The Lesbrary is Looking for More Reviewers!

Do you love reading queer women books? Feel like talking about them at least once a month? Want to be buried in an insurmountable pile of free bi & lesbian ebooks? Join the Lesbrary!

We’re looking to add more reviewers to the Lesbrary team! You just have to commit to one review a month of any queer women book and in return you get forwarded all of the sapphic ebooks sent to us for possible review. You also get access to the Lesbrary Edelweiss and Netgalley accounts, where you can request not-yet-released queer titles.

I’m looking particularly for more reviewers of color, disabled reviewers, and trans reviewers, but anyone who regularly reads bi & lesbian books is welcome!

If you’re interested in joining the Lesbrary, send me an email at danikaellis at gmail with a sample of a book review you’ve written. (It doesn’t have to have been published/posted anywhere before.)  Please put “lesbrarian” or “lesbrary” in the subject line so I don’t lose your email!

We’d love to have you on board!

50 Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Month!

Collage of covers listed below and the text "Bi and Lesbian Books Out in October!"

Would you believe that more than 50 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! All blurbs are the publishers’.

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 Balance Tips by Joy Huang-Iris

Wu Goodson is a 25-year-old queer, multiracial woman who documents the identity journeys of other New Yorkers. She finds her videography work meaningful, but more importantly, it distracts her from investigating the challenges of her own life and keeps relationships at a distance.

When the family’s Taiwanese patriarch dies, Fay’s Asian grandmother moves to America; and Fay, her mother, and her aunt learn unsettling truths about their family and each other. They must decide to finally confront themselves, or let their pasts destroy everything each woman has dreamed of and worked for.

An unconventional story of an Asian-American matriarchy, The Balance Tips is a complex and moving literary exploration of Taiwanese-American female roles in family, sexual identity, racism, and the internal struggles fostered by Confucian patriarchy.

Dreaming Of You cover

Dreaming Of You by Melissa Lozada-Oliva (Queer Novel in Verse)

A macabre novel in verse of loss, longing, and identity crises following a poet who resurrects pop star Selena from the dead.

Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s Dreaming of You is an absurd yet heartfelt examination of celebrity worship.

A young Latinx poet grappling with loneliness and heartache decides one day to bring Tejano pop star Selena Quintanilla back to life. The séance kicks off an uncanny trip narrated by a Greek chorus of gossiping spirits as she journeys through a dead celebrity prom, encounters her shadow self, and performs karaoke in hell.

In visceral poems embodying millennial angst, paragraph-long conversations overheard at her local coffeeshop, and unhinged Twitter rants, Lozada-Oliva reveals an eerie, sometimes gruesome, yet moving love story.

Playfully morbid and profoundly candid, an interrogation of Latinidad, womanhood, obsession, and disillusionment, Dreaming of You grapples with the cost of being seen for your truest self.

The Days of Afrekete cover

The Days of Afrekete by Asali Solomon (Sapphic)

Liselle Belmont is having a dinner party.

It seems a strange occasion—her husband, Winn, has lost his bid for the state legislature—but what better way to thank key supporters than a feast? Liselle was never sure about her husband becoming a politician, never sure about the limelight, never sure about the life of fundraising and stump speeches. Then an FBI agent calls to warn her that Winn might be facing corruption charges. An avalanche of questions tumbles around her: Is it possible he’s guilty? Who are they to each other; who have they become? How much of herself has she lost—and was it worth it? And just this minute, how will she make it through this dinner party?

Across town, Selena Octave is making her way through the same day, the same way she always does—one foot in front of the other, keeping quiet and focused, trying not to see the terrors all around her. Homelessness, starving children, the very living horrors of history that made America possible: these and other thoughts have made it difficult for her to live an easy life. The only time she was ever really happy was with Liselle, back in college. But they’ve lost touch, so much so that when they ran into each other at a drugstore just after Obama was elected president, they barely spoke. But as the day wears on, memories of Liselle begin to shift Selena’s path.

Inspired by Mrs. Dalloway and Sula, as well as Audre Lorde’s Zami, Asali Solomon’s The Days of Afrekete is a deft, expertly layered, naturally funny, and deeply human examination of two women coming back to themselves at midlife. It is a watchful celebration of our choices and where they take us, the people who change us, and how we can reimagine ourselves even when our lives seem set.

Sisters of the Great War cover

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman (Sapphic Historical Fiction)

Inspired by real women, this powerful novel tells the story of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I

August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort—Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.

Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war’s harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come.

Illuminating the critical role women played in the Great War, this is a remarkable story of resilience, sacrifice and the bonds that can never be vanquished.

The Throwback List cover
The Secrets of Willowra cover
Breaking Points cover
Personal Attention Roleplay cover

Romance

Meet Me in Madrid cover

Meet Me in Madrid by Verity Lowell (F/F)

In this sexy, sophisticated romantic comedy, two women juggle romance and career across continents.

Charlotte Hilaire has a love-hate relationship with her work as a museum courier. On the one hand, it takes her around the world. On the other, her plan to become a professor is veering dangerously off track.

Yet once in a while, maybe every third trip or so, the job goes delightfully sideways…

When a blizzard strands Charlotte in Spain for a few extra days and she’s left with glorious free time on her hands, the only question is: Dare she invite her grad school crush for an after-dinner drink on a snowy night?

Accomplished, take-no-prisoners art historian Adrianna Coates has built an enviable career since Charlotte saw her last. She’s brilliant. Sophisticated. Impressive as hell and strikingly beautiful.

Hospitable, too, as she absolutely insists Charlotte spend the night on her pullout sofa as the storm rages on.

One night becomes three and three nights become a hot and adventurous long-distance relationship when Charlotte returns to the States. But when Adrianna plots her next career move just as Charlotte finally opens a door in academia, distance may not be the only thing that keeps them apart.

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower cover

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower (The Wild Wynchesters Book 2) by Erica Ridley (F/F Historical Romance)

Fans of Bridgerton will love this “delightful” Regency romp (Julia QuinnNew York Times bestselling author​) in which a proper Society miss recruits a very improper lady investigator in a quest for vengeance, only to find love instead.

As a master of disguise, Thomasina Wynchester can be a polite young lady—or a bawdy old man. She’ll do whatever it takes to solve the cases her family takes on. But when Tommy’s beautiful new client turns out to be the highborn lady she’s secretly smitten with, more than her mission is at stake . . .

Bluestocking Miss Philippa York doesn’t believe in love. Her heart didn’t pitter-patter when she was betrothed to a duke, nor did it break when he married someone else. All Philippa desires is to decode a centuries-old manuscript to keep a modern-day villain from claiming credit for work that wasn’t his. She hates that she needs a man’s help to do it—so she’s delighted to discover the clever, charming baron at her side is in fact a woman. But as she and Tommy grow closer and the stakes of their discovery higher, more than just their hearts are at risk.

Just One Wedding cover
Can’t Leave Love cover
Protecting the Lady cover
Love’s Compromise cover
Of Trust & Heart cover

Mystery/Thrillers

What’s the Matter with Mary Jane cover
Free Fall at Angel Creek cover
Veterinary Surgeon cover
Investigating Helen cover
Trial by Fire cover

Horror

Nothing But Blackened Teeth cover

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw (Bisexual)

Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth is a gorgeously creepy haunted house tale, steeped in Japanese folklore and full of devastating twists.

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.

It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding.

A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested.

But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.

Effortlessly turning the classic haunted house story on its head, Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a sharp and devastating exploration of grief, the parasitic nature of relationships, and the consequences of our actions.

The Gold Persimmon cover

The Gold Persimmon by Lindsay Merbaum (Sapphic and Nonbinary Horror)

Clytemnestra is a check-in girl at The Gold Persimmon, a temple-like New York City hotel with gilded furnishings and carefully guarded secrets. Cloistered in her own reality, Cly lives by a strict set of rules until a connection with a troubled hotel guest threatens the world she’s so carefully constructed.

