54 Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Month!

a collage of the sapphic book covers listed below with the text Bi and Lesbian Books Out In May!

Would you believe that more than 54 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. I’ve highlighted a few of the books I’m most interested in, using publishers’ descriptions, but click through to see the other titles’ blurbs!

This month has so many exciting books coming out in a range of genres and age groups, including some cute two mom picture books, sapphic middle grade contemporary novels, F/F YA romances, thought-provoking queer lit, and lots more.

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!

Adult

Fiction

the cover of Queerly Beloved

Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond (Sapphic Fiction)

“A delightful debut, perfect for any person who’s ever created their own place to belong.”—Casey McQuiston, bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop

Amy, a semicloseted queer baker and bartender in mid-2010s Oklahoma, has spent a lifetime putting other people’s needs before her own. Until, that is, she hits it off with Charley, a brilliant, attractive engineer who’s just moved to Tulsa. Suddenly, Amy’s found something—someone—she actually wants. Her tight-knit group of chosen family is thrilled she’s finally moving on from her ex. Mostly, though, they want Amy to find a way to show up for love—and life—as her authentic self.

But when a one-off gig subbing in for a bridesmaid turns into a full-time business—thanks to Amy’s baking talents, crafting skills, and years watching rom-coms and Say Yes to the Dress—her deep desire to please kicks into overdrive, at her own expense. It’s not until Amy’s precarious balancing act strains her relationships to the breaking point that she must decide what it looks like to be true to herself—and if she has the courage to try.

the cover of What We Do in the Dark

What We Do in the Dark by Michelle Hart (Sapphic Fiction)

A novel about a young woman’s life-altering affair with a much older, married woman.

Mallory is a freshman in college when she meets the woman. She sees her for the first time at the university’s gym, immediately entranced by this elegant, older person, whom she later learns is married and works at the school. Before long, they begin a clandestine affair. Self-possessed, successful, brilliant, and aloof, the woman absolutely consumes Mallory, who is still reeling from her mother’s death a few months earlier. Mallory retreats from the rest of the world and into a relationship with this melancholy, elusive woman she admires so much yet who can never be fully hers, solidifying a sense of solitude that has both haunted and soothed her as long as she can remember.
 
Years after the affair has ended, Mallory must decide whether to stay safely in this isolation, this constructed loneliness, or to step fully into the world and confront what the woman meant to her, for better or worse. This simmering, unsettling debut novel reveals the consequences of desire and influence, portraying two women whose lives have been transformed by love, loss, and secrecy.

the cover of Solo Dance

Solo Dance by Li Kotomi, translated by Arthur Reiji Morris (Queer Literary Fiction)

A powerful novel about the LGBTQ rights movement and gay love in Japan and Taiwan, from the most important queer voice of East Asia’s millennial generation.

Cho Norie, twenty-seven and originally from Taiwan, is working an office job in Tokyo. While her colleagues worry about the economy, life-insurance policies, marriage, and children, she is forced to keep her unconventional life hidden―including her sexuality and the violent attack that prompted her move to Japan. There is also her unusual fascination with death: she knows from personal experience how devastating death can be, but for her it is also creative fuel. Solo Dance depicts the painful coming of age of a gay person in Taiwan and corporate Japan. This striking debut is an intimate and powerful account of a search for hope after trauma.

the cover of Yerba Buena

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour (Sapphic Fiction)

The debut adult novel by the bestselling and award-winning YA author Nina LaCour, following two women on a star-crossed journey toward each other

When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her. Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern, yearning for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.

The morning Emilie and Sara first meet at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pulls them apart again and again. When Sara’s old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts.

At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a love story for our time and a propulsive journey through the lives of two women trying to find somewhere, or someone, to call home.

the cover of Acts of Service
the cover of The Golden Season
the cover of Little Rabbit
the cover of Rainbow Rainbow
the cover of The Dance Tree
  • Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman (Queer Fiction)
  • The Golden Season by Madelina Kay Sneed (Lesbian Fiction)
  • Little Rabbit by Alyssa Songsiridej (Queer Fiction)
  • Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin (Queer and Trans Short Stories)
  • The Dance Tree by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Lesbian Historical Fiction) [tragic]
  • That Green Eyed Girl by Julie Owen Moylan (Sapphic Historical Fiction)

Mystery/Thrillers

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp (Bisexual Cozy Mystery)

Daisy Ellery’s pies have a secret ingredient: The magical ability to avenge women done wrong by men. But Daisy finds herself on the receiving end in Misha Popp’s cozy series debut, a sweet-as-buttercream treat for fans of Ellery Adams and Mary Maxwell.

The first time Daisy Ellery killed a man with a pie, it was an accident. Now, it’s her calling. Daisy bakes sweet vengeance into her pastries, which she and her dog Zoe deliver to the men who’ve done dirty deeds to the town’s women. But if she can’t solve the one crime that’s not of her own baking, she’ll be out of the pie pan and into the oven.
 
Parking her Pies Before Guys mobile bakery van outside the local diner, Daisy is informed by Frank, the crusty diner owner, that someone’s been prowling around the van—and not just to inhale the delectable aroma. Already on thin icing with Frank, she finds a letter on her door, threatening to reveal her unsavory secret sideline of pie a la murder.
 
Blackmail? But who whipped up this half-baked plot to cut a slice out of Daisy’s business? Purple-haired campus do-gooder Melly? Noel, the tender—if flaky—farm boy? Or one of the abusive men who prefer their pie without a deadly scoop of payback?
 
The upcoming statewide pie contest could be Daisy’s big chance to help wronged women everywhere…if she doesn’t meet a sticky end first. Because Daisy knows the blackmailer won’t stop until her business is in crumbles.

Romance

the cover of Chef's Kiss by TJ Alexander

Chef’s Kiss by TJ Alexander (F/NB Romance)

A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager in this deliciously fresh and witty queer rom-com.

Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life.

To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray.

Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions—and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).

the cover of You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty
the cover of The Wicked and the Willing

Fantasy and Sci Fi

the cover of When Women Were Dragons

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill (Lesbian Fantasy)

A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman’s place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of.
 
Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of this astonishing event: a mother more protective than ever; an absentee father; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and watching her beloved cousin Bea become dangerously obsessed with the forbidden.

In this timely and timeless speculative novel, award-winning author Kelly Barnhill boldly explores rage, memory, and the tyranny of forced limitations. When Women Were Dragons exposes a world that wants to keep women small—their lives and their prospects—and examines what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.

[Alex is a lesbian.]

the cover of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson (Sapphic Fantasy)

If you look hard enough at old photographs, we’re there in the background: healers in the trenches; Suffragettes; Bletchley Park oracles; land girls and resistance fighters. Why is it we help in times of crisis? We have a gift. We are stronger than Mundanes, plain and simple.

At the dawn of their adolescence, on the eve of the summer solstice, four young girls–Helena, Leonie, Niamh and Elle–took the oath to join Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, established by Queen Elizabeth I as a covert government department. Now, decades later, the witch community is still reeling from a civil war and Helena is the reigning High Priestess of the organization. Yet Helena is the only one of her friend group still enmeshed in the stale bureaucracy of HMRC. Elle is trying to pretend she’s a normal housewife, and Niamh has become a country vet, using her powers to heal sick animals. In what Helena perceives as the deepest betrayal, Leonie has defected to start her own more inclusive and intersectional coven, Diaspora. And now Helena has a bigger problem. A young warlock of extraordinary capabilities has been captured by authorities and seems to threaten the very existence of HMRC. With conflicting beliefs over the best course of action, the four friends must decide where their loyalties lie: with preserving tradition, or doing what is right.

Juno Dawson explores gender and the corrupting nature of power in a delightful and provocative story of magic and matriarchy, friendship and feminism. Dealing with all the aspects of contemporary womanhood, as well as being phenomenally powerful witches, Niamh, Helena, Leonie and Elle may have grown apart but they will always be bound by the sisterhood of  the coven.

the cover of Siren Queen

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo (Sapphic Fantasy)

It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic.

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill―but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes―even if that means becoming the monster herself.

Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.

the cover of Misrule
the cover of Darknesses
the cover of The Book of Queer Saints
the cover of Someone In Time
the cover of Under Fortunate Stars

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

the cover of Heathen: The Complete Series Omnibus Edition

Heathen: The Complete Series Omnibus Edition by Natasha Alterici,  Ashley A. Woods, Rachel Deering, and Morgan Martinez (Sapphic Fantasy Graphic Novel)

SMASHING THE PATRIARCHY – Viking Style!

WOMAN. WARRIOR. VIKING. HEATHEN. OUTCAST. 

THE GODS MUST PAY…

Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, and exiled from her village for kissing another woman, the lesbian Viking warrior, Aydis, sets out to destroy the god-king Odin and end his oppressive reign. She is a friend to many as she is joined by mermaids, immortals, Valkyries, and the talking horse, Saga. But she is also a fearsome enemy to the demons and fantastic monsters that populate the land. 

the cover of Mizuno and Chayama

Young Adult

YA Contemporary

the cover of Melt With You

Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan (F/F YA Contemporary)

From the author of Some Girls Do and Hot Dog Girl comes a sweet and salty queer YA rom-com about two girls on a summer road trip in an ice cream truck.

Fallon and Chloe used to be best friends. But last summer, the girls hooked up right before Chloe left for college, and after a series of misunderstandings, they aren’t even speaking to one another. Now, a year later, Chloe’s back home from school, and Fallon is doing everything in her power to avoid her. Which is especially difficult because their moms own a business together—a gourmet ice cream truck where both girls work.

But when their moms have the opportunity to make a presentation to some venture capitalists in Texas—something that could seriously expand their business and solve all their money problems to boot—it’s up to Fallon to work a series of food truck festivals across the country. But she can’t do it alone, and Chloe is the only one available to help. As tensions heat up again between the two girls, will Fallon be able to keep her cool?

the cover of Flip the Script

Flip the Script by Lyla Lee (Bisexual F/F YA Romance)

The first rule of watching K-dramas: Never fall in love with the second lead.

As an avid watcher of K-dramas, Hana knows all the tropes to avoid when she finally lands a starring role in a buzzy new drama. And she can totally handle her fake co-star boyfriend, heartthrob Bryan Yoon, who might be falling in love with her. After all, she promised the TV producers a contract romance, and that’s all they’re going to get from her.

But when showrunners bring on a new lead actress to challenge Hana’s role as main love interest—and worse, it’s someone Hana knows all too well—can Hana fight for her position on the show, while falling for her on-screen rival in real life?

the cover of I Kissed Shara Wheeler

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (Bisexual F/F YA Contemporary)

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need…

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and the puritanical administration of Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair and square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe―probably not, but maybe―more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

the cover of Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda (YA Contemporary)

Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends―and her future―aren’t as simple as she’d once believed.

As Maggie’s search for the perfect escort continues, she’s forced to confront new (and old) feelings for three of her friends: Amanda, her best friend and first-ever crush; Matthew, her ex-boyfriend twice-over who refuses to stop flirting with her, and Dani, the new girl who has romantic baggage of her own. On top of this romantic disaster, she can’t stop thinking about the uncertainty of her own plans for the future and what that means for the people she loves.

As the weeks wind down and the boundaries between friendship and love become hazy, Maggie finds herself more and more confused with each photo. When her tried-and-true medium causes more chaos than calm, Maggie needs to figure out how to avoid certain disaster―or be brave enough to dive right into it, in Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster.

the cover of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes (YA Contemporary)

Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way. 

After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami. 

The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do? 

Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.

the cover of The Queen of Junk Island
the cover of Beauty and the Besharam

YA Mystery/Thrillers

the cover of Dead End Girls

Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard (Sapphic YA Thriller)

Two girls fake their deaths only to face mortal danger in this YA thriller perfect for fans of The Twin and None Shall Sleep.

In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research, Maude has decided to fake her own death. She’s figured out the how, the when, the where, and who will help her unsuspectingly. The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also l’appel du vide, the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in.

The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots? This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.

the cover of Summer's Edge

Summer’s Edge by Dana Mele (Bisexual and Lesbian YA Paranormal Thriller)

I Know What You Did Last Summer meets The Haunting of Hill House in this atmospheric, eerie teen thriller following an estranged group of friends being haunted by their friend who died last summer.

