January is a pretty slow publishing month, but there are still some great sapphic books coming out this week! I have a copy of The Bone Spindle I can’t wait to crack in to, but now I have to add several more to my TBR! Which of these are going on your To Be Read list?
Iron Annie by Luke Cassidy (Bisexual Fiction/Crime Fiction) [US Release]
An uncompromising, darkly humorous look at life in the criminal underworld of the Irish border from a major new Irish literary voice.
Dundalk–The Town, to locals–took Aoife in when she left home at eighteen. Now she’s gone from a small-time slinger of hash to a bona fide player in Dundalk’s criminal underworld. Aoife’s smart, savvy, and cool under pressure. Except, that is, when it comes to Annie. Annie is mysterious and compelling, and Aoife is desperate to impress her and keep her close. Unfortunately, not everyone in The Town shares Aoife’s opinion of Annie. So much so that when Aoife’s friend and associate, the Rat King, approaches her about off-loading ten kilos of stolen coke, he specifically tells her to keep Annie out of it. Aoife doesn’t want to do the job without Annie, though, so she lands on an idea. Annie has contacts in the UK, and sure it’d be better to get the coke as far away from Dundalk as possible. At first, everything goes to plan. But when Annie decides she’d like to stay in the UK, Aoife makes a decision that changes everything, and finds her whole world turned upside down.
Gritty yet tender, tragic yet hopeful, Iron Annie crackles with energy, warmth, and heart.
The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher (Lesbian Historical Fiction)
The dramatic story of how a humble bookseller fought against incredible odds to bring one of the most important books of the 20th century to the world in this new novel from the author of The Girl in White Gloves.
When bookish young American Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company on a quiet street in Paris in 1919, she has no idea that she and her new bookstore will change the course of literature itself.
Shakespeare and Company is more than a bookstore and lending library: Many of the prominent writers of the Lost Generation, like Ernest Hemingway, consider it a second home. It’s where some of the most important literary friendships of the twentieth century are forged—none more so than the one between Irish writer James Joyce and Sylvia herself. When Joyce’s controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Beach takes a massive risk and publishes it under the auspices of Shakespeare and Company.
But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous and influential book of the century comes with steep costs. The future of her beloved store itself is threatened when Ulysses‘ success brings other publishers to woo Joyce away. Her most cherished relationships are put to the test as Paris is plunged deeper into the Depression and many expatriate friends return to America. As she faces painful personal and financial crises, Sylvia—a woman who has made it her mission to honor the life-changing impact of books—must decide what Shakespeare and Company truly means to her.
No Strings by Lucy Bexley (F/F Romance)
Fun is the one thing Elsie Webb takes seriously. Though she’d be having a lot more of it if Haelstrom Media paid her enough to actually get out of debt. She’s determined to hold out on contract negotiations for her kids’ television show Fangley Heights until she gets what she deserves. There’s only one problem, the head of the network just died and left her future more uncertain than ever.
Forty-eight hours and one funeral–that’s all Jones Haelstrom has to get through before she can return to her life in LA that’s as ordered and sparse as an IKEA showroom. When she steps in as CEO of her father’s media company, Elsie Webb is her first problem to deal with. Elsie ends up challenging Jones in ways she never could have predicted, starting with an attraction neither can avoid.
As their attraction teeters on the edge of something more both agree to keep it casual. A no-strings agreement and disclosure to HR should be enough to keep things between Jones and Elsie from getting tangled, right?
The Wedding Setup by Charlotte Greene (F/F Romance)
Ryann is thrilled when her friend Stuart asks her to help him plan his last-minute wedding.
He moved across the country over a year ago, and she misses him like crazy. As an executive with event planning experience, Ryann’s the best person to help him fulfill his wildest wedding dreams.
However, things in Colorado are not what she expects, especially Maddie, the maid of honor for the other groom.
Maddie is attractive, and while she’s certainly Ryann’s type, she has some different ideas about the wedding. Also, flirting with her is incredibly distracting, especially when Ryann just wants to keep things professional.
With just two weeks to the big event on Valentine’s Day, can Ryann help Stuart to wedded bliss, and avoid his well-intentioned attempts to set her up with Maddie?
Science Fiction & Fantasy
If I Were a Weapon by Skye Kilaen (F/F Sci Fi)
See the future. Set things on fire. Fall in love? A superpowered sci-fi romance.
When dying alien ships materialized across the Earth, their nanite infection knocked Deneve Wilder out cold. She woke up with the ability to see the future. Determined to keep anyone from using her visions for evil, she took to the road. Giving up everything was a small price to pay for freedom.
The ship that hit Jolie Betancourt’s town gave her the power to set things on fire. It was safer to start over in a new city. Then one terrible mistake demonstrated far too clearly that for her, solitude is safer. For everyone.
So when Deneve shows up after a vision of Jolie being kidnapped, Jolie wants little to do with the frustratingly attractive drifter. Deneve’s surprised by how much she wants to thaw the pretty shopkeeper’s chilly attitude, but the idea of staying in one place sets off her alarm bells.
If they can’t evade whoever’s abducting people with powers, however, the growing connection they both feel in spite of themselves might be the least of their problems.
The first installment of a near-future science fiction F/F romance series, which is slow burn to high heat with a guaranteed HEA at series end.
