Tag Archives: lesbian books

14 Lesbian Books I Wish I Could Read

This might come as a shock to some of you, but… I am a sucker for romance.

OK, maybe that’s not as big of a shock as I tried to give myself credit for. But I like the idea of a love story that I can get into – especially if it happens to have a good main plot (I don’t like romance to be the focus of everything), and great lesbian characters.

The problem is, those three things are hard to find all in the same book.

Most “lesbian romance books” are all about steamy sex and homophobic jerks – which I suppose is realistic enough, but I want to read something that hits me straight to my soul.

That’s actually a lot of the reason I became a writer. I noticed that there were a lot of areas in lesbian literature that were seriously lacking, and it became a goal for me to fix those little holes.

I’ve sort of strayed from that path a little bit and delved into a world of advice letters and product descriptions, but I jotted down my newest ideas just last night. (Now, if only I had the time to work on that sort of stuff.)

Thankfully, though, the web in the lesbian literature world is starting to get a little thicker – and I’m finding that there actually were books that were everything I’d hoped for. I just had to look a little harder to find them.

Christabel by Karin Kallmaker

Christabel speaks of a love that spans different times – thanks to an evil force that seeks to keep the lovers apart.

This story is told in an elegant way, which is an absolute delight for those of us who want to see the beauty in the written word just as much as the world around us.

The excerpts that I’ve read from this book are completely entrancing, and I am really tempted to go spend money that I don’t have at the moment to make sure I get this book as soon as possible. I guess I’ll just settle for more excerpts for now, but this has definitely made my birthday list.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Some of you might be familiar with the author on this one – she’s the same writer who did Tipping the Velvet (the book that the miniseries was based on).

She’s done it again with Fingersmith – a dynamic, intricate love story dealing with the romance felt between thieves. Apparently this one got a miniseries too, but BBC didn’t do such a great job on this one. Still, I’ll definitely have to check out this book on payday.

Shell Game by Benny Lawrence

Okay, so… I’m a sucker for pirates. Really, I am. I’m not sure if it’s because of Johnny Depp or my high school mascot, or something else entirely, but I am definitely a pirate fan – so when I heard that Shell Game was about a beautiful pirate queen and her prisoner… Well, I was already hooked.

Benny Lawrence is known for her witty writing style, and this book is widely regarded as one of her best. Yes, please!

The Magistrate / The Procuress by Keira Michelle Telford

This one is technically two books, but they’re part of a series and they really should be together. The Magistrate and The Procuress tell the tale of a post-apocalyptic future in London, with the future-space-steampunk equivalent of a cop and a hooker. (The books call them a magistrate and a procuress, respectively.)

Oh – and did I mention, in this post-apocalyptic warzone, homosexuality is punishable by death? Definitely an interesting twist – one that is actually fact in some areas of the world right now. Maybe there’s a little activism written into this book too!

Tomorrow’s Promise by Radclyffe

This particular story sounds like it veers a little heavy into mostly romance territory – I mean, the cover has a picture of a sparkling peninsula… Could be pretty cheesy. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Tomorrow’s Promise centers around a somewhat dysfunctional pairing.

These women come from different backgrounds and different situations, and they both keep screwing things up. This is a back-and-forth, will-they-or-won’t-they tale that just happens to take place on an island. Worth looking into if you’re a fan of romantic drama.

Sword of the Guardian / Prayer of the Handmaiden by Merry Shannon

Ah, another two-for-one deal here, although these books are easily stand-alone works, too. Sword of the Guardian and Prayer of the Handmaiden are both set in the same world, with some of the same characters, but Sword of the Guardian focuses on the princess and her security guard, whereas Prayer of the Handmaiden deals with two of the characters who were in the background of the first book.

I love that you can read either or both and still feel like you’ve got a complete story going on, so I will definitely be taking a look at both of these books.

Keepers of the Cave / Weeping Walls by Gerri Hill

Another package deal, yay! In this particular instance, the books can stand alone, as they’re about the same characters, but the stories themselves are completely separate. (Although, if you are going to read both, you should probably read Keepers of the Cave first.)

In these books, the main characters are FBI agents who investigate paranormal cases. Sounds too perfect! Keepers of the Cave deals with a cave monster and a kidnapping, while Weeping Walls is (you guessed it) about a haunted house. Now, being the big horror/suspense fan that I have, allow me to just go buy some books I can’t afford real quick…

Lucifer Rising by Sharon Bowers

The excitement and suspense of an ex-DEA-agent-turned-drug-kingpin? Oh, yes, that sounds right up my alley. Lucifer Rising is one such tale, and there’s even more controversy and intrigue than that. This story follows the aforementioned woman after she’s taken over the drug cartel she was chasing down.