In a parallel reality, an inexplicable fog envelops the city, trapping a young, nonbinary writer named Jaime in a sex hotel with six other people. As the survivors begin to turn on one another, Jaime must navigate a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Haunted by specters of grief and familial shame, Jaime and Cly find themselves trapped in dual narratives in this gripping experimental novel that explores sexuality, surveillance, and the very nature of storytelling.

Flowers for the Sea cover

Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn (Sapphic)

Flowers for the Sea is a dark, dazzling debut novella that reads like Rosemary’s Baby by way of Octavia E. Butler

We are a people who do not forget.

Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous beasts circle. Their fangs are sharp.

Among the refugees is Iraxi: ostracized, despised, and a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.

Zin E. Rocklyn’s extraordinary debut is a lush, gothic fantasy about the prices we pay and the vengeance we seek.

Fantasy

Payback’s a Witch cover

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper (Bisexual F/F)

Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one—in part because she hasn’t been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams.

But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She’s determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.

On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov—an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts—who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in?

But most concerning of all: Why can’t she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?

A Spindle Splintered cover

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow (Sapphic Fantasy)

USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow’s A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story. Featuring Arthur Rackham’s original illustrations for The Sleeping Beauty, fractured and reimagined.

“A vivid, subversive and feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, where implacable destiny is no match for courage, sisterhood, stubbornness and a good working knowledge of fairy tales.” —Katherine Arden

It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no-one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

Goddess of Limbo cover
Turbulent Waves cover
Blood of the Chosen cover
The Fox’s Tower and Other Tales cover
Not All a Dream cover

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

Abbott 1973 cover

Abbott 1973 by Saladin Ahmed & Sami Kivelä (Bisexual Fantasy Graphic Novel)

Elena Abbott is one of Detroit’s toughest reporters, who must now exhaust all her abilities as a reporter and a supernatural savior to rescue Detroit from dark forces trying to corrupt the city’s most important election—but at what cost to her own life?

A WAR FOR THE SOUL OF DETROIT. Elena Abbott is one of Detroit’s toughest reporters—and after defeating the dark forces that murdered her husband, she’s focused on the most important election in the city’s history. But when someone uses dark magic to sabotage the campaign of the prospective first Black mayor of Detroit, it becomes clear to Abbott that the supernatural conspiracy in her city is even greater than she ever imagined. Now Abbott must exhaust all her abilities as a reporter and a supernatural savior to rescue Detroit—but at what cost to her own life?

Miles Morales: Spider-Man mastermind & Eisner Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed and acclaimed Machine Gun Wizards artist Sami Kivelä return to the Hugo Award-nominated world of Abbott, as the eponymous unstoppable reporter tackles a new corruption taking over Detroit in 1973 and the supernatural threat behind it.

Young Adult

YA Fantasy

That Dark Infinity cover

That Dark Infinity by Kate Pentecost (Bisexual)

An immortal monster hunter and a royal handmaiden embark on an epic journey to change their fates in this soul-stirring young adult fantasy novel for fans of The Witcher and The Last Unicorn.

By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary—the most fearsome sword for hire in all of the Five Lands, and its most abiding mystery. But when the sun rises, a dark magic leaves him no more than bones. Cursed with this cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the final rest that has been prophesied for him, no matter the cost.

When the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, handmaiden to the royal family, is assaulted and left for dead. Wounded, heartbroken, and the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to be reunited with the princess she served and loved. She and the Ankou make a deal: He will help Flora find her princess, and train Flora in combat, in exchange for her aid in breaking his curse. But it isn’t easy to kill an immortal, especially when their bond begins to deepen into something more . . .

Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, and race against time in this fantasy novel about sacrifice, love, and healing by Elysium Girls author Kate Pentecost.

I am the Ghost in Your House cover

I am the Ghost in Your House by Maria Romasco-Moore (Bisexual)

Pie is the ghost in your house.
She is not dead, she is invisible.
The way she looks changes depending on what is behind her. A girl of glass. A girl who is a window. If she stands in front of floral wallpaper she is full of roses.
For Pie’s entire life it’s been Pie and her mother. Just the two of them, traveling across America. They have slept in trains, in mattress stores, and on the bare ground. They have probably slept in your house.
But Pie is lonely. And now, at seventeen, her mother’s given her a gift. The choice of the next city they will go to. And Pie knows exactly where she wants to go. Pittsburgh—where she fell in love with a girl who she plans to find once again. And this time she will reveal herself.
Only how can anyone love an invisible girl?
 
A magnificent story of love, and friendship, and learning to see yourself in a world based on appearances, I Am the Ghost in Your House is a brilliant reflection on the importance of how much more there is to our world than what meets the eye.

The Quicksilver Court cover
Tink and Wendy cover

YA Sci Fi

Thronebreakers
City of Shattered Light

YA Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall cover

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall & Lisa Sterle (Sapphic YA Fantasy Graphic Novel)

Pretty Little Liars meets Teen Wolf in this sharply funny, and patriarchy-smashing graphic novel from author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and artist Lisa Sterle. When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either.

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But then things get complicated. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure, their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—and Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.

Lisa Sterle’s stylish illustrations paired with Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sharp writing make Squad a fierce, haunting, and fast-paced thriller that will resonate with fans of Riverdale, and with readers of This Savage SongLumberjanes, and Paper Girls

Still Stace cover

YA Memoirs & Nonfiction

On Top of Glass cover

On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating by Karina Manta (Bisexual YA Memoir)

An insightful memoir from a figure skating champion about her life as a bisexual professional athlete, perfect for readers of Fierce by Aly Raisman and Forward by Abby Wambach.

Karina Manta has had a busy few years: Not only did she capture the hearts of many with her fan-favorite performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, she also became the first female figure skater on Team USA to come out as queer. Her Modern Love essay “I Can’t Hate My Body if I Love Hers” was published in the New York Times, and then she joined the circus–Cirque du Soleil’s on-ice show, AXEL.

Karina’s memoir covers these experiences and much more. Attending a high school with 4,000 students, you’d expect to know more than two openly gay students, but Karina didn’t meet an out-lesbian until she was nearly seventeen–let alone any other kind of queer woman. But this isn’t just a story about her queerness. It’s also a story about her struggle with body image in a sport that prizes delicate femininity. It’s a story about panic attacks, and first crushes, and all the crushes that followed, and it’s a story about growing up, feeling different than everybody around her and then realizing that everyone else felt different too.

Children

Middle Grade

This is Our Rainbow cover

This is Our Rainbow edited by Katherine Locke & Nicole Melleby (LGBTQ Middle Grade Anthology)

The first LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by authors like Justina Ireland, Marieke Nijkamp, Alex Gino, and more!

A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true–but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out.

From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.

Nonfiction

Memoirs & Essays

Greedy cover

Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston

A hilarious and whip-smart collection of essays, offering an intimate look at bisexuality, gender, and, of course, sex. Perfect for fans of Lindy West, Samantha Irby, and Rebecca Solnit—and anyone who wants, and deserves, to be seen.

If Jen Winston knows one thing for sure, it’s that she’s bisexual. Or wait—maybe she isn’t? Actually, she definitely is. Unless…she’s not?

Jen’s provocative, laugh-out-loud debut takes us inside her journey of self-discovery, leading us through stories of a childhood “girl crush,” an onerous quest to have a threesome, and an enduring fear of being bad at sex. Greedy follows Jen’s attempts to make sense of herself as she explores the role of the male gaze, what it means to be “queer enough,” and how to overcome bi stereotypes when you’re the posterchild for all of them: greedy, slutty, and constantly confused.

With her clever voice and clear-eyed insight, Jen draws on personal experiences with sexism and biphobia to understand how we all can and must do better. She sheds light on the reasons women, queer people, and other marginalized groups tend to make ourselves smaller, provoking the question: What would happen if we suddenly stopped?​​

Greedy shows us that being bisexual is about so much more than who you’re sleeping with—it’s about finding stability in a state of flux and defining yourself on your own terms. This book inspires us to rethink the world as we know it, reminding us that Greedy was a superpower all along.

Any Kind of Luck at All cover
The One You Want to Marry cover
Being Seen cover
Bee Reaved

Other Nonfiction

The Care We Dream Of cover
Ink Earl cover

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!

