For this week’s Sapphic Book Bingo category, read a sapphic book that is a bit—or a lot—out of your reading comfort zone.
It can be a genre or subgenre you don’t usually read, a trope or topic you normally avoid, or a format you don’t typically read. If you stick to reading novels most of the time, you could try a short story, a biography/memoir, poetry, nonfiction, or a graphic novel. If you normally read ebooks, you could read a paperback or try an audiobook. If you mostly read contemporary romances, you could try a historical romance, a paranormal romance, a mystery, or book of another genre.
If there’s a certain point of view that you usually avoid, you could search out a book written from that point of view for this category–that’s what I might be doing.
Below, I’ll give you some resources and suggestions.
Listen to one of the 10 most-recommended sapphic audiobooks
If you don’t usually listen to audiobooks, this could be the perfect time to try one.
To find the best audiobooks to recommend to you, I asked the members of the Facebook group Lesbian Audiobooks for their favorite sapphic audiobook since they are avid listeners with great taste.
Here are their top 10, sorted by number of votes (Note: I picked only 1 book by each author—the one that got most votes):
- Breaking Character by Lee Winter, narrated by Angela Dawe
- The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair, narrated by Angela Dawe
- Aurora’s Angel by Emily Noon, narrated by Abby Craden
- Ask, Tell by EJ Noyes, narrated by Abby Craden
- Those Who Wait by Haley Cass, narrated by Lori Prince
- Just for Show by Jae, narrated by Angela Dawe
- Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, narrated by Moira Quirk
- Second Chances by Amanda Radley, narrated by Kim Bretton
- Who’d Have Thought by G Benson, narrated by Tanya Eby
- Jericho by Ann McMan, narrated by Christine Williams
If you would like to try out audiobooks but are hesitant to buy one or get a subscription, check out the free audio version of my short story “The Romance Bet,” narrated by Erin B. Lillis from The Sapphic Cast. It starts at minute 2:10 of the recording. This one is also a good fit for the “free books” category for all of you audiobook listeners.
Read one of the 10 most-recommended sapphic short stories
If you usually prefer longer works, you could read a short story for the “out of your comfort zone” category.
The readers of my Facebook group voted on their favorite sapphic short story.
Here are their top 10 short stories or short story collections, sorted by number of votes:
- The Midnight Couch by Jae
- The Brutal Lie AND Love Is Not Nothing by Lee Winter (both are available in Lee’s short story collection Sliced Ice)
- Shotgun Rider by Ali Spooner
- Three Ways to Ruin a Perfect Wedding by Chris Zett (which you can download for free on BookFunnel)
- The One by KC Luck
- Tinsel by Kris Bryant (This is actually a novella, not a short story, but it’s a shorter work, so I included it)
- F Is For Five Sapphic Tales by Donna Jay
- Distant Gardens: Ten Stories of Exploration, Biodiversity, and Found Family by J.S. Fields & Heather Tracy (Editors)
- Glimpses by Jae, Lee Winter, Lola Keeley, A.L. Brooks, Cheyenne Blue, Fiona Zedde, Chris Zett & Quinn Ivins (This anthology is available as a free download on BookFunnel)
Try a book written from a point of view or in a tense you usually avoid
Here’s a confession: I usually avoid books written from a first-person perspective (which tells the story from the viewpoint of the main character using “I” and “me” pronouns). That said, while I don’t often enjoy first-person POV books, some of my favorite sapphic books were actually written in first person. I guess it takes a special author to pull it off!
I also typically avoid books written in present tense, yet there are a few I enjoyed.
If you are like me and usually avoid books written in first person and/or present tense, here are some sapphic books written from a first-person perspective or in present tense that I really enjoyed:
- Ask, Tell by EJ Noyes (written in first-person point of view)
- And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. Lane (written in first-person point of view)
- Perks of Office by Liz Rain (written in first-person point of view)
- Uncommon Emotions by Lynn Galli (written in first-person point of view)
- Far From Home by Lorelie Brown (written in first-person point of view)
- When You Least Expect It by Haley Cass (written in present tense)
Try a sapphic book from a different genre
If you would like to read a book from a genre you don’t usually read for this category, check out the “genre you don’t usually read” post from last year’s Sapphic Reading Challenge. It lists 10 sapphic books in genres such as historical romance, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and romantic comedy.
For sapphic biographies and memoirs, a good starting point could be this list of Lambda Literary Award winners and finalists in the lesbian biography/autobiography category.
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Leave a comment and let us know what book you’ll be reading for the “out of your comfort zone” category!
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