Read A F*cking eBook: Best Lesbian Titles Under $5

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Most free and/or cheap ebooks fall into one of four categories:

1. Classic literature
2. Trashy romance
3. Bad trashy romance
4. Self-published works of varying quality

The following books fall mostly under #1 and #2, with a little non-fiction and a lot of lesbians and queer people thrown in for good measure.

Odd Girl Out, by Ann Bannon

Ann Bannon’s Odd Girl Out and two of its sequels, I Am a Woman and Women in the Shadows, are all $1 each. If you read about her for Herstory Month but don’t want to invest in the paperbacks, these versions are an excellent decision.

Spring Fire, by Vin Packer

Spring Fire is widely recognized as the first real lesbian pulp fiction book, and inspired Ann Bannon, not to mention the rest of the genre. (Though if you’re willing to go up to six or seven dollars there is SO MUCH lesbian pulp fiction appearing on Amazon, like Twilight Girl, These Curious Pleasures, The Sex Between, In The Shadows, and Three Women.)

I Can’t Think Straight, by Shamim Sarif

Before it was a movie, it was a novel. If you want to picture Tala as Lisa Ray and Leyla as Sheetal Sheth anyway, though, no one will blame you.

Herland and Other Works, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Herland is about a utopian country of women that live and reproduce sans men. There is a weird male-gaze element since the narrator is a male sociologist with two buddies and very objectifying views of women, but the entire book is about the social construction of gender roles, which is pretty neat. (Ammonite, by Nicole Griffith, is a modern sci-fi adaptation. It is not under $5, but it is worth it.).

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

There is no reason to not read this book.

So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction, edited by Steve Berman

So Fey includes stories by Christopher Barzak, Holly Black, Craig L. Gidney, Melissa Scott, and Steve Berman, all of whom are excellent speculative fiction writers. Because sometimes “fairy” means gay and flying magical person.

Susie Bright’s Lesbian Sex World and Big Sex, Little Death, by Susie Bright

Susie Bright’s Lesbian Sex World is the lesbian sex guide you never knew you wanted. Her most recent memoir, Big Sex, Little Death, about a “fearful Irish Catholic Girl Scout to gun-toting teenage revolutionary [...] her early involvement with notorious high school radicalsThe Red Tide as well as the magazine she co-founded in the 1980s, On Our Backs — the first-ever erotic magazine created by women, which turned the lesbian and bisexual community upside down before it took the ‘straight’ world by storm,” is also under $5.

Report for Murder, by Val McDermid

Report for Murder is the first in a series about “cynical socialist lesbian feminist journalist” slash detective Lindsay Gordon.

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Carolyn is the NSFW Editor for Autostraddle.com. She is also a freelance copy editor and writer, and her work has appeared in Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, the Billfold, and other places. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 286 articles for us.

28 Comments

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    I just got the best idea ever. EVER.

    CAN WE START A BOOK THING? Like, where we mail each other books all around the country/world!? I just wanna read books that aren’t theology books, because I’m starting grad school in the fall and my girlfriend already has her masters in theological studies and CAN WE SO MY BRAIN DOESN’T MELT!?

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    big sex, little death is legitimately one of the best books i have ever read. it has everything in it, and i totally admire susie bright for being courageous, resourceful, committed to community & justice, and all-around awesome.

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    Let me just say – Vin Packer? Foxy as hell for an octogenarian, and chaaaaarmiiing. She came to my university back in 2007 for our lesbian pulp fiction class. Lady has game.

    I’m just saying – I wish I had half the charm at 24 that she had at 80.

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    I don’t know if it’s under $5, but I bought “Waiting in the Wings” not too long ago for my Kindle. It was great. Completely worth every cent.
    Though it reminded me vaguely of Faberry fanfiction just in the sense that it was about Broadway. And lesbians.

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