Would you believe that more than 80 sapphic books come out this month? It’s true! Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find out which books have queer representation, or what kind of representation they have. So here’s a big list of bi and lesbian books out this month, sorted by genre.
Usually, I’d put the publisher’s descriptions, but with the amount of books coming out, it’s just too much! So I’ve highlighted a few of the books I’m most interested in, but click through to see the other titles’ blurbs!
As always, if you can get these through an indie bookstore, that is ideal, but if you can’t, the titles and covers are linked to my Amazon affiliate link. If you click through and buy something, I’ll get a small percentage. On to the books!
Young Adult Contemporary
A gorgeous and magical collaboration between two critically acclaimed, powerhouse YA authors offers a richly imagined underdog story perfect for fans of Dumplin’ and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history.
But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands.
So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.
[Pansexual main character]
There are two things that Corinne Parker knows to be true: that she is in love with Maggie Bailey, the captain of the rival high school’s cross-country team and her secret girlfriend of a year, and that she isn’t ready for anyone to know she’s bisexual.
But then Maggie dies, and Corinne quickly learns that the only thing worse than losing Maggie is being left heartbroken over a relationship no one knows existed. And to make things even more complicated, the only person she can turn to is Elissa — Maggie’s ex, and the single person who understands how Corinne is feeling.
As Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life… starting with herself.
- Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
- The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen
- Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour
- Under Shifting Stars by Alexandra Latos
- Hey Jude by Star Spider [Penny is pansexual]
- Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos (YA Thriller)
YA Sci Fi and Fantasy
Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite edited by Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker (YA Anthology)
Eleven fresh vampire stories from young adult fiction’s leading voices!
In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out—and going out for their first kill—and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.
Welcome to the evolution of the vampire—and a revolution on the page.
Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.
[includes sapphic stories]
The Art of Saving the World by Corinne Duyvis (YA Sci Fi)
One girl and her doppelgangers try to stop the end of the world in this YA sci-fi adventure
When Hazel Stanczak was born, an interdimensional rift tore open near her family’s home, which prompted immediate government attention. They soon learned that if Hazel strayed too far, the rift would become volatile and fling things from other dimensions onto their front lawn—or it could swallow up their whole town. As a result, Hazel has never left her small Pennsylvania town, and the government agents garrisoned on her lawn make sure it stays that way. On her sixteenth birthday, though, the rift spins completely out of control. Hazel comes face-to-face with a surprise: a second Hazel. Then another. And another. Three other Hazels from three different dimensions! Now, for the first time, Hazel has to step into the world to learn about her connection to the rift—and how to close it. But is Hazel—even more than one of her—really capable of saving the world?
[Asexual lesbian mc]
- The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke (YA Fantasy)
- Night Shine by Tessa Gratton (YA Fantasy)
- Iron Heart by Nina Varela (YA Fantasy)
- Forget This Ever Happened by Cassandra Rose Clarke (YA Sci Fi)
- Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer (YA Sci Fi)
Middle Grade & Children’s
Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing by Briana McDonald (Middle Grade)
Nancy Drew meets Harriet the Spy in this action-packed and heartfelt debut middle grade following an overzealous amateur sleuth as she investigates a shocking family secret—and unravels the mystery of her developing feelings for girls.
Rule One: Your loyalty is to the case.
Amateur detective Pepper Blouse has always held true to this rule, even if it meant pushing people away. But when the results of Pepper’s latest case cost her any hope of the girl she likes returning her feelings, she decides that maybe she should lay low for a while.
That is, until her Great Aunt Florence passes away under mysterious circumstances. And even though her dad insists there’s nothing to investigate, Pepper can’t just ignore rule fourteen: Trust your gut.
But there’s nothing in the rulebook that could’ve prepared her for the family secrets her investigation uncovers.
Maybe it’s time to stop playing by the rules.
Jo: A Graphic Novel by Kathleen Gros (Middle Grade Graphic Novel)
A modern-day graphic novel adaptation of Little Women that explores identity, friendships, and new experiences through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Jo March. A must-read for fans of Raina Telgemeier.
With the start of eighth grade, Jo March decides it’s time to get serious about her writing and joins the school newspaper. But even with her new friend Freddie cheering her on, becoming a hard-hitting journalist is a lot harder than Jo imagined.