Emily Joiner was once part of an inseparable group—she was a sister, a best friend, a lover, and a rival. Summers without Emily were unthinkable. Until the fire burned the lake house to ashes with her inside.

A year later, it’s in Emily’s honor that Chelsea and her four friends decide to return. The house awaits them, meticulously rebuilt. Only, Chelsea is haunted by ghostly visions. Loner Ryan stirs up old hurts and forces golden boy Chase to play peacemaker. Which has perfect hostess Kennedy on edge as eerie events culminate in a stunning accusation: Emily’s death wasn’t an accident. And all the clues needed to find the person responsible are right here.

As old betrayals rise to the surface, Chelsea and her friends have one night to unravel a mystery spanning three summers before a killer among them exacts their revenge.

YA Horror

the cover of Primal Animals

Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin (Sapphic YA Horror)

Arlee Gold has always lived in the shadow of her successful mom; even after everything Arlee’s been through, her mother still expects nothing but the best. In an effort to get her daughter back on track after a less-than-stellar few school years, she’s enrolled Arlee as a legacy at Camp Rockaway, an elite college prep summer camp deep in the North Carolina wilderness. On her own for the first time and buzzing with anxiety, Arlee is intimidated by the camp’s shiny exterior, suffocated by the relentless, thick summer heat…and tormented by the ceaseless stream of crawling, slimy, flapping bugs that seem to come straight from her nightmares.

In the midst of her brewing dread, Arlee is relieved to find a queer sanctuary in her bunkmates, and is especially drawn to Winnie, the enigmatic girl who sleeps in the bunk above her. Except Arlee starts to notice whispers in her wake, and how so many others recoil from her as if she were as creepy as the insects that terrify her. Struggling in her prep classes and feeling increasingly paranoid, Arlee can no longer suppress her panicked glitches.” Winnie, too, seems to become wary, and Arlee’s worst fear is confirmed: even here, in the place her mother promised was “going to change everything,” she’s been found out as a freak.

Just as she’s facing a summer completely alone, another rising junior slips her a mysterious invitation, and Arlee finds herself caught up in a secret society that expects its sisterhood to protect each other from any and all who would harm them―by any means necessary. Here, finally, Arlee feels like a part of something bigger, something that matters. Guided by their cunning leader, Lisha, a rising senior with a smile sharp enough to cut bone, the sisterhood will stand against any threat, unquestioningly. But when Winnie is put in grave danger, Arlee is forced to confront just how far her sisters will go, and whether they truly protect the girls.

the cover of Burn Down, Rise Up

Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado (Sapphic YA Horror)

Mysterious disappearances. An urban legend rumored to be responsible. And one group of friends determined to save their city at any cost. Stranger Things meets Jordan Peele in this utterly original debut from an incredible new voice.

For over a year, the Bronx has been plagued by sudden disappearances that no one can explain. Sixteen-year-old Raquel does her best to ignore it. After all, the police only look for the white kids. But when her crush Charlize’s cousin goes missing, Raquel starts to pay attention―especially when her own mom comes down with a mysterious illness that seems linked to the disappearances.

Raquel and Charlize team up to investigate, but they soon discover that everything is tied to a terrifying urban legend called the Echo Game. The game is rumored to trap people in a sinister world underneath the city, and the rules are based on a particularly dark chapter in New York’s past. And if the friends want to save their home and everyone they love, they will have to play the game and destroy the evil at its heart―or die trying.

YA Fantasy

the cover of Deep in Providence

Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson (Lesbian YA Fantasy)

For best friends Miliani, Inez, Natalie and Jasmine, Providence, Rhode Island has a magic of its own. From the bodegas and late-night food trucks on Broad Street to The Hill that watches over the city, every corner of Providence glows with memories of them practicing spells, mixing up potions and doing séances with the help of the magic Miliani’s Filipino grandfather taught her.

But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the world they have always known is left haunted by grief…and Jasmine’s lingering spirit. Determined to bring her back, the surviving friends band together, testing the limits of their magic and everything they know about life, death, and each other.

And as their plan to resurrect Jasmine grows darker and more demanding than they imagined, their separate lives begin to splinter the bonds they depend on, revealing buried secrets that threaten the people they care about most. Miliani, Inez and Natalie will have to rely on more than just their mystical abilities to find the light.

Thrilling and absorbing, Deep in Providence is a story of profound yearning, and what happens when three teen girls are finally given the power to go after what they want.

the cover of Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches

Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa (F/F YA Fantasy)

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor is the last person in Salem to believe in witchcraft—or think that her life could be transformed by mysterious forces. After losing her best friend and first love, Chloe, Eleanor has spent the past year in a haze, vowing to stay away from anything resembling romance.

But when a handwritten guide to tarot arrives in the mail at the witchy souvenir store where Eleanor works, it seems to bring with it the message that magic is about to enter her life. Cynical Eleanor is quick to dismiss this promise, until real-life witch Pix shows up with an unusual invitation. Inspired by the magic and mystery of the tarot, Eleanor decides to open herself up to Pix and her coven of witches, and even to the possibility of a new romance.

But Eleanor’s complicated history continues to haunt her. She will have to reckon with the old ghosts that threaten to destroy everything, even her chance at new love.

Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches is a romantic coming-of-age about learning to make peace with the past in order to accept the beauty of the present.

the cover of Uncommon Charm

Uncommon Charm by Emily Bergslien and Kat Weaver (Sapphic 1920s Fantasy)

Three days after I was expelled from the Marable School for Girls, our poor Simon arrived.

In the 1920s gothic comedy Uncommon Charm, bright young socialite Julia and shy Jewish magician Simon decide they aren’t beholden to their families’ unhappy history. Together they confront such horrors as murdered ghosts, alive children, magic philosophy, a milieu that slides far too easily into surrealist metaphor, and, worst of all, serious adult conversation.

the cover of A Cruel and Fated Light

YA Nonfiction

the cover of Here and Queer

Here and Queer: A Queer Girl’s Guide to Life by Rowan Ellis (Queer Girl Nonfiction)

Here and Queer is a helpful, friendly guide full of support and advice about living your best queer life, written for girls.

This vibrant, inclusive guide, designed for all kinds of girls, is designed to help you be the strongest, proudest, happiest version of yourself! A celebration of the gift of queerness, it’s packed full of heartfelt advice, comforting stories, and stylish illustrations, and will give you the tools you need to explore your own identity, on your own terms.

Author and YouTuber Rowan Ellis uses her personal experience to take you through queer life, from coming out and dealing with tough stuff, right through to finding friendships and celebrating Pride. There are also brilliant guest essays from contributors across the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

The book opens with guidance on understanding how you feel as a queer girl. From choosing your pronouns to navigating different labels and identities, Ellis helps girls understand that they are in control of their own identity, and that it’s ok to not be sure straight away.

Moving onto a glossary of queer terms, Here and Queer helps introduce girls to the rainbow of definitions and terms which help queer people understand who they are and how they feel. The book then moves onto advice on coming out, for many one of the hardest steps to take on their journey to truly living their best lives.

Following are chapters on sex and romance, including helpful advice about your first time, as well as guides on consent and knowing how to make sure you build a healthy and supportive relationship with your partner.

There are also sections on dealing with bullies and stigma, finding your community, and looking after your mental health, including advice on how to help you find extra support if you need it. The book also has more information on queer ladies in history, and on the fight for equality undertaken by brave activists throughout history and today.

Stylishly designed with cool illustrations, this helpful, friendly guide will help all queer girls navigate the challenges of discovering and embracing their identities and flourishing in their own skins!

Children’s Books

Middle Grade

the cover of The Real Riley Mayes

The Real Riley Mayes by Rachel Elliott (Queer Middle Grade)

Funny and full of heart, this debut graphic novel is a story about friendship, identity, and embracing all the parts of yourself that make you special.  

Fifth grade is just not Riley’s vibe. Everyone else is squaded up—except Riley. Her best friend moved away. All she wants to do is draw, and her grades show it.

One thing that makes her happy is her favorite comedian, Joy Powers. Riley loves to watch her old shows and has memorized her best jokes. So when the class is assigned to write letters to people they admire, of course Riley’s picking Joy Powers!

Things start to look up when a classmate, Cate, offers to help Riley with the letter, and a new kid, Aaron, actually seems to get her weird sense of humor. But when mean girl Whitney spreads a rumor about her, things begin to click into place for Riley. Her curiosity about Aaron’s two dads and her celebrity crush on Joy Powers suddenly make more sense.

Readers will respond to Riley’s journey of self-discovery and will recognize themselves in this character who is less than perfect but trying her best. And creative kids will recognize themselves in her love of art and drawing.

While often funny and light, Riley’s exploration of what it feels to be an outsider and how hard it can be to make a friend break your heart in the best way. And with all of Riley’s hijinks and missteps, this story is laugh-out-loud funny from start to finish.

the cover of Fight and Flight

Fight + Flight by Jules Machias (Sapphic Middle Grade Contemporary)

Avery Hart lives for the thrill and speed of her dirt bike and the pounding thump of her drum kit. But after she’s diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disease that affects her joints, Avery splits her time between endless physical therapy and worrying that her fun and independence are over for good.

Sarah Bell is familiar with worry, too. For months, she’s been having intense panic attacks. No matter how much she pours her anxiety into making art, she can’t seem to get a grip on it, and she’s starting to wonder if she’ll be this way forever.

Just as both girls are reaching peak fear about what their futures hold, their present takes a terrifying turn when their school is seemingly attacked by gunmen. Though they later learn it was an active shooter drill, the traumatic experience bonds the girls together in a friendship that will change the way they view their perceived weaknesses—and help them find strength, and more, in each other.

the cover of The Science of Being Angry

The Science of Being Angry by Nicole Melleby (Sapphic Middle Grade)

Eleven-year-old Joey is angry. All the time. And she doesn’t understand why. She has two loving moms, a supportive older half brother, and, as a triplet, she’s never without company. Her life is good. But sometimes she loses her temper and lashes out, like the time she threw a soccer ball—hard—at a boy in gym class and bruised his collarbone. Or when jealousy made her push her (former) best friend (and crush), Layla, a little bit too roughly.

After a meltdown at Joey’s apartment building leads to her family’s eviction, Joey is desperate to figure out why she’s so mad. A new unit in science class makes her wonder if the reason is genetics. Does she lose control because of something she inherited from the donor her mothers chose?

The Science of Being Angry is a heartwarming story about what makes a family and what makes us who we are from an author whose works are highly praised for their presentation of and insights into the emotional lives of tweens.

the cover of Our Sister, Again

Our Sister, Again by Sophie Cameron (Sapphic Middle Grade Sci Fi) (UK Release)

On a small island off the Scottish coast, Isla and her family are grieving the loss of her older sister Flora, who died three years ago. Then they’re offered the chance to be part of a top-secret trial, which revives loved ones as fully lifelike AI robots using their digital footprint.

Isla has her doubts about Second Chances, but they evaporate the moment the ‘new’ Flora arrives. This girl is not some uncanny close likeness; she is Flora – a perfect replica. But not everyone on their island feels the same. And as the threats to Flora mount, she grows distant and more secretive. Will Isla be able to protect the new Flora and bring the community back together?

the cover of The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ Rights

Picture Books

the cover of ‘Twas the Night Before Pride

‘Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick and Juana Medina (Picture Book)

A glittering celebration of queer families puts Pride gently in perspective—honoring those in the LGBTQ+ community who fought against injustice and inequality.

Pride’s . . . a day that means “Together, we are strong!”

This joyful picture-book homage to a day of community and inclusion—and to the joys of anticipation—is also a comprehensive history. With bright, buoyant illustrations and lyrical, age-appropriate rhyme modeled on “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” it tackles difficult content such as the Stonewall Riots and the AIDS marches. On the night before Pride, families everywhere are preparing to partake. As one family packs snacks and makes signs, an older sibling shares the importance of the march with the newest member of the family. Reflecting on the day, the siblings agree that the best thing about Pride is getting to be yourself. Debut author Joanna McClintick and Pura Belpré Award–winning author-illustrator Juana Medina create a new classic that pays homage to the beauty of families of all compositions—and of all-inclusive love.

the cover of The Rainbow Parade by Emily Neilson

The Rainbow Parade by Emily Neilson (Two Moms Pride Picture Book)

A sweet and celebratory story of a family’s first time at Pride

One day in June, Mommy, Mama, and Emily take the train into the city to watch the Rainbow Parade. The three of them love how all the people in the street are so loud, proud, and colorful, but when Mama suggests they join the parade, Emily feels nervous. Standing on the sidewalkis one thing, but walking in the parade? Surely that takes something special.
 