The Lesbrary Was Featured in Breathe Magazine as “Destination Book Blog”!

In the latest issue of Breathe Magazine, a UK publication, they featured the Lesbrary as a “destination book blog”! How cool!

A page from Breathe Magazine listing 5 destination book blogs

This is the second magazine (that I know of) that’s featured the Lesbrary! Diva Magazine, a queer women and non-binary UK publication, featured us a few years back. It’s validating to see this ephemeral internet space make it into print!

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

Sapphic New Releases banner

If you’re a fan of historical fiction or romance, this week of new releases is for you! Even the literary fiction picks all have a historical element. And if you like romance AND historical fiction, then don’t miss the historical romance section. For more new sapphic releases, also check out 50 Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Month: June 1st was the big release day this month, so most of those are already out and waiting for you to pick them!

Literary Fiction

The Ophelia Girls by Jane Healey

The Ophelia Girls cover

A mother’s secret past and her daughter’s present collide in this richly atmospheric novel from the acclaimed author of The Animals at Lockwood Manor.

In the summer of 1973, Ruth and her four friends were obsessed with pre-Raphaelite paintings—and a little bit obsessed with each other. Drawn to the cold depths of the river by Ruth’s house, the girls pretend to be the drowning Ophelia, with increasingly elaborate tableaus. But by the end of that fateful summer, real tragedy finds them along the banks.

Twenty-four years later, Ruth returns to the suffocating, once grand house she grew up in, the mother of young twins and seventeen-year-old Maeve. Joining the family in the country is Stuart, Ruth’s childhood friend, who is quietly insinuating himself into their lives and gives Maeve the attention she longs for. She is recently in remission, unsure of her place in the world now that she is cancer-free. Her parents just want her to be an ordinary teenage girl. But what teenage girl is ordinary?

Alternating between the two fateful summers, The Ophelia Girls is a suspense-filled exploration of mothers and daughters, illicit desire, and the perils and power of being a young woman. 

(Lesbian main character)

In the Field by Rachel Pastan

In the Field cover

In 1920, having persuaded her resistant mother to send her to college, Kate Croft falls in love with science. Painfully rebuffed by a girl she longs for, and in flight from her own confusing sexuality, Kate finds refuge in the calm rationality of biology: its vision of a deeply interconnected world, and the promise that the new field of genetics can explain the way people are.

But science, too, turns out to be marred by human weakness. Despite her hard work and extraordinary gifts, Kate struggles, facing discrimination, competition, and scientific theft. At the same time, a love affair is threatened by Kate’s obsession with figuring out the meaning of the puzzling changes she sees in her experiments. The novel explores what it takes to triumph in the ruthless world of mid-20th-century genetics, following Kate as she decides what she is—and is not—willing to sacrifice to succeed.

(Sapphic main character)

Thriller

Quiet Village by Eden Darry (F/F Thriller)

Quiet Village by Eden Darry

When her sister dies, Collie Noonan gets custody of her ten-year-old niece. Hoping for a fresh start, they move to a small village on the outskirts of Suffolk. But in Hyam all is not as it seems. The locals are verging on hostile, and all the local shop seems to stock is meat – a problem for Collie’s vegetarian niece.

Emily Lassiter is also new to the village, and Collie is drawn to the mysterious schoolteacher. Unknown to Collie, Emily is an undercover reporter looking into the disappearance of her brother. He warned her something was wrong in Hyam. Something was watching him. Emily believes the answers lie in the village, and she’ll do whatever it takes to discover the truth.

But something not quite human is stalking Collie and her niece. It’s coming for them all, and they’ll need to work together if any of them want to get out of Hyam alive.

Romance

Shaken or Stirred by Georgia Beers

Shaken or Stirred by Georgia Beers cover

The only girl in a house of boys, Julia Martini worked extra hard to get noticed. That has made her business-minded and driven, and she’s determined to turn her family’s struggling bar around. Simple. All she has to do is remodel, re-staff, and rebrand the place, work insane hours and ignore the sexy blonde who comes in to…she’s flirting, right? ’Cause Julia’s rusty and has zero time for dating, even if their chemistry is off-the-charts steamy.

Savannah McNally’s needs always come last. A caretaker by trade, she also takes care of her widowed dad, her brother, her sister, and everybody else on the planet, it seems. When her dad finally starts dating, Savannah can focus on her own life for once―her career, her house, maybe even that super-hot bartender at Martini’s who has her thinking naughty thoughts.

When family feuds are exposed and a popular blog trashes the bar, the weight of business decisions, family loyalty, and life in general may outweigh their attraction that could lead to more.

Never Be The Same by MA Binfield

Never Be The Same by MA Binfield cover

They say opposites attract. They aren’t kidding.

When Casey meets Olivia—the actress she’s driving around for two weeks—she figures it’s going to be all business. Sure, Olivia’s hot and has women throwing themselves at her feet, but Casey is only interested in making the money she needs before going back to Portland. London is full of painful memories, and anyway, perfectly put together celebrities are not really her thing.

Olivia loves being “Susie,” her TV alter ego. She’s sassy, sexy, and never short of admirers, but living her life in the public eye is taking its toll. When her new driver turns out to be tall, dark, and undeniably handsome, Olivia is intrigued. But Casey seems like she has something to hide, and the last thing Olivia needs is someone she can’t trust.

The Marriage Masquerade by Toni Logan

The Marriage Masquerade by Toni Logan cover

Taylor Braxton needs to get married, then divorced, with no strings attached.

Taylor, a physical trainer, has just inherited her grandfather’s B&B on Maui, but there’s a catch. She can’t have the deed until the day after her one-year wedding anniversary. She’d rather stick a fork in her eye than get hitched, but the B&B is a dream come true. So all she has to do is find a woman who will agree to fake a marriage. How hard can it be?

Jayden Wheaton could use a year in paradise to help her recovery. After a crippling accident, she hires Taylor in the hope of gaining back some mobility. When Taylor casually mentions her dilemma, Jayden jumps at the chance, hoping the warm island temperatures will help with her chronic pain. A marriage masquerade in exchange for a year in Paradise? Yes, please. After all, it’s not like either of them are looking for romance, so there’s zero chance of their feelings complicating the arrangement. Right?

Calumet by Ali Vali

Calumet by Ali Vali cover

Jaxon Lavigne left the small town of Chackbay, Louisiana, to escape disapproving parents and has never looked back. She’s now a popular English lit professor. Life is good. Really. The only problem is the invite in her mailbox. Who in their right mind has a fifteen-year high school reunion?

Iris Long’s days are predictable. She did the safe thing and married the high school quarterback. While her life isn’t a grand love affair, it’s comfortable, and as the secretary at the local high school, she can see her daughter and son throughout the day. Her family is great, but Iris longs for the one person she can’t have.

Jaxon comes back to town amid gossip that started sixteen years earlier and never really died down. After crushing on Iris in high school, seeing her again is a welcome surprise. But it’s Iris’s daughter, Sean, whose dark hair, blue eyes, and brilliant mind are startlingly like Jaxon’s own who exposes scars from small town secrets.

Jaxon has been kept in the dark by those she loves most, including Iris. But when the truth is finally revealed, will she leave for good?

Historical Romance

The Breath Between Waves by Charlotte Anne Hamilton

The Breath Between Waves by Charlotte Anne Hamilton cover

Penelope Fletcher gave up everything to board the RMS Titanic.

Forced to travel to America for her father’s new job, Penelope left her home in Scotland, her beloved grandmother, and even her girlfriend, who promptly got engaged to someone else. Heartbroken, Penelope isn’t looking forward to the weeklong journey. Or that her parents want her to find a husband in America. To make matters worse, she also has to share a cabin with a complete stranger.

Ruby Cole, her spunky Irish roommate, is unlike anyone Penelope ever met. They become fast friends as they bond over crushing family expectations and sneaking into lush parties together. That Ruby likes women, too, comes as a surprise to Penelope, but she knows their affair can only be temporary. Because as soon as the Titanic arrives in New York, Penelope will have to marry someone of her father’s choosing.

