The best lesbian books

The best lesbian books DEFAULT

Beyond Coming Out6 Lesbian Novels That Bring the Romance, and Sex

a book cover that features two white women putting their lips together, almost kissing but not quite

Her Best Friend's Sister by Meghan O’Brien (Photo credit: Bold Strokes Books)

Increasingly, lesbian novels and their authors are putting in work to shift the way that lesbians—and queer women overall—exist on the page. New queer coming-of-age novels are challenging stereotypes and deepening our understanding of coming out as a concept; young-adult literature has become a massive hub for LGBTQ representation with writers like Mason Deaver and Gabby Rivera furthering the representation of queer people beyond white, gay men; and queer women are continuing to reshape their space in horror, especially as they slowly gain the power to shift the landscape. But queer women readers deserve a bit of levity, too, as well as a break from narratives that center pain and struggle (as with the important but well-trod territory of coming-out narratives); we deserve books that actively center our pleasure, too.

In creating space for just that, lesbian romance novels are essential, radical, and also just a fun break from the heaviness that so often coexists alongside our queerness. While some lesbian romance novels respect and recognize that heaviness in their plots, other lesbian romance novels choose to sidestep homophobia and sexism entirely, preferring to offer up a utopia in which their readers can luxuriate, if only briefly.

Below, you’ll find a mixture of books that do both—and that give us thoughtful, queer pleasure—freed of the male gaze and written with queer readers in mind.

Sarah Waters is an undeniable favorite of readers of lesbian romance, and for good reason. Fingersmith, which won a Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, makes clear that a novel can be both extremely hot and extremely well-written. Fingersmith engages with larger cultural concepts like classism and sexism while proffering gripping sex scenes between Sue, an orphan, and Maud, the women for whom she works—and plots against. It’s both a romance and a thriller (and a very good one at that).

Though I tend to be lukewarm on historical romance, Rebecca S. Buck’s The Locket and the Flintlock was fast-paced and engaging enough to hold my interest. Alongside a complex plot—Lucia comes to meet Len when her locket is stolen, and Len is essentially always in danger as she seeks revenge and justice—we’re given several very satisfying sex scenes. It’s good choice for those who like their romance novels to have a detailed plot, rather than just endless sex.

Emily keeps tight control of her life, and rarely does anything fun or indulgent. Enter Nat, the sex worker she hires to help her give up some of that control and explore her sexuality. The book plays into some stereotypes about sex workers, but overall the respect each feels for the other is refreshing. The sex scenes themselves are extremely detailed without feeling heavy-handed, and the focus on and awareness of women’s pleasure is something I always enjoy about O’Brien’s work.

Set in earlys England, The Paying Guests follows Frances, a young woman who lives with her mother. When Frances’s father and brothers die, they have to find a way to make ends meet, and choose to open their home to a young married couple, Lilian and Lenoard. There’s immediately a sort of soft, buzzing energy between Frances and Lilian, and, slowly, a romance begins to bloom. Frances has loved women before, so there’s an extra pressure for her to keep her mother from realizing what’s happening between her and her guest. Another tense, hot read from Waters.


Rebekah Weatherspoon

{ Bold Strokes Books }

Release Date: October 13,

$ Buy It Now

Notably, this lesbian romance novel features two women of color, which is hugely refreshing considering that it can be difficult to find queer romance novels that—despite the diversity of the romance genre—aren’t full of white people. College students Alexis and Trisha are immediately attracted to each other, but Trisha’s job as a stripper and Alexis’s newfound commitment to focusing on her mental health make it difficult to find time for love. But when they do find time, the romance is boundless. This is less of an erotic romance and more of a steamy read, but the sex itself is well-written and realistic.

With Her Best Friend’s Sister, Meghan O&#;Brien continues to be a driving force of the genre. Wow, I have read this one so many times. Claire has had a crush on her best friend’s older sister, Alex, for ages. When their paths cross as adults, they immediately hit it off and have an explosive, chemistry-filled encounter, which then becomes a relationship. This is a good pick if you like a bit of gender play, and I was also just impressed with how this book discusses strap-on sex without making it seem either required or strange— in the world of these characters, it’s just what they’re into.

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Rachel Charlene Lewis, who has light brown skin and dark brown curly hair, wears a white button up and gold jewelry and gold glasses.

Rachel Charlene Lewis has written about culture, identity, and the internet for publications including i-D, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Greatist, Glamour, Autostraddle, Ravishly, SELF, StyleCaster, The Frisky (RIP), The Mary Sue, and elsewhere. Her literary work, reviews, and interviews have been published in Catapult, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Normal School, Publisher’s Weekly, The Offing, and in several other magazines. She is on Twitter and Instagram, always.


Have you ever read the best LGBT books? Looking for lesbian books and novels in ? Not sure which model to pick up? Then you NEED to see this list from PENN BOOK CENTER.

The Well of Loneliness, printed in , is considered one of the first English language lesbian books, specifically homosexual topics.

Lesbian literature surged in popularity throughout the &#;50s and &#;60s. With the book of the best lesbian fiction books and Women&#;s Barracks, Tereska Torres&#; dime-store book about World War II was the first of its type. The foundational texts of lesbian literature have been composed in the latter 20th century. These days, the genre has expanded to incorporate a more varied and intersectional representation.

Are you overwhelmed with the multitude of great games to select from? Starving for more literary literature? Use this listing to find the very best books for lesbians.

Top Rated Lesbian Books To Read

Best Lesbian Books To Read

Crush &#; Jane Futcher

&#;Twist&#; occupies a fascinating middle space between young adult and adult lesbian fiction &#; coming of age love story. It starts slow but revs up having a psychological tension that will have you turning pages. It is packed with functional characterization, and damn, it only hurts so great &#; you feel as though you&#;re undergoing the brutal treatment our heroine becomes firsthand.

In this book, two women, Lexie and Jinx, become friends when they meet at college, and what is the beginning of a gorgeous romance turns into an epic tragedy.

Hey, Dollface &#; Deborah Hautzig

&#;How much do the boundaries of friendship move?&#; The cover of the young adult asks. Pretty damn much, as it ends up. Predating the mythical lesbian young adult&#; Annie on My Mind&#; by four decades, this lesbian book is about two women questioning their sexuality. Val and Chloe&#;s friendship is irresistible &#; you will wish you had one like it if you do not already.

They bond over quirky tasks like thrift shop shopping and cutting pictures of beautiful girls from magazines and developing a collage from them. That is a friendship that sparkles with reality, love, and girls&#; own internal beauty.

The Bermudez Triangle &#; Maureen Johnson

Twitter goddess Maureen Johnson has published many lesbian books in her long career, most recently, the puzzle &#;Truly Devious&#; and the anthology &#;How I Fight.&#; &#;The Bermudez Triangle&#; is one of the earlier ones, and it&#;s a plot I have not seen in almost any other lesbian books before or since.

Rose of No Man&#;s Land by Michelle Tea

Rose of No Man&#;s Land &#; Michelle Tea

Can I be the only person who recalls this book? It certainly feels like that. This is a top-quality YA, which should have gained more note than it did as it had been printed in The whole book takes place over one of the funniest times the protagonist, Trisha Driscoll, has had, and so is amusing in that way just dark comedies could be.

Tea has this fantastic, authentic voice &#; her Trisha type of reminds me of Daria, however queer. Then again, perhaps Daria had been queer. She checks such a number of the boxes.

Shy Girl &#; Elizabeth Stark

Can you remember that young woman &#; the one that you loved who got away? If this is the case, this book is for you. It is about a butch woman named Alta Corral, who had loved Sasha Shy Mallon (thus the name ). Shy comes back following the passing of her mom. Lots have changed in the years since Shy and Alta were collective.

She&#;s pregnant, for you.

The association between these girls is emotionally satisfying, and the book is messy in the very best manners.

My Sweet Untraceable You &#; Sandra Scoppettone

The book was printed in This is part of a set of lesbian books with the same detective. In this one, she is hired by a shady character called Boston Blackie to understand his mother&#;s fate. While so many lesbian books about queer life make it a huge deal, this one treats lesbian dating like any other connection.

grl2grl &#; Julie Anne Peters

Julie Anne Peters is your lesbian Judy Blume of this contemporary era, due to lesbian books like &#;Keeping You a Secret.&#; This is an entertaining mixture of stories centered on queer teenagers, and it deals with some fairly extreme subjects.

It comprises one particularly brutal tale about a young trans boy ( &#;Boi&#; ), which has been years before its time, and yet another composed almost entirely as a set of instant messages ( &#;TIAD&#; ). In pages, it is a quick but compelling read, particularly for young queer teens merely beginning to find themselves.

The Girls in 3-B &#; Valerie Taylor

&#;The Women at 3-B&#; is a favorable, non-exploitive look at lesbian life in an age when lesbians weren&#;t assumed to possess favorable, non-exploitive existences. Valerie Taylor produced a narrative about a bunch of young girls who&#;ve moved to Chicago.

Among these, Barby is a lesbian who falls in love with somebody at work.