This joyful and affirming picture book about a family’s first Pride parade, reminds all readers that sometimes pride takes practice and there’s no “one way” to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Nonfiction

the cover of Brace for Impact

Brace for Impact: A Memoir by Gabe Montesanti (Queer Memoir)

Growing up queer in a conservative Midwestern town, Gabe Montesanti never felt comfortable in her own skin. A competitive swimmer, she turned to perfectionism and self-control to create a sense of safety, only to develop an eating disorder and constantly second-guess her instincts. When she enters graduate school in St. Louis, she is determined to put the baggage of her childhood behind her. With no prior experience, she joins Arch Rival, one of the top-ranked roller derby leagues in the world. Gabe instantly falls in love with the sport’s roughness, intensity, and open embrace of people who are literally and figuratively scarred. She soon finds community and a sense of belonging, reveling in the tattoos, glitter, and campiness. 

But when Gabe suffers a catastrophic injury, she can no longer ignore the parallels between the physicality of roller derby and the unresolved trauma of her upbringing. Rendered inactive, forced to be still, Gabe realizes she needs to heal her emotional wounds as much as her physical ones; she must confront her fear and self-diminishment in order to feel truly alive.

Told with unflinching honesty and a giant dose of wonder, Brace for Impact is a tender, inspiring memoir about the everyday heroism of pursuing a life less ordinary, and the deeply human need to be at peace with who you are.

the cover of Ma and Me

Ma and Me: A Memoir by Putsata Reang (Lesbian Memoir)

“This openhearted memoir . . . opens the door to include queer descendants of war survivors into the growing American library of love.” ―Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show

When Putsata Reang was eleven months old, her family fled war-torn Cambodia, spending twenty-three days on an overcrowded navy vessel before finding sanctuary at an American naval base in the Philippines. Holding what appeared to be a lifeless baby in her arms, Ma resisted the captain’s orders to throw her bundle overboard. Instead, on landing, Ma rushed her baby into the arms of American military nurses and doctors, who saved the child’s life. “I had hope, just a little, you were still alive,” Ma would tell Put in an oft-repeated story that became family legend.

Over the years, Put lived to please Ma and make her proud, hustling to repay her life debt by becoming the consummate good Cambodian daughter, working steadfastly by Ma’s side in the berry fields each summer and eventually building a successful career as an award-winning journalist. But Put’s adoration and efforts are no match for Ma’s expectations. When she comes out to Ma in her twenties, it’s just a phase. When she fails to bring home a Khmer boyfriend, it’s because she’s not trying hard enough. When, at the age of forty, Put tells Ma she is finally getting married―to a woman―it breaks their bond in two.

In her startling memoir, Reang explores the long legacy of inherited trauma and the crushing weight of cultural and filial duty. With rare clarity and lyric wisdom, Ma and Me is a stunning, deeply moving memoir about love, debt, and duty.

the cover of The Women's House of Detention

The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison by Hugh Ryan (Queer Nonfiction)

This singular history of a prison, and the queer women and trans people held there, is a window into the policing of queerness and radical politics in the twentieth century.

The Women’s House of Detention, a landmark that ushered in the modern era of women’s imprisonment, is now largely forgotten. But when it stood in New York City’s Greenwich Village, from 1929 to 1974, it was a nexus for the tens of thousands of women, transgender men, and gender-nonconforming people who inhabited its crowded cells. Some of these inmates—Angela Davis, Andrea Dworkin, Afeni Shakur—were famous, but the vast majority were incarcerated for the crimes of being poor and improperly feminine. Today, approximately 40 percent of the people in women’s prisons identify as queer; in earlier decades, that percentage was almost certainly higher.

Historian Hugh Ryan explores the roots of this crisis and reconstructs the little-known lives of incarcerated New Yorkers, making a uniquely queer case for prison abolition—and demonstrating that by queering the Village, the House of D helped defined queerness for the rest of America. From the lesbian communities forged through the Women’s House of Detention to the turbulent prison riots that presaged Stonewall, this is the story of one building and much more: the people it caged, the neighborhood it changed, and the resistance it inspired.

the cover of Queer Ducks (And Other Animals)

Queer Ducks (And Other Animals): The Natural World of Sexuality by Eliot Schrefer (Nonfiction)

This groundbreaking illustrated YA nonfiction title from two-time National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Eliot Schrefer is a well-researched and teen-friendly exploration of the gamut of queer behaviors observed in animals.

A quiet revolution has been underway in recent years, with study after study revealing substantial same-sex sexual behavior in animals. Join celebrated author Eliot Schrefer on an exploration of queer behavior in the animal world—from albatrosses to bonobos to clownfish to doodlebugs.

In sharp and witty prose—aided by humorous comics from artist Jules Zuckerberg—Schrefer uses science, history, anthropology, and sociology to illustrate the diversity of sexual behavior in the animal world. Interviews with researchers in the field offer additional insights for readers and aspiring scientists.

Queer behavior in animals is as diverse and complex—and as natural—as it is in our own species. It doesn’t set us apart from animals—it bonds us even closer to our animal selves.

the cover of Don't You Dare
the cover of By Your Side
the cover of You Still Look the Same

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

The last Tuesday of the month is always a bit slower of a release day, so the collection today is small but mighty! It’s a release day for YA and middle grade fans (I’m especially interested in the middle grade book out today).

The descriptions included are the publishers’. Let me know if any of these are on your TBR!

Fiction

Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer (F/F Fiction)

the cover of Like a House on Fire

What would you do if you found the spark that made you feel whole again?

After twelve years of marriage and two kids, Merit has begun to feel like a stranger in her own life. She loves her husband and sons, but she desperately needs something more than sippy cups and monthly sex. So, she returns to her career at Jager + Brandt, where a brilliant and beautiful Danish architect named Jane decides to overlook the “break” in Merit’s résumé and give her a shot.
 
Jane is a supernova—witty and dazzling and unapologetically herself—and as the two work closely together, their relationship becomes a true friendship. In Jane, Merit sees the possibility of what a woman could be. And Jane sees Merit exactly for who she is. Not the wife and mother dutifully performing the roles expected of her, but a whole person.
 
Their relationship quickly becomes a cornerstone in Merit’s life. And as Merit starts to open her mind to the idea of more—more of a partner, more of a match, more out of love—she begins to question: What if the love of her life isn’t the man she married. What if it’s Jane?

Young Adult

Arden Grey by Ray Stoeve (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

the cover of Arden Grey

An insightful, raw YA novel about a young photographer navigating toxic relationships and how they influence her identity

Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won’t talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality—which isn’t even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she’s got her love of film photography and her best and only friend, Jamie, to help her cope. Then Jamie, who is trans, starts dating Caroline, and suddenly he isn’t so reliable. Arden’s insecurity about their friendship grows. She starts to wonder if she’s jealous or if Jamie’s relationship with Caroline is somehow unhealthy—and it makes her reconsider how much of her relationship with her absent mom wasn’t okay, too. Filled with big emotions, first loves, and characters navigating toxic relationships, Ray Stoeve’s honest and nuanced novel is about finding your place in the world and seeking out the love and community that you deserve.

Dig Two Graves by Gretchen McNeil (Sapphic YA Thriller)

the cover of Dig Two Graves

One of Us is Lying meets Hitchcock in this novel from celebrated author of the #MurderTrending series, Gretchen McNeil.

I did my part, BFF. Now it’s your turn.

Seventeen-year-old film noir fan Neve Lanier is a girl who just wants to be seen, but doesn’t really fit in anywhere. When Neve is betrayed by her best friend, Yasmin, at the end of the school year, she heads off to a girl’s empowerment camp feeling like no one will ever love her again. So when she grabs the attention of the beautiful, charismatic Diane, she falls right under her spell, and may accidentally promise to murder Diane’s predatory step-brother, Javier, in exchange for Diane murdering Yasmin. But that was just a joke…right?

Wrong. When Yasmin turns up dead, Diane comes calling, attempting to blackmail Neve into murdering Javier. Stalling for time, Neve pretends to go along with Diane’s plan until she can find a way out that doesn’t involve homicide. But as she gets to know Javier – and falls for him – she realizes that everything Diane told her is a lie. Even worse, she discovers that Yasmin probably wasn’t Diane’s first victim. And unless Neve can stop her, she won’t be the last.

In this twisted game of cat and mouse, the reader never quite knows who’s telling the truth, who’s playing games, and who is going to end up dead.

Harley Quinn: Reckoning by Rachael Allen (Sapphic YA Fantasy)

the cover of Harley Quinn: Reckoning

In this new launch of a trilogy within the DC Icons universe, experience the origin story of a Super-Villain. This is the Harley Quinn backstory fans have been waiting for.
 

When Harleen Quinzel scores an internship in a psych lab at Gotham University, she’s more than ecstatic; she’s desperate to make a Big Scientific Discovery that will land her a full-ride college scholarship and get her away from her abusive father. But when Harleen witnesses the way women are treated across STEM departments–and experiences harassment herself–she decides that revenge and justice are more important than her own dreams. 

Harleen finds her place in an intoxicating vigilante girl gang called the Reckoning, who creates chaos to inspire change. And when Harleen falls for another girl in the gang, it finally seems like she’s found her true passions. But what starts off as pranks and mischief quickly turns deadly as one of the gang members is found murdered–and a terrifying conspiracy is uncovered that puts the life Harleen has worked so hard for at stake. Will she choose her future–or will she choose revenge?

In this refreshingly feminist spin on the story of our favorite villainess, Harley Quinn: Reckoning traces Harleen’s journey from precocious, revenge-obsessed teenage girl to a hardcore justice-seeker on her way to becoming the most captivating Super Villain of all time. This is one story that you won’t be able to put down.

Children’s Books

In the Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington (F/F Middle Grade Contemporary)

the cover of In the Key of Us

From the author of the critically acclaimed novel For Black Girls Like Me, Mariama J. Lockington, comes a coming-of-age story surrounding the losses that threaten to break us and the friendships that make us whole again.

Thirteen-year-old Andi feels stranded after the loss of her mother, the artist who swept color onto Andi’s blank canvas. When she is accepted to a music camp, Andi finds herself struggling to play her trumpet like she used to before her whole world changed. Meanwhile, Zora, a returning camper, is exhausted trying to please her parents, who are determined to make her a flute prodigy, even though she secretly has a dancer’s heart.

At Harmony Music Camp, Zora and Andi are the only two Black girls in a sea of mostly white faces. In kayaks and creaky cabins, the two begin to connect, unraveling their loss, insecurities, and hopes for the future. And as they struggle to figure out who they really are, they may just come to realize who they really need: each other.

In the Key of Us is a lyrical ode to music camp, the rush of first love, and the power of one life-changing summer.

Nonfiction

Reclaiming Two-Spirits Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal & Sovereignty in Native America by Gregory D. Smithers (Two-Spirits Nonfiction)

the cover of Reclaiming Two-Spirits

A sweeping history of Indigenous traditions of gender, sexuality, and resistance that reveals how, despite centuries of colonialism, Two-Spirit people are reclaiming their place in Native nations.

Reclaiming Two-Spirits decolonizes the history of gender and sexuality in Native North America. It honors the generations of Indigenous people who had the foresight to take essential aspects of their cultural life and spiritual beliefs underground in order to save them.

Before 1492, hundreds of Indigenous communities across North America included people who identified as neither male nor female, but both. They went by aakíí’skassimiatiokitcitakwe,or one of hundreds of other tribally specific identities. After European colonizers invaded Indian Country, centuries of violence and systematic persecution followed, imperiling the existence of people who today call themselves Two-Spirits, an umbrella term denoting feminine and masculine qualities in one person.