That’s not all that’s tough. Jo and her sisters—Meg, Beth, and Amy—are getting used to a new normal at home, with their dad deployed overseas and their mom, a nurse, working overtime.
And while it helps to hang out with Laurie, the boy who just moved next door, things get complicated when he tells Jo he has feelings for her. Feelings that Jo doesn’t have for him…or for any boy. Feelings she’s never shared with anyone before. Feelings that Jo might have for Freddie.
What does it take to figure out who you are? Jo March is about to find out.
- The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire (Library Edition) by Michael Dante DiMartino, Michelle Wong, Killian Ng (All Ages Comic)
- My Family, Your Family! by Kathryn Cole, illustrated by Cornelia Li (Children’s)
- Mom Marries Mum! by Ken Setterington, illustrated by Alice Priestley (Children’s)
Three generations of Taiwanese American women are haunted by the myths of their homeland in this spellbinding, visceral debut about one family’s queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets.
One evening, Mother tells Daughter a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman’s body. She was called Hu Gu Po, and she hungered to eat children, especially their toes. Soon afterward, Daughter awakes with a tiger tail. And more mysterious events follow: Holes in the backyard spit up letters penned by her grandmother; a visiting aunt arrives with snakes in her belly; a brother tests the possibility of flight. All the while, Daughter is falling for Ben, a neighborhood girl with strange powers of her own. As the two young lovers translate the grandmother’s letters, Daughter begins to understand that each woman in her family embodies a myth—and that she will have to bring her family’s secrets to light in order to change their destiny.
With a poetic voice of crackling electricity, K-Ming Chang is an explosive young writer who combines the wit and fabulism of Helen Oyeyemi with the subversive storytelling of Maxine Hong Kingston. Tracing one family’s history from Taiwan to America, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and girlhood.
A World Between by Emily Hashimoto (Fiction/Romance)
A college fling between two women turns into a lifelong connection—and spells out a new kind of love story for a millennial, immigrant America.
“A sweetly poignant look at the transformative power of young love.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
In 2004, college students Eleanor Suzuki and Leena Shah meet in an elevator. Both girls are on the brink of adulthood, each full of possibility and big ideas, and they fall into a whirlwind romance. Years later, Eleanor and Leena collide on the streets of San Francisco. Although grown and changed and each separately partnered, the two find themselves, once again, irresistibly pulled back together.
Emily Hashimoto’s debut novel perfectly captures the wonder and confusion of growing up and growing closer. Narrated in sparkling prose, A World Between follows two strikingly different but interconnected women as they navigate family, female friendship, and their own fraught history.
A novel reminiscent of the works of Herman Koch and Rachel Cusk, in which a lesbian couple attempts to escape the secrets of their pasts.
Polar Vortex is a seductive and tension-filled novel about Priya and Alex, a lesbian couple who left the big city to relocate to a bucolic countryside community. It seemed like a good way to leave their past behind and cement their newish, later-in-life relationship. But there’s leaving the past behind–and then there’s running away from awkward histories.
Priya has a secret–a long-standing, on-again, off-again relationship with a man, Prakash. In Priya’s mind Prakash is little more than an old friend, but in reality things are a bit complicated. Why has she never told Alex about him? Prakash has tracked Priya down in her new life, and before she realizes what she’s doing, she invites him to visit.
Alex is not pleased, and soon the existing cracks in their relationship widen, revealing secrets Alex herself would have preferred to keep. Into the fissure walks Prakash, whose own agenda forces all three to face the inevitable consequences of their choices.
- Maiden Leap by C.M. Harris
- Everyone Was Falling by Js Lee
- The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
- Like a Bird by Fariha Róisín
- Islands of Mercy by Rose Tremain
- The Testimony of Alys Twist by Suzannah Dunn (Historical Fiction)
- Barbed Wire by Erin Wade (Western)
Mystery & Thriller
Your favorite trio return for one last shot at winning it all in the game of love …
Alexis and Sera are finally on the other side of issues that would have broken a weaker relationship. Yet their bond has remained strong and their love for each other has seen them through it all. Now that they are settled, they want to take the next step: parenthood. Alexis thinks they’ve been through it all but this one might be the hardest yet.