I can only imagine how lesbians responded to a book such as this back in the afternoon, using a real love scene involving two girls, at a time before which has been the standard. &#;How does anyone want a guy, whenever there&#;s this?&#; Barby asks, before falling asleep in her boss&#;s arms. (We do not know, Barby.)

Annie on My Mind &#; Nancy Garden

&#;Annie on My Mind&#; will surely stay on yours. This was one of the first large young adult lesbian books, so we mostly have the overdue Nancy Garden to thank you for creating a whole genre. Annie and Liza are two coming-of-age year-old in New York City who meets in the Metropolitan Museum along with also a love affair is born.

They get in trouble when they are found together in the home of two teachers that happen to be lesbians. Annie on My Mind was one of the first young adult novels to depict a lesbian teen love story.

Chicken &#; Paula Martinac

Lesbian publishing began to flourish after we&#;d pressed to predict our very own, such as Bella, Bywater, and Alyson, which initially printed &#;Chicken&#; from Paula Martinac.

This one is about a writer called Lynn, who&#;s coming from a long-term relationship and coming into a whole pile of dyke drama. To have a feeling of what you are getting into, here is the query posed on the rear cover: &#;Is there some opportunity Lynn can continue to keep her sanity when dealing with a single ex, two demanding fresh fans, and three hours of sleep per night?&#;

Curious Wine &#; Katherine V. Forrest

You can not judge a book by its cover and is that true for this one. You may be anticipating the very dull book in the world with these trees that are plain around the pay, along the way of my God, could you&#;re incorrect. Then again, making it a fantastic book to choose subways if you would like to see lesbian erotica but do not need to draw the wrong type of focus.

Writer Anna Meadows explained that this was her first best queer book, and it creates a great first book for any lesbian, a fantastic introduction to how incredible sex and love could be between two girls.

Fingersmith &#; Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is an indisputable favorite of readers of lesbian love, and for a good reason. Fingersmith, which won a Lambda Literary Award and was nominated for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, makes it apparent that a book can be scorching and incredibly well-written.

Fingersmith participates with more prominent cultural theories like classism and sexism when proffering grasping sex scenes involving Sue, an orphan, and Maud, the girls from whom she works and plots. It is both a romance and a thriller (and a perfect one at that).

The Locket and the FlintlockRebecca &#; S. Buck

Although I am lukewarm on true love, Rebecca S. Buck&#;s The Locket and the Flintlock were fast-paced and engaging to hold my attention. Alongside an intricate plot-Lucia comes to fulfill Len when her locket is stolen, and Len is always at risk because she seeks revenge and justice-we are given several quite fulfilling sex scenes. It is a good option for people who like their love lesbian books to have an overall storyline, instead of just endless sex.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Night Off &#; Meghan O&#;Brien

Emily retains tight control of her life and seldom does anything exciting or indulgent. Input Nat, the sex worker she hires to help her give up some of this command and explore her sexuality. The book plays into stereotypes regarding gender workers, but completing the esteem each feels for another is refreshing.

The Paying Guests &#; Sarah Waters

Place in earlys England; The Exotic Boys follows Frances, a young girl who resides with her mum. When Frances&#;s brothers and father die, they must discover a way to make ends meet, and decide to open their house into a young married couple, Lilian and Leonard. There is instantly a type of tender, buzzing energy between Frances and Lilian, and, gradually, a love begins to blossom.

Frances has adored girls before, so there is an additional strain for her to keep her mom from realizing what is happening between her and her guest. Another stressed, sexy read from Waters.

Treasure &#; Rebekah Weatherspoon

Notably, this lesbian love book features two girls of color, which can be refreshing, considering it may be tricky to find queer romance lesbian books that-regardless of the diversity of the romance genre-are not filled with white men and women. College pupils Alexis and Trisha are instantly drawn to one another.

However, Trisha&#;s job as a stripper and Alexis&#;s newfound dedication to focusing on her psychological health makes it hard to find love. But when they do find the time, love is boundless. That is less of a sexual romance and much more of a read, but the gender itself is well-written and realistic.

Lena &#; Cassie Pruyn

These poems concerning furtive first love and first reduction unfurl like a book to make a piercing elegy for Lena, a young queer girl who died before her period. Blurring time, Pruyn shares her memories of earning love, undiscovered, in Lena&#;s family beach house and her desperate hunt to locate Lena&#;s tomb without calling her close-minded family. You&#;re able to read this set in 1 sitting and return to it again and again for catharsis and relaxation.

Jam on the Vine &#; LaShonda Katrice Barnett

I&#;ve Williams born in a tiny Texas city populated by households of sharecroppers just before the turn of this century. If she steals a paper from Miss Susan, the white woman her mum works with, it arouses a fantasy that will not fit within her hometown.

That fantasy takes her into Austin, where she attends high school, studies printing, and typesetting, and starts to publish posts regarding the Jim Crow laws which maintain her and her classmates in the rear of the trolley cars. It is also where she is trapped in a love triangle with her classmate, a dazzling lady pianist, and the enchanting journalism instructor who motivates her star pupil to fight against bias in the business.

Barnett studied jazz and composed lesbian erotica, and she tickles both passions from the book. As intelligent as Scout Finch as well as tender as Meg Wallace, Ivor&#;s life is marked by a decision to write concerning the racial injustices she and her family have suffered throughout the generations. We can use her right around now.

Women &#; Chloe Caldwell

Have you ever &#;fall in love&#; with a girl so hard you could not get up again? Caldwell certainly nails what it is like to be so smitten you can not speak about anything else. In a nutshell, in volatile chapters, an unnamed narrator whose heritage eludes simple labels records her descent into obsession, and the abyss that threatens to start up on the opposing side of bliss.

The Gifts of the Body &#; Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Makkai lists this gutting string of vignettes about a disorder that transforms the body to its enemy like one of the resources for Your Great Believers. Each of the accolades for that book makes this the ideal moment to revisit Brown&#;s function.

It is not tough to envision the narrator as Brown, a lesbian by the Pacific Northwest who was a home care employee herself. There is not one character in the book identified as a lesbian. Still, if the narrator sits in an area filled with bantering guys and opinions, &#;I felt like a young woman,&#; I see her as somebody working to look after her very own community, together with her hands and with her voice.

The Sea of Light &#; Jenifer Levin

I have never seen another lesbian book even try to spell out the relationship between different generations of lesbians how this one does. Brenna Allen is a demanding, no-nonsense swim trainer on the pool deck, but in the home, she independently mourns the loss of her spouse to cancer.

If she recruits Babe, a hotshot swimmer that has endured her traumas, a sudden love blossoms between the group captain as well as also the recruit. Could Babe be precisely what the team wants, not only in regards to winning matches but also in connections to healing hubs?

As athletes in the collegiate and professional degree nevertheless struggle to come outside, this book is a gorgeous, messy reminder of precisely what a group could be.

The Gilda Stories &#; Jewelle Gomez

Move over Buffy and Bella. In this groundbreaking book, a black lesbian vampire lives and enjoys the s to well beyond our current moment. Need I say more? The book won just two Lambda Literary Awards as it was first released, and it is not difficult to see why. Gilda and many others of her type accept blood without taking life, plus they give something back in exchange for that which they have emptied &#; fantasies, ideas, and thoughts.

Gomez was born to a black mother and a native dad, along the way of intersectional activism that marks her entire life is at work. Gilda starts her life as a servant in Mississippi and proceeds to watch the Gold Rush in San Francisco, uses her abilities to shield sex employees on Boston&#;s South End.

It also pulls on the stories she has lived through to become the best incredibly reclusive romance books, finding and siring her chosen family on the way.

Read also: Best Vampire Books of All Time Review

People in Trouble by Sarah Schulman

People in Trouble &#; Sarah Schulman

Sarah Schulman is getting a second at the moment due to her award-winning non-fiction book Conflict isn&#;t Abuse. However, Schulman has been writing for decades across several genres.

Her currently out-of-print book People in Trouble centers around a love triangle in the s NYC through the AIDS crisis. Kate, a recognized artist, has an affair with a young lesbian, Molly, who spends a lot of her days caring for his ailing buddies and pulls Kate to AIDS activism.

The book&#;s villain, Ronald Horne, relies on a real-life political figure whose first name rhymes with his real-life doppelganger: Donald Trump. A young editorial assistant in the United Kingdom purchased the rights to republish this book across the pond in the autumn.

Here is hoping someone will pick this up in the United States.

Loving Her &#; Ann Allen Shockley

Loving She&#;s a short book about a black woman looking for her place on the planet. Renay flees with her daughter Denise in the abusive guy who fathered her son.

When she matches Terry, a rich white woman, in a dinner club, Renay yells at a bed and in the piano seat. Torn between her husband and the girl she enjoys, but her community will not take, Renay must walk a very long road before she can locate a home.

Loving Her is composed of equal parts sensual play and lengthy monologues about sexuality and race, but equally make for essential reading.

