In which Sapphic books are bursting out of every corner
A couple of years ago I could count on one hand the number of wlw books I knew of – especially if we stick to recent releases instead of the same classics (Fingersmith, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, The Color Purple) again and again. Those are definitely worth reading, of course, but while mlm was exploding into a hugely marketable subset of almost every genre, wlw was definitely the poor relation, or relegated to token side characters.
It still is, to an extent, but things are definitely getting better. When I came to put together my TBR for the second year of #FFFebruaryReads, I didn’t have any trouble locating enough wlw books from my shelves to fill a pretty ambitious reading list. There were some on there I didn’t even realise were wlw, and had just picked up because they looked so damn cool. There’s too many I want to get my hands on for me to just go buy the whole lot any more.
So let’s launch into a month of celebrating all the books of women who love women.
(#FFFebruaryReads is hosted by Imi and Ellie here)
My #FFFebruary TBR
Now, I’m not reading exclusively wlw books – I’ve got a shrinking but still sizeable library backlog, a couple of buddy reads and ARCs I’m committed to, and as Aro Week also falls in February I’ve been searching out some good recommendations for aro rep too . But here’s the list of books I’m planning to read especially for their wlw rep:
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (this one might take me a fair chunk of the month on its own!)
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Skylarks by Karen Gregory
Black Iris by Elliot Wake
Proper English by K J Charles (another reread, I already know this one is brilliant!)
All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick (assuming my library reservation comes through in time – fingers crossed.)
A few last thoughts
I didn’t want to finish without noting that there’s still a long way to go in getting decent rep for everyone who falls under the wlw umbrella. Where are my books about trans lesbians (or trans bi or pan women, for that matter)? Disabled and neurodivergent wlw (um, hello, I do actually exist!)? Some of the books on my list have POC protagonists, but there’s still an overwhelming array of whiteness on view. Ace and Aro spectrum rep has some overlap, but that’s few and far between as well. Let’s all enjoy the month for what it is, but let’s not forget there’s still work to be done.
Are you reading wlw this February?
Let me know in the comments! And especially if you happen to have some more recommendations for those harder-to-find books I mentioned.
And if you like the idea of joining in but aren’t sure where to start, Imi and Ellie also have an amazing master-list of wlw books to whet your appetite!