Tropes: superpowers, drifter, ice queen, battle couple, forced proximity.
Detailed content warnings are available in the book’s front matter and on the author’s website.
Hopepunk by Preston Norton (Queer YA)
Growing up in a conservative Christian household isn’t easy for rock-obsessed Hope Cassidy. She’s spent her whole life being told that the devil speaks through Led Zeppelin, but it’s even worse for her sister, Faith, who feels like she can’t be honest about dating the record shop cashier, Mavis. That is, until their youngest sister hears word of their “sinful” utopia and outs Faith to their parents. Now there’s nowhere for Faith to go but the Change Through Grace conversion center…or running away.
Following Faith’s disappearance, their family is suddenly broken. Hope feels a need to rebel. She gets a tattoo and tries singing through the hurt with her Janis Joplin-style voice. But when her long-time crush Danny comes out and is subsequently kicked out of his house, Hope can’t stand by and let history repeat itself. Now living in Faith’s room, Danny and Hope strike up a friendship…and a band. And their music just might be the answer to dethroning Alt-Rite, Danny’s twin brother’s new hate-fueled band.
With a hilarious voice and an open heart, Hopepunk is a novel about forgiveness, redemption, and finding your home, and about how hope is the ultimate act of rebellion.
Love Somebody by Rachel Roasek (Bisexual YA)
A sparkling YA debut rom-com about a popular high-school girl, her ex-boyfriend-turned-best-friend, and the girl they both fall for―perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli or Casey McQuiston.
Sam Dickson is a charismatic actress, ambitious and popular with big plans for her future. Ros Shew is one of the smartest people in school―but she’s a loner, and prefers to keep it that way. Then there’s Christian Powell, the darling of the high school soccer team. He’s not the best with communication, which is why he and Sam broke up after dating for six months; but he makes up for it by being genuine, effusive, and kind, which is why they’re still best friends.
When Christian falls for Ros on first sight, their first interaction is a disaster, so he enlists Sam’s help to get through to her. Sam, with motives of her own, agrees to coach Christian from the sidelines on how to soften Ros’s notorious walls. But as Ros starts to suspect Christian is acting differently, and Sam starts to realize the complexity of her own feelings, their fragile relationships threaten to fall apart.
This fresh romantic comedy from debut author Rachel Roasek is a heartfelt story about falling in love―with a partner, with your friends, or just with yourself―and about how maybe, the bravest thing to do in the face of change is just love somebody.
The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (F/F YA Fantasy)
Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fairytale retelling for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and The Cruel Prince.
Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.
Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.
Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.
Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.
Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way—not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.
Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.
Comics & Manga
The Girl I Want is So Handsome! – The Complete Manga Collection by Yuama (Yuri Manga)
A yuri comedy about a hyper first-year student and the hot girl jock she’s crushing on by the creator of The Summer You Were There!
First-year high schooler Hina falls head over heels in love at her first glimpse of Shiki, a gorgeous, cool older girl with mad basketball skills.
But when she tries to confess her feelings, she ends up as the basketball team’s manager instead.
It seems like a huge blunder until she realizes it’s the perfect chance to get to know Shiki better.
Will Hina and Shiki overcome their comical misunderstandings and realize they’re the perfect couple?
Read the whole hilarious story in one omnibus volume!
Lost & Found: A Memoir by Kathryn Schulz (Sapphic Memoir)
Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery—from the maddening disappearance of everyday objects to the sweeping devastations of war, pandemic, and natural disaster; from finding new planets to falling in love.
Three very different American families form the heart of Lost & Found: the one that made Schulz’s father, a charming, brilliant, absentminded Jewish refugee; the one that made her partner, an equally brilliant farmer’s daughter and devout Christian; and the one she herself makes through marriage. But Schulz is also attentive to other, more universal kinds of conjunction: how private happiness can coexist with global catastrophe, how we get irritated with those we adore, how love and loss are themselves unavoidably inseparable. The resulting book is part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that is simultaneously full of wonder and joy and wretchedness and suffering—a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.
A staff writer at The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Kathryn Schulz writes with curiosity, tenderness, erudition, and wit about our finite yet infinitely complicated lives. Crafted with the emotional clarity of C. S. Lewis and the intellectual force of Susan Sontag, Lost & Found is an uncommon book about common experiences.
The Queerness of Home: Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of Domesticity after World War II by Stephen Vider (Nonfiction)
Vider uncovers how LGBTQ people reshaped domestic life in the postwar United States.
From the Stonewall riots to the protests of ACT UP, histories of queer and trans politics have almost exclusively centered on public activism. In The Queerness of Home, Stephen Vider turns the focus inward, showing that the intimacy of domestic space has been equally crucial to the history of postwar LGBTQ life.
Beginning in the 1940s, LGBTQ activists looked increasingly to the home as a site of connection, care, and cultural inclusion. They struggled against the conventions of marriage, challenged the gendered codes of everyday labor, reimagined domestic architecture, and contested the racial and class boundaries of kinship and belonging. Retelling LGBTQ history from the inside out, Vider reveals the surprising ways that the home became, and remains, a charged space in battles for social and economic justice, making it clear that LGBTQ people not only realized new forms of community and culture for themselves—they remade the possibilities of home life for everyone.