Drawing on written sources, archaeological evidence, art, and oral storytelling, Reclaiming Two-Spirits spans the centuries from Spanish invasion to the present, tracing massacres and inquisitions and revealing how the authors of colonialism’s written archives used language to both denigrate and erase Two-Spirit people from history. But as Gregory Smithers shows, the colonizers failed—and Indigenous resistance is core to this story. Reclaiming Two-Spirits amplifies their voices, reconnecting their history to Native nations in the 21st century.

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

a graphic showing a book and the text Sapphic New Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week

My laptop broke (I’m currently borrowing my roommate’s), so I didn’t get this the April new releases out in time, unfortunately. Last week had a ton of amazing releases, though, including She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick (F/F YA Romance), Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk (F/F YA Contemporary), Burning Butch by R/B Mertz (Nonbinary Butch Memoir), Beast at Every Threshold by Natalie Wee (Queer Poetry), and Burning My Roti: Breaking Barriers as a Queer Indian Woman by Sharan Dhaliwal (Memoir), so don’t miss those either!

While last week had one of the biggest publishing days of the year, this week is a little more relaxed, but still has some sapphic releases you should have on your radar. Let me know what you’re excited to read this week!

Fiction

Violets by Kyung-Sook Shin, translated by Anton Hur (Sapphic Fiction)

the cover of Violets

By Man Asian Literary Prize winner Kyung-Sook Shin, “a moving delve into a lonely psyche” that follows a neglected young woman’s search for human connection in contemporary Seoul (YZ Chin).

San is twenty-two and alone when she happens upon a job at a flower shop in Seoul’s bustling city center. Haunted by childhood rejection, she stumbles through life—painfully vulnerable, stifled, and unsure. She barely registers to others, especially by the ruthless standards of 1990s South Korea.

Over the course of one hazy, volatile summer, San meets a curious cast of characters: the nonspeaking shop owner, a brash coworker, quiet farmers, and aggressive customers. Fueled by a quiet desperation to jump-start her life, she plunges headfirst into obsession with a passing magazine photographer.

In Violets, best-selling author Kyung-Sook Shin explores misogyny, erasure, and repressed desire, as San desperately searches for both autonomy and attachment in the unforgiving reality of contemporary Korean society.

Romance

No Rings Attached by Rachel Lacey (F/F Romance)

the cover of No Rings Attached

Lia Harris is tired of being the odd one out. She’s never quite fit in with her uptight family, and now that her roommates have all found love, she’s starting to feel like a third wheel in her own apartment. Fed up with her mother’s constant meddling in her love life, Lia drops hints about a girlfriend she doesn’t have. But with her brother’s London nuptials approaching, she needs to find a date to save face. Lia turns to her best friend, Rosie, for help, and Rosie delivers―with the fun, gorgeous Grace Poston.

Grace loves to have a good time, hiding her insecurities behind a sunny smile. Her recent move to London has provided her with a much-needed fresh start. Grace isn’t looking for love, and she hates weddings, having weathered more than her fair share of heartache. Friendships are different, though, so for Rosie’s sake, she reluctantly agrees to pose as Lia’s adoring girlfriend for the wedding festivities.

Both Grace and Lia are prepared for an awkward weekend, complete with prying family members and a guest room with only one bed. As it turns out, they get along well―spectacularly, in fact. Before they know it, the chemistry they’re faking feels all too real. But is their wedding weekend a fleeting performance or the rehearsal for a love that’s meant to last?

Restrained Desires by Katherine McIntyre (Lesbian and Bi F/F Fake Dating Romance)

the cover of Restrained Desires

One rule: don’t fall for your best friend’s straight sister. Especially not when she’s pretending to be your fake girlfriend.

Chelsea Moore is officially divorced from her asshole husband, and after wasting her early twenties putting up with his shit, she’s burning to get out there and play the field—especially a certain kinkier side he made her feel like garbage about.

Kyle Walker’s terrified to put herself out there. According to her mother, she doesn’t have the looks to hook anyone, but what makes it worse is that her dating history falls in line. However, when her family tries to claim she’s not really a lesbian, she tells them she’s bringing her girlfriend to Christmas. Only problem? She doesn’t have one.

In comes sexy, newly divorced, and straight Chelsea Moore to the rescue—her best friend Aubrey’s little sister. She’s doing Kyle a favor—like any friend would—except Kyle’s half in love with her from the moment they start hanging out. All too soon those lines begin to blur—lingering touches, flirting, kissing…. And when they connect on kink and begin hooking up, that’s when Kyle knows she’s screwed.

Chelsea might have Aubrey to protect her heart, but Kyle could lose both her best friend and the only woman who’s made her feel like she’s worth more.

Fantasy & Science Fiction

The Language of Roses by Heather Rose Jones (Queer Beauty and the Beast Retelling)

the cover of The Language of Roses

A Beauty. A Beast. A Curse. This is not the story you know.

Join author Heather Rose Jones on a new and magical journey into the heart of a familiar fairytale. Meet Alys, eldest daughter of a merchant, a merchant who foolishly plucks a rose from a briar as he flees from the home of a terrifying fay Beast and his seemingly icy sister. Now Alys must pay the price to save his life and allow the Beast, the once handsome Philippe, to pay court to her.

But Alys has never fallen in love with anyone; how can she love a Beast? The fairy Peronelle, waiting in the woods to see the culmination of her curse, is sure that she will fail. Yet, if she does, Philippe’s sister Grace and her beloved Eglantine, trapped in an enchanted briar in the garden, will pay a terrible price. Unless Alys can find another way…

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

Follow the Lesbrary on TikTok!

Did you know the Lesbrary (or at least, Danika, the Head Lesbrarian) has a TikTok? I’m still getting the hang of it, but you can check out my lesbian pulp fiction collection in the latest one!

@lesbrary

My lesbian pulp collection! Let me know if you’d like to see any of these a little more in depth, or if you want to see my lesbian pulp magnets, painting, etc. #sapphicbooks #lesbianpulpfiction

♬ Boyfriend – Dove Cameron

Let me know your favourite sapphic BookTok accounts to follow! I’m always looking for more. I’ve also been toying with the idea of doing a weekly-ish round up of some of my favorite sapphic BookToks that I’ve seen lately–would you be interested in that? Let me know in the comments!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

Typically, the last Tuesday of the month–especially if it’s the 5th Tuesday–is a slow week for new releases, so I’m surprised to see such a solid lineup out today! As a reminder, these are just some of the titles that I’m most excited about; it’s definitely not comprehensive.

Let me know in the comments which book out this week you’re the most excited to read! I personally cannot resist the premise of Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May: queer 1920s sapphic witches on an island with dark vibes? Sign me up!

Fiction

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson (F/F Historical Fiction)

the cover of The Most Dazzling Girl In Berlin

A fascinating historical novel about Hilde, an orphan who experiences Berlin on the cusp of World War II as she discovers her own voice and sexuality, ultimately finding a family when she gets a job at a gay cabaret, by award-winning author Kip Wilson.

On her eighteenth birthday, Hilde leaves her orphanage in 1930s Berlin, and heads out into the world to discover her place in it. But finding a job is hard, at least until she stumbles into Café Lila, a vibrant cabaret full of expressive customers. Rosa, one of the club’s waitresses and performers, immediately takes Hilde under her wing. As the café denizens slowly embrace Hilde, and she embraces them in turn, she discovers her voice and her own blossoming feelings for Rosa. 

But Berlin is in turmoil. Between the elections, protests in the streets, worsening antisemitism and anti-homosexual sentiment, and the beginning seeds of unrest in Café Lila itself, Hilde will have to decide what’s best for her future . . . and what it means to love a place on the cusp of war. 

Mysteries and Thrillers

Monarch by Candice Wuehle (Queer Thriller)

the cover of Monarch by Candice Wuehle

After waking up with a strange taste in her mouth and mysterious bruises, former child pageant star Jessica Clink unwittingly begins an investigation into a nefarious deep state underworld. Equipped with the eccentric education of her father, Dr. Clink (a professor of Boredom Studies and the founder of an elite study group known as the Devil’s Workshop), Jessica uncovers a disquieting connection between her former life as a beauty queen and an offshoot of Project MKUltra known as MONARCH.

As Jessica moves closer to the truth, she begins to suspect the involvement of everyone around her, including her own mother, Grethe (a Norwegian pageant queen turned occult American wellness guru for suburban housewives). With the help of Christine (her black-lipsticked riot grrrl babysitter and confidante), Jessica sets out to take down Project MONARCH. More importantly, she must discover if her first love, fellow teen queen Veronica Marshall, was genuine or yet another deep state plant.

Merging iconic true crime stories of the ’90s (Lorena Bobbitt, Nicole Brown Simpson, and JonBenét Ramsey) with theories of human consciousness, folklore, and a perennial cultural fixation with dead girls, MONARCH questions the shadow sides of self-concept: Who are you if you don’t know yourself?

Fantasy & Science Fiction

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May (Lesbian Fantasy)

the cover of Wild and Wicked Things

On Crow Island, people whisper, real magic lurks just below the surface. 

Neither real magic nor faux magic interests Annie Mason. Not after it stole her future. She’s only on the island to settle her late father’s estate and, hopefully, reconnect with her long-absent best friend, Beatrice, who fled their dreary lives for a more glamorous one. 

Yet Crow Island is brimming with temptation, and the biggest one may be her enigmatic new neighbor. 

Mysterious and alluring, Emmeline Delacroix is a figure shadowed by rumors of witchcraft. And when Annie witnesses a confrontation between Bea and Emmeline at one of the island’s extravagant parties, she is drawn into a glittering, haunted world. A world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death.

The Book of Azrael (Gods and Monsters #1) by Amber Nicole (Bisexual Fantasy)

the cover of The Book of Azrael

World Ender meets Ender of Worlds…
A thousand years ago, Dianna gave up her life in the deserts of Erioa to save her dying sister. She called upon anyone who would listen, not expecting a monster far worse than any nightmare to answer. Now she does what Kaden asks, even if that means securing an ancient relic from the very creatures that hunt her. 
 
A King thought long dead and long forgotten.
In the old world his name was Samkiel. In the new world it is Liam, but one title remains true throughout time. He is the World Ender, a myth to his enemies, a savior and King to those loyal to him. After the Gods War, he locked himself away, hiding from the world. He denied his crown and responsibilities, leaving the very ones who needed him most to deal with the fallout of the death of their homeworld. Now an attack on those he holds dear sends him back to the one realm he never wished to visit again and into the sights of an enemy he thought imprisoned eons ago. 
Now enemies older than time must put aside their differences and work together in hopes of saving both their world and every realm in between.

Young Adult

Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gabby Noone (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

the cover of Live, Laugh, Kidnap

The only thing Genesis, Holly and Zoe seem to have in common is being stuck in Violet, Montana. Well, that and the fact that Hope Harvest Ministries is trying to ruin their lives.
 
Genesis lives on a commune that is now an echo of the New Age cult it once was. She’s witnessed power couple Pastor Jay and Ree Reaps transform their sleepy small town into a haven for online Influencers, who flock to Violet, Bible in one hand and Ree’s bestselling ACT LIKE A LADY, PRAY LIKE A BOSS in the other. Now, the Reaps have decided it’s God’s Will™ that they take over Gen’s ranch.
 
Holly is a begrudging tourist, forced to spend the summer with her estranged father as punishment for her unsavory behavior back in LA. To Holly, Hope Harvest is nothing but a gimmicky marketing ploy, but it’s threatening to put her father’s diner out of business and, for some reason, Holly cares.
 
All Zoe wants is to leave Violet, working thankless shifts at the diner to scrape together enough cash to start a new life with her girlfriend. But Zoe’s mother has lost everything to the church’s multilevel marketing schemes so the little money that Zoe manages to make goes right to debt collectors.
 
The only solution to their problems is to scam the scammers and protect what’s theirs. It shouldn’t take much – the Reaps’ golden son, an accidental kidnapping, some light blackmail – and the Reaps’ fortune will be in the girls’ much more deserving hands. As long as everything goes according to plan…

My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham (Sapphic YA Horror)

the cover of My Dearest Darkest

Wilder Girls meets The Craft in this Sapphic horror debut that asks: what price would you be willing to pay to achieve your deepest desires?

