Casey Plett

18. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

19. I Can’t Think Straight by Shamim Sarif

20. Empathy by Sarah Schulman

21. (You) Set Me On Fire by Mariko Tamaki

22. Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Historical Fiction

Miss Timmins' School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy23. The Last Nude by Ellis Avery

24. Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy

25. Prairie Ostrich by Tamai Kobayashi

26. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

27. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

28. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

Romance & Erotica

My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran29. Macho Sluts by Patrick Califia

30. My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

31. Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman

32. Roller Girl by Vanessa North

33. The Long Way Home by Rachel Spangler


Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha cover34. Not Vanishing by Chrystos

35.The Complete Works of Pat Parker edited Julie R. Enszer

36. Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

37. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho edited by Anne Carson

Young Adult and New Adult

This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow38. This is What it Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow

39. How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

40. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

41. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth

42. Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden

43. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

44. Just Girls by Rachel Gold

45. You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera46. All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell

47. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus

48. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

49. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

50. The House You Pass On the Way by Jacqueline Woodson

SFF Young Adult

Adaptation by Malinda Lo51. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

52. The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta

53. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

54. Of Fire and Stars and Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst

55. Adaptation and Inheritance by Malinda Lo

Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson56. Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica

57. Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue

58. Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older

59. The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

60. The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson

61. Falling In Love With Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson

62. The Worldbreaker Saga by Kameron Hurley

63. Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Everfair by Nisi Shawl64. Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

65. Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks

66. A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams by Dax Murray

67. The Seep by Chana Porter

68. Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Horror, Vampires, and Zombies

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez69. Fist of the Spider Woman edited by Amber Dawn

70. Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

71. The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez

72. Eat Your Heart Out by Dayna Ingram

73. The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan

74. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, edited by Carmen Maria Machado

75. Better Off Red by Rebekah Weatherspoon


One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg76. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

77. As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

78. The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

79.  Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology edited by Sfé R. Monster

80. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata

81. Sugar Town by Hazel Newlevant

82. On Loving Women by Diane Obomsawin

83. Space Battle Lunchtime Volumes 1 & 2 by Natalie Riess

84. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters

85. Supermutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki


When We Were Outlaws by Jeanne Cordova86. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

87. The Other Side of Paradise by Staceyann Chin

88. When We Were Outlaws by Jeanne Cordova

89. Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote

90. The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister

91. Zami by Audre Lorde

92. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

93. Before the Rain: A Memoir of Love & Revolution by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa


Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha cover94. Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker, illustrated by Julia Scheele

95. Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme edited by Ivan Coyote and Zena Sharman

96. Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire by Lisa M. Diamond

97. Inseparable: Desire Between Women In Literature by Emma Donoghue

98. Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943 by Erica Fischer

99. Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

100. Dear John, I Love Jane edited by Candace Walsh and Laura Andre

An earlier version of this post ran on Book Riot.

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