Best Lesbian Books of 2013 by Danika of The Lesbrary (2014 Lesbian Fiction Event)

Jan 25, 2014 by

Best Lesbian Books of 2013 by Danika of The Lesbrary (2014 Lesbian Fiction Event)

The closing post of this year’s event…

 

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Hello lesbian book lovers! (Lesbian booklovers?) I’m Danika, from the Lesbrary, where my team of Lesbrarians and I review lesbian books, as well as highlight the latest lesbian book news. During the 2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event, I wrote about why I think lesbian books are important. During last year’s event, I highlighted my favourite lesbian books I’d read in 2012. I really enjoyed putting that list together and sharing great books with you all, so I thought I’d do it again this year! I have divided them by genre, and have linked them to my full reviews if you’d like more information. You can also check out my youtube video of my Top 10 Books of 2013, which mostly focused on lesbian books. On to the books!

 

Fiction

 

Fresh Tracks by Georgie Beers: This is a book I read during December for my Lesbians In Cold Places theme. It made for a (near) perfect holiday read: light and easy-to-read, but with emotional depth and good characterization. Seven lesbian, seven days, one cabin! The best kind of lesbian drama. I had one frustration with this book, but overall I really enjoyed it.

 

Nevada by Imogen Binnie: My second favourite read of the year. Topside Press continues to be incredible. This book has such a distinctive voice, and compelling story. Even though it’s a heavy read, it’s well, well worth it. More trans lesbian stories, please. And more from Imogen Binnie. And more from this publisher. More of this. Also check out Casey’s review!

 

The Big Bang Symphony by Lucy Jane Bledsoe: Another Lesbians In Cold Places read! This is a slow build of a novel, but so satisfying. The lesbian content isn’t the main focus of the story, but all three main characters are interesting. And how intriguing is Antarctica as a setting?

 

The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard edited by Tom Léger and Riley MacLeod: My favourite read of the year! And another from Topside Press. This isn’t all lesbian stories, but many are included. The quality of writing is so high in this collection. I was blown away.

 

Biographies and Memoirs

 

Freak of Nurture by Kelli Dunham: Would you believe this is another Topside Press publication? Kelli Dunham is a comedian, and her sense of humour winds through this whole book, even when she’s discussing really serious subjects.

 

Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert: This is the story of Hoffert coming back to the small town where she grew up, and trying to reconcile her queer self to this environment and to her family. I like that this book questions the traditional narrative of “small town = bad for queers, cities = queer accepting and community”. I sometimes didn’t like the writing style, but I liked the ideas being discussed in this memoir.

 

Licking the Spoon by Candace Walsh: This is a fantastic “foodie” memoir, told beautifully, but another reason I liked it was because it sparked a fantastic conversation about queer lit. Casey also reviewed this book, and also made a blog post after we discussed that the book itself has no hints to it’s queer content on the cover: Why I Don’t Want to Be a Queer Book Detective Anymore (Although I Do Still Want to Be Harriet the Spy). She followed it up later with Responses to Queer Book Detective Frustrations; Also, Apparently Queers Don’t Buy Enough Queer Books and Some Lesbians Hate Lesbian Books. Great book, possible even better conversation.

 


Horror

 

Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire edited by Amber Dawn: During October, I did a horror-themed reading month, and found some great queer horror! Fist of the Spider Woman is delightfully creepy, mixing the erotic and horror in a supremely discomfiting way. I would definitely recommend this as a halloween read. Also check out Laura’s review.

 

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez: One of the best books the vampire genre has to offer, The Gilda Stories is just as much about racism and sexism as it is about being a vampire. A black lesbian vampire describes her life through the centuries, and it’s a brilliant take on vampire mythology as well as being thought-provoking.

 

The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan: This definitely isn’t a book for everyone, but I found the snarky, unlikeable main character entertaining, and even charming in her grumbling way. The creepy ambience of this book was exactly what I was looking for in an October read.

 

 
Young Adult

 

Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow: I have a soft spot for lesbian young adult books, and luckily I was able to read a couple really good ones this past year. Starting From Here is a book I read almost all in one sitting, crying multiple times. Dog stories! They get to me! This is definitely one of my favourite lesbian young adults books I’ve read.

 

Love In the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block: This is one isn’t technically a lesbian book; it’s more of a queer/bisexual book. It’s a post-apocalyptic fantasy teen re-telling of The Odyssey, and it’s a fun ride.

 

Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin: Another one that makes my top ten lesbian young adult books. Set in 1920s America, it has absolutely beautiful writing, a compelling “coming of gayge” story, and pretty much everything you could want from it. Also check out Casey’s, Anna M’s, and Katie Rayne’s reviews.
Misc

 

The Narrows by M. Craig: This is a fantasy book that is sort of an industrialized fantasy world: you can pretty much picture it taking place in Portland. I found the setting fascinating, and the world-building intriguing, but I really want a sequel to flesh it out even more. Also check out Jill Guccini’s review.

 

Revolutionary Girl Utena series by Chiho Saitou: One of my top five books/series read this year. If you’ve seen the anime, definitely read the manga as well. If you haven’t seen the anime, you can pick up the manga first. It is queer and dreamlike and so complex and sometimes disturbing. Highly recommended.

 

And those were some of my favourite reads this year! Did you read any great lesbian books this year? Have you read any of these, and if so, what did you think of them?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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1 Comment

  1. Sheila

    Thanks for the list. Some of them sound great and right up my alley.

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