Then she meets this incredible woman in a nightclub and starts a complex new relationship – but what happens when she finds out this woman is secretly a reporter? This sounds like a must-read for anyone who likes crime dramas with (sexy) dirty cops. Sadly, this one isn’t available on Kindle, so I’ll have to wait until payday to check it out!

Reflected Passion by Erica Lawson

Okay, Reflected Passion sounds pretty intriguing to me: A woman buys an old mirror with the intention of refurbishing it. Instead, she’s drawn to it and displays it on her wall – but one night, the mirror wakes her up with noises of passion.

Turns out this mirror is a window into another era, one where women had to be accompanied by a man to be “safe”. Present tense and past tense mirror each other as the women can each see into each other’s world through the small pane of glass.

That Certain Something by Clare Ashton

This one’s a more modern-day love story, telling the story of Pia and Cate. Honestly, the description sounds a little bit like Carol to me: A young photographer who has just landed a job at a magazine (that would be Pia) comes across an attractive wealthy woman (that would be Cate) and the two hit it off.

Actually, the description I found doesn’t mention any age difference, but it does tell how Cate’s grandfather is a raging homophobe and gun-worshipper. Yet, somehow, this is a comedy – one I’d like to learn a little more about.

Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story by Ellen Wittlinger

Personal story time! When I was 15, I moved somewhere I had pretty much never been before and the first landmark I found was the public library. The very first book I checked out was Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger, and it was an instant favorite – I think I read through it four times in the week I had it. (I’ve since bought multiple copies, but friends keep borrowing them and then never giving them back… Grr!)

Love & Lies tells what happens next for the secondary main character from the first book, gifted-and-talented Marisol Guzman (who coincidentally was my first-ever book crush). Since the first one was my favorite book, and the second book follows my favorite character from my first book – who is a lesbian writer, how great is that – I’ve decided that I can actually afford to buy this one now.

Guess what I’ll be doing tonight!

If there are any other great lesbian books you’ve read, I’d love to take a look at them. Drop them in the comments!

LGBT Storylines Make Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Shortlist

Two of the stand-out novels on the shortlist for the older fiction category of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize focus on issues relating to sexual orientation and gender.

Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is the story of a brother and sister driven apart by tragedy but brought back together as they both fall for boys at the same time. Nelson’s second novel has been optioned by Warner Bros to be adapted into a film.

The second book, The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson follows two teenagers struggling with their gender identities and finding it hard to keep the secret at school.

The organisers pointed out that although fantasy and adventure books were still present, they did not dominate the list.

James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, said:

It doesn’t surprise me that fiction should reflect the issues and concerns of society as a whole. Great works of fiction reflect those issues that are of primary concern in a society. LGBT rights are something teenage children are informed about and can talk about sensitively – that wasn’t the case at the time of my childhood. The whole quality of understanding and debate has moved on dramatically, and we’re the better for that.”

Juno Dawson, a children’s author who has herself recently transitioned, also hailed the rising profile of LGBT-themed youth fiction. She told The Independent:

The floodgates are open and I don’t think they will close again. I hope we will see diversity as standard in children’s books. Ten years ago, authors may have been wary that including diverse characters would affect sales, but I don’t think that’s true anymore.”

She added:

These books are now getting their moment in the spotlight. We must be careful that diversity doesn’t become a fad in the way vampires were a fad with publishers getting bored and moving on.”

In total, 18 books have been shortlisted for the 2016 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, split into the categories of older fiction, younger fiction and illustrated books.

Iconic Lesbian Book ‘The Ladies Almanack’ Turned Into a Film

In 1928, Djuna Barnes published The Ladies Almanack. Complete with illustrations and writing that has been described as “archaic”, Barnes’ book detailed the lesbian social circle that was based in Paris at the time.

And while many of the names have been changed in order to protect the women (some of whom include Natalie Barney, Radclyffe Hall, Dolly Wilde, and Janet Flanner), the events of The Ladies Almanack and the settings (such as Natalie Barney’s Paris salon) are very real indeed.


While The Ladies Almanack isn’t Barnes’ best known book (that title goes to Nightwood), it is still an incredibly important one.

With Barney, Hall and Flanner being some of the most important artists of their time, across poetry, literature and painting, the book offers a rare insight into their social and personal lives from someone who was actually right in the middle of it.


That’s why it’s especially good news that The Ladies Almanack has been turned into a film.

