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Must-read sapphic books (Sapphic Book Bingo #1)

Must-read sapphic books

Welcome to the Sapphic Book Bingo 2024! I hope you had a good start into the new year and are ready for the first category of our 2024 reading challenge—must-read sapphic books!


Check out the rules & download your Sapphic Book Bingo card

If you haven’t done so already, check out the rules of the Sapphic Book Bingo and download your bingo card. Then come back here to take a look at my suggestions for the first square below.


How I picked the recommended reads for the must-read sapphic books category

I admit that the first category of this year’s Sapphic Book Bingo—must-read sapphic books—is a very subjective one. A must-read to me might not be a must-read to you and vice versa, and coming up with a “must-read sapphic books” list that everyone agrees on is an impossible task. However, if you ask plenty of avid readers of sapphic fiction, you’ll start to see a certain pattern emerge.

And that’s exactly what I did: Rather than pick my personal must-reads, I asked the readers on my mailing list, on Twitter (I refuse to call it X), and in various Facebook groups for sapphic fiction, including my own, where all 4,300 members answered a question about their favorite sapphic books when they joined the group.

As a result, I got input from more than 6,000 readers. I tallied the results and determined the top 50 most popular sapphic books.

As you will see below, the book that got most mentions was one of mine. I considered leaving it off because I didn’t want to skew the results, but then decided against it. First, every readers’ vote is valid. Second, I spent hundreds of hours on the Sapphic Book Bingo every year. I hope everyone will understand that I’m not going to punish myself for that hard work by leaving off my own books. I did, however, add an additional book so I wouldn’t take space from a fellow writer, so strictly speaking, there are 51 books in my top 50 list.


The top 50 must-read sapphic books

Here are the 50 must-read sapphic books according to 6,000+ readers. They are sorted in order of the number of votes they got, with the most-popular books being listed first.

I included only one book by each author—the one with the most votes—but noted if a second book by the same author also got a lot of votes. Feel free to read any of the books mentioned in this post for the “must-read sapphic books” category.


Backwards to Oregon by Jae (Wrong Number, Right Woman also got a lot of votes)

The Brutal Truth by Lee Winter (Breaking Character also got a lot of votes)

Fated Love by Radclyffe

Hunter’s Way by Gerri Hill

Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes (Alone also got a lot of votes)

A Breathless Place by Harper Bliss

Starting from Scratch by Georgia Beers (96 Hours also got a lot of votes)

Kiss the Girl by Melissa Brayden

Before You Say I Do by Clare Lydon

Being Hers by Anna Stone

Flight Plan by T.B. Markinson & Miranda MacLeod (The AM Show also got a lot of votes)

Those Who Wait by Haley Cass

The Trip by Robin Alexander

The Devil Inside by Ali Vali

Touchwood by Karin Kallmaker (Captain of Industry also got a lot of votes)

Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton (The Goodmans also got a lot of votes)

The Headmistress by Milena McKay (A Whisper of Solace also got a lot of votes)

Jericho by Ann McMan

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (Fingersmith also got a lot of votes)

Truth and Measure by Roslyn Sinclair (The Lily and the Crown also got a lot of votes)

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Plain English by Rachel Spangler

The Night Off by Meghan O’Brien

Listen by Kris Bryant

By Design by J.A. Armstrong

Flight SQA016 by Amanda Radley

No Good Reason by Cari Hunter

Heart of the Pack by Jenny Frame

Who’d Have Thought by G Benson

Curious Wine by Katherine V. Forrest

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner

Don’t Call Me Hero by Eliza Lentzki

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Casting Lacey by Elle Spencer

Stars Collide by Rachel Lacey

No After You by Nicole Pyland

Tropical Storm by Melissa Good

The Origins of Heartbreak by Cara Malone

Awakenings by Susan X. Meagher

Darkness Falls by KC Luck

Back in Your Arms by Monica McCallan

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (The Fiancée Farce also got a lot of votes)

All That Lies Within by Lynn Ames

Mrs. Middleton by Melissa Tereze

Anyone But Her by Erica Lee

Invisible, as Music by Caren J. Werlinger

Destination You by J.J. Arias

The Forever and the Now by KJ

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. Lane


Bonus: Three new authors to watch out for

“New author” will be a Sapphic Book Bingo category of its own, but I wanted to mention three new authors. While they didn’t quite make the top 50 list (yet), their books did get plenty of votes too, so check out:

The Senator’s Wife by Jen Lyon

The Flight Risk by Macon Leigh

The Honeymoon Mix-Up by Frankie Fyre


More must-read sapphic books

If none of the books above appeal to you (I don’t think that’s possible, but anyway…), or you have already read them all, here are a few more links to must-read sapphic books you could check out:


Sapphic classics such as The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde, and The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Most-read books of the 2023 Sapphic Book Bingo

Most-read books of the 2022 Sapphic Book Bingo

Sapphic five-star reads (Books with an average of 5 stars on Amazon or Goodreads)

I Heart SapphFic’s “Best of the Best” winners (nominated and voted on by readers—this one will be a bingo category of its own too)

The Lesbian Review’s Hall of Fame (Books that got favorite badges from at least 4 The Lesbian Review’s reviewers)

Sagacious Sapphic’s first 10 sapphic books to read (according to 470 votes from readers on Twitter)


Subscribe to my blog for more Sapphic Book Bingo posts

If you’d like to get all Sapphic Book Bingo posts sent to your inbox, subscribe to my blog. The next recommended reading list will be posted next Thursday, with my recommendations for the “both main characters over 40” category.


Leave a comment

What sapphic must-read book will you be reading for this category? What sapphic books would make your personal must-read list? Let us know in the comments!

The Romance Bet by Jae

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9 thoughts on “Must-read sapphic books (Sapphic Book Bingo #1)”

  1. I think it’s completely legitimate to put your own book on this list if it got the votes. Thank you for all the hard work you do for this community, even outside of promoting your own work, which is valid in its own right. I look forward to your annual challenge and to reading all the recommendations/lists you compile for us throughout the year. I’ve found so many great books/authors because of it.

  2. Jae thank you for putting this list together. Many of the titles are familiar and I can’t wait to explore the other titles. Woo-hoo! Jae’s Sapphic Book Bingo 2024 is off to the races with a bang!

  3. Thanks Jae for the Sapphic Bingo, I play all year. I don’t send in for the prizes though, because I feel the wonderful reading is the best prize of all. :)

  4. I want to read them all and read the ones I have read before, again!
    Also, for the record, perish the thought – you leaving yourself off, not even a consideration if you ask me (right you didn’t).
    THANK YOU FOR THIS! Just thank you Jae.

  5. I finally got myself organized to complete the challenge this year. I’m super excited to discover new authors and stories. Thank you for putting this together.


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