This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features sapphic books with a “forced proximity” theme.
The two main characters are forced to spend time together. It could be because they are stranded somewhere, snowed in, or stuck together for some other reason that forces them to spend time together, even though they are reluctant to do so.
This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge features sapphic books with a girl-next-door character.
“Girl next door” doesn’t mean that the main characters need to actually be neighbors and live door-to-door. It means that one of the main characters is the “girl next door” type—sweet, kind, and unpretentious. She’s generally well-liked by everyone, and she’s often described as pretty or cute, but usually, she’s not movie-star stunning.
This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge category features books in which the main characters take a road trip together.
They don’t necessarily have to take a car; any vehicle, including a plane, a boat, or a horse-drawn wagon, will do as long as they travel from one place to another and it’s more than just their daily commute.
This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge category features characters who work in the food industry. The protagonist could be a chef, a baker, a pastry chef, a waitress, or a caterer, or maybe they own a restaurant, a bakery, an ice cream shop, or some other yummy place.
People working with beverages count too for this category, so the main character could also work as a barista, a bartender, a winemaker, etc.
Most of the books on the list below are foodie romances that might cause some serious food cravings and are best enjoyed with a snack of your choice!
This week’s category of the Sapphic Reading Challenge features books about main characters who are either women who disguise themselves as men out of necessity or genderqueer people who were assigned female at birth but might identify as nonbinary or as trans men (even though the book might not use those terms since most books on this list are historical romances). Read up on the rules of the Sapphic Reading Challenge If you are only discovering the Sapphic Reading Challenge now, the good news is you can still join! It’s a year-long challenge, so it runs until December 31, …
This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge category features body-positive books that celebrate women of all sizes and shapes, e.g., a plus-sized protagonist.
The romance novel industry has a reputation for abiding by Hollywood’s standard of beauty. It’s rare to find plus-size characters in f/f romance novels (or any romance, for that matter). Most of the main characters are portrayed as slim, with perfectly sized breasts, and if they are a bit chubby, their goal in the story is probably to lose weight.
So let’s break with that tradition and search out diversity when it comes to how the main characters look.
By the way, body positivity includes not just fat or plus-sized characters; it also refers to characters who are skinny or flat-chested such as Eliza from Wrong Number, Right Woman or who otherwise deviate from society’s beauty standards.
I hope that going forward, there’ll be more body positivity in romance novels and that women of all shapes and sizes will find themselves represented in a positive way.
This week’s Sapphic Reading Challenge post features sapphic friends-to-lovers romance novels.
For some reason, there are not a lot of true friends-to-lovers romances out there, which is weird, because so many same-sex couples start out as friends (85%, according to a study I recently read!).
Important definition: In a friends-to-lovers romance, the two main characters are already friends (sometimes best friends or childhood friends) at the beginning of the book. If they are strangers who meet at the beginning of the book, then become friends before becoming lovers, it’s not a friends-to-lovers romance in the narrower sense of the word.
It’s Nonbinary Awareness Week, so what better time to celebrate books with nonbinary characters?
Nonbinary people still don’t get to see themselves represented in books, but there are some great books featuring nonbinary protagonists.
What does nonbinary mean?
Nonbinary is an umbrella term for gender identities that fall outside of the gender binary. Nonbinary people—sometimes called Enby (from NB)—don’t identify as male or female (at least not exclusively or all the time).
Under that umbrella fall a wide range of experiences: Some nonbinary people don’t feel they have a gender, while others move back and forth between feeling male and feeling female or have two genders at the same time. Check out the Nonbinary Wiki for more details on different nonbinary identities.