Finch Chamberlin is the newest transfer student to the ultra-competitive Ulalume Academy… but she’s also not what she seems. Months before school started, Finch and her parents got into an accident that should have left her dead at the bottom of the river. But something monstrous, and ancient, and terrifying, wouldn’t let her drown. Finch doesn’t know why she woke up after her heart stopped, but since dying she’s felt a constant pull from the school and the surrounding town of Rainwater, like something on the island is calling to her.

Selena St. Clair sees right through Finch, and she knows something is seriously wrong with her. But despite Selena’s suspicion, she feels drawn to Finch and has a sinking feeling that from now on the two will be inexplicably linked to one another.

One night Finch, Selena, and her friends accidentally summon a carnivorous creature of immense power in the depths of the school. It promises to grant every desire the girls have kept locked away in their insecure hearts—beauty, power, adoration—in exchange for a price: human body parts. But as the cost of their wanting becomes more deadly, Finch and Selena must learn to work together to stop the horror they unleashed, before it consumes the entire island.

Children’s Books

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour and Kaylani Juanita (Two Moms Picture Book)

the cover of Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

A little girl stays home with Mama when Mommy goes off on a work trip in this tender, inviting story that will resonate with every child who has missed a parent.

For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss.

Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.

Poetry

let the dead in by Saida Agostini (Queer Poetry)

the cover of let the dead in

Saida Agostini’s first full-length poetry collection, let the dead, is an exploration of the mythologies that seek to subjugate Black bodies, and the counter-stories that reject such subjugation. Audacious, sensual, and grieving, this work explores how Black women harness the fantastic to craft their own road to freedom. A journey across Guyana, London, and the United States, it is a meditation on black womanhood, queerness, the legacy of colonization, and pleasure. These poems craft a creation story fat with love, queerness, mermaids, and blackness.

Nonfiction

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby (Lesbian Memoir)

the cover of Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” Hannah Gadsby declared in her show Nanette, a scorching critique of the way society conducts public debates about marginalized communities. When it premiered on Netflix, it left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her singular ability to take them from rolling laughter to devastated silence. Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.

Gadsby grew up as the youngest of five children in an isolated town in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until 1997. She perceived her childhood as safe and “normal,” but as she gained an awareness of her burgeoning queerness, the outside world began to undermine the “vulnerably thin veneer” of her existence. After moving to mainland Australia and receiving a degree in art history, Gadsby found herself adrift, working itinerant jobs and enduring years of isolation punctuated by homophobic and sexual violence. At age twenty-seven, without a home or the ability to imagine her own future, she was urged by a friend to enter a stand-up competition. She won, and so began her career in comedy.             

Gadsby became well known for her self-deprecating, autobiographical humor that made her the butt of her own jokes. But in 2015, as Australia debated the legality of same-sex marriage, Gadsby started to question this mode of storytelling, beginning work on a show that would become “the most-talked-about, written-about, shared-about comedy act in years” (The New York Times).           

Harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person, to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, and her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, finally arriving at the backbone of Nanette: the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

These weekly posts were getting a little long, so I’ve narrowed them down considerably! These are just the titles I’m most intrigued by, but they’re far from a complete list. Let me know which new releases you’re most excited by this week!

Romance

The Roads Left Behind Us by Kat Jackson (F/F Romance)

the cover of The Roads Left Behind

After some unexpected life detours, Callie Lewes is determined to complete her PhD program and figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Her laser focus is finely tuned and she’s ready for total immersion in literature, subpar student essays, and all the joys that come with being a graduate teaching assistant. She has no time for, or interest in, anything else. Especially not dating.

Even if Callie were to entertain the idea of dating, she’s certain it would be with someone vibrant, open, and close to her own age. Definitely not someone like Dr. Kate Jory, a new member of Pennbrook College’s English department. Kate is both intimidating and a closed book. And the age difference between them is not small. But Kate is also brilliant and fascinating, and Callie is drawn to her in ways she’d never imagined possible.

Not that Kate notices. Or does she? Callie can’t tell. Even though they develop an engaging and flirtatious friendship, Callie struggles to work up the courage to put herself directly in Kate’s romantic path—wary of the type of fire she suspects their sparks could ignite.

Shake Things Up by Skye Kilaen (Polyamorous M/F/F Romance)

the cover of Shake Things Up

Three people, one road trip, and so many queer feelings. A polyamorous romance about changing your life.

Allie and Matt’s happy open relationship means they’re both free to find hookups. When Allie gets duped by a date, though, she’s found with someone else’s cheating boyfriend. Ugh!

Meeting Noelle by helping her leave the guy isn’t the night Allie expected, but after the women bond over drinks and a seriously dysfunctional tape gun, Allie’s hesitant to say goodbye. It’s weird; she doesn’t normally like-like people who aren’t Matt.

Matt’s questioning whether he’s entirely straight, and he hopes to find answers on his and Allie’s impending road trip. But he’s cool with bringing her new maybe-crush along, especially since he and Noelle keep finding things in common. And staring into each other’s eyes.

Noelle lost her demanding job right before her boyfriend cheated, and she’s looking for her next career move—preferably back home in Chicago. Allie’s fumbling charm and Matt’s flirtatious humor, however, make her wonder if her life compass needs fixing.

Late-night talks on Texas highways, first kisses, and hotel confessions might change a lot… if there’s a next step for Noelle that isn’t leaving.

A high-heat contemporary romance novel with a polyamorous HFN involving F/F and queer M/F relationships. F/F and M/M love scenes on page.

Tropes: road trip, geeks in love, bisexual awakening, coming out, polyamory, open relationships.

Detailed content warnings will be available in the book’s front matter and on the author’s website.

Fantasy & Science Fiction

The City of Dusk (The Dark Gods #1) by Tara Sim (Sapphic Fantasy)

the cover of The City of Dusk

Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.

The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the City of Dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving metropolis. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Risha, a necromancer fighting to keep the peace; Nikolas, a soldier who struggles to see the light; and Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with a reckless heart—will become reluctant allies in the quest to save their city.

But their rebellion will cost them dearly. 

Middle Grade

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass (Sapphic Middle Grade Contemporary)

the cover of Ellen Outside the Lines

Thirteen-year-old Ellen Katz feels most comfortable when her life is well planned out and people fit neatly into her predefined categories. She attends temple with Abba and Mom every Friday and Saturday. Ellen only gets crushes on girls, never boys, and she knows she can always rely on her best-and-only friend, Laurel, to help navigate social situations at their private Georgia middle school. Laurel has always made Ellen feel like being autistic is no big deal. But lately, Laurel has started making more friends, and cancelling more weekend plans with Ellen than she keeps. A school trip to Barcelona seems like the perfect place for Ellen to get their friendship back on track.

Except it doesn’t. Toss in a new nonbinary classmate whose identity has Ellen questioning her very binary way of seeing the world, homesickness, a scavenger hunt-style team project that takes the students through Barcelona to learn about Spanish culture and this trip is anything but what Ellen planned.

Making new friends and letting go of old ones is never easy, but Ellen might just find a comfortable new place for herself if she can learn to embrace the fact that life doesn’t always stick to a planned itinerary.

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

This week is a mix of genres, including a few from Bold Strokes Books, as well as a couple of poetry collections! These all use the publishers’ descriptions. What are you reading this week?

Fiction

Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde (Queer Fiction)

the cover of Vagabonds!

In the bustling streets and cloistered homes of Lagos, a cast of vivid characters—some haunted, some defiant—navigate danger, demons, and love in a quest to lead true lives.
 
As in Nigeria, vagabonds are those whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the poor, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits. They are those who inhabit transient spaces, who make their paths and move invisibly, who embrace apparitions, old vengeances and alternative realities. Eloghosa Osunde’s brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters for whom life itself is a form of resistance: a driver for a debauched politician with the power to command life and death; a legendary fashion designer who gives birth to a grown daughter; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a wife and mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her world. As their lives intertwine—in bustling markets and underground clubs, churches and hotel rooms—vagabonds are seized and challenged by spirits who command the city’s dark energy. Whether running from danger, meeting with secret lovers, finding their identities, or vanquishing their shadowselves, Osunde’s characters confront and support one another, before converging for the once-in-a-lifetime gathering that gives the book its unexpectedly joyous conclusion.
 
Blending unvarnished realism with myth and fantasy, Vagabonds! is a vital work of imagination that takes us deep inside the hearts, minds, and bodies of a people in duress—and in triumph.

Mysteries and Thrillers

Secret Identity by Alex Segura (Queer Historical Mystery)

the cover of Secret Identity

It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.

That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph’s first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.

Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel–hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.

Whereabouts Unknown by Meredith Doench (Lesbian Thriller)

the cover of Whereabouts Unknown

Theodora Madsen has everything she’s ever hoped for: a distinguished career as a homicide detective with the Dayton Police Department, a woman she loves, and a baby on the way.

While Theo and Bree nest and plan for their family’s future, two sixteen-year-old Ohio girls vanish—one from Dayton and the other from Brecksville—each leaving behind a bloody handprint. Then a routine interview goes disastrously wrong, and Theo’s injured and facing a lengthy recovery.

With her professional future uncertain and the cases growing cold, Theo scrambles to piece together the links between the girls. But the clock is ticking and time is running out.

Romance

Exclusive by Melissa Brayden (F/F Romance)

the cover of Exclusive

Her new job as an on-air reporter in sunny San Diego is a big break for Skyler Ruiz. No more covering small-town softball games or vegetable growing competitions. She’ll be working at the same station as her TV mega-crush and longtime idol, anchorwoman Caroline McNamara, and that doesn’t hurt either.

Unfortunately, people don’t always live up to expectations.

Skyler’s hopes of impressing Caroline are dashed when she discovers Caroline has little time for newbie reporters and is downright unwelcoming. But when Caroline drops her guard, Skyler is left with her head happily spinning, her heart wide open, and oh-so ready to explore a romance she never saw coming.

So, of course, the network pits them against each other.

It’s only when Skyler is ready to sacrifice everything she’s ever dreamed of for Caroline does she begin to suspect love is nothing but fake news.

The Game by Jan Gayle (F/F Romance)

the cover of The Game

Ryan Gibbs was the best thing to hit the LPGA from New Mexico since Nancy Lopez, but that was two years ago when her rookie year tour made the history books. Since she left the world of professional golf to be with her sick mother, she hasn’t played outside of her home course in Los Alamos, where she now works as a coach.

Katherine Reese has the drive to be the best, but since her second season, when she landed herself in the top ten in nearly every tournament, she’s barely been able to make the cut. Unable to let go of her ghosts, Katherine is in danger of tanking her career before it even begins.

Ryan and Katherine are natural competitors thrown together by their swing coach, Maggie Hart. Both have so much to prove and so little time for the inconveniences of falling in love. But if they can figure out how to work together, they just might be a force for women’s sports and a beautiful match for each other.

Her Duchess to Desire by Jane Walsh (F/F Historical Romance)

the cover of Her Duchess to Desire by Jane Walsh

Anne, the Duchess of Hawthorne, is tired of her reputation as the Ice Queen of London society. She resolves to leave behind her cold-hearted marriage to the duke—and to find a woman to keep her warm at night. Perhaps the dashing designer she hires to transform her Mayfair estate can also help her to transform her life.

Letitia Barrow has big dreams of running her own interior design business. The opportunity to reinvent the Hawthorne estate is the job that will finally establish her as a leading designer among the ton. The duchess might make her weak in the knees, but giving in to temptation could risk everything she’s working so hard to build.

The designer and the duchess embark on an affair, with renovations to the house in full swing—and the renovations in their hearts well underway. Then, unexpectedly, the duke returns home and their feelings are tested. Can London’s hottest new designer melt the Ice Queen forever?

Dying for You by Jenny Frame (F/F Vampire Romance)

the cover of Dying for You

Victorija Dred, Principe of the Dred clan, is one of the most feared vampires to walk the earth, but since her unwanted blood bond with Daisy, she’s slowly losing herself to blood sickness. Her clan is dismayed by her reluctance to order Daisy brought to her. The old Victorija would have used her for her blood without a second thought. However no one knows of the age-old vow holding her back.