Before long, though, they’ll both have to decide what–and who–is really worth fighting for.

​​Her Countess to Cherish by Jane Walsh

​​Her Countess to Cherish by Jane Walsh cover

Miss Beatrice Everson has managed to marry the Earl of Sinclair, solving her family’s disastrous financial problems for good. She should be the happiest woman in London, but a less than satisfactory wedding night has Beatrice fleeing her husband and planning an affair with the dashing Mr. George Smith.

Lady Georgina Smith has a secret she must keep at all costs: she divides her time running a bluestocking salon as Gina, and carousing across London as George. Captivated by Beatrice’s wit and charm, Georgina realizes that her secret is in danger—along with her heart.

When Beatrice discovers that her wedding night has resulted in an unexpected pregnancy, she sees an opportunity to have it all by divorcing Sinclair and marrying George. However, Georgina isn’t sure that a lifetime spent as a man is staying true to herself. Beatrice and Georgina must risk giving up their secrets to finally have their heart’s desire. But is the risk too great to take?

(Bigender main character with a female love interest)

​Historical Fiction

The Fiend in the Fog by Jess Faraday

The Fiend in the Fog cover

1885, East London

Abigail and Gideon are under siege. Noxious fogs have been bringing their clinic waves of indigent patients with inexplicable symptoms, telling wild tales of a demonic presence in the fog. If that’s not enough, someone wants the clinic for themselves, and they’re using the force of law to get it.

On the other side of town, heiress Meg Eisenstadt and her brother Nat live a life of well-intentioned aimless luxury. She dabbles in social justice causes and he pursues alchemy. And in a secret lab in the depths of Whitechapel, disgraced physician Jin Wylie attempts to rebuild his shattered life by performing dubious research for a shadowy cabal.

They live in separate worlds on different trajectories until the mysterious fiend in the fog brings them together.

Abigail and Meg discover a shared passion for social justice, and for one another. But where does that leave her plans with Gideon? And what of the future of the clinic? Gideon has his own monster. Can he keep it in check without Abigail’s constant presence? Does Dr. Wylie’s research hold the solution to Gideon’s problems, or is it the cause of them? And could Nat’s own dabblings be the key to defeating the vicious killer in the fog?

(F/F)

The Fog of War by A. L. Lester

The Fog of War by A. L. Lester cover

The quiet village of Bradfield should offer Dr Sylvia Marks the refuge she seeks when she returns home from her time in a field hospital in France in 1918. However, she is still haunted by the disappearance of her lover, ambulance driver Anna Masters, two years previously. Settling back in as the village doctor alone in her large family house is more difficult than she realised it would be after the excitement of front-line medicine. Then curious events at a local farm, mysterious lights, and a hallucinating patient’s strange illness make her revisit her assessment of Anna’s death on the battlefield.

Lucille Hall-Bridges is at a loose end now her nursing work is finished. Her Mama and Papa are perfectly happy for her to pursue any or no career or social round; but she felt useful as a nurse and now she really doesn’t know what to do with her life. She hopes going to stay with her friend Sylvia for a while will help her find a way forward. And if that involves staying at Bradfield with Sylvia … then that’s fine with her.

But Sylvia is still focused on finding out what happened to her very good friend Anna three years ago; and the unbelievable events at a local farm over the course of the last year don’t seem to have helped her let that go.

Will the arrival of Lucy in Bradfield be the catalyst that allows both women to put their wartime stresses to rest? Can Sylvia move on from her love affair with Anna and find happiness again with Lucy, or is she still too entwined in the unresolved endings of the past?

NOTE: This story contains mention of domestic violence that happens to side characters off-screen.

(F/F)

Fantasy

Windfall by Shawna Barnett

Windfall by Shawna Barnett cover

Captain Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fights. She fights the King’s Navy. She fights to balance power in oppressive Vioria. She fights for respect as a female, bisexual, pirate captain. But she’s losing her biggest fight: to escape her secret past as a lost Princess.

With a mysterious letter and a stranger threatening to expose her, Liana is blackmailed into attending a royal ball and protecting her counterpart, sheltered Princess Rhian. The pretenses are suspicious enough, but Liana takes the risk in hopes to finally unveil the magic plot that killed her parents and forced her into hiding.

When Liana encounters Rhian’s own lightning-wielding powers, the ball erupts in violence. The sheltered princess falls into the care of Liana—and her band of pirates. On the run, the only safe haven for the Windfall crew to hide is the most-dangerous place of all: under the thumb of Liana’s narcissistic, abusive brother-in-law.

In order to protect her crew, her family, and naïve Rhian, Liana must demand sacrifices from herself and the people she loves. Her choices will make powerful enemies; good thing Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fighting those.

(Bisexual main character)

YA Fantasy

The Sisters of Reckoning (The Good Luck Girls #2) by Charlotte Nicole Davis

The Sisters of Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole Davis cover

The blockbuster sequel to Charlotte Nicole Davis’s alternate Old West-set fantasy adventure.

The Good Luck Girls are free. Aster’s sister and friends have new lives across the border in Ferron, while Aster remains in Arketta, helping more girls escape. But news of a new welcome house opening fills Aster with a need to do more than just help individual girls. And an unexpected reunion gives her an idea of how to do it. From there, grows a wildly ambitious plan to free all dustbloods, who live as prisoners to Arketta’s landmasters and debt slavery.

When Clementine and the others return from Ferron, they become the heart of a vibrant group of fearless fighters, working to unite the various underclasses and convince them to join in the fight. Along the way, friendships will be forged, lives will be lost, and love will take root even in the harshest of circumstances, between the most unexpected of lovers.

But will Arketta’s dustbloods finally come into power and freedom, or will the resistance just open them up to a new sort of danger?

(Bisexual main character)

Graphic Novels

Work for a Million: The Graphic Novel by Amanda Deiber, Eve Zaremba, and Selena Goulding

Work for a Million cover

Tightly plotted and razor sharp, Work for a Million is hard-boiled detective noir stunningly rendered against a 1970s urban backdrop.

When Helen Keremos, Private Detective, is hired by a beautiful recording artist who has just won a million dollar lottery prize, her plan for a quiet life on the West Coast is quickly diverted. Helen is fiercely loyal, an independent woman whose magnetic personality and storied career make her the city’s premier private eye, suspicious of all stereotypes and not afraid to bend the rules. Rising star Sonia Deerfield has been receiving blackmail threats from an anonymous caller, and though she is surrounded by her keenly invested business team of “friends,” Helen wonders how trustworthy they really are. As the stakes get higher and attempts are made on their lives, the two women are drawn closer together through the twists and turns of the blackmailer’s dangerous pursuit–and their chemistry is no mystery.

In 1978 Eve Zaremba introduced detective Helen Keremos to readers in a pulp fiction series. The 1987 instalment of the series, Work for a Million, featured the first openly lesbian detective in genre fiction. The novel was adapted into a graphic novel in 2019 by television and comic book writer Amanda Deibert, and will be published more than forty years after readers fell in love with Helen Keremos and Eve Zaremba.

Vivid historical research into Toronto of the late-1970s and a dazzling cast of familiars and foes are brought to life on the page by Canadian artist Selena Goulding in a mixture of full colour and black and white illustrations.

Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier, illustrated by Val Wise (YA Graphic Novel)

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms cover

A sweet, queer teen romance perfect for fans of Heartstopper and Check, Please!

Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications.

Her former friend BeBe is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition.

Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them. 

If you like what we do here and want to see more of it, support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!

August 2021 New Releases: 50 Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Month!

Collage of covers listed below with the text "Bi and Lesbian Books Out in July!"

Would you believe that more than 50 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!

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

Radiant Fugitives cover

Radiant Fugitives by Nawaaz Ahmed

A dazzling, operatic debut novel following three generations of a Muslim Indian family confronted with a nation on the brink of change.

Working as a consultant for Kamala Harris’s attorney general campaign in Obama-era San Francisco, Seema has constructed a successful life for herself in the West, despite still struggling with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the Black father of her unborn son, Seema seeks solace in the company of those she once thought lost to her: her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, a doctor living in Texas with her husband and children. 