Stevie has come to understand who she is and what she can offer in a relationship as well as what she needs in return. Now she just has to convince Chloe that she’s changed. When another woman enters the picture, she discovers what might be the missing link to making it all work.
As the end of her European tour fast approaches, Victoria is ready to hit the ground running. Seemingly overnight she’s become one of the most in demand photographers in the entertainment industry. Despite her success, she just wants to fill the void in her heart left by the one who got away, Savannah. Not ready to give up , she makes a last ditch effort to save what has the potential to be the greatest love she’s ever known.
Sometimes it takes everything going wrong to make you see how right things are.
Dana Gottfried is a stressed-out Jewish lesbian who’s just quit her job and wants to get home to see her grandmother. When her car breaks down in Indiana on Christmas Eve, Dana is stranded―until she’s rescued by Charlie, a pig farmer who doesn’t identify as male or female. Although they come from different worlds, Dana is intrigued by Charlie’s sense of humor and kindness. Despite her better judgment, Dana says yes when Charlie offers a ride.
But the journey home is paved with detours. From car accidents to scheming exgirlfriends to a snowy and deserted Chicago Loop, everything that could go wrong on their road trip does, but it leads Dana on a path of self-discovery that just might end in love.
- [Un]common Ground by Erica Abbott
- Too Hot to Ride by Andrews & Austin
- Just One Taste by CJ Birch
- Passion’s Sweet Surrender by Ronica Black
- It’s in Her Kiss (Midnight in Manhattan, #2) by Rachel Lacey
- The Wrong Date by Sienna Waters
- Last Resort by Angie Williams
- Longing for You (Wild for You #2) by Jenny Frame (Paranormal Romance)
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Stone and Steel by Eboni Dunbar (Fantasy)
In Stone and Steel, when General Aaliyah returns triumphant to the city of Titus, she expects to find the people prospering under the rule of her Queen, the stone mage Odessa. Instead, she finds a troubling imbalance in both the citizens’ wellbeing and Odessa’s rule. Aaliyah must rely on all of her allies, old and new, to do right by the city that made her.
“Stone and Steel is a sharp and sexy story of love, loyalty and magic. Eboni has given us a world where Black Queerness reigns supreme, and our world is better for it.” — Danny Lore, co-author of Queen of Bad Dreams
“This queer, elementally themed world should appeal to fans of Laurie J. Marks’ Elemental Logic series.” — Booklist
“This will be an easy pick for anyone looking for queer, Black speculative fiction—and for fantasy fans more broadly.” — Publishers Weekly
Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston (Fantasy)
“This is a prayer hymn, a battle cry, a lovesong, a legendary call and response bonfire talisman tale. This is medicine for a broken world.” —Daniel José Older
Award-winning author Andrea Hairston weaves together African folktales and postcolonial literature into unforgettable fantasy in Master of Poisons
The world is changing. Poison desert eats good farmland. Once-sweet water turns foul. The wind blows sand and sadness across the Empire. To get caught in a storm is death. To live and do nothing is death. There is magic in the world, but good conjure is hard to find.
Djola, righthand man and spymaster of the lord of the Arkhysian Empire, is desperately trying to save his adopted homeland, even in exile.
Awa, a young woman training to be a powerful griot, tests the limits of her knowledge and comes into her own in a world of sorcery, floating cities, kindly beasts, and uncertain men.
Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston’s characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being.
Burning Roses by S.L Huang (Fantasy)
From Hugo Award Winner S. L. Huang
“S. L. Huang is amazing.”―Patrick Rothfuss
Burning Roses is a gorgeous fairy tale of love and family, of demons and lost gods, for fans of Zen Cho and JY Yang.
Rosa, also known as Red Riding Hood, is done with wolves and woods.
Hou Yi the Archer is tired, and knows she’s past her prime.
They would both rather just be retired, but that’s not what the world has ready for them.
When deadly sunbirds begin to ravage the countryside, threatening everything they’ve both grown to love, the two must join forces. Now blessed and burdened with the hindsight of middle age, they begin a quest that’s a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality.