Daisy MacDougall is struggling to cope with the vampire bite that is urging her to seek out Victorija. Secrets and history bind them in unfathomable ways, and when she discovers her family’s past and a very different Victorija, she vows to find the truth even if she must force their meeting.

Victorija and Daisy travel a dark and seductive path even as Victorija fights every instinct to take Daisy’s blood, and love seems all but impossible. As if that wasn’t bad enough, neither expects the real threat to Daisy’s life to be hiding inside the Dred clan.

Lead Me Astray by Sondi Warner (Queer Polyamorous Paranormal Romance)

the cover of Lead Me Astray

Welcome to Overlay City in New Orleans—a shadowy in-between where the paranormal and the real world meet. Its newest resident: Aurie Edison.

A victim of a hit-and-run, Aurie now exists as a ghost in this mysterious realm. Convinced there is more to her death than what she remembers, Aurie sets out to uncover the truth. She soon finds herself in the company of Mys, a psychic empath, whose need to help others trumps all else, and Zyr, a werewolf detective able to work both the human and occult worlds.

As they begin to piece together the events leading up to her death, Aurie can’t deny the deeper connection developing between them. Yet, with each new secret suggesting a more sinister danger at play, they realize they may not make it out (dead or) alive.

Undeniably queer and devilishly sexy, Lead Me Astray will take you to the shadowy depths of New Orleans and never let you go.

Young Adult

Take Her Down by Lauren Emily Whalen (Queer YA Thriller)

the cover of Take Her Down

In this queer YA retelling of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,stakes at Augustus Magnet School are cutthroat, scheming is creative, and loyalty is ever-changing.

Overnight, Bronwyn St. James goes from junior class queen to daughter of an imprisoned felon, and she lands in the care of her aunt and younger cousin Cass, a competitive cheerleader who Bronwyn barely knows. Life gets worse when her ex-best friend, the always-cool Jude Cuthbert, ostracizes Bronwyn from the queer social elite for dating a boy, Porter Kendrick.

Bronwyn and Jude are both running for student body president, and that means war. But after Bronwyn, Porter, and Cass share a video of Jude in a compromising position, Jude suddenly goes missing. No one has seen her for weeks and it might be all Bronwyn’s fault. Will Jude ever be found? Or will Bronwyn finally have to reckon with what she’s won—and what she’s lost?

Content Advisory: Depictions of sexual assault.

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

My Wandering Warrior Existence by Nagata Kabi (Lesbian Manga Memoir)

the cover of My Wandering Warrior Existence

The newest diary manga from the Harvey Award-winning creator of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness.

After attending a friend’s wedding, Nagata Kabi decides she wants one of her own. That’s not the only thing she wants—she longs to love and be loved. But she has three major problems: she has no partner, no dating experience, and her only sexual encounters are limited to a lesbian escort service. With the help of a photoshoot, a dating app, and more, the author embarks on a journey to seek the love and happiness she so desperately desires.

Poetry

Cane Fire by Shani Mootoo (Queer Poetry)

the cover of Cane Fire

From internationally celebrated writer and visual artist Shani Mootoo comes Cane | Fire, an immersive and vivid collection that marks a long-awaited return to poetry.

Throughout this evocative, sensual collection, akin to a poetic memoir, past and present are in conversation with each other as the narrator moves from Ireland to San Fernando, and finally to Canada. The reinterpretations and translation of this journey and its associated family history give meaning to the present. Through these deeply personal poems, and Mootoo’s own artwork, we begin to understand how a life can not only be shaped, but even reimagined.

Prelude by Brynne Rebele-Henry (Lesbian Poetry)

the cover of Prelude

Prelude delineates the gay female experience through a poetic reconstruction of the girlhood of Catherine of Siena, a Catholic saint who lived in 1300s Italy and disobeyed her parents by refusing marriage to devote her life to God.

Through a historical lens, Brynne Rebele-Henry examines the erasure of gay women’s lives and offers a perspective of medieval queer girlhood while considering themes such as violence, desire, and the lesbian body.

Nonfiction

Outrageous!: The Story of Section 28 and Britain’s Battle for LGBT Education by Paul Baker (Nonfiction)

the cover of Outrageous

A personal and impassioned history of the infamous Section 28, the 1988 UK law banning the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality.”
 
On May 23, 1988, Paul Baker sat down with his family to eat cake on his sixteenth birthday while The Six O’Clock News played in the background. But something was not quite right. There was muffled shouting—“Stop Section 28!”—and a scuffle. The papers would announce: “Beeb Man Sits on Lesbian.”
 
The next day Section 28 passed into UK law, forbidding local authorities from the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” It would send shockwaves through British society: silencing gay pupils and teachers, while galvanizing mass protests and the formation of the LGBTQ+ rights groups OutRage! and Stonewall.
 
Outrageous! tells its story: the background to the Act, how the press fanned the flames and what politicians said during debates, how protestors fought back to bring about the repeal of the law in the 2000s, and its eventual legacy. Based on detailed research, interviews with key figures—including Ian McKellen, Michael Cashman, and Angela Mason—and personal recollection, Outrageous! is an impassioned, warm, often moving account of unthinkable prejudice enshrined within the law and of the power of community to overcome it.

Check out more LGBTQ new releases by signing up for Our Queerest Shelves, my LGBTQ book newsletter at Book Riot!

Support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

Lesbrary Links: Quozies, the Queer Children’s Books Revolution, Lesbian BookTok, and More

I follow hundreds of queer book blogs to scout out the best sapphic book news and reviews! Many of them get posted on Tumblr and Twitter as I discover them, but my favourites get saved for these link compilations. Here are some of the posts I’ve found interesting in the last few weeks.

I try not to cover too much of the individual queer book bannings here, because it’s overwhelming and painful to sift through the huge amount that come in every week, but you can keep up with them at Book Riot and ALA’s International Freedom Blog. I have pulled out some of the high level overviews, though.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki
OF Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
the cover of Heather Has Two Mommies
Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert
the cover of Last Night at the Telegraph Club

The covers above are all of sapphic books that have been recently challenged or banned.

You’re Not Welcome Here: How book bans alienate Texas students

Florida teen suspended for “Don’t Say Gay” protest won’t back down

From book bans to “Don’t Say Gay” bill, LGBTQ kids feel erased in the classroom

Malinda Lo wrote about the ramping up of books bans across the U.S., including challenges of her own books

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
the cover of D'Vaughn and Kriss Plan a Wedding
the cover of Cantoras
the cover of From Dust, a Flame
the cover of Wild and Wicked Things

Find a Home in These Unsung Classics of Black Queer Literature

13 Queer Black Romances That Will Give You All The Feels

To celebrate International Women’s Day, LGBTQ Reads posted a list of “great books that feature friendship, companionship, sisterhood, and other group dynamics among (primarily) women”

Here are 24 must-read LGBTQ books out this month

Here is Queer Poetry for Every Sign

the cover of Milk Fed
the cover of Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Ace of Spades cover
the cover of Panpocalypse

The Best LGBTQ Books of 2021, According to American Librarians

It’s Time To Curl Up with a “Quozy” – A Queer Cozy Mystery

Read these 8 Mystery Books With Bi+ Main Characters

These queer dark academia books are worth obsessing over

Don’t miss these queer books from indie presses out this year

Read these powerful LGBTQ memoirs

Thank You, Romance: On Dating in My 30s, Glorious Conversations, and Queer Romance Novels

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
the cover of The Secret Language
the cover of Love and Other Disasters
the cover of A Dowry of Blood
The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Here are 7 Fascinating Facts About Rita Mae Brown

Learn about Ursula Nordstrom and the Queer Revolution of the 20th Century Children’s Books

Laynie Rose, a lesbian BookTokker, was interviewed at Bitch Media

A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson, one of my favourite reads of last year, is coming out in a special edition hardcover!

Gillian Anderson and Lily Rabe are Queer Loves Eleanor and Hick in Showtime’s “The First Lady”

Will “The Color Purple” Get Black Queerness Right This Time?

Well of Loneliness cover
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m danforth
The Unspoken Name cover
the cover of The Thousand Eyes
the covers of Girls Can Kiss Now

Radclyffe Hall’s papers have been digitized and are available online at the University of Texas at Austin

I Found My Queer Guidebook in The Well of Loneliness

The Miseducation of Cameron Post made me question everything about being a lesbian

The Thousand Eyes Wraps Up a Queer Epic Duology With God Killing and Monster %@$#ing

Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz was reviewed at Autostraddle


This post has the covers linked to their Amazon pages. If you click through and buy something, I might get a small referral fee. For even more links, check out the Lesbrary’s Twitter! We’re also on FacebookGoodreadsYoutube and Tumblr.

If you’d like more LGBTQ lit links, subscribe to my Book Riot newsletter: Our Queerest Shelves! I round up the newest LGBTQ book news as well as the most exciting queer new releases out this week, plus each newsletter comes with an exclusive queer books post from me.

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61 Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Month!

a collage of the covers listed with the text Bi and Lesbian Books Out in March!

Would you believe that more than sixty 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. I’ve highlighted a few of the books I’m most interested in, but click through to see the other titles’ blurbs!

This month seems to be the memoir/biography release month, including Hannah Gadsby’s memoir, plus several graphic memoirs/biographies! There are also a few different two mom picture books out this month.

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!

Adult

Fiction

the cover of Daughters of the Deep

Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel (Sapphic Fiction)

In this haunting and groundbreaking historical novel, Danielle Daniel imagines the lives of women in the Algonquin territories of the 1600s, a story inspired by her family’s ancestral link to a young girl who was murdered by French settlers.

1657. Marie, a gifted healer of the Deer Clan, does not want to marry the green-eyed soldier from France who has asked for her hand. But her people are threatened by disease and starvation and need help against the Iroquois and their English allies if they are to survive. When her chief begs her to accept the white man’s proposal, she cannot refuse him, and sheds her deerskin tunic for a borrowed blue wedding dress to become Pierre’s bride.

1675. Jeanne, Marie’s oldest child, is seventeen, neither white nor Algonquin, caught between worlds. Caught by her own desires, too. Her heart belongs to a girl named Josephine, but soon her father will have to find her a husband or be forced to pay a hefty fine to the French crown. Among her mother’s people, Jeanne would have been considered blessed, her two-spirited nature a sign of special wisdom. To the settlers of New France, and even to her own father, Jeanne is unnatural, sinful–a woman to be shunned, beaten, and much worse.

With the poignant, unforgettable story of Marie and Jeanne, Danielle Daniel reaches back through the centuries to touch the very origin of the long history of violence against Indigenous women and the deliberate, equally violent disruption of First Nations cultures.

the cover Panpocalypse

Panpocalypse by Carley Moore (Queer Fiction)

During the coronavirus pandemic, a queer disabled woman bikes through a locked-down NYC for the ex-girlfriend who broke her heart.

Orpheus manages to buy a bicycle just before they sell out across the city. She takes to the streets looking for Eurydice, the first woman she fell in love with, who also broke her heart. The city is largely closed and on lockdown, devoid of touch, connection, and community. But Orpheus hears of a mysterious underground bar Le Monocle, fashioned after the lesbian club of the same name in 1930s Paris.

Will Orpheus be able to find it? Will she ever be allowed to love again? Panpocalypse—first published as an online serial in spring of 2020—follows a lonely, disabled, poly hero in this novel about disease, decay, love, and revolution.

the cover of The Most Dazzling Girl In Berlin

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson (F/F Historical Fiction)

A fascinating historical novel about Hilde, an orphan who experiences Berlin on the cusp of World War II as she discovers her own voice and sexuality, ultimately finding a family when she gets a job at a gay cabaret, by award-winning author Kip Wilson.

On her eighteenth birthday, Hilde leaves her orphanage in 1930s Berlin, and heads out into the world to discover her place in it. But finding a job is hard, at least until she stumbles into Café Lila, a vibrant cabaret full of expressive customers. Rosa, one of the club’s waitresses and performers, immediately takes Hilde under her wing. As the café denizens slowly embrace Hilde, and she embraces them in turn, she discovers her voice and her own blossoming feelings for Rosa. 