But instead of a joyful reconciliation anticipating the birth of a child, the events of this fateful week unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love—a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself.

Told from the point of view of Seema’s child at the moment of his birth, and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats and verses from the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is a moving tale of a family and a country grappling with acceptance, forgiveness, and enduring love.

The Ophelia Girls cover

The Ophelia Girls by Jane Healey

A mother’s secret past and her daughter’s present collide in this richly atmospheric novel from the acclaimed author of The Animals at Lockwood Manor.

In the summer of 1973, Ruth and her four friends were obsessed with pre-Raphaelite paintings—and a little bit obsessed with each other. Drawn to the cold depths of the river by Ruth’s house, the girls pretend to be the drowning Ophelia, with increasingly elaborate tableaus. But by the end of that fateful summer, real tragedy finds them along the banks.

Twenty-four years later, Ruth returns to the suffocating, once grand house she grew up in, the mother of young twins and seventeen-year-old Maeve. Joining the family in the country is Stuart, Ruth’s childhood friend, who is quietly insinuating himself into their lives and gives Maeve the attention she longs for. She is recently in remission, unsure of her place in the world now that she is cancer-free. Her parents just want her to be an ordinary teenage girl. But what teenage girl is ordinary?

Alternating between the two fateful summers, The Ophelia Girls is a suspense-filled exploration of mothers and daughters, illicit desire, and the perils and power of being a young woman. 

(Lesbian main character)

All Are Welcome cover

All Are Welcome by Liz Parker

A darkly funny novel from a fresh new voice in fiction about brides, lovers, friends, and family, and all the secrets that come with them.

Tiny McAllister never thought she’d get married. Not because she didn’t want to, but because she didn’t think girls from Connecticut married other girls. Yet here she is with Caroline, the love of her life, at their destination wedding on the Bermuda coast. In attendance—their respective families and a few choice friends. The conflict-phobic Tiny hopes for a beautiful weekend with her bride-to-be. But as the weekend unfolds, it starts to feel like there’s a skeleton in every closet of the resort.

From Tiny’s family members, who find the world is changing at an uncomfortable speed, to Caroline’s parents, who are engaged in conspiratorial whispers, to their friends, who packed secrets of their own—nobody seems entirely forthcoming. Not to mention the conspicuous no-show and a tempting visit from the past. What the celebration really needs now is a monsoon to help stir up all the long-held secrets, simmering discontent, and hidden agendas.

All Tiny wanted was to get married, but if she can make it through this squall of a wedding, she might just leave with more than a wife.

Fresh by Margot Wood cover

Fresh by Margot Wood (New Adult)

A hilarious and vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new experience–and missteps–of a girl’s freshman year of college

Some students enter their freshman year of college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. Elliot McHugh is not one of those people. But picking a major is the last thing on Elliot’s mind when she’s too busy experiencing all that college has to offer–from dancing all night at off-campus parties, to testing her RA Rose’s patience, to making new friends, to having the best sex one can have on a twin-sized dorm room bed. But she may not be ready for the fallout when reality hits. When the sex she’s having isn’t that great. When finals creep up and smack her right in the face. Or when her roommate’s boyfriend turns out to be the biggest a-hole. Elliot may make epic mistakes, but if she’s honest with herself (and with you, dear reader), she may just find the person she wants to be. And maybe even fall in love in the process . . . Well, maybe.

(Check out the Lesbrary review of Fresh!)

On Home by Becca Spence Dobias cover
In the Field cover

Historical Fiction

The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert cover

The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert

A Gentleman in Moscow meets “Moulin Rouge” in this stylish, sexy page-turner set in Paris on the eve of World War II, where Clementine, a queer American ex-pat and notorious thief, is drawn out of retirement and into one last scam when the Nazis invade.

Clementine is a seventy-two year-old reformed con artist with a penchant for impeccably tailored suits. Her life of crime has led her from the uber-wealthy perfume junkies of belle epoque Manhattan, to the scented butterflies of Costa Rica, to the spice markets of Marrakech, and finally the bordellos of Paris, where she settles down in 1930 and opens a shop bottling her favorite extracts for the ladies of the cabarets.

Now it’s 1941 and Clem’s favorite haunt, Madame Boulette’s, is crawling with Nazis, while Clem’s people–the outsiders, the artists, and the hustlers who used to call it home–are disappearing. Clem’s first instinct is to go to ground–it’s a frigid Paris winter and she’s too old to put up a fight. But when the cabaret’s prize songbird, Zoe St. Angel, recruits Clem to steal the recipe book of a now-missing famous Parisian perfumer, she can’t say no. Her mark is Oskar Voss, a Francophile Nazi bureaucrat, who wants the book and Clem’s expertise to himself. Hoping to buy the time and trust she needs to pull off her scheme, Clem settles on a novel strategy: Telling Voss the truth about the life and loves she came to Paris to escape. 

Complete with romance, espionage, champagne towers, and haute couture, this full-tilt sensory experience is a dazzling portrait of the underground resistance of twentieth-century Paris and a passionate love letter to the power of beauty and community in the face of insidious hate.

The Fiend in the Fog cover
The Fog of War by A. L. Lester cover

Romance

I Kissed a Girl by Jennet Alexander cover

I Kissed a Girl by Jennet Alexander (F/F)

Can an up-and-coming horror actress and the makeup artist for her newest “creature feature” turn on-set chemistry into the romance of a lifetime?

Lilah Silver’s a young actress who dreams of climbing out of B-list stardom. She’s been cast as the lead in what could be her breakout performance…but if she wants to prove herself to everyone who ever doubted her, she’s going to need major help along the way.

Noa Birnbaum may be a brilliant makeup artist and special effects whiz-kid, but cracking into the union is more difficult than she imagined. Keeping everyone happy is a full-time job, and she’s already run ragged. And yet when the beautiful star she’s been secretly crushing on admits to fears of her own, Noa vows to do everything in her power to help Lilah shine like never before.

Long hours? Exhausting work? No problem. Together they can take the world by storm…but can the connection forged over long hours in the makeup chair ever hope to survive the glare of the spotlight?

(Check out the Lesbrary review!)

Shaken or Stirred by Georgia Beers cover
Never Be The Same by MA Binfield cover
The Commitment by Virginia Hale cover
Looking for Trouble by Jess Lea cover
Sips of Her by Karmen Lee cover
The Marriage Masquerade by Toni Logan cover
You'll Be Fine by Jen Michalski cover
Love in the Limelight by Ashley Moore cover
Fake It by Lily Seabrooke cover
Learning Curves Omnibus by Ceillie Simkiss cover
Love Burns by Adrian J. Smith cover
Calumet by Ali Vali cover
Late City Summer by Jeanette Bears cover
The Breath Between Waves by Charlotte Anne Hamilton cover
​​Her Countess to Cherish by Jane Walsh cover

Mystery/Thrillers

The Origins of Iris by Beth Lewis cover

The Origins of Iris by Beth Lewis (Thriller)

“I opened my eyes and the woman wearing my face opened hers at the same time.”

Iris flees New York City, and her abusive wife Claude, for the Catskill Mountains. When she was a child, Iris and her father found solace in the beauty and wilderness of the forest; now, years later, Iris has returned for time and space to clear her head, and to come to terms with the mistakes that have led her here. But what Iris doesn’t expect in her journey of survival and self-discovery is to find herself–literally.

Trapped in a neglected cabin deep in the mountains, Iris is grudgingly forced to come face to face with a seemingly prettier, happier and better version of herself. Other Iris made different choices in life and love. But is she all she seems? Can she be trusted? What is she hiding?

As a storm encroaches, threatening both their lives, time is running out for them to discover why they have been brought together, and what it means for their futures.

An important, searing novel about one woman’s journey in fleeing an abusive relationship and confronting the secrets of her past.