[lesbian main characters]
Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne (Science Fiction)
Millions died after the first contact. An alien weapon holds the key to redemption―or annihilation. Experience Karen Osborne’s unforgettable science fiction debut, Architects of Memory.
SyFY Wire SFF Reads to pick up in September
Terminally ill salvage pilot Ash Jackson lost everything in the war with the alien Vai, but she’ll be damned if she loses her future. Her plan: to buy, beg, or lie her way out of corporate indenture and find a cure. When her crew salvages a genocidal weapon from a ravaged starship above a dead colony, Ash uncovers a conspiracy of corporate intrigue and betrayal that threatens to turn her into a living weapon.
[Bisexual main character, f/f romance]
Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots (Superheros)
Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy?
As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured. And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one.
So, of course, then she gets laid off.
With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.
Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.
It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.
A sharp, witty, modern debut, Hench explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics.
- Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World That Wouldn’t Die edited by Dave Ring (SFF Anthology)
- Broken Reign (The Odium Trilogy #2) by Sam Ledel (Fantasy)
- Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart (Fantasy)
- Lady of Stone by Barbara Ann Wright (Fantasy)
Comics & Manga
The Contradictions by Sophie Yanow (Comics)
The Eisner Award–winning story about a student figuring out radical politics in a messy world
Sophie is young and queer and into feminist theory. She decides to study abroad, choosing Paris for no firm reason beyond liking French comics. Feeling a bit lonely and out of place, she’s desperate for community and a sense of belonging. She stumbles into what/who she’s looking for when she meets Zena. An anarchist student-activist committed to veganism and shoplifting, Zena offers Sophie a whole new political ideology that feels electric. Enamored―of Zena, of the idea of living more righteously―Sophie finds herself swept up in a whirlwind friendship that blows her even further from her rural California roots as they embark on a disastrous hitchhiking trip to Amsterdam and Berlin, full of couch surfing, drug tripping, and radical book fairs.
Capturing that time in your life where you’re meeting new people and learning about the world―when everything feels vital and urgent―The Contradictions is Sophie Yanow’s fictionalized coming-of-age story. Sophie’s attempts at ideological purity are challenged time and again, putting into question the plausibility of a life of dogma in a world filled with contradictions. Keenly observed, frank, and very funny, The Contradictions speaks to a specific reality while also being incredibly relatable, reminding us that we are all imperfect people in an imperfect world.
The emotions of girls burn bright, but love can be especially intense…Éclair is back in this fourth installment with an exciting new collection of impassioned romances. With chapters from returning artists like Canno (Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl) and Kabocha (Kemono Friends à la Carte), plus fresh additions like Akiko Morishima (The Conditions of Paradise), this volume is sure to thrill.
- Devil Within by Stephanie Phillips, Maan House, Dee Cunniffe (Comics)
- Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress! Vol. 2 by Ameko Kaeruda, illustrated by Kazutomo Miya, translated by Molly Lee (Manga)
- If I Could Reach You, Volume 5 by tMnR (Manga)
The World That Belongs To Us: An Anthology of Queer Poetry from South Asia by Aditi Angiras and Akhil Katyal (Poetry)
This first-of-its-kind anthology brings together the best of contemporary queer poetry from South Asia, both from the subcontinent and its many diasporas.The anthology features well-known voices like Hoshang Merchant, Ruth Vanita, Suniti Namjoshi, Kazim Ali, Rajiv Mohabir as well as a host of new poets. The themes range from desire and loneliness, sexual intimacy and struggles, caste and language, activism both on the streets and in the homes, the role of family both given and chosen, and heartbreaks and heartjoins. Writing from Bangalore, Baroda, Benares, Boston, Chennai, Colombo, Dhaka, Delhi, Dublin, Karachi, Kathmandu, Lahore, London, New York City, and writing in languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Urdu, Manipuri, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and, of course, English, the result is an urgent, imaginative and beautiful testament to the diversity, politics, aesthetics and ethics of queer life in South Asia today.
If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We’ve Learned About Making An LGBTQ Family by Jaimie Kelton and Robin Hopkins (Nonfiction)
JAIMIE KELTON and ROBIN HOPKINS, the creators and hosts of the popular podcast If These Ovaries Could Talk, realized the world needed to know there was more than one way to make an LGBTQ family. Each of their families came about in different ways, so how many other stories were out there? Turns out, lots. Inspired, the two friends launched their podcast asking LGTBQ families every question imaginable about their journeys to parenthood.