Stone Butch Blues &#; Leslie Feinberg

Jess struggles to navigate life as a butch lesbian in the s upstate New York City. She finds refuge and a neighborhood in gay bars and can be taken under the wings of elderly butches. Cops raid the pub, harass and arrest everyone inside, and the pub shuts down, leaving Jess homeless. In a harrowing story of success, Jess hunts for one more spot to fit in and finds herself on the way.

Fingersmith &#; Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is a prolific author of historical lesbian fiction. Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet, her two most prominent functions, were accommodated into BBC mini-series. Fingersmith follows Sue, a pickpocketing orphan raised on the streets of Victorian London.

One night, she&#;s approached by a con man who seeks her aid in defrauding the heiress Maud Lilly and with her committed to an insane asylum. Sue agrees and presents as a maid service to obtain Maud&#;s trust. If they form an unexpected bond, Sue begins to regret her participation in the con man&#;s plot, but it can be too late.

Tipping the Velvet &#; Sarah Waters

While Sarah Waters&#; first isn&#;t as well-known as Fingersmith&#;s, it&#;s nevertheless considered one of the best lesbian fiction novels of the twenty-first century. Tipping the Velvet is set in Victorian Britain and follows Nan King, a young girl enamored with cross-dressing stage superstar Kitty Butler.

Sing You Home &#; Jodi Picoult

Zoe and her husband, Max, wish to get a baby but are not able to conceive. They attempt in vitro fertilization and provide up after several unsuccessful attempts. The couple&#;s fertility problems strain their marriage resulting in divorce.

Afterward, Zoe matches Vanessa Shaw. Both girls fall in love, get married, and choose to have kids with the frozen embryos out of Zoe&#;s precious union. But, they need consent from Max, now a born-again Christian uneasy with his ex-wife&#;s brand new connection.

Ask, Tell &#; E.J. Noyes

Sabine is a captain in the military who&#;s deployed in Afghanistan, and if she meets Rebecca, she&#;s immediately smitten. Though she believes Rebecca is considering her too, she can not help but detect Rebecca&#;s wedding ring. Additionally, due to the Do not Ask, Do not Tell legislation, Sabine is reluctant to pursue Rebecca, but she can&#;t quit thinking about her.

Far From the World, We Know &#; Harper Bliss

Laura leads into a small city in Texas following a rough separation, where she instantly meets Tess and becomes more curious. But, Laura is afraid of being hurt and approaches the situation with care. Can she let her defenses down enough for Tess to maintain her heart?

Floats Her Boat &#; Nicolette Dane

When Brooke heads to Minnesota to prepare her family&#;s holiday house for the sale, she plans to remain there just a brief while, but if she meets Hailey, her neighbor, she begins to change her thoughts. Can this famous singer and beautiful girl convince Brooke to remain in Minnesota rather than go through with her plans to market the home?

Jericho &#; Ann McMan

Sometimes it takes time to observe the obvious. Syd is right and going through a divorce, but her fascination with Maddie is incontrovertible. The entire city knows Maddie is a lesbian, but how long can it take Syd to detect? And can it make a difference in the long run?

Swearing Off Stars by Danielle Wong

Swearing Off Stars &#; Danielle Wong

Lia and Scarlett have a brief fling in London, and many years after, neither has forgotten another. Lia starts a hunt for Scarlett, who&#;s currently an actress, and will stop at nothing to locate this outstanding woman, so she can renew their connection and be happy once more. But after all the years, is this possible?

Changing Leaves &#; Edie Bryant

Gina and Jess have partially lost contact, partly due to what Gina had completed for this beautiful woman. However, if Gina returns to her hometown to look after her dying mother, the two match up once more, can Jess forgive Gina? And will Gina reciprocate?

The Intern &#; Mia Archer

Nicole was not too pleased with her life, particularly her occupation, but if she meets the new intern, her curiosity is piqued. The intern is an heiress working under an assumed name, and that she is not thrilled about her new place. However, both women learn how to appreciate one another&#;s business, even though they haven&#;t any idea if it will last.

The Boss of Her &#; Julie Cannon

I love three books about office love. At the very first one, Riley&#;s stripper-lover shows up as a worker in her firm, but can it wreak havoc on Riley&#;s life? From the next narrative, Elisa is an attorney whose company takes on a situation that entails her law school crush. In the following story, Stephanie tries to take care of her new helper&#;s kindness and loveliness without becoming overly attached.

The Private Life of Jane Maxwell &#; Jenn Gott

Jane Maxwell is a comic strip artist who discovers herself in a parallel universe in which her characters come to life, and she becomes their chief. This sets her face-to-face using a household she almost does not recognize as well as her deceased spouse, which makes the navigation of the alternative life a lot tougher than she ever thought.

Cheer &#; Mia Archer

Life gets confusing to get a high school cheerleader who unexpectedly develops a crush on her long-time best friend, Candice, particularly considering that Candice does not understand the depth of these feelings and believes that her friend is right.

The Cruise &#; Lise Gold

Cara is between professions and requires a job on a railway line, together with Billie, her buddy Dan&#;s girlfriend. Unexpectedly, both visit one another as more than friends, and Cara feels like she&#;s in a problem, mainly because her friendship with Dan is indeed significant to her.

No products found &#; Briar Lane

Catie and Anya are best friends as they can recall, and they&#;re both arranging a wedding. However, when Anya begins relying on Catie over her fiancée, she feels it might spell trouble for her future. What is a bride-to-be to perform?

Meet Me Halfway &#; Eija Jimenez

Alyssa and Vivien come in two distinct worlds, but their worlds collide when Vivien, a budding photographer, and Alyssa, a warrior and bartender, match at the pub Alyssa works. They form an immediate appeal but are confident their differences can defeat their growing love for one another.

The Long Weekend by Clare Lydon

The Long Weekend &#; Clare Lydon

Nine friends meet for an enjoyable weekend at the English seaside, and their lives intertwine over some of them they were ready for, but would such relationships be weekend flings or even supposed to last? Nobody knows for sure.

Teacher&#;s Pet &#; Briar Lane

Katie is a young single mum with few friends and no love life, so when she meets Lana, she believes she has found a new companion. Fate, however, might turn this friendship into something a whole lot more.

Survival Instincts &#; May Dawney

Civilization is now gone, and creatures have taken more than Lynn Tanner is born. When her protector, Dani, intrigues her over Lynn believing she needs to, she begins to wonder whether being lonely for the rest of her life is the smartest solution.

The Daughter&#;s Bite &#; S.B. Sheeran

Carmen is residing at lavish Shadow Woods and coming to terms with her sexuality all in precisely the same moment. When she matches Bonnie, she decides to take her newly found sexuality to the best height, and she expects Bonnie will come along for the ride.

Turning the Page &#; Georgia Beers

While living with a cousin, businesswoman Melanie matches Benjamin along with his daughter, Taylor. She&#;s amazed by the feelings she&#;s for both, but she&#;s going to research all those feelings and see where they lead her.

An Act of Love &#; Nicolette Dane

Jessica goes to LA to start a yoga studio to discover her long-time buddy, Liberty, who is currently a celebrity on a tv series. The two rekindle their friendship, but shortly Jessica wants longer. Liberty has problems with her newfound star and can not always tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Therefore, Jessica wonders how it will all end.

See also: Queer Coming Of Age Story

Blossom by Edie Bryant

Blossom &#; Edie Bryant

Olive is pleased with her life; Gabby is less so, but if the two meet, Olive is decided to have a relationship with Gabby, even when she must take things slow to arrive.

Susannah&#;s Roses &#; Susannah&#;s Roses

Jessica is on sabbatical and in Australia, in which a girl from yesteryear, Susannah, has a lifetime that unintentionally mingles with Jessica&#;s. The past and current came collectively, and Jessica believes it&#;s her fate to complete what Susannah began long ago.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit &#; Jeanette Winterson

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is a semi-autobiographical book about Jeanette Winterson&#;s experiences growing up in an evangelical home in England, yet it is not a biography. Jeanette Winterson is an outsider at high school because of her strict religious upbringing. She establishes a romance with another girl, making her an outcast in church and complicating her spiritual beliefs.

Dormitory Dearest &#; Nicolette Dane

Natasha starts college as a nerd, slightly introverted and frightened to explore her sexuality, although she knows she likes women. Hosannah is somewhat old and living in Natasha&#;s dorm, and she&#;s upbeat and optimistic about her sexuality. Can the two ever make it, or is their relationship doomed from the beginning?

Her Hardest Choice &#; Jesalin Creswell

Lady Vivian is tired of robbing her husband and attempts to proceed with her life. It is not long until she meets with a younger girl, Millie, that knows what she wants and goes after it. However, Lady Vivian is unsure how to proceed, since she understands just how much she will be giving up when she chooses to appreciate Millie.

Double Pleasure, Double Pain &#; Nikki Rashan

Kyla is a part-time college student who&#;s pleased with her four-year relationship with her boyfriend, but when she returns to college and satisfies Steph, she&#;s amazed by what she&#;s feeling for her. Unexpectedly, she&#;s questioning everything she thought she knew about relationships and love, and she does not have any idea how this will stop.

