I follow an absolutely ridiculous amount of blogs through an RSS feed reader in order to put together weekly link round ups. (Over 200, not counting the additional Google alerts.) I love being flooded with queer book recs, but it means sifting through a lot of content that isn’t totally relevant.
With that in mind, I thought I’d put together a quick primer to some of the most helpful sites on the internet where you can find queer books, especially sapphic books. Please let me know in the comments which sites you recommend that I missed!
LGBTQ Reads, as well as the accompanying tumblr, is one of my favourite corners of the queer bookternet. It’s run by Dahlia Adler, an author of amazing queer books like Home Field Advantage and Going Bicoastal, and she is constantly answering questions for recommendations, no matter how obscure the query, as well as putting together huge lists of recommendations in different genres.
Format: LGBTQ Reads has less in the way of reviews and much more varied content, including excerpts, lists of new LGBTQ releases, guest posts, interviews, cover reveals, and Fave Fives focused on a topic.
Representation focus: As the name suggests, it covers a range of representation.
Genre focus: All genres.
Reads Rainbow was started in 2018 by Anna and Charlotte, and it’s unique because it covers all kinds of queer media, including music and TV shows, though there is a focus on books.
Format: Reads Rainbow includes reviews, recommendations, interviews, guest posts, and lists of upcoming releases, among other formats.
Representation focus: Everything under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.
Genre focus: All genres.
Lambda Literary has been around since 1989! They have the annual Lambda Literary Awards, the biggest awards in LGBTQIA+ lit.
Format: Read Lambda Literary not just for the awards, but also the in-depth reviews and occasional news stories. Historically, it was much more focused on gay & lesbian books, but it has gotten better at representation in recent years.
Representation focus: This is probably the most even coverage on this list for the whole LGBTQIA acronym, at least proportionately to what’s published.
Genre focus: A range of genre, but focusing on traditionally published lit, especially “literary fiction.”
I don’t read a lot of romance novels myself, so I’m less familiar with these next two sites, but it would be a massive oversight to leave them off the list, because they do so such great coverage of sapphic romance! The Lesbian Review was started in 2014 and has amassed a wealth of sapphic romance reviews.
Format: TLR is mostly reviews, but the true strength of the site is its incredibly in-depth tagging system. You can find books by genre, sure, but also by the age of the protagonist, the tropes present, how many reviewers liked the book (the “legendary” category means six different reviewers consider it a favorite), and so much more.
Representation focus: As you can probably guess, this is focused on sapphic representation, especially lesbians.
Genre focus: There’s a focus on romance, but many of these are adventure romance, mystery romance, and other genre-blending books.
This is an unbelievably prolific site! There are usually several posts per day. It was started by author TB Markinson in 2017 as I Heart Lesfic, and now also has author Miranda MacLeod on board (and has rebranded).
Format: I’ll just quote their about page to get a sense of the rage of formats here: “reading challenges, books on sale, free books, best of the best polls, books of the month, pet photos, random facts about authors, SapphFic community news, author resources, and so much more. Plus the original Tuesday New Release Newsletter, of course.”
Representation focus: As you can probably guess, this is focused on sapphic representation, and their about page specifically mentions being trans- and nonbinary-inclusive.
Genre focus: There’s a focus on romance, especially (but not exclusively) from publishers like Bold Strokes Books and Bella Books.
Okazu describes itself as the “world’s oldest and most comprehensive blog on lesbian-themed Japanese cartoons, comics and related media,” and it’s the go-to place for English coverage of yuri manga and anime.
Format: Okazu includes both reviews of yuri anime and manga (including ones not yet available in English) as well as weekly round ups of all the yuri-related news. These news posts include updates on upcoming yuri manga and anime (including when they’re being translated into English) as well as all sorts of miscellanea, including some coverage of other sapphic comics.
Representation focus: Yuri (so, mostly sapphic).
Genre focus: Manga and anime, with the occasional Western-produced comic.
These last two aren’t exclusively about queer books, but they have enough queer book coverage to justify including them! In fact, in any Lesbrary Link Round Up, Autostraddle will usually have the most articles linked. Their coverage of books in particular varies, because there are different writers at any given point, but there are always interesting bookish posts going up.
Format: Reviews, lists on a theme, in-depth discussions of a single book, upcoming queer releases, and more.
Representation focus: There is a focus queer women, but not exclusively.
Genre focus: A range.
About eight years ago, I started writing for Book Riot. Now, I work there full time as an associate editor, including writing a twice weekly LGBTQ books newsletter called Our Queerest Shelves! Queer book coverage on the site has just gotten better and better, with so many thoughtful posts by a ton of different writers.
Format: Book Riot doesn’t do book reviews, so posts tend to be either lists on a theme or think pieces.
Representation focus: A range.
Genre focus: A range.
I can’t, of course, encompass all of the queer bookternet in a list of eight, but these are some of my favorites, and following them will quickly lead you to more. Because I can’t help it, though, here’s a bullet list of honorable mentions:
- If you’re on tumblr (after you’ve followed the Lesbrary’s tumblr Bi and Lesbian Literature, of course!), check out Sapphic Book Club!
- Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian is one of my favorite queer book bloggers! As the name suggests, Casey does talk about queer Canadian lit and queer women lit a lot, but she has branched out into more generally queer book content as well. You should also check out her queer book posts on Autostraddle!
- Them also has some great queer book coverage, but they don’t post about books as often as most of the blogs included here.
This is far from a complete list, and I’m always looking for more! What are some of your favorite resources for finding queer books?
An earlier version of this article ran on Book Riot.