Quiet Village by Eden Darry
Talented Amateur by Maryn Scott

Fantasy

The Thousand Eyes cover

The Thousand Eyes (The Serpent Gates #2) by A. K. Larkwood

The sequel to A. K. Larkwood’s stunning debut fantasy, The Unspoken NameThe Thousand Eyes continues The Serpent Gates series—perfect for fans of Jenn Lyons, Joe Abercrombie, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Two years ago, Csorwe and Shuthmili risked the anger of the wizard Belthandros Sethennai to gain their freedom. Now, they make their living exploring relic worlds of the ancient serpent empire of Echentyr. They think they’re prepared for anything—but when one of their expeditions releases an Echentyri soldier who has slept undisturbed since the fall of her homeland, they are thrown back into a conflict that has lain dormant for thousands of years. Shuthmili will give anything to protect the woman and the life that she loves, but as events spiral out of control, she is torn between clinging to her humanity and embracing her eldritch power.

Meanwhile, Tal Charossa returns to Tlaanthothe to find that Sethennai has gone missing. Tal wants nothing to do with his old boss and former lover, so when a magical catastrophe befalls the city, Tal tries to run rather than face his past—but he soon learns that something even worse may lurk in the future. Throughout the worlds of the Echo Maze, fragments of an undead goddess begin to awaken, and not all confrontations can be put off forever…

Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore cover

Foxhunt by Rem Wigmore (Solarpunk)

In a lush solarpunk future, plants have stripped most of the poison from the air and bounty hunters keep resource hoarders in check.

Orfeus only wants to be a travelling singer, famed and adored. She has her share of secrets, but she’s no energy criminal, so why does a bounty hunter want her dead? Not just any bounty hunter but the Wolf, most fearsome of all the Order of the Vengeful Wild.

Orfeus will call in every favor she has to find out, seeking answers while clinging to her pride and fending off the hunters of the Wild. But she isn’t the only one at risk: every misstep endangers the enemies she turns into allies, and the allies she brings into danger.

There are worse monsters than the Wolf hiding in this new green world.

(Bisexual main character)

Windfall by Shawna Barnett cover
Walk Between Worlds by Samara Breger cover
The Flames of Albiyon by Jean Z. Menzies cover
All That Remains by Sheri Lewis Wohl cover

Science Fiction & Horror

The Second Rebel cover

The Second Rebel (The First Sister #2) by Linden A. Lewis

Astrid has reclaimed her name and her voice, and now seeks to bring down the Sisterhood from within. Throwing herself into the lioness’ den, Astrid must confront and challenge the Aunts who run the Gean religious institution, but she quickly discovers that the business of politics is far deadlier than she ever expected.

Meanwhile, on an outlaw colony station deep in space, Hiro val Akira seeks to bring a dangerous ally into the rebellion. Whispers of a digital woman fuel Hiro’s search, but they are not the only person looking for this link to the mysterious race of Synthetics.

Lito sol Lucious continues to grow into his role as a lead revolutionary and is tasked with rescuing an Aster operative from deep within an Icarii prison. With danger around every corner, Lito, his partner Ofiera, and the newly freed operative must flee in order to keep dangerous secrets out of enemy hands.

Back on Venus, Lito’s sister Lucinia must carry on after her brother’s disappearance and accusation of treason by Icarii authorities. Despite being under the thumb of Souji val Akira, Lucinia manages to keep her nose clean…that is until an Aster revolutionary shows up with news about her brother’s fate, and an opportunity to join the fight.

This captivating, spellbinding second installment to The First Sister series picks up right where The First Sister left off and is a must-read for science fiction fans everywhere.

(F/F relationship)

We're Here cover
The Devil You Know by Kit Rocha cover
Queen of Teeth by Hailey Piper cover

Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

Work for a Million: The Graphic Novel cover

Work for a Million: The Graphic Novel by Amanda Deiber, Eve Zaremba, and Selena Goulding (Lesbian Graphic Novel)

Tightly plotted and razor sharp, Work for a Million is hard-boiled detective noir stunningly rendered against a 1970s urban backdrop.

When Helen Keremos, Private Detective, is hired by a beautiful recording artist who has just won a million dollar lottery prize, her plan for a quiet life on the West Coast is quickly diverted. Helen is fiercely loyal, an independent woman whose magnetic personality and storied career make her the city’s premier private eye, suspicious of all stereotypes and not afraid to bend the rules. Rising star Sonia Deerfield has been receiving blackmail threats from an anonymous caller, and though she is surrounded by her keenly invested business team of “friends,” Helen wonders how trustworthy they really are. As the stakes get higher and attempts are made on their lives, the two women are drawn closer together through the twists and turns of the blackmailer’s dangerous pursuit–and their chemistry is no mystery.

In 1978 Eve Zaremba introduced detective Helen Keremos to readers in a pulp fiction series. The 1987 instalment of the series, Work for a Million, featured the first openly lesbian detective in genre fiction. The novel was adapted into a graphic novel in 2019 by television and comic book writer Amanda Deibert, and will be published more than forty years after readers fell in love with Helen Keremos and Eve Zaremba.

Vivid historical research into Toronto of the late-1970s and a dazzling cast of familiars and foes are brought to life on the page by Canadian artist Selena Goulding in a mixture of full colour and black and white illustrations.

Lost on Planet Earth cover

Lost on Planet Earth by Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre (F/F Sci Fi Graphic Novel)

It’s 2381, and Basil Miranda, on the verge of graduation, knows exactly what she’s doing with the rest of her life and always has: a primo assignment on the best ship in the fleet alongside her best friend in the world.

She has meticulously prepared herself, and the final Fleet Exam is tomorrow. But what if none of that is what she really wants? And why hasn’t she ever asked herself that before?

Lost on Planet Earth is the latest expectation-defying series from Visaggio, the Eisner-nominated writer of Kim & Kim and Eternity Girl, whose acclaimed comic Vagrant Queen was recently adapted for TV by SYFY. Lost on Planet Earth reunites Visaggio with artist Aguirre. The pair previously collaborated on Kim & Kim and created the acclaimed series Morning in America; they are joined by letterer Zakk Saam and editor Joe Corallo. This is the first release for Visaggio, Aguirre, Saam, and Corallo under the name DEATH RATTLE, a rock band-style moniker for their creative collaborations.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Legacy Edition, Book Five cover with Willow and Tara touching foreheads

Young Adult

YA Contemporary

Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin cover

Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin

After getting kicked off the basketball team for a fight that was absolutely totally not her fault (okay maybe a little her fault), Mara is dying to find a new sport to play to prove to her coach that she can be a team player. A lifelong football fan, Mara decides to hit the gridiron with her brother, Noah, and best friend, Quinn―and she turns out to be a natural. But joining the team sets off a chain of events in her small Oregon town―and within her family―that she never could have predicted.

Inspired by what they see as Mara’s political statement, four other girls join the team. Now Mara’s lumped in as one of the girls―one of the girls who can’t throw, can’t kick, and doesn’t know a fullback from a linebacker. Complicating matters is the fact that Valentina, Mara’s crush, is one of the new players, as is Carly, Mara’s nemesis―the girl Mara fought with when she was kicked off the basketball team. What results is a coming-of-age story that is at once tear-jerking and funny, thought-provoking and real, as Mara’s preconceived notions about gender, sports, sexuality, and friendship are turned upside down.

Britta Lundin’s sophomore novel will give readers all the feels, and make them stand up and cheer.

Edie In Between cover

Edie in Between by Laura Sibson

It’s been one year since Edie’s mother died. But her ghost has never left.

According to her GG, it’s tradition that the dead of the Mitchell family linger with the living. It’s just as much a part of a Mitchell’s life as brewing healing remedies or talking to plants. But Edie, whose pain over losing her mother is still fresh, has no interest in her family’s legacy as local “witches.”

When her mother’s teenage journal tumbles into her life, her family’s mystical inheritance becomes once and for all too hard to ignore. It takes Edie on a scavenger hunt to find objects that once belonged to her mother, each one imbued with a different memory. Every time she touches one of these talismans, it whisks her to another entry inside the journal–where she watches her teenage mom mourn, love, and hope just as Edie herself is now doing.

But as Edie discovers, there’s a dark secret behind her family’s practice that she’s unwittingly released. She’ll have to embrace–and master–the magic she’s always rejected…before it consumes her.