Read more

Art & Lies &#; Jeanette Winterson ()

Jeanette Winterson&#;s book Art and Lies is a crusade against a predictable and unimaginative reality that denies there is more to life than meets the eye.

Inseparable: Desire Between Women In Literature &#; Emma Donoghue

(Nonfiction) From high school girls and vampires to runaway wives, from cross-dressing knights to modern murder stories, Emma Donoghue brings all of her knowledge and grip to bear on how desire between women has been depicted in English literature.

Reservations of the Heart &#; T.B. Markinson

Reservations of the Heart is a lighthearted lesbian romance story about Stella, a divorced year-old doctor, and Aurora Shirley, a year-old lady filling in at the local medical school on a temporary basis.

The Gravity Between Us &#; Kristen Zimmer

Payton and Kendall have been closest friends since childhood in this touching coming-of-age romance. Kendall misses her closest friend and the serenity she brought as she grows up to be Hollywood&#;s sexiest year-old. As a result, Kendall invites Payton to live with her in Los Angeles.

A Way with Words &#; Nicolette Dane

Southern Comfort &#; Skyy

Seeing Double &#; Seeing Double

Written on the Body &#; Jeanette Winterson (Lesbian Fiction)

In the Dream House &#; Carmen Maria Machado (Memoirs)

Other Lesbian Books to Consider:

Carmilla &#; Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmen Maria Machado (Horror, Vampires, and Zombies)

Gut Symmetries &#; Jeanette Winterson ()

The Passion &#; Jeanette Winterson (Historical Fiction)

Indigo Springs by A.M. Dellamonica (Sci-Fi & Fantasy)

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman (Science Fiction & Fantasy)

The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson (Sci-Fi & Fantasy)

Kissing the Witch &#; Emma Donoghue (Science Fiction & Fantasy)

Her Body and Other Parties &#; Carmen Maria Machado (fantasy, sci-fi, fabulism)


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Lesbian literature has come a long way since the days when the poetry of Sappho and underground novels like Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Lonelinesswere among the few widely available options. Still, anyone on the hunt for the best LGBTQIA+ audiobooks knows that it can still be a challenge to find stories centered on lesbian characters and experiences. So we’ve compiled some of our favorites with a series of lists detailing some of the best stories from the queer community, from LGBTQIA+ listens to bisexual and trans stories.

Here, we’ve come up with some of the best lesbian listens across fiction and nonfiction and in a range of genres and age categories, but with one common factor: All of these selections are stories focused on lesbian characters, written by authors from the LGBTQIA+ community. Here we go!

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls


Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

In the Dream House

Under the Rainbow

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit


Mostly Dead Things



Under the Udala Trees

Annie On My Mind

High School

Carol - The Price of Salt

One Last Stop

Everything Leads to You

Save Yourself

Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot.



Lesbian literature is an extensive genre-spanning over 2, years. Though the ancient Grecian poet Sappho is credited with producing the earliest forms of lesbian writing, the genre as we know it today began taking shape in the 19th century. Works from this period relied heavily on subtext and most often ended in heartache or tragedy, while the early 20th century saw the arrival of specific references to lesbianism in literature. The Well of Loneliness, published in , is considered the first English language novel with explicitly lesbian themes. Lesbian literature surged in popularity during the ’50s and ’60s with the publication of pulp fiction novels and Women’s Barracks, Tereska Torres’ dime-store novel about World War II was the first of its kind. The foundational texts of lesbian literature were written in the latter 20th century. Today, the genre has expanded to include a more diverse and intersectional representation.

Overwhelmed with the myriad of great titles to choose from? Hungry for more lesbian literature? Use this list to find the best lesbian books in any genre.

Lesbian Fiction Books

The Price of Salt () &#; Patricia Highsmith


The critically acclaimed film Carol is based on The Price of Salt, one of the earliest lesbian romance novels with a happy ending. In a tale of infatuation at first sight, discontent department store worker Therese is instantly enamored with Carol, an elegant older woman who purchases a doll for her daughter. Carol leaves her address so the doll may be delivered which Therese uses to send Carol a Christmas card. Carol, who is in the midst of a bitter divorce, responds. As Carol and Therese begin spending time together, their attraction intensifies.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie


The Color Purple () &#; Alice Walker


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a poor girl living in the rural South under bitter conditions. Celie is abused by her father then married off to another abusive man, Mister. Mister’s mistress, a sultry jazz singer named Shug, comes to stay with Celie and Mister while recovering from an illness. Celie and Shug develop an intimate relationship.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie


Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe () &#; Fannie Flagg


While visiting her mother-in-law in an Alabama nursing home, bored housewife Evelyn Couch strikes up a friendship with Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly resident. Ninny tells Evelyn about her childhood in the s when Ruth Jamison, a pious and proper young woman came to live with the Threadgoodes in order to tame rambunctious tomboy Idgie. Idgie and Ruth become inseparable and develop an unspoken attraction. To Idgie’s dismay, Ruth must leave Whistle Stop at the end of summer to marry Frank Bennett. Years later, Idgie and Ruth reconnect.   

Read the Book // Watch the Movie


Stone Butch Blues () &#; Leslie Feinberg


Jess struggles to navigate life as a butch lesbian ins upstate New York. She finds refuge and community in gay bars and is taken under the wings of older butches. Cops raid the bar, harass and arrest everyone inside, and the bar closes down leaving Jess homeless. In a harrowing tale of survival, Jess searches for another place to fit in and finds herself along the way.

Read the Book


Fingersmith () &#; Sarah Waters


Sarah Waters is a prolific writer of lesbian historical fiction. Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet, her two most prominent works, were adapted into BBC mini-series. Fingersmith follows Sue, a pickpocketing orphan raised on the streets of Victorian London. One night, she is approached by a con man who seeks her assistance in defrauding the heiress Maud Lilly and having her committed to an insane asylum. Sue agrees and poses as a maid to gain Maud’s trust. When they form an unexpected bond, Sue begins regretting her involvement in the con man’s scheme, but it may be too late.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie


Sing You Home () &#; Jodi Picoult


Zoe and her husband Max want to have a baby but are unable to conceive. They try in vitro fertilization and give up after multiple unsuccessful attempts. The couple’s fertility issues strain their marriage leading to divorce. Later, Zoe meets Vanessa Shaw. The two women fall in love, get married, and decide to have children using the frozen embryos from Zoe’s previous marriage. But first, they need permission from Max, now a born again Christian uncomfortable with his ex-wife’s new relationship.  

Read the Book

Other titles to check out: The Well of Loneliness, Patience and Sarah, Orlando, Zami: A New Spelling of my Name, The Hours, Middlesex

Young Adult Lesbian Books

Annie on my Mind () &#; Nancy Garden


Annie on my Mind was one of the first young adult books to portray a lesbian love story between teenagers. Annie and Liza are two seventeen-year-olds coming of age in New York City. Annie lives in an upscale neighborhood and attends a private school while Liza comes from a lower-class background. Despite their differences, Annie and Liza meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on one fateful rainy day and fall in love.

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Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit () &#; Jeanette Winterson


Though not a memoir, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is semi-autobiographical and details Jeanette’s experience coming of age in an evangelical household in England. Because of her staunchly religious upbringing, Jeanette is an outcast at school. She begins a relationship with another girl which makes her an outcast at church as well and complicates her feelings about faith.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie


Keeping You A Secret () &#; Julie Anne Peters


Peters is a well known YA writer whose books feature LGBT characters. Other prominent titles include Luna, Between Mom and Jo, and Rage: A Love Story. In the novel, year-old Holland is crushing her senior year of high school—she has a great boyfriend; she’s Student Council President, and she’s headed to an Ivy League. But the arrival of new girl CeCe makes Holland question everything.

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The House You Pass on the Way () &#; Jacqueline Woodson


Staggerlee has never fit in: she’s biracial in a predominantly black town and her grandparents were killed in an infamous racist bombing. As a result of unwanted attention, Staggerlee is quiet and keeps to herself. All that changes when Trout, her outspoken cousin, comes to visit. They spend a transformative summer together helping each other come to terms with their identities.

Read the Book


The Miseducation of Cameron Post () &#; Emily M. Danforth


In ’s Montana, year-old Cameron Post loses her parents in a car crash and is taken in by her religious aunt and grandmother. While processing her parents’ death, Cameron begins questioning her sexuality and falls in love with her best friend Coley Taylor. Cameron’s conservative aunt finds out and resorts to drastic measures in order to “fix” Cameron. The novel was turned into a film which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

Other titles to check out:Rubyfruit Jungle, Everything Leads to You, Juliet Takes a Breath, If You Could Be Mine, You Know Me Well, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, Little & Lion

Lesbian Fantasy Books

Ash () &#; Malinda Lo


A dazzling retelling of Cinderella, Ash is the story of a teenage girl forced to live with her cruel stepmother after her father’s death. Ash finds solace in fairy tales and wishes a fairy would steal her away. One night, she is approached by a fairy prince with the power to grant her wish, but the next morning she meets the King’s Huntress Kaisa and falls quickly in love with her. Now, Ash is faced with a difficult decision: go with the fairy prince or stay with Kaisa. A prequel, Huntress, is set in the same universe.  