But Berlin is in turmoil. Between the elections, protests in the streets, worsening antisemitism and anti-homosexual sentiment, and the beginning seeds of unrest in Café Lila itself, Hilde will have to decide what’s best for her future . . . and what it means to love a place on the cusp of war. 

the cover of Eleutheria by Allegra Hyde
The cover of the Saints and Sinners 2022 anthology

Mystery/Thrillers

the cover of The World Cannot Give

The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton (Sapphic Thriller)

The Girls meets Fight Club in this coming-of-age novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the devoted members of a cultic chapel choir in a prestigious Maine boarding school—and the obsessively ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over them.

When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic “prep school prophet” (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the members of the choir.

Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the “family” she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go.

The World Cannot Give is a shocking meditation on the power, and danger, of wanting more from the world.

the cover of Monarch by Candice Wuehle

Monarch by Candice Wuehle (Queer Thriller)

After waking up with a strange taste in her mouth and mysterious bruises, former child pageant star Jessica Clink unwittingly begins an investigation into a nefarious deep state underworld. Equipped with the eccentric education of her father, Dr. Clink (a professor of Boredom Studies and the founder of an elite study group known as the Devil’s Workshop), Jessica uncovers a disquieting connection between her former life as a beauty queen and an offshoot of Project MKUltra known as MONARCH.

As Jessica moves closer to the truth, she begins to suspect the involvement of everyone around her, including her own mother, Grethe (a Norwegian pageant queen turned occult American wellness guru for suburban housewives). With the help of Christine (her black-lipsticked riot grrrl babysitter and confidante), Jessica sets out to take down Project MONARCH. More importantly, she must discover if her first love, fellow teen queen Veronica Marshall, was genuine or yet another deep state plant.

Merging iconic true crime stories of the ’90s (Lorena Bobbitt, Nicole Brown Simpson, and JonBenét Ramsey) with theories of human consciousness, folklore, and a perennial cultural fixation with dead girls, MONARCH questions the shadow sides of self-concept: Who are you if you don’t know yourself?

the cover of As You Look
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Romance

the cover of The One True Me and You

The One True Me and You by Remi K. England (Gender/Pronoun Questioning Romance)

Up and coming fanfic author Kaylee Beaumont is internally screaming at the chance to finally meet her fandom friends in real life and spend a weekend at GreatCon. She also has a side quest for the weekend:

· Try out they/them pronouns to see how it feels
· Wear more masculine-presenting cosplay
· Kiss a girl for the first time

It’s…a lot, and Kay mostly wants to lie face down on the hotel floor. Especially when her hometown bully, Miss North Carolina, shows up in the very same hotel. But there’s this con-sponsored publishing contest, and the chance to meet her fandom idols…and then, there’s Teagan.

Pageant queen Teagan Miller (Miss Virginia) has her eye on the much-needed prize: the $25,000 scholarship awarded to the winner of the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant. She also has secrets:

· She loves the dresses but hates the tiaras
· She’s a giant nerd for everything GreatCon
· She’s gay af

If Teagan can just keep herself wrapped up tight for one more weekend, she can claim the scholarship and go off to college out and proud. If she’s caught, she could lose everything she’s worked for. If her rival, Miss North Carolina, has anything to do with it, that’s exactly how it’ll go down.

When Teagan and Kay bump into one another the first night, sparks fly. Their connection is intense―as is their shared enemy. If they’re spotted, the safe space of the con will be shattered, and all their secrets will follow them home. The risks are great…but could the reward of embracing their true selves be worth it?

A big-hearted, joyful romance and a love letter to all things geek, Remi K. England’s The One True Me and You is a *witness me* celebration of standing up for, and being, yourself.

the cover of Wherever Is Your Heart

Wherever Is Your Heart by Anita Kelly (F/F Romance)

How long, exactly, had June been coming to Moonie’s for the sole purpose of pining after the bartender?

Long enough to know, probably, that there was no good reason for Mal Edwards, a bastion of stability and good sense, to see any kind of future with June anyway. Was it even fair to express feelings to a woman like that when June was barely around, on the road more than she wasn’t?

But as another Pride weekend approaches, June’s fiftieth birthday and the eventual end of her long-haul trucking days loom in her mind, nestled against the memories of Moonie’s nights gone by where it felt like June and Mal came close—close to something happening, something real. Until June would inevitably chicken out, and retreat once again to life on the road.

It’s time for June to finally figure out her next act. And if she’s not brave enough to ask Mal Edwards to be part of it, she doesn’t deserve her, anyway.

After all. If you can’t tell a butch you love her during Pride, when the hell can you?

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the cover of Not Your Type
the cover of Training for Love
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the cover of Her Duchess to Desire by Jane Walsh
the cover of Dying for You

Fantasy

the cover of Last Exit by Max Gladstone

Last Exit by Max Gladstone (F/F Fantasy)

When Zelda and her friends first met, in college, they believed they had all the answers. They had figured out a big secret about how the world worked and they thought that meant they could change things.

They failed. One of their own fell, to darkness and rot.

Ten years later, they’ve drifted apart, building lives for themselves, families, fortunes. All but Zelda. She’s still wandering the backroads of the nation. She’s still fighting monsters. She knows: the past isn’t over. It’s not even past.

The road’s still there. The rot’s still waiting. They can’t hide from it any more. Because, at long last, their friend is coming home. And hell is coming with her.

the cover of Wild and Wicked Things

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May (Lesbian Fantasy)

On Crow Island, people whisper, real magic lurks just below the surface. 

Neither real magic nor faux magic interests Annie Mason. Not after it stole her future. She’s only on the island to settle her late father’s estate and, hopefully, reconnect with her long-absent best friend, Beatrice, who fled their dreary lives for a more glamorous one. 

Yet Crow Island is brimming with temptation, and the biggest one may be her enigmatic new neighbor. 

Mysterious and alluring, Emmeline Delacroix is a figure shadowed by rumors of witchcraft. And when Annie witnesses a confrontation between Bea and Emmeline at one of the island’s extravagant parties, she is drawn into a glittering, haunted world. A world where the boundaries of wickedness are tested, and the cost of illicit magic might be death.

the cover of The City of Dusk

The City of Dusk (The Dark Gods #1) by Tara Sim (Sapphic Fantasy)

Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.

The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the City of Dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving metropolis. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Risha, a necromancer fighting to keep the peace; Nikolas, a soldier who struggles to see the light; and Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with a reckless heart—will become reluctant allies in the quest to save their city.

But their rebellion will cost them dearly. 

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the new cover of The Atlas Six
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the cover of Pennyblade

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

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the cover of Catch These Hands!, Vol. 1

Young Adult

YA Contemporary

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Every Variable of Us by Charles A. Bush (Bisexual YA Contemporary)

After Philly teenager Alexis Duncan is injured in a gang shooting, her dreams of a college scholarship and pro basketball career vanish in an instant. To avoid becoming another Black teen trapped in her poverty-stricken neighborhood, she shifts her focus to the school’s STEM team, a group of self-professed nerds seeking their own college scholarships.

Academics have never been her thing, but Alexis is freshly motivated by Aamani Chakrabarti, the new Indian student who becomes her friend (and crush?). Alexis begins to see herself as so much more than an athlete. But just as her future starts to reform, Alexis’s own doubts and old loyalties pull her back into harm’s way.

the cover of Live, Laugh, Kidnap

Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gabby Noone (Sapphic YA Contemporary)

The only thing Genesis, Holly and Zoe seem to have in common is being stuck in Violet, Montana. Well, that and the fact that Hope Harvest Ministries is trying to ruin their lives.
 
Genesis lives on a commune that is now an echo of the New Age cult it once was. She’s witnessed power couple Pastor Jay and Ree Reaps transform their sleepy small town into a haven for online Influencers, who flock to Violet, Bible in one hand and Ree’s bestselling ACT LIKE A LADY, PRAY LIKE A BOSS in the other. Now, the Reaps have decided it’s God’s Will™ that they take over Gen’s ranch.
 
Holly is a begrudging tourist, forced to spend the summer with her estranged father as punishment for her unsavory behavior back in LA. To Holly, Hope Harvest is nothing but a gimmicky marketing ploy, but it’s threatening to put her father’s diner out of business and, for some reason, Holly cares.
 
All Zoe wants is to leave Violet, working thankless shifts at the diner to scrape together enough cash to start a new life with her girlfriend. But Zoe’s mother has lost everything to the church’s multilevel marketing schemes so the little money that Zoe manages to make goes right to debt collectors.
 
The only solution to their problems is to scam the scammers and protect what’s theirs. It shouldn’t take much – the Reaps’ golden son, an accidental kidnapping, some light blackmail – and the Reaps’ fortune will be in the girls’ much more deserving hands. As long as everything goes according to plan…

the cover of Forward March

Forward March by Skye Quinlan (F/F Asexual YA Contemporary)

What’s worse? Someone using your face for catfishing or realizing you actually do have a crush on the catfished girl?

Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band―and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:

1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.
2. Harper doesn’t even know if she likes anyone like that―let alone if she likes other girls.
3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she’s not sure she even wants him to win.

But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.

With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.

the cover of Great or Nothing
the cover of Travelers Along the Way

YA Fantasy

the cover of From Dust, a Flame

From Dust, a Flame by Rebecca Podos (Sapphic YA Fantasy)

Hannah’s whole life has been spent in motion. Her mother has kept her and her brother, Gabe, on the road for as long as she can remember, leaving a trail of rental homes and faded relationships behind them. No roots, no family but one another, and no explanations.

All that changes on Hannah’s seventeenth birthday when she wakes up transformed, a pair of golden eyes with knife-slit pupils blinking back at her from the mirror—the first of many such impossible mutations. Promising that she knows someone who can help, her mother leaves Hannah and Gabe behind to find a cure. But as the days turn to weeks and their mother doesn’t return, they realize it’s up to them to find the truth.

What they discover is a family they never knew and a history more tragic and fantastical than Hannah could have dreamed—one that stretches back to her grandmother’s childhood in Prague under the Nazi occupation, and beyond, into the realm of Jewish mysticism and legend. As the past comes crashing into the present, Hannah must hurry to unearth their family’s secrets in order to break the curse and save the people she loves most, as well as herself.

the cover of My Dearest Darkest

Children

Middle Grade

the cover of Drew Leclair Gets a Clue

Drew Leclair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury (Queer Middle Grade)

In this modern take on Harriet the Spy, twelve-year-old Drew uses her true crime expertise to catch the cyberbully in her school—only to discover that family, friendship, and identity are the hardest mysteries to solve.

Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She’s pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor’s missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues?

Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it’s only a matter of time before Drew’s secret is out.

Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to do: profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?

the cover of Ellen Outside the Lines

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass (Sapphic Middle Grade Contemporary)

Thirteen-year-old Ellen Katz feels most comfortable when her life is well planned out and people fit neatly into her predefined categories. She attends temple with Abba and Mom every Friday and Saturday. Ellen only gets crushes on girls, never boys, and she knows she can always rely on her best-and-only friend, Laurel, to help navigate social situations at their private Georgia middle school. Laurel has always made Ellen feel like being autistic is no big deal. But lately, Laurel has started making more friends, and cancelling more weekend plans with Ellen than she keeps. A school trip to Barcelona seems like the perfect place for Ellen to get their friendship back on track.

Except it doesn’t. Toss in a new nonbinary classmate whose identity has Ellen questioning her very binary way of seeing the world, homesickness, a scavenger hunt-style team project that takes the students through Barcelona to learn about Spanish culture and this trip is anything but what Ellen planned.

Making new friends and letting go of old ones is never easy, but Ellen might just find a comfortable new place for herself if she can learn to embrace the fact that life doesn’t always stick to a planned itinerary.

Picture Books

the cover of Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour and Kaylani Juanita (Two Moms Picture Book)

A little girl stays home with Mama when Mommy goes off on a work trip in this tender, inviting story that will resonate with every child who has missed a parent.

For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss.

Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.

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the cover of Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Nonfiction

Poetry

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Memoirs & Essays

the cover of Another Appalachia

Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place by Neema Avashia (Queer Memoir)

When Neema Avashia tells people where she’s from, their response is nearly always a disbelieving “There are Indian people in West Virginia?” A queer Asian American teacher and writer, Avashia fits few Appalachian stereotypes. But the lessons she learned in childhood about race and class, gender and sexuality continue to inform the way she moves through the world today: how she loves, how she teaches, how she advocates, how she struggles.

