10 Awesome ’00s Books by Queer Women

fun-homeBOOKS: 8 Awesome Books By Women: An ’00s Bookshelf from Jezebel includes Alison Bechdel, Michelle Tea, and Riese’s favorite book, Veronica by Mary Gaitskill. We thought we’d make a list for you featuring queer women, ’cause you’ve probs got someone to do holiday shopping for, and books make great gifts because you’re not just giving a gift, you’re also imposing a value system upon your beloved (READ, DINGBAT, READ!)

8 Awesome Books by Queer Women: An ’00s Cardboard Box-Shelf

Obvs we’d like to echo the awesomeness of Rent Girl by Michelle Tea (2004) and Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Allison Bechdel (2006), and add:

Name All the Animals: A Memoir by Alison Smith (2005): “An unparalleled account of grief and secret love.”

Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties by Felicia Luna Lemua (2004): “Leticia Marisol Estrella Torrez is a young woman in her early 20s valiantly trying to find her place in a world of queers living life on their own terms.”

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters (2003). As discussed in “Riese & Laneia Read YA Novels Part #1”,  Laneia said – “Definitely one of the better Lezzie YA books. Lots of feelings and an array of traditional GQBLT conflicts. I agree with The Riester – this was a sweet little read.”

Sorry, Tree by Eileen Myles (2007): “In her signature short, piercingly demotic lines, Myles fiercely mines concatenated observations for the raw stuff.”

The IHOP Papers by Ali Liebegott (2006): “The portrait of an artist as punk waitress.”

The Other Side of Paradise: A Memoir, by Staceyann Chin (2009): “Jamaican performance artist Chin finds warmth and humor in her abject, parentless childhood.”

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (2002): “A damning critique of Victorian moral and sexual hypocrisy, a gripping melodrama, and a love story to boot.”

britney-spears-candies-ad-campaign-2009-3EAT MAGAZINES:Rolling Stone is about to take a leap into the entertainment industry, starting with a large-scale restaurant and nightclub in Hollywood. Chez Cosmo, Slate’s Plates, and seven more restaurants based on magazines. “(@slate)

MOVIES:American Film Institute’s Picks its Top Entertainment for 2009: A Few Gays Allowed!” (@shewired).

BRITNEY & ANNIE: An interesting clash of strong women at bizarre moments in their careers: Annie Leibovitz is back to work and shooting Brit Brit’s new Candie’s for Kohl’s clothing ad campaign.. (@hollywoodlife)

DRESSING GAGA: Jezebel has a great photo gallery of Lady Gaga’s crazy outfits throughout 2009. There are so many good ones to choose from, but I think the Kermit the Frog dress is still my favorite.gaga-does-kermit

LADY GAGA: “Has Lady Gaga turned into a Fame Monster complete with an intrusive manager who would jump in and answer questions?” Lady Gaga evades questions during an interview in Singapore and her manager butts in and asks that certain questions are not asked. It’s weird, is this a new stunt? You should watch all six parts, which are unedited, which adds to how weird it is. (Part 1 is below)

MEDIAITE “Um, has everyone in media lost their mind when it comes to media aimed at African Americans?” This Exists: ‘Afro Picks’ In Publisher’s Weekly , Literally. (@mediate)

PRINCESS: The best and worst Disney Princesses suggests we’ve gotten “better” with age. (@starpulse) This is all in honor of The Frog and the Princess, which topped the box office last week. (@bossip)

LOHAN: At last good news for Lindsay — her Dad is going to jail! (@newser)

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3228 articles for us.


  1. omg that nytimes “gift guide for people of color” is absolutely bizarre. it alternates between black culture & indian culture, seemingly to cover its bases, and then throws in shit about sotomayor, because all people of color care about is merchandise about other people of color? er.

    also, last time i checked indian culture/african american culture had about nothing in common. i like how “people of color” here also arbitrarily denotes three extremely different cultures (those two plus a vague sense of some kind of latina culture which seems to worship sotomayor, and has no other features). because i guess three is an odd number, and three different cultures= all the diversity we can handle? they felt like touching on? unsure.


  2. that gaga interview kind of terrifies me. i find her rather unsettling when she’s not singing. i might be alone on that.

    • No, I like it when she’s performing and being mysterious. Anyone else remember when she said she didn’t want anyone to get to know the real her, she just wanted everyone to know her as a performer, an artist… what happened to that?

      • Well, who knows if her “candid” interviews are the real her? She could just be making up a backstory.

        And yes, that interview was mildly terrifying…

  3. awesome book list. one to add– Mean Little deaf Queer by Terry Galloway is the best I’ve read this year.

  4. Uh oh… I don’t like how part 1 of that Gaga interview went down. So weird. At the same time I can agree that “let’s talk about the top 5 rumors about you!” is pretty dumb and unoriginal. I guess I kind of get it, like, enough with the same overdone questions over and over again about what kind of guys she likes, and what kind of girl she likes and shit like that. Yannow? The interviewer finally got around to a good question in Part 3 when she asked about Gaga’s fans. Just saying. Thats my piece on that.

      • I don’t see how talking about her nominations is more original or interesting than talking about “things that people have already written about her”.

  5. Books! Fun Home has been on my list, I’m in the middle of Rent Girl, Name All The Animals is one of my most favorite books ever, and Fingersmith was pretty decent. Guess I’m going to have to look into the rest of those.

    I cannot watch those Lady Gaga videos because it causes me physical discomfort to watch real life awkward situations, even on video.

    Maybe Annie can help make Britney look not crazy with these new pictures, and earn a little much-needed cash at the same time…

  6. That Lady Gaga interview done in Singapore was so bad. Lady Gaga was such a bitch the interviewer. Telling her what to say and what ask. It makes me sad. I was just starting to like her as a person but I think i’m just gonna stick with her music.

    • I agree … that’s why I think this is the next stage of Lady Gaga’s performance art-as-life routine? COME ON IS NO ONE WITH ME ON THIS THAT NOW GAGA IS BECOMING THE FAME MONSTER ON PURPOSE?

  7. i read this interview with Alison Bechdel a few years ago about how she had been working on her book and then Six Feet Under happened, and how it was too close for comfort and didn’t know if maybe somebody had ripped her off along the way. i was sad for her. but i think that her work stands on its own anyway.

    i fucking LOVED Fingersmith but you know what? i might’ve liked The Night Watch better, i don’t know. maybe not. they were both amazing. i haven’t read anything else on that list so thanks for the suggestions!

  8. Why can I not finish any of Sarah Waters’ books?! I’ll lose my lez cred for saying this but they bore me.

    • I think you have to enjoy that style of historical drama/fiction to start, lez or not…

  9. ZOMG HOMOBOOKS. This is not an ’00s book but for any sci-fi geeks out there “The Child Garden” by Geoff Ryman is an awesome futuristic lesbo-drama. And for those into graphic novels, “Shortcomings” by Adrian Tomine is pretty good and “Strawberry Shake Sweet” is a hilarious manga available on lililicous.net (it reads right to left, but it’s worth it).

  10. fun home is probably in my top 3 books, it’s so good it’s almost ruined any graphic novels i’ve read since, serious work of art. plus, thanks to alison bechdel i started laughing straight away when i saw the movie ‘the brothers bloom’, because seriously, calling them stephen and bloom is slightly genius and i haven’t even read ulysses to be able to appreciate it properly.

  11. I always want to comment and then all of my Witt seems to dry up and leave me with the vocabulary of a barbie doll. so forgive me?
    YAY Sarah Waters, wierdo gaga, and autostraddle lists!

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