Read the Book


Of Fires and Stars () &#; Audrey Coulthurst


Denna has been betrothed to the prince of Mynaria since childhood, but she has the ability to conjure fire which and magic is forbidden in Mynaria. As future queen, Denna must learn to ride warhorses and her teacher is none other than her betrothed’s sister: Mare. Denna and Mare do not get along, but when an assassin strikes, they must team up for the fate of the kingdom.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out:Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins, Labyrinth Lost, Girls of Paper and Fire, The Abyss Surrounds Us, The Dark Wife, The Warrior’s Path

Lesbian Vampire Books

Carmilla () &#;  Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu


Carmilla is one of the earliest vampire stories, even predating Dracula. When a mysterious girl named Carmilla arrives in town unexpectedly, Austrian teenager Laura is happy to have a new friend. The two become close, but Carmilla’s sudden mood changes and refusal to divulge anything about her past drives a wedge between them. Meanwhile, girls in nearby towns are dying from an unusual ailment. The book inspired the popular lesbian web series Carmilla and a movie of the same name. The entire novella can be read online at Project Gutenberg.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie


The Gilda Stories () &#; Jewelle Gomez

Told through a series of vignettes, The Gilda Stories depicts the many lives of a black lesbian vampire over a year period from to The novel won two Lambda Literary Awards, one in fiction and one in science fiction.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out:The Midnight Hunt, Women of the Bite: A Lesbian Vampire Anthology

Lesbian Comic Books

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic () &#; Alison Bechdel


Adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Fun Home is a graphic memoir of Bechdel’s relationship with her emotionally distant father who ran the town’s funeral home. When her father dies mysteriously, Bechdel uncovers his hidden gay past while also discovering her own sexuality. Bechdel is the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Other works include a second graphic memoir Are You My Mother and Dykes to Watch Out For, a lesbian comic strip that ran for 25 years.

Read the Comic


Lumberjanes () &#; Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson


In this comic book series, Lumberjane Scouts Mal, Ripley, Molly, April, and Jo realize they got more than bargained for when they discover mythical creatures and supernatural phenomena at summer camp. The gang decides to solve the mystery of these strange occurrences, earning scout badges along the way. Noelle Stevenson is also behind Nimona, a sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel about a mad scientist’s shapeshifting sidekick.  

Read the Comic

Other titles to check out:Skim, Batwoman: Elegy, Bingo Love

Lesbian Romance Novels

When Katie Met Cassidy () &#; Camille Perri


Successful lawyer Katie Cassidy must reevaluate her ideal of a perfect life when her fiance suddenly dumps her. Reeling from the breakup, Katie agrees to have after-work drinks with a coworker, the confident and dapper Cassidy. Katie and Cassidy push each other out of their comfort zones and a sexy game of cat and mouse ensues.  

Read the Book


The Gravity Between Us () &#; Kristen Zimmer


Payton and Kendall have been best friends since childhood, but Kendall is a rising starlet poised to become Hollywood’s next “it” girl. To keep herself grounded, Kendall moves Payton to Hollywood with her. Payton has been harboring a secret: she is in love with Kendall and terrified her feelings won’t be reciprocated. Payton must pluck up the courage to confess her feelings even if it might ruin the friendship they both cherish.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out:Blend, Waiting in the Wings

Lesbian Short Stories

Her Body and Other Parties () &#; Carmen Maria Machado


A lyrical debut combining multiple genres of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, fabulism), this collection uses magical realism to center women and their experiences in society. Each story examines what’s inflicted upon women’s bodies whether it’s sexuality and sensuality or violation and violence.

Read the Stories


Trash: Stories () &#; Dorothy Allison


In this collection, Allison interrogates the South’s troubled history with evangelicalism, social class, racism, sexism, and homophobia in raw and realistic detail. These stories offer a visceral portrait of heartache and humanity’s darkest impulses that are difficult to encounter but impossible to ignore. Allison is also the author of the novel Bastard out of Carolina.

Read the Stories

Other titles to check out:Am I Blue, Missed Her, Valencia, Felt in the Jaw

New Lesbian Books

The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) () &#; Amy Spalding


Out year-old Abby Ives runs a plus-size fashion blog and dreams of making it big in the fashion world. When she has the opportunity to intern at her favorite boutique over the summer, Abby feels like her dreams are finally coming true. Complicating matters, Abby starts crushing on Jordi Perez, a fellow intern she’s competing against for a paid position at the boutique.

Read the Book


Stray City () &#; Chelsey Johnson


After a drunken hookup with a man, year-old Andrea Morales discovers she is pregnant. Though her tight-knit group of queer friends express concern, Andrea decides to keep the baby. 10 years later, Andrea’s daughter Lucia wants to know more about her father.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out:The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali, Pulp, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, Just for Show

Bisexual Books

Empress of the World () &#; Sara Ryan


Nicola attends the Seigel Institute, a college preparatory summer program and quickly fits in with a group of new friends. Nic is inexplicably drawn to one of them, the beautiful Battle Hall Davies, and their dynamic soon evolves from friends to something more.

Read the Book


Queens of Geek () &#; Jen Wilde

Three best friends and proud geeks attend the popular fan convention SupaCon. Charlie, a vlogger and actress who just had a public breakup with her costar Reese has her eyes set on the con’s surprise guest: Alyssa Huntington.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out:Under the Udala Trees, Love in the Time of Global Warming, Not Otherwise Specified, Corona, The Life and Death of Sophie Starks


Baylea Jones

Baylea Jones is a freelance writer and high school teacher living in Houston with her wife. She holds an MFA in fiction from Western New England University. Her writing has been featured on HuffPost, Buzzfeed, Autostraddle, Electric Literature, and more Read more articles by: Baylea Jones


Lesbian the books best

12 Books By (And About) Lesbians And Bisexual Women To Read This Pride Month

Recently I received an email containing one of my favorite things: a book recommendation. A friend was reading Chelsey Johnson’s Stray City, and he thought I might enjoy it because the heroine and I are both queer ladies. “When I started reading it,” he wrote, “I realized how relatively few queer women appear as main characters in literary fiction.”

That couldn’t be true. I fired back with a list of beloved writers: Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson, Eileen Myles, Sappho. But our exchange left me wondering where the rest of these characters and their authors were hiding out. Surely they must exist, and we just weren’t looking in the right places.

Taking it as a challenge, I went out in search of queer lady protagonists, taking suggestions from friends and scouring the catalog at the Brooklyn Public Library. Some of the books I found were classics I had the pleasure of discovering for the first time, while others were cult favorites passed along with dog-eared pages and handwritten notes. Others I had to request be pulled up from the storage section of the library, their spines pristine, pages not yet read.

Here are the 12 books I found, all worth revisiting or diving into for the first time this Pride Month. Take them to the beach and get sand stuck between the pages. Read them as you drink your morning coffee, inviting queer women from different decades to hang out with you during your day. Show off their jackets on the subway, a little literary Dyke March. Keep them in circulation, because if we don’t, just like Sappho’s verses, they may simply disappear.

1. The Off Season by Amy Hoffman (University of Wisconsin Press, )

UW Press

This recent novel about a midlife lesbian love triangle is just good, plain fun. It’s filled with the eclectic character of the queer hub that is Provincetown, like: “After all our years together, and all I did for you, and I step out once. I mean, I feel terrible about it, okay? I’m awash in guilt. But don’t tell me you never thought about it yourself.” Talk about dyke drama. Truth be told, what I really want to read is Hoffman’s memoir, Hospital Time (), about caring for a friend dying of AIDS, but the library has it and won’t even loan it out.

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

2. Lena by Cassie Pruyn (Texas Tech University Press, )

Texas Tech University Press

These poems about furtive first love and first loss unfurl like a novel to create a piercing elegy for Lena, a young queer woman who died before her time. Blurring time, Pruyn shares her memories of making love, undiscovered, in Lena’s family beach house and her desperate search to find Lena’s grave without contacting her close-minded family. You can read this collection in one sitting, and then return to it again and again for catharsis and for comfort.

Get it from Amazon for $9, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

3. Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett (Grove Atlantic, )

Grove Atlantic

Ivoe Williams is born in a small Texas town populated by families of sharecroppers just before the turn of the century. When she steals a newspaper from Miss Susan, the white lady her mother works for, it ignites a dream that won’t fit inside her hometown. That dream takes her to Austin, where she attends college, studies printing and typesetting, and begins to publish articles about the Jim Crow laws that keep her and her classmates at the back of the trolley cars. It’s also where she’s caught in a love triangle with her classmate, a brilliant lady pianist, and the seductive journalism teacher who encourages her star pupil to fight against prejudice in the industry.