Another Appalachia examines both the roots and the resonance of Avashia’s identity as a queer desi Appalachian woman, while encouraging readers to envision more complex versions of both Appalachia and the nation as a whole. With lyric and narrative explorations of foodways, religion, sports, standards of beauty, social media, gun culture, and more, Another Appalachia mixes nostalgia and humor, sadness and sweetness, personal reflection and universal questions.

the cover of Burning My Roti

Burning My Roti: Breaking Barriers as a Queer Indian Woman by Sharan Dhaliwal (Queer Memoir)

Part memoir, part guide, Burning My Roti is essential reading for a new generation of South Asian women.

With chapters covering sexual and cultural identity, body hair, colorism and mental health, and a particular focus on the suffocating beauty standards South Asian women are expected to adhere to, Sharan Dhaliwal speaks openly about her journey towards loving herself, offering advice, support and comfort to people that are encountering the same issues.

This provocative book celebrates the strides South Asian women have made, whilst also providing powerful advice through personal stories by Sharan and other South Asian women from all over the world.

the cover of Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby (Lesbian Memoir)

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” Hannah Gadsby declared in her show Nanette, a scorching critique of the way society conducts public debates about marginalized communities. When it premiered on Netflix, it left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her singular ability to take them from rolling laughter to devastated silence. Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.

Gadsby grew up as the youngest of five children in an isolated town in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until 1997. She perceived her childhood as safe and “normal,” but as she gained an awareness of her burgeoning queerness, the outside world began to undermine the “vulnerably thin veneer” of her existence. After moving to mainland Australia and receiving a degree in art history, Gadsby found herself adrift, working itinerant jobs and enduring years of isolation punctuated by homophobic and sexual violence. At age twenty-seven, without a home or the ability to imagine her own future, she was urged by a friend to enter a stand-up competition. She won, and so began her career in comedy.             

Gadsby became well known for her self-deprecating, autobiographical humor that made her the butt of her own jokes. But in 2015, as Australia debated the legality of same-sex marriage, Gadsby started to question this mode of storytelling, beginning work on a show that would become “the most-talked-about, written-about, shared-about comedy act in years” (The New York Times).           

Harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person, to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, and her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, finally arriving at the backbone of Nanette: the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.

the covers of Girls Can Kiss Now

Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz (Lesbian Essays)

Perfect for fans of Samantha Irby and Trick Mirror, a funny, whip-smart collection of personal essays exploring the intersection of queerness, relationships, pop culture, the internet, and identity, introducing one of the most undeniably original new voices today.

Jill Gutowitz’s life—for better and worse—has always been on a collision course with pop culture. There’s the time the FBI showed up at her door because of something she tweeted about Game of Thrones. The pop songs that have been the soundtrack to the worst moments of her life. And of course, the pivotal day when Orange Is the New Black hit the airwaves and broke down the door to Jill’s own sexuality. In these honest examinations of identity, desire, and self-worth, Jill explores perhaps the most monumental cultural shift of our lifetimes: the mainstreaming of lesbian culture. Dusting off her own personal traumas and artifacts of her not-so-distant youth she examines how pop culture acts as a fun house mirror reflecting and refracting our values—always teaching, distracting, disappointing, and revealing us.

Girls Can Kiss Now is a fresh and intoxicating blend of personal stories, sharp observations, and laugh-out-loud humor. This timely collection of essays helps us make sense of our collective pop-culture past even as it points the way toward a joyous, uproarious, near—and very queer—future.

the cover of Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American

Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American by Laura Gao (Sapphic Graphic Memoir)

Messy Roots is a laugh-out-loud, heartfelt, and deeply engaging story of their journey to find themself–as an American, as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, as a queer person, and as a Wuhanese American in the middle of a pandemic.”—Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream

After spending her early years in Wuhan, China, riding water buffalos and devouring stinky tofu, Laura immigrates to Texas, where her hometown is as foreign as Mars—at least until 2020, when COVID-19 makes Wuhan a household name.

In Messy Roots, Laura illustrates her coming-of-age as the girl who simply wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why girls make her heart flutter.

Insightful, original, and hilarious, toggling seamlessly between past and present, China and America, Gao’s debut is a tour de force of graphic storytelling.

the cover of My Wandering Warrior Existence

My Wandering Warrior Existence by Nagata Kabi (Lesbian Manga Memoir)

The newest diary manga from the Harvey Award-winning creator of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness.

After attending a friend’s wedding, Nagata Kabi decides she wants one of her own. That’s not the only thing she wants—she longs to love and be loved. But she has three major problems: she has no partner, no dating experience, and her only sexual encounters are limited to a lesbian escort service. With the help of a photoshoot, a dating app, and more, the author embarks on a journey to seek the love and happiness she so desperately desires.

the cover of Flung Out of Space

Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith by Grace Ellis, Hannah Templer (Lesbian Graphic Nonfiction)

Flung Out of Space is both a love letter to the essential lesbian novel, The Price of Salt, and an examination of its notorious author, Patricia HighsmithVeteran comics creators Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer have teamed up to tell this story through Highsmith’s eyes—reimagining the events that inspired her to write the story that would become a foundational piece of queer literature. Flung Out of Space opens with Pat begrudgingly writing low-brow comics. A drinker, a smoker, and a hater of life, Pat knows she can do better. Her brain churns with images of the great novel she could and should be writing—what will eventually be Strangers on a Train— which would later be adapted into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951.
 
At the same time, Pat, a lesbian consumed with self-loathing, is in and out of conversion therapy, leaving a trail of sexual conquests and broken hearts in her wake. However, one of those very affairs and a chance encounter in a department store give Pat the idea for her soon-to-be beloved tale of homosexual love that was the first of its kind—it gave the lesbian protagonists a happy ending.
 
This is not just the story behind a classic queer book, but of a queer artist who was deeply flawed. It’s a comic about what it was like to write comics in the 1950s, but also about what it means to be a writer at any time in history, struggling to find your voice.
    
Author Grace Ellis contextualizes Patricia Highsmith as both an unintentional queer icon and a figure whose problematic views and noted anti-Semitism have cemented her controversial legacy. Highsmith’s life imitated her art with results as devastating as the plot twists that brought her fame and fortune.

General Nonfiction

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the cover of Lesbian Potentiality and Feminist Media in the 1970s

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New Sapphic Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

the covers of the book listed and the text Sapphic New Releases: Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week!

Mystery

The Verifiers by Jane Pek (Sapphic Mystery)

the cover of The Verifiers

Introducing Claudia Lin: a sharp-witted amateur sleuth for the 21st century. This debut novel follows Claudia as she verifies people’s online lives, and lies, for a dating detective agency in New York City. Until a client with an unusual request goes missing…

Claudia is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she’s just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency. 
 
A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she’s landed her ideal job. But when a client vanishes, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age.

Romance

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake (Bisexual and Lesbian Romance)

the cover of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
 
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
 
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to…

Beyond the Blue by TJ O’Shea (F/F Romance)

the cover of Beyond the Blue by TJ O'Shea

Numbers rule Dr. Mei Sharpe’s life. She has no husband, one friend, two daughters, and three random meetings with the same woman within four weeks. Once is chance, twice is coincidence, but upon the third meeting, even Mei in all her empirical rigidness must admit that perhaps the universe is giving her a nudge. A nudge that lands her directly in the path of Lieutenant Morgan Kelly—an affable, charming detective for the Sheriff Department’s brand-new cold case team working down the hall from Mei’s morgue.

More golden retriever than hard-boiled detective, Morgan is determined to pull the asocial widow out of her shell. As the icy scientist warms to her cheerful new friend, an irrepressible chemistry develops, and Mei begins to realize she’s perhaps a different number on the Kinsey scale than previously considered.

As Mei and Morgan struggle with guilt and grief, drama and desires, Mei finds her scientific austerity is no match for the universe and its nudges toward the startling revelation of what her heart really wants.

SFF/Horror/Speculative Fiction

Scorpica (The Five Queendoms #1) by G.R. Macallister (Sapphic Fantasy)

the cover of Scorpica

A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.

Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.

Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.

Sisters of the Forsaken Stars (Our Lady of Endless Worlds #2) by Lina Rather (Queer Science Fiction)

the cover of Sisters of the Forsaken Stars

“We lit the spark, maybe we should be here for the flames.”

Not long ago, Earth’s colonies and space stations threw off the yoke of planet Earth’s tyrannical rule. Decades later, trouble is brewing in the Four Systems, and Old Earth is flexing its power in a bid to regain control over its lost territories.

The Order of Saint Rita―whose mission is to provide aid and mercy to those in need―bore witness to and defied Central Governance’s atrocities on the remote planet Phyosonga III. The sisters have been running ever since, staying under the radar while still trying to honor their calling.

Despite the sisters’ secrecy, the story of their defiance is spreading like wildfire, spearheaded by a growing anti-Earth religious movement calling for revolution. Faced with staying silent or speaking up, the Order of Saint Rita must decide the role they will play―and what hand they will have―in reshaping the galaxy.

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist (Bisexual F/F Gothic)

the cover of Tripping Arcadia

Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept it—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description.

By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much—and who—she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.

The perfect next read for fans of Mexican GothicTripping Arcadia is a page-turning and shocking tale with an unforgettable protagonist that explores family legacy and inheritance, the sacrifices we must make to get by in today’s world, and the intoxicating, dangerous power of wealth.

Young Adult

Extasia by Claire Legrand (Sapphic YA Horror)

the cover of Extasia by Claire Legrand

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood–where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it. 

Graphic Novels

Monologue Woven For You, Vol. 1 by Syu Yasaka (Yuri Manga)

Monologue Woven For You, Vol. 1

A beautifully illustrated, full-color yuri love story at the intersection of two women’s conflicting passions.

Two women, one spotlight. Haruka has abandoned her dreams of the theater but finds herself still haunted by memories. Meanwhile, Nao chases her aspirations for the stage head-on, refusing to back down or let obstacles block her way.

After the lives of these two theater geeks cross, their aspirations will either form their friendship or fuel their rivalry. When romance sparks, which will prevail in the end: love…or the stage?

Poetry

Time Out of Time by Arleen Paré (Lesbian Poetry)

the cover of Time Out of Time

Award-winning poet Arleen Paré pays homage to the work of lesbian Syrian American poet Etel Adnan.

If books come from books, as David W. McFadden has claimed, then Time Out of Time is a clear example, arising, very deliberately as it does, out of Etel Adnan’s astonishing collection entitled Time. The poems in Time Out of Time are in love with the poems in Adnan’s Time and, it seems, Paré has fallen in love with Time’s author, Etel Adnan, the internationally renowned poet and painter—or perhaps it is that she has merely fallen in love with Adnan’s words. Paré’s poems mirror the form, the rhythm, the shape, the short, brief lines in her own spare missives that are the poems in Time. This mirroring increases the intensity of Time Out of Time, creating a rare intimacy in Paré’s collection. Paré’s work pays homage to Adnan’s work. Both collections pay homage to the world of the lesbian in the twenty-first century and to the world of the small poem. Using clear, crisp, well-defined language in visibly defined geometries, in “stanza after sweet-smelling stanza,” Paré attempts to examine the trials of this new century, the hush around the word lesbian, the hush of the world’s general collapse.

Nonfiction

Queer Data by Kevin Guyan (Queer Nonfiction)

the cover of Queer Data

Data has never mattered more. Our lives are increasingly shaped by it and how it is defined, collected and used. But who counts in the collection, analysis and application of data?

This important book is the first to look at queer data – defined as data relating to gender, sex, sexual orientation and trans identity/history. The author shows us how current data practices reflect an incomplete account of LGBTQ lives and helps us understand how data biases are used to delegitimise the everyday experiences of queer people.

Guyan demonstrates why it is important to understand, collect and analyse queer data, the benefits and challenges involved in doing so, and how we might better use queer data in our work. Arming us with the tools for action, this book shows how greater knowledge about queer identities is instrumental in informing decisions about resource allocation, changes to legislation, access to services, representation and visibility.

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