Tinged with a sweet romance with the spellbinding Rhia, who works at the local occult shop, Edie in Between delivers all the cozy magic a budding young witch finding her way in the world needs.

(F/F relationship)

Tobyn: The It Girl by Ashley Woodfolk
The Misadventures of an Amateur Naturalist by Ceinwen Langley cover

YA Mystery/Thrillers

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould cover

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould (YA Thriller)

he Dark has been waiting―and it won’t stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just come to town.

Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before. But the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more than ghosts plaguing this small town. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his ghost following her ever since. Although everyone shuns the Ortiz-Woodleys, the mysterious Logan may be the only person who can help Ashley get some answers.

When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who―or what―is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness

(Check out the Lesbrary review of The Dead and the Dark!)

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (YA Thriller)

A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past. The  dangerous romance and atmospheric setting makes it a perfect read for fans of dark academia.

The history of Dalloway School lives in the bones it was built on. Five violent deaths in the first ten years of its existence. Sometimes you can still smell the blood on the air.

It wasn’t until Felicity enrolled that she fell in love with the dark. And now she’s back to finish her senior year after the tragic death of her girlfriend. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of the five Dalloway students who died there—girls some say were witches.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no.

Dalloway’s occult lore is everywhere, and the new girl won’t let Felicity forget it. But when the past begins to invade on the present, Felicity needs to decide where she stands. The soil under her feet is bloody with Dalloway’s history. But so is the present. Is it Dalloway—or is it her?

YA Fantasy

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad cover
The Sisters of Reckoning by Charlotte Nicole Davis cover

YA Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms cover

Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier, illustrated by Val Wise

A sweet, queer teen romance perfect for fans of Heartstopper and Check, Please!

Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications.

Her former friend BeBe is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition.

Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them. 

Children

Middle Grade

The Flyers by Beth Turley cover

The Flyers by Beth Turley

Four strangers meet in the big city and learn to embrace new experiences while keeping the best parts of home with them in this Bold Type­–driven middle grade—from the author of The Last Tree Town and If This Were a Story.

With the arrival of a glossy, cream-colored envelope in the mail, Elena Martinez’s dreams come true: she’s been chosen for the Spread Your Wings Magazine’s Young Flyers program—a week-long summer internship where she’ll get to learn the ins and outs of working for the most popular teen magazine. She heads to New York City, anxious to get away from her best friend, Summer, who is suddenly spending so much time with another girl from school and being so secretive about it.

Once there Elena meets her fellow Young Flyers: Harlow, who can get to the bottom of any story, Whitney, who has spot-on fashion sense, and Cailin, a social media star with thousands of followers and an eye for photography.

As the four new friends explore the city that never sleeps, each girl brings a piece of home, and a few secrets, with them and learns that no one’s life is as glossy as it may appear. But with courage, teamwork, and lots of passion, there’s no stopping a Flyer.

(One of the main characters has a crush on girl)

Once Upon a Crime by Robin Stevens cover

Nonfiction

Memoirs & Essays

All In by Billie Jean King cover

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!

I’m Done With 3 Star Queer Books

At Book Riot, I write a weekly LGBTQ books newsletter called Our Queerest Shelves! Every week, I round up the most interesting queer bookish links from around the internet plus the newest LGBTQ posts on Book Riot, highlight some of the week’s queer new releases, and talk about whatever queer bookish topics that come to mind.

Our Queerest Shelves sign up form

This week (the post going out today), I talked about why I’m done with reading 3 star queer books. If you’d like to keep up with the latest queer book news and new releases–and you want to help ensure I can keep writing these every week!–sign up for it here.

Our Queerest Shelves: My Weekly LGBTQ Newsletter

As you may or may not know, I now work full time at Book Riot, where I have been writing for years. It’s truly a dream come true! One of the things I do there is write Our Queerest Shelves, a weekly newsletter about queer books that just launched in June! It’s kind of a mash-up of things I’ve been doing already, but looking at all kinds of queer rep, not just sapphic books. If you’re interested in LGBTQ lit in general, consider signing up!

Every week, I round up the most interesting queer bookish links from around the internet plus the newest LGBTQ posts on Book Riot, highlight some of the week’s queer new releases, and talk about whatever queer bookish topics that come to mind. This week (the newsletter going out today!), I talked about illustrated LGBTQ primers, like the Pocket Change Collective. Last week, I discussed how all my favorite books as a kid turned out to be queer (looking at you, Baby-Sitters Club!)

I’m really enjoying writing it, so I hope you sign up to another place I talk about queer books all day! (Podcasts, videos, blogs, newsletters–I’m slowly collecting every format possible.)

Crystal’s House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone is 99¢ June 26 – July 2!

This is a sponsored post. See Advertise with the Lesbrary for more details.

Get Crystal’s House of Queers by Brooke Skipstone
for 99¢ June 26 – July 2!

Crystal's House of Queers cover

Three senior girls in rural Alaska escape their abusive pasts by raising their dyke flag for themselves and their community.

Crystal Rose woke up at three in the morning today, drenched in sweat and breathless after another sex dream with Haley Carson. Later at school in the tiny town of Clear, Alaska, Crystal saves Haley from an assault by her abusive boyfriend.

The two girls renew a love started years ago that had to stay hidden until now. But with Crystal’s grandparents in the hospital with Covid and the possibility of her drug addict parents returning from a 14-year absence, Crystal needs Haley as much as she needs Crystal.

They connect with Payton Reed, a gun-toting artist who helps them feel proud to be gay and willing to stand up to anyone. Together they struggle to make Crystal’s house safe for those who are hated for their love.

99¢ promo Crystal's House

My Latest Sapphic Book Riot Posts

As you may or may not know, I work for Book Riot now! I’ve been writing for them for many years, but now I’m an Associate Editor! It’s basically my dream job, and it’s left me a lot of time for writing. And of course, a lot of that time I’m writing about sapphic books. I haven’t done a great job of letting you know about those posts here, though, so I thought I’d start doing semi-regular round ups of my Book Riot writing, and here it is! I’ll be starting with my most recent posts and then working backwards.

A Pinterest pin reading If you say there are no good lesbian books, you're bad at picking books.

I’ve been writing about bi and lesbian books for more than a decade now, and in that time, there’s been a constant refrain that gets under my skin: “There’s no good lesbian books.” This is often said by readers of M/M books who refuse to read any other queer books, but bafflingly, it’s also frequently said by lesbians. This was frustrating to hear when I first began the Lesbrary, but in 2021 I’m left flabbergasted. We are living in a golden age of queer lit, especially YA, and you’re telling me you can’t find ANY good lesbian books?

If You Say There are No Good Lesbian Books, You’re Bad at Picking Books

Tree surrounded by phosphorescent mushrooms

For me, one of the best parts about picking up a queer fantasy book is the possibility of being immersed in a world that doesn’t have heteronormativity or cissexism, because you’re building a whole different world, so you don’t have to pack in all of the prejudices from ours! I know there are a lot of people looking for queer fantasy set in worlds without any prejudice towards queer people — also known as “queernormative” or “queernorm” books! So I wanted to provide a place to start.

Queernorm Worlds: 35 Fantasy Books With No Homophobia or Transphobia

A Pinterest pin reading The Past, Present, and Future of BookTube, According to BookTubers

I interviewed about a dozen BookTubers, including lots of queer BookTubers, about the platform!

For CeCe, BookTube has been a key part of her becoming the person she is today. “When I started my channel I was a closeted incoming college junior who had read two queer books. Now I’m an out and proud lesbian, I make content every day about queer books online, and I make that content about books for a living. I’ve made lasting friendships with other BookTubers, viewers, readers, publishers, authors, and so many other people who love making bookish content.

“Getting good at talking to a camera gave me more confidence to speak in person. It gave me the power to be myself, and gave me the chance to help others. I’ve had the chance to meet several people who watch my channel and I’ve had several encounters with people who have said my videos helped them realize they were queer, or even helped them to come out. The weight of that responsibility isn’t lost on me, but I can’t believe the fact that BookTube has given me the ability to have that kind of impact.