Barnett studied jazz and wrote lesbian erotica, and she flaunts both passions in the novel. As precocious as Scout Finch and as fiercely tender as Meg Wallace, Ivoe’s life is marked by a determination to write about the racial injustices she and her family have endured through the generations. We could use her right about now.

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

4. Women by Chloe Caldwell (SF/LD Books, )

SF/LD Books

Have you ever fallen in love with a woman so hard you couldn’t get back up again? Caldwell absolutely nails what it’s like to be so smitten you can’t talk about anything else. In short, explosive chapters, an unnamed narrator whose sexuality eludes easy labels documents her descent into obsession, and the abyss that threatens to open up on the other side of lust. “With Finn, I have found a new drug. A reason to wake up in the morning. She is my source of feeling confident in the world; with Finn I feel attractive, the same way I’d feel if I were putting opiates up my nose.”

Get it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

5. The Gifts of the Body by Rebecca Brown (HarperCollins, )


Rebecca Makkai lists this gutting series of vignettes about a disease that turns the body into its own enemy as as one of the sources for The Great Believers, and all the accolades for that novel makes this the perfect moment to revisit Brown’s work. Her straight-shooting prose captures the intimate moments between AIDS patients — a grandmother who contracted the virus from a blood transfusion, a man who always asks for cinnamon rolls — and the narrator, a home care worker who helps out by doing chores, running errands, and sometimes simply with the gift of company. It’s not hard to imagine the narrator as Brown, a lesbian from the Pacific Northwest who was once a home care worker herself. There isn’t a single character in the novel identified as a lesbian, but when the narrator sits in a room full of bantering men and remarks, “I really felt like a girl,” I see her as someone working to care for her own community, with her hands and with her words.

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

6. The Sea of Light by Jenifer Levin (Plume, )

Plume Fiction

I’ve never seen another novel even attempt to portray the relationship between different generations of lesbians the way this one does. On the pool deck, Brenna Allen is a tough, no-nonsense swim coach, but at home she privately mourns the loss of her partner to cancer. When she recruits Babe, a hotshot swimmer who has suffered her own traumas, an unexpected romance blossoms between the team captain and the new recruit. Could Babe be just what the team needs, not just when it comes to winning meets but also when it comes to healing hearts? As athletes at the collegiate and professional level still struggle to come out, this novel is a beautiful, messy reminder of what a team really could be.

Get it from Amazon for $+, Barnes & Noble for $+, or find it at your local library.

7. The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez (Firebrand Books, )

Firebrand Books

Move over Buffy and Bella. In this groundbreaking novel, a black lesbian vampire lives and loves from the s to well past our present day. Need I say more? The novel won two Lambda Literary Awards when it was first published, and it’s not hard to see why. Gilda and others of her kind take blood without taking life, and they give back something in exchange for what they’ve drained — dreams, thoughts, and ideas.

Gomez was born to a black mother and a native father, and the intersectional activism that marks her life is at work here. Gilda begins her life as a slave in Mississippi and goes on to witness the Gold Rush in San Francisco, uses her powers to defend sex workers on Boston’s South End, and draws on the stories she’s lived through to become an infamously reclusive romance novelist, finding and siring her own chosen family along the way.

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

8. People in Trouble by Sarah Schulman (Plume, )

Plume Fiction

Sarah Schulman is having a moment right now because of her award-winning non-fiction book Conflict Is Not Abuse, but Schulman has been writing for decades across many genres. Her now out-of-print novel People in Trouble centers on a love triangle in s NYC during the AIDS crisis. Kate, an established artist, has an affair with a young lesbian, Molly, who spends many of her days caring for her sick friends and pulls Kate into AIDS activism. The novel’s villain, Ronald Horne, is based on a real-life political figure whose first name rhymes with his real-life doppelganger: Donald Trump. A young editorial assistant in the UK just bought the rights to republish this novel across the pond in the fall. Here’s hoping someone will pick it up in the US.

Get it from Amazon for $+ or find it at your local library.

9. Loving Her by Ann Allen Shockley (Bobbs-Merrill, )

Open Road Media

Loving Her is a short novel about a black woman trying to find her place in the world. Renay flees with her daughter Denise from the abusive man who fathered her child. When she meets Terry, a wealthy white woman, at a supper club, Renay flourishes, both in bed and at the piano bench. Torn between her violent husband and the woman she loves but her community won’t accept, Renay has to walk a long road before she can find home. Loving Her is made up of equal parts erotic drama and long monologues about race and sexuality, but both make for essential reading.

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $+, or find it at your local library.

The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren (William Morrow, )

William Morrow & Company

Warren passed away at the beginning of this year, and she is perhaps best remembered for writing one of the first popular novels about an openly gay couple, and the very first to become a New York Times bestseller.

Warren was a lesbian, so I picked this one up expecting to find some queer lady characters, but, surprisingly, her novels, including The Front Runner, imagined romances between gay men. Harlan Brown, running coach extraordinaire, has been chased into hiding at a small liberal arts college out of suspicion that he’s gay. He has, for the most part, kept his desire to himself. That is, until Billy Sive shows up on campus with two other boys who were kicked out a West Coast school for being openly gay. Harlan and Billy train together, fall in love, and must decide whether sharing their love with the world will ruin Billy’s chances of heading to the Montreal Olympics. The novel recalls a not-too-distant past when gay sex was illegal in New York City, and it inspired dozens of LGBTQ running teams around the world to call themselves the “Front Runners.”

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown (Daughters, Inc., )

Bantam Books

Don’t read this one in public unless you’re prepared to blush on the subway or at your local café. The unstoppable Molly Bolt is determined to leave behind her poor Southern upbringing to make something of herself. Her dreams take her all the way to New York City, where her unapologetic sexuality and determination to become a movie director in the face of deep-seated sexism carry her to unexpected places in this queer coming of age story. Molly would be a hero in , too.

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes (Faber and Faber, )

Faber and Faber

Buried somewhere in this dense modernist prose is a story of lesbian love and torment. Robin Vote, much like Romeo before her, is always in and out of love. She follows her heart from a traditional marriage to a man, to a bohemian relationship with a woman, to a series of affairs with strangers, leaving tears and heartache in her wake. As difficult as it can be to follow the narrative thread, there’s something wonderful about the idea of a woman free to pursue many loves back in the s.

Get it from Amazon for $, Barnes & Noble for $, or find it at your local library.

Now that I’ve gone down the rabbit hole, I keep discovering more novels about women loving women, or by women who love women, just waiting to be read. Do you have any suggestions? Please send them my way!


My Favorite F/F Books 🌈🌈

50 Lesbian Books &#; Novels &#; The Very Best of Lesbian Fiction

Last Updated on October 11, by Our Taste For Life

Good lesbian books and novels are hard to come by. Extraordinary lesbian books and novels are even harder. But just like us rare lesbians ourselves, that&#;s not to say that they don&#;t exist. Luckily for you, we&#;ve done our research. And with the help of our good friend Karen Zibets (AKA Zibs), we&#;ve collated a list of the very best of lesbian fiction. We cover all the lesbian classics, the best lesbian romance novels, as well as some lesbian erotica and fantasy novels too.

I can&#;t think of many better human experiences than getting your head buried into a really good book. I love it when a book transports me to another place or time, and I can lose myself in my imagination &#; even just for a short while.  

I&#;ve always loved to read, yet only recently have I started to get into lesbian novels. In all honestly, I had no idea how extensive and diverse the lesbian fiction genre is. And I am thrilled to find so many incredible books out there that have and continue to help shape our generation.  

So without further ado, let&#;s get to it. Here are 30 of the very best lesbian books and novels from both past and present.

Lesbian Books

Lesbian Classics

Fingersmith By: Sarah Waters ()

Let&#;s start with what is probably the most famous lesbian book of all time. Authored by the remarkable Sarah Waters, Fingersmith follows Sue Trinder, an orphaned pickpocketer raised on the streets of Victorian London by a baby farmer named Mrs. Sucksby.  

One evening, Gentleman, a professional con man and beloved friend of Mrs. Sucksby, arrives with an attractive proposition for Sue. He plans to win the hand of the naive heiress Maud Lilly, to get his hands on her inheritance. But he first requires Sue to win a position as Maud&#;s maid, to help in his twisted plan of deception.  

Enticed by the small fortune reward, and with little thought of the consequences, Sue agrees to the plan. However, when the two young women develop an unexpected bond, Sue begins to regret her decision.  

Tipping the Velvet By: Sarah Waters ()

While Sarah Waters debut may not be as acclaimed as Fingersmith, it&#;s regarded nonetheless as one of the best lesbian fiction novels of the 21st century. Set again in Victorian Britain, Tipping the Velvet charts Nan King, a young girl obsessed with the cross-dressing theatre sensation, Kitty Butler.

After managing to blag tickets for all of her shows, one day fate is on Nans side, and she gets to meet her idol in person. A friendship forms and before long they become a double act, performing shows at top venues all over London.