Having been in the works for three years by filmmaker Daviel Shy, it is described as “not just a movie, it is a movement.”  The filmmaker explains that “the film takes place in an imaginary city comprised of Paris and Chicago, using architectural similarities to suggest that both cities are one and that “in Paris, the center of our creative community is a living room in Aubervilliers. (An inner-ring suburb just Northwest of the city proper.)” and “in Chicago, the spaces that have served and fed our artistic community for many years figure prominently in the film.”

The film, which mostly features non-professional actors (including Eileen Myles and Hélène Cixous), has already been filmed. However, there is still work to be done until it is totally complete, which is why The Ladies Almanack has a Seed & Spark page.

The goal is $15,000 (with just over a month to go) and pledges will go towards things such as final sound mixing, colour correction, and festival costs.

5 More Must-Read Lesbian Books for the Weekend – #outwriters

5 More Must-Read Lesbian Books for the Weekend

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)

Noted lesbian writer and cartoonist Alison Bechdel always suspected that her father was a closeted gay man. But did her coming out to him contribute to his death? A story that beseeches us to be who we want to be, not enslave ourselves to other people’s expectations.

Read more

Nancy Garden, Annie on My Mind (1982)

This tale of fortitude and perseverance focuses on two teenagers, Liza and Annie, who fall deeply in love, despite coming from very different backgrounds.

Read more


Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle-Stop Cafe (1987)

In a hick town in ’80s Alabama, Ruth falls for Idgie and their dalliance leads to the opening of a cafe, betrayal, the forming of a makeshift family, a rescue and a murder.

Read more


Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body (1982)

The unnamed narrator of this novel by Winterson, who is best known for her autobiographical novel Oranges are not the Only Fruit (1985), is rather unlucky in love. Her decision to leave her partner for a beautiful woman called Louise creates all kinds of drama.

Read more

Audre Lorde, Sister Outside (1984)

This veteran lesbian feminist campaigner’s best assortment of essays on life, love, art and critical thinking. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and critique the inherently patriarchal societies we all have to grin and bear.

Read more




5 Must-Read Authors and Must-Read Lesbian Books – #OutWriters

5 Must-Read Authors and Must-Read Lesbian Books – #OutWriters

Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925)

A modernist classic that explores the timeless themes of memory and reality. While planning a lavish party, Clarissa Dalloway reminisces about her charmed youth and her love for the beautiful Sally Seton…

read more

Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt (1952)

Better known to the world as a mystery and crime writer, Patricia Highsmith switched genre to deal with forbidden same-sex romance in stuffy post-war Britain. The price of Therese and Carol’s love is judgment by family and society…

read more

Natalie Diaz, When My Brother was an Aztec (2013)

A powerful collection of poems by acclaimed Mohave Native American author Natalie Diaz. While mainly focusing on her brother’s drug addiction, she also examines her own sexual identity in a deeply eloquent and touching style…

read more

Emily Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2012)

A dramatic and fast-paced yarn that highlights the horrors of so-called “conversion therapy” which is becoming disturbingly popular in the United States. Cameron’s reactionary family cannot accept her lesbianism and so send her to the sinister Camp Promise…

read more

Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

Breaking all the strictures of race, class and gender as they apply to the southern states of the 1930s, Celie falls in love with the charismatic chanteuse Shrug Avery and her life changes irrevocably…

read more


5 Essential Lesbian Book Reads – #OutWriters

Here is KitschMix’s pick of essential Lesbian Book Reads that you should all checkout

Eileen Myles, Inferno (2010)

Rock star poet Eileen Myles looks back to her experiences of the 1970s New York punk scene for this novel of bad girl behaviour and sexual awakening… read more



Erica Fischer, Aimee and Jaguar (1995)

A bestselling account of the wife of a senior Nazi who falls for a Jewish lesbian in the closing stages of World War II. The stakes could not be higher. The book was turned into a critically-lauded film in 1999… read more


Jewelle Gomez, The Gilda Stories (1991)

A major precursor to today’s over-saturated vampire fiction market, The Gilda Stories follows the exploits of a black and bisexual vamp across two hundred years… read more



Michelle Tea, Rent Girl (2004)

An honest and unflinching memoir of Tea’s days as a prostitute. How did she square her lesbian feminist nature with the exploitation and abuse she suffered at the hands of the men she serviced? Utterly compelling – though difficult – stuff… read more


Susan Schulman, After Delores (1988)

The narrator of this story isn’t in a happy place: she’s been dumped by her lesbian lover, she’s high on drugs much of the time and she’s armed… Will she receive the justice she seeks? Will women ever be treated fairly? It is these big questions that the novel tries to address… read more