“I have always wanted to create a platform that was about love and kindness and uplifting people. And I absolutely believe that making content that fits these things has made me a happier and more open person. I’ve been able to read hundreds of queer books and explore new worlds and stories I never would have dreamed existed when I was a 15-year-old Mormon kid in Utah.”

The Past, Present, and Future of BookTube, According to BookTubers

A photo of a sign at a protest reading Step 1 of being an ally is showing up

In my dream version of this, we have an organized group of online educators (with shared resources to link to) that can be called on when needed. After all, if 4chan and subreddits can organize hateful miseducation campaigns, why can’t there be a version for good? There are talking points for the alt-right and organized ways to try to lure people into white supremacy — why do we not have clear, step-by-step guides for educating people away from falling into these rabbit holes? (And if we do, why aren’t they more well-known and circulated?)

Reading books to educate yourself as an ally is great, but it should be considered just the first stepping stone. Once you have educated yourself, the next step is to educate others. It may be satisfying to tell someone to “just google it” and be righteous in knowing more than they do — but it doesn’t do much to move the needle. That requires patience and persistence, not smug superiority.

It’s Not Enough To Educate Yourself as an Ally. You Also Have to Teach.

Pinterest pin of a collage of Sappho accessories and decor

Sappho, the original Lesbian poet! She is the namesake of not only lesbians, but sapphics in general. Truly a queer icon. While we know almost nothing about her except that she lived on Lesbos, wrote poetry, and professed love for women, her legacy has lived on for thousands of years — as she predicted: “someone in some future time will think of us.”

These days, Sappho is most well-known for her love of women. In fact, her name is synonymous with it. Wearing a shirt with Sappho on it is more likely to be seen as announcing your sexuality than appreciating an ancient Greek poet. It’s worth remembering why she rose to such levels of fame, though: her poetry resonates even now. If you aren’t already familiar, read some of Sappho’s poetry to see for yourself! Then you can move on to more lesbian poetry.

Whether you love Sappho’s poetry or just want to add some lesbian/Lesbian flair to your wardrobe and decor, these Sappho accessories will be the perfect addition. They range from art to clothing to stickers and pins, letting you bring a bit of Sappho with you everywhere you go.

Suffering Sappho! Sappho of Lesbos Decor and Accessories to Collect

More of my Book Riot posts:

These ones aren’t focused on sapphic books, but maybe you’ll find them interesting anyways.

New Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Week, June 22nd!

Here are the sapphic books out this week! I’m most excited for Sky Falling, because I loved her previous novel, The Summer We Got Free! (Here’s my review.) Last week was mostly romance, but this week is sapphic SFF’s time to shine. For more new sapphic releases, also check out 58 Bi and Lesbian Books Out This Pride Month: June 1st was the big release day this month, so most of those are already out and waiting for you to pick them!

Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie (Queer Woman Fiction)

Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie

When she was twenty-six and broke, Skye didn’t think twice before selling her eggs and happily pocketing the cash. Now approaching forty, Skye still moves through life entirely—and unrepentantly—on her own terms, living out of a suitcase and avoiding all manner of serious relationships. Maybe her junior high classmates weren’t wrong when they voted her “Most Likely to Be Single” instead of “Most Ride-or-Die Homie,” but at least she’s always been free to do as she pleases.

Then a twelve-year-old girl tracks Skye down during one of her brief visits to her hometown of Philadelphia and informs Skye that she’s “her egg.” Skye’s life is thrown into sharp relief and she decides that it might be time to actually try to have a meaningful relationship with another human being. Spoiler alert: It’s not easy.

Things get even more complicated when Skye realizes that the woman she tried and failed to pick up the other day is the girl’s aunt, and now it’s awkward. All the while, her brother is trying to get in touch, her mother is being bewilderingly kind, and the West Philly pool halls and hoagie shops of her youth have been replaced by hipster cafés.

With its endearingly prickly narrator and a cast of characters willing to both challenge her and catch her when she falls, this novel is a clever, moving portrait of a woman and the relationships she thought she could live without.

Star Eater by Kerstin Hall (Bisexual Fantasy)

Star Eater cover

Elfreda Raughn will avoid pregnancy if it kills her, and one way or another, it will kill her. Though she’s able to stomach her gruesome day-to-day duties, the reality of preserving the Sisterhood of Aytrium’s magical bloodline horrifies her. She wants out, whatever the cost.

So when a shadowy faction approaches Elfreda with an offer of escape, she leaps at the opportunity. As their spy, she gains access to the highest reaches of the Sisterhood, and enters a glittering world of opulent parties, subtle deceptions, and unexpected bloodshed.

The Bone Way by Holly J. Underhill (F/F Fantasy)

The Bone Way cover

Teagan’s wife, Cressidae, is missing. She has left for the Shadow Realm, a kingdom of the dead filled with untold nightmares—and the only place that can save Teagan from a lethal poison that’s killing her slowly. It is ruled by a princess said to make powerful deals with those brave enough to find her, and Cressidae has gone to bargain for Teagan’s life. Cressidae has forgotten one very important thing: no one makes it out on their own.

Despite the risks to her own safety, Teagan is determined to save her wife—and perhaps even herself in the process. The princess of the Shadow Realm, however, doesn’t let mortals roam her territories without opposition. In this thrilling tale inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Teagan and Cressidae must face both the horrors of the Shadow Realm as well as their own past.

Catalyst Gate (The Protectorate #3) by Megan O’Keefe (Bisexual Sci Fi)

Catalyst Gate cover

The universe is under threat and an ancient alien intelligence threatens to bring humanity down unless Major Sanda Greeve and her crew can stop it in the final book of this explosive Philip K. Dick award nominated space opera.

The code has been cracked. The secrets of the Casimir gates have been revealed. But humanity still isn’t safe. The alien intelligence known as Rainier and her clones are still out there, hell-bent on its destruction. And only Sanda can stop them.

With the universe’s most powerful ship under her command and some of the most skilled hackers, fighters, and spies on her team, it will still take everything she has to find the key to taking down an immortal enemy with seemingly limitless bodies, resources, and power.

The Papercutter by Cindy Rizzo (Queer YA Dystopia)

Papercutter cover

A deeply polarized and ungovernable United States of America has separated into two nations―the God Fearing States (GFS) and the United Progressive Regions (UPR). 

Judith Braverman, a teenager living in an Orthodox Jewish community in the GFS, is not only a talented artist accomplished in the ancient craft of papercutting, she also has the gift of seeing into peoples’ souls―and can tell instantly if someone is good or evil.

Jeffrey Schwartz has no love for religion or conformity and yearns to escape to the freedom of the UPR. When he’s accepted into an experimental pen pal program and paired with Dani Fine, an openly queer girl in the UPR, he hopes that he can finally find a way out.

As danger mounts and their alarm grows, Judith embeds a secret code in her papercuts so that she and Jeffrey can tell Dani what’s happening to Jews in the GFS without raising suspicions from the government. When the three arrange a quick, clandestine meeting, Jeffrey is finally faced with the choice to flee or to stay and resist. And Judith is reeling from a pull toward Dani that is unlike anything she has ever felt before.

Content note: the book contains one brief memory of sexual assault of a male teen by another male teen.

We Should Meet in Air: A Graphic Memoir on Reading Sylvia Plath by Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg (Graphic Memoir)

We Should Meet In Air cover

Part memoir, part literary biography, the writing of Sylvia Plath teaches one young woman the power of her own feelings.

Sylvia Plath’s writing reaches across decades to teach one young woman the power of her own feelings in this part memoir, part literary biography.

Like so many thoughtful and soul-searching young women, as a teenage girl Lisa was transfixed by the writing of Sylvia Plath. In different times, in different places, and in different ways, each of them struggles because of how they presented themselves to the world. As the author explored her sexuality and discovered her identity as an LGBTQ woman, she found inspiration and solace in the poetry and prose of this famous writer.

If you like what we do here and want to see more of it, support the Lesbrary on Patreon to get queer books in the mail throughout the year!