On stage, they are an all-singing and dancing phenomenon. Behind closed doors, their relationship develops into more than just friends. The pair embark on a passionate love affair, but what follows is no happy ever after.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café By: Fannie Flagg ()

In this lesbian classic, we (the readers) get far more than we bargained for, as the story jumps from present to past, carrying us through a variety of gripping events. The book begins with bored housewife Evelyn, who while visiting her Mother-in-Law at her care home sparks up a conversation with pensioner Mrs Threadgoode.  

Mrs Threadgoode goes on to tell her life story to Evelyn, focusing on the exploits of rebellious tomboy Idgie and her close friend Ruth. When Evelyn learns of Mrs Threadgoodes colourful past, it encourages her to make some changes for the better in her own life.  

Rubyfruit Jungle By: Rita Mae Brown ()

Rubyfruit Jungle is the best selling lesbian book by feminist and civil rights campaigner Rita Mae Brown. Published in , the dramatic coming of age novel was revolutionary for its time, documenting what it was like growing up as a lesbian in America.  

The protagonist of the story is a feisty and sassy character named Molly, who from a young age realises she is a lesbian. Smart and determined, Molly excels at school, winning a scholarship at a leading college. However, when her teachers discover her relationship with a female student, she is kicked out and lands up in a psychiatric ward.

Refusing to give up on her dreams, Molly hitchhikes to New York in the hope of pursuing a career in filmmaking. Molly&#;s drive, wit and striking beauty land her in the right circles, and she ends up taking New York by storm, winning the hearts of several women along the way.

The Color Purple by: Alice Walker ()

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Color Purple tells the life story of Celie, an African-American woman growing up in rural Georgia. A tale not for the faint-hearted, Celie endures horrific abuse from her father, who eventually leaves her impregnated at the age of   

The story that follows spans across 30 years, documenting Celie&#;s endless hardships and struggles through her own letters to God. Only when she meets an attractive jazz singer named Shug, is Celie awarded a new sense of life. And the pair begin a passionate and intimate relationship. 

Other Lesbian Classics

Lesbian Romance Novels

Lesbian Romance Novels

The Price of Salt by: Patricia Highsmith ()

In this mid-century love story, department store worker Therese meets an elegant older woman, Carol, when she purchases a doll for her daughter in Therese&#;s store. Therese is instantly attracted to Carol and uses the delivery address provided for her purchase to send her a Christmas card.  

A friendship develops between the two women, and Carol spills her heart out to Therese regarding her messy divorce. After Christmas, the pair embark on a wild road trip together, and it becomes clear that the attraction between them is mutual. Only a private investigator sent to expose their antics forces Carol to choose between Therese and her daughter.

If you&#;ve seen the movie Carol (which features one of our all-time favourite lesbian scenes), you&#;ll already be familiar with the storyline of The Price of Salt. But either way, this iconic lesbian romance novel is a must-read. First published in , the book is both rare and controversial for its time. It is one of the first lesbian romance novels to have a happy ending, and the explosive love story of Carol and Therese remains timeless &#; sure to win the heart of any romantic.

Gold by: E.J. Noyes 

In this lesbian romance novel, former Pro alpine skier Aspen Archer is on the run from her problems and comfortably lives out her days coaching tourists at ski resorts all around the world. One day, at a ski resort in Australia, Aspen meets Cate Tierney, and there is an obvious attraction from the get-go.  

However, both women have baggage galore, and there seem to be more obstacles keeping them apart than reasons for them to be together. Cate is still carrying the burden of a former relationship and at the same time, has a daughter to protect. While, Aspen is reluctant to spend any longer than a season in any given place. 

So the question is, can their relationship overcome the odds and be anything more than a holiday fling?

Reservations of the Heart By: T.B. Markinson

Reservations of the Heart is a fun, light-hearted lesbian romance novel following the relationship of Stella, a divorced year-old doctor, and Aurora Shirley, a year-old woman filling in a temporary position at the local medical school.

In an unexpected meeting, sparks fly when Stella and Aurora come together. However, neither is looking for a relationship. After Stella&#;s wife cheated, and Aurora&#;s family kept a life-changing secret from her, both women have trust issues. But perhaps love is just what they need to help heal the wounds of their past.

Warming Trend By: Karin Kallmaker

Anidyr Bycall is the protagonist in this romantic lesbian love story, who full of regrets following an impulsive act that cost her everything, spends her nights tending bars in Florida&#;s key west. Her life is meaningless, other than her research on the ice fields of Alaska &#; her last remaining passion in life.

When Anidyr receives news from home that her past mistakes may have been forgotten, she returns to Fairbanks hoping to recover the years of research she left behind. But when she encounters her former love, she&#;s devastated to see the admiration and affection drained from Eve&#;s eyes.

Can Ani set the truth straight about what happened all those years ago? Can she reclaim her career and clear her name? But most importantly, can she rekindle the passion that was once there between her and Eve?

Ask, Tell: Ask, Tell Series Book 1 By: E.J. Noyes

In this military-based lesbian romance novel, we follow the thoughts and feelings of Captain Sabine Fleisher &#; A U.S. Army surgeon deployed to a combat hospital in Afghanistan. Serving under the &#;Don&#;t Ask, Don&#;t Tell&#; anti-gay policy, isolation and loneliness take their toll on the otherwise focused Sabine. And the traumas and terrors of war become more and more challenging to deal with, while her relationship back home starts to fall apart.

Sabine finds refuge from her troubles when she starts fantasising about attractive Colonel Rebecca Keane. Rebecca runs the surgical unit at the military hospital. But when Sabine spots her wearing a wedding ring, she concludes that she is way off-limits. That is until Rebecca starts showing some subtle signs of mutual attraction and the chemistry between the two women begins to grow.

lesbian novels

Ask Me Again: Ask. Tell Series Book 2 By E.J. Noyes

The follow-up book to Ask Tell, Ask Me Again takes place around one year later. Sabine has finished another tour in Afghanistan and is coming home for her next deployment. The military has finally repealed the DADT policy, and Sabine can&#;t wait to rejoice with her love, Rebecca. 

An everyday life with Rebecca is all that Sabine ever wanted; however, upon returning home, Sabine&#;s anxiety and PTSD begins to cause rifts in their relationship. Rebecca wants to help support Sabine through her issues, but Sabine stubbornly pushes her away. And they are both left questioning if their love can withstand yet another storm. 

If the Shoe Fits: Ask, Tell Series Book 3 By: E.J. Noyes 

The third instalment of E.J. Noyes brilliant Ask, Tell series centres on Jana &#; Sabine&#;s younger sister, who seemingly content in her life, is thrown off balance when she meets Brooke Donnelly. Jana&#;s relationship history consists of a long line of casual relationships with men, never even considering being with another woman. So when she starts to develop romantic feelings for Brooke, it&#;s a shock.  

Although Jana comes to realise she&#;s missing something meaningful in her life, first, she must come to terms with her sexuality. And both women will have to be brave if they are to take their relationship to the next level. Are they the match made in heaven their initial attraction suggests? Or is it the start of a disastrous love affair? Only time will tell.

Kiss the Girl By: Melissa Brayden

Kiss the Girl provides a lesbian take on Sleeping with the Enemy, charting the risky relationship between the two leaders of rivalling ad agencies.

Brooklyn and Jessica cross paths in a trendy wine bar, where they spend the night flirting and concluding in a passionate kiss. But the following day, they bump into each other at a pitch for the same campaign.  

The two women realise it would be unwise to pursue their attraction for one another. However, the more they see of each other, the harder it is to resist.

Turbulence By: E.J. Noyes

In this romance novel by the wonderful E.J. Noyes, we meet the wealthy and powerful stockbroker, Isabelle Rhodes. Isabelle is a powerhouse character and quite the catch; however, her history of failed relationships has left her with a massive chip on her shoulder. Believing she is destined to be alone, Isabelle quits seeking a long term relationship and pursues no-strings-attached sexual experiences instead.

That is until she hooks up with the beautiful Audrey Graham, who just so happens to be her newly hired company pilot. Romance, in general, is a no-no for Isabelle, so an affair with a colleague seems unimaginable. But despite her best efforts, Isabelle can&#;t shake off her desire for Audrey.  

Audrey doesn&#;t make things easy for Isabelle either, and her persistent flirtation soon pays off. But for their relationship to grow past a casual affair, Audrey must shake off her belief that she &#;sucks at relationships&#;. 

Three Reasons to Say Yes: (Paradise Book #1) By: Jaime Clevenger

Three Reasons to Say Yes centres around Julia Maguire, who can&#;t wait to escape the mundane day to day and spend two weeks in Hawaii with her best friends. While she dreams of sun, sea, sand, and cocktails, Julia gets far more than she bargained for when she meets Reed Baxter.

Reed is in Hawaii to take a break from her busy lifestyle, and the last thing she is looking for is any kind of romance. But when she finds herself attracted to Julia, she decides there&#;s no harm in a holiday fling. The two agree on a no-strings affair, but when feelings get involved things start getting complicated!

