For this week’s Sapphic Book Bingo square, read a sapphic book with more than 400 pages. There aren’t that many sapphic books that are 400+ pages long, which is why this is a Book Unicorn category.
If you know the word count, which is more accurate than page numbers, pick a book with more than 130,000 words. If you choose an audiobook, pick one that is at least 13 hours long.
For this week’s Book Unicorn post of the Sapphic Book Bingo, read a sapphic book in which at least one of the main characters is over 50.
In WLW and lesbian fiction, especially in romance, most of the protagonists seem to be in their 20s and 30s. Lately, I’ve seen more books with characters in their forties, but characters who are in their fifties and beyond are still rather rare.
So for this week’s category, I’d like you to read a book with a main characters in their 50s or older. It could be an age gap romance, in which the other main character is considerably younger, or all of the protagonists could be over 50. I’ll leave that choice up to you, as long as at least one of the main characters is 50 or older.
For this week’s Sapphic Book Bingo category, read a book that is considered a classic sapphic book—one of the trailblazing books published in the 20th century or before, at a time when most mainstream publishers wouldn’t publish LGBT+ literature and sapphic characters often didn’t get a happy ending.
Today, we are lucky to live in a time when more sapphic books are published every year than most of us can read, across all subgenres, and we owe it to these amazing authors who blazed the trail for us.
For the sake of this reading challenge, I would considered any sapphic book that was first published before the year 2000 a “sapphic classic.”
For this week’s Book Unicorn post of the Sapphic Book Bingo, read a sapphic book in which the characters practice safer sex. Maybe there’s a scene in the book in which they talk about safer sex, or we find out they’ve gotten tested for STIs (sexually transmitted infections) before sleeping together, or we see them use dental dams or condom-covered sex toys, etc.
As I mentioned in a blog post that I wrote for the Ylva Publishing blog a few years ago, sapphic romances and erotica rarely depict safer sex practices. The characters never seem to worry about contracting sexually transmitted infections, even if they have only just met and don’t know each other’s sexual history.
I get that it can interrupt the buildup and flow of a steamy scene, but as an author, I try to find a way to incorporate it, especially if I’m writing a story in which one of the characters had a lot of one-night stands in the past.
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 usually 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.
This week’s Sapphic Book Bingo post features sapphic books with an established couple, meaning the main character needs to already be in an established romantic relationship at the beginning of the book.
There aren’t that many “established couple” books within the romance genre because, by definition, the plot of a romance novel revolves around two (or more) characters falling in love. The central question is whether they’ll end up with getting their happily ever after. But while the “happily ever after” is the end of a romance novel, it’s not the end of the couple’s story. Sometimes, readers would love to see how the couple handles problems life throws at them or whether they start a family.
So for this category, read a book in which the characters are already together at the start of the book. The book can be part of a series, with the characters getting together in an earlier book, or it could be a novel that isn’t a romance at all.
For this week’s category of the Sapphic Book Bingo, read a sapphic book by an author who writes full-time. Not a lot of authors are able to support themselves with their writing, especially not in a niche genre such as sapphic/women-loving-women fiction, so I thought full-time writers of sapphic fiction deserve a category of their own.
I put together a list of full-time writers below. Some of these authors retired from their day jobs; others gave them up to write full-time, as I did in 2013, and now make a living off their writing.
It’s time for another Book Unicorn category of the Sapphic Book Bingo. This week’s post features sapphic books about faith.
For this category, read a sapphic book in which faith, religion, or spiritual experiences plays an important role. It could be any faith or religion, including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Bahá’í, Shinto, Jainism, or Zoroastrianism. You could even read a science fiction or fantasy novel with a fictional faith.
The main character could embrace religion as a positive influence on their life or end up rejecting it.
This week’s Sapphic Book Bingo post features a special category: author’s picks.
For this category, choose an author and have them suggest one of their books to you to read.
You can either email the author of your choice and ask for their pick, or you can choose a book from the list of 185 authors I asked for you. You’ll find the list below.