Now the two hosts have written a book based on dozens of interviews to help address recurring questions that came up during their podcast. Is it important to have a child with your genetics? How does one pick a sperm donor? How will you talk to your children about where they came from? And just how does one pay for a baby because rumor has it, it costs a lot? With insights and stories from guests such as StaceyAnn Chin, Judy Gold, and State Senator Zach Wahls, Jaimie and Robin go humorously in-depth and guide you on a journey that is equal parts funny, serious, happy, sad, celebratory, cautionary, and powerful. You can read this book cover-to-cover or skip around like your very own LGBTQ choose your own baby adventure book. You’ll learn a lot and laugh even more along the way! Who knew making a baby could be this much fun?
The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey is the lyrical, unforgettable memoir of Bett Williams’s relationship with psilocybin mushrooms, otherwise known as magic mushrooms. In pursuit of self-healing, she begins experimenting with mushrooms in solitary ceremonies by the fire. Word soon gets out about her New Mexican desert mushroom farm, though, and people arrive in droves. Not long after, the police read her her Miranda Rights, her relationships fall out of whack, and her dog Rosie just might be CIA.
On a quest to find help through the psychedelic community, Bett is led to Cleveland to meet Kai Wingo, an African American leader within a high-dose psilocybin community, and to Huautla de Jiménez, home of well-known, well-respected curandera María Sabina. Back home, Bett begins a solid ritual practice with the help of her partner and friends, bearing in mind the medicine’s indigenous roots and power to transform one’s life.
Amidst the mainstream flood of New Age practices and products, The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey is a dreamlike reminder that psilocybin mushrooms are a medicine of the people, not to be neatly packaged, marketed, or appropriated.
[Lesbian author: she also wrote and article called “The Inherent Queerness of Psychedelics”]
In the spirit of Richard Avedon, this book contains striking photographic portraits of 10,000 people from across the US, bringing readers face to face with LGBTQ America.
The Declaration of Independence states that it is self-evident that we are all created equal. Millions of people in the US, however, are deprived of basic rights merely because they aren’t heteronormative. Believing that it’s impossible to deny the humanity of anyone once you look into their eyes, iO Tillett Wright embarked on an ambitious project to photograph the faces of people across the country who identify as anything other than 100% straight or cisgender. This enormous undertaking–10,000 people from all fifty states, shot over a nearly ten-year period–is presented in its entirety in this aweinspiring book. In these pages readers will encounter faces of every complexion, lined with age or punctuated with piercings, smiling broadly or deadly serious. While some faces are famous, most are familiar. They may look like your grandmother, your neighbor, your mail carrier, or your doctor. Each of these images tells a personal story. And each of these stories has the power to transform stereotypes into complex views of a multifaceted group of people. Self Evident Truths asks fundamental questions about identity and freedom while proving that the concepts of sexuality and gender are not black and white. They are 10,000 beautiful, bold, and unapologetic shades of queer.
- Other Girls Like Me by Stephanie Davies (Memoir)
- For Now by Eileen Myles (Essays)
- Serpent in the Garden: Amish Sexuality in a Changing World by James A. Cates (Nonfiction)
- Queer Representations in Chinese-Language Film and the Cultural Landscape by Shi-Yan Chao (Nonfiction)
- A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers by Jen Jack Gieseking (Nonfiction)
- Female Identities in Lesbian Web Series: Transnational Community Building in Anglo-, Hispano-, and Francophone Contexts by Julia Obermayr (Nonfiction)
- Prismatic Performances: Queer South Africa and the Fragmentation of the Rainbow Nation by April Sizemore-Barber (Nonfiction)
- Coming Out, Moving Forward: Wisconsin’s Recent Gay History by R. Richard Wagner (Nonfiction)
- New Queer Photography by Benjamin Wolbergs (Nonfiction)
Check out more LGBTQ new releases at:
- LGBTQ Reads New Releases: September 2020
- Women and Words: New Releases & Coming Up
- Lambda Literary: September’s Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books
- Reads Rainbow Book Releases: September 2020