The Gravity Between Us By: Kristen Zimmer

In this emotional coming-of-age romance, Payton and Kendall have been the best of friends since childhood. When Kendall grows up to be the hottest year-old in Hollywood, she misses her best friend and the sanity she provided. So Kendall invites Payton to come and live with her in LA.

Kendall doesn&#;t expect Payton to come out as a lesbian, but seemingly comfortable with her own sexuality, doesn&#;t have an issue with the news. What she doesn&#;t realise, however, is that Payton has been hiding her crush on Kendall for years. And now they are living together, it&#;s getting more and more difficult to conceal.  

When Kendall becomes jealous of Payton&#;s relationship with another girl, she starts to question if her feelings for Payton have grown past friendship. But how can it be possible if Kendall is straight? Now the pair must find out whether the feelings they have are real. And can their relationship survive the external pressures of fame?

Living By: Lise Gold

Cam Saunders is the protagonist in this slow-burn lesbian romance novel, who one morning finds herself rescuing a woman intent on taking her own life. The woman turns out to be a famous actress, and after swearing Cam to secrecy, the two women part ways, unaware that fate is to bring them together once again.  

Six months later, the troubled actress is working hard to get her life back on track. Yet despite her fortune and fame, she struggles to fight off the deep depression that has taken over her life. The actress thinks of Cam often, and when she shows up in her life again, they believe it is destiny. Soon enough, their friendship turns into attraction, and now they must question everything they thought they knew about themselves.

Alone By: E.J. Noyes

Another must-read by E.J. Noyes, Alone sits somewhere between a lesbian romance and a psychological thriller. The story follows Celeste Thorne, who is living out four years of her life in complete isolation as part of a psychological experiment. With little worries about being alone and a nice paycheck at the end of it, it seems like easy money.  

But when Celeste finds injured hiker Olivia Soldano in the woods, the solitary life she has become accustomed to is thrown off balance. Celeste grows attracted to Olivia, and not only does she question breaking the rules of her experiment, but she begins to wonder what is real and what is imagination. After all, it&#;s not the first times her mind has played tricks on her!

Other Lesbian Romance Novels

lesbian romance novels

Lesbian Fiction Erotica Novels

The X Ingredient By: Roslyn Sinclair

In this steamy lesbian romance novel, Diana Parker is an esteemed lawyer in Atlanta, with a reputation of being ruthless both in and out of the courtroom. Her intimidating manner makes it hard for her to hire and keep good assistants, but desperate for a job, Laurie Holcombe believes she is up to the challenge.

When Laurie shows up to her interview with a smalltown accent, delicate features, and a pink streak in her hair, Diana immediately concludes she isn&#;t right for the job. But when Laurie shows her more audacious side, Diana decides to give the young woman a chance.

When Laurie&#;s proves herself to be exceptional at the job, Diana finds herself warming more and more to her new assistant. And as the chemistry between them builds, Diana is left wondering if she&#;s as straight as she once thought.

The Night Off By: Meghan O&#;Brien

If you&#;re looking for a book guaranteed to leave you a little hot under the collar, you won&#;t want to miss this lesbian fiction erotica novel. The storyline follows Emily Parker, who after living a troubled childhood, strives to have ultimate control over her own busy life.

One night, however, following years of celibacy, she decides to hire a prestige escort to help satisfy her all her wildest fantasies. Nat Swayne is only too happy to help, but when their no-strings night of passion turns into something more, things start to get complicated. And the question is, can both women surrender to their feelings despite their past habits? 

Other Lesbian Fiction Erotica Novels  

Lesbian Books for Young Adults

Her Name in the Sky By: Kelly Quindlen

In this beautifully written coming-of-age novel, Hannah is in her senior year of high school when she starts to fall in love with her best friend, Baker. Having grown up in a conservative town in Louisiana, Hannah battles with her feelings, willing herself to like Wally. A kind young man who asks her to go to the prom with him.

But the more she tries, the more she can&#;t get Baker out of her head. Hannah adores everything about Baker and longs to be more than just friends. But can she come clean about her feelings and risk losing Baker altogether? Is there any possibility that Baker feels the same way about her too? 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post By: Emily M. Danforth

The Miseducation of CameronPost charts the trials of tribulations of a young teen, Cameron Post, who struggling to terms with the death of her parents is also grappling with her confused sexuality.  

Following her parents&#; accident, Cam moves to Montana with her conventional, ultra-religious Aunt Ruth and her Grandmother. Cam knows she will have to hide her true self if she is to get by peacefully in her new town. But when the beautiful and quirky Coley Taylor moves to town, that might not be as easy as Cam once thought.

Despite Coley having a boyfriend, the two young women form an intense connection. But when Aunt Ruth gets wind of the &#;sinful&#; love affair, she sends Cam off to a correctional facility. Cam must now confront the demons of her past and dig deep to find out what it is she wants.

Annie on My Mind By: Nancy Garden ()

Annie On My Mind was one of the first books for young adults to portray a lesbian love story between two teenagers. As such, the book has a rather tumultuous and controversial history. Not only challenged on several occasions, but the book was also subsequently banned from several school libraries.

Nevertheless, the book has received a number of young adult fiction awards and is, without doubt, one of the most influential lesbian fiction novels of all time.  

The story charts the relationship between Annie and Liza &#; two seventeen-year-olds growing up in New York City. Both girls are from entirely different backgrounds; however, their differences do not stop them from meeting and falling in love.

Other Lesbian Books for Young Adults

lesbian books and novels

Lesbian Fantasy Books

Reaping the Benefits By: E.J.Noyes

Reaping the Benefits is a delightful supernatural romance, centring around the world of Morgan Ashworth as Death&#;s head minion. (Yes Death, as in the Grim Reaper, Death.) Her role involves delivering afterlife packages to people, that help determine where they will go when they die. But when one of those people turn out to be a human employee she fancies, it&#;s not a favourable task.

Meanwhile, Jane is shocked when it&#;s her turn to complete the questionnaire, especially when it&#;s her hot boss who delivers it. But she decides to use the situation to her advantage and asks Morgan to use her resources to help her complete her bucket list. And it just so happens that it involves sleeping with her boss!

The more time the two women spend together, the more their feelings develop. But, of course, there&#;s the slight complication of one being immortal and the other being human to overcome. Will Morgan risk losing another mortal woman when she knows it means an eternity of heartbreak?

Other Lesbian Fantasy Books

More Favourite Lesbian Fiction Novels

Keepers of the Cave: Johnston and Riley Series, Book 1 By: Gerri Hill

In this romance/mystery/crime drama novel, FBI agents CJ Johnston and Paige Riley have a one night stand hanging over their heads. And when they are assigned to a mysterious case in the East of Texas, they are forced to put their feelings aside.  

It quickly becomes apparent that there is something strange going on in the isolated town of Hoganville, and the odd behaviour of the locals confirms their suspicions. Now the two agents must investigate over 50 years of bizarre disappearances, all the while keeping the sexual tension between them at bay. 

Weeping Walls: Johnston & Riley Series, Book 2 By: Gerri Hill

In the chilling second instalment of the Johnston & Riley series, FBI agents CJ Johnston and Paige Riley are back. And this time they are investigating a mysterious murder at an eerie abandoned house in small Houston town.  

As it turns out, there was a similar murder at the same house 14 years prior. And as the team delve deeper into the case, the story takes on a paranormal turn.  

Calling the Dead By: Ali Vali

Calling the Dead is a murder mystery set six months after Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans. The stories protagonist is Detective Sept Savoie, who throws herself into her work after losing her sister during the disaster.

When a chef is found murdered outside a famous restaurant, Sept finds herself in the midst of a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the killer responsible.

At the same time, one of the suspects Keegan Blanchard is on the one hand disgusted that she is under investigation. And on the other slightly turned on by the sexy butch detective.

In Dyer Need: The First Chapter (Ren Dyer Series, Book 1) By: Claire Highton – Stevenson

In this &#;end-of-the-world&#; lesbian romance novel, Ren Dyer is at the pinnacle of her career. Recently appointed as head of the protection team for the Home Secretary, she is a woman dedicated to her job.

The Home Secretary, Andrea Fielding, on the other hand, has been looking for love in all the wrong places. But when a global disaster happens, she sees something that&#;s been staring her in the face all along.

Now Ren must escort a group of people to safety. But can Andrea break down the Ren&#;s tough exterior, and show her there is more to life than her job? 

Other Favourite Lesbian Fiction Novels

**Full Book Reviews for all books coming soon!

Lesbian Romance

Thank You For Reading

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best lesbian books and novels. Be sure to let us know if you have any others that you think deserve to be on this list. You can reach out to us in the comment section below or through our contact us page.

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Happy Reading,

Charlotte & Natalie x

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Their shape, color, constantly changing bend and alluring capriciousness enchant, draw into a trance and sweet-erotic dreams of something UNFULFILLED. Their kiss plunges into unconsciousness, where there is no time. No morality, no prohibitions, but only infinite insane pleasure. A woman's kiss in the darkness of the bedroom is not just an affectionate or passionate touch, it is a simultaneous expression.

Of sympathy, love and desire.

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