Lez Liberty Lit Is All About Summer Reading


Hello and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!

The beach read is a recent concept, and one that often evokes implicit sexism:

“‘I never thought beach reads had an image problem until I read a review of one of my books that said it was ‘so much more than a beach read,’’ says Jamie Brenner. ‘It really gave me pause.’
‘Popular, plot-based, propulsive male fiction gets read at the beach just as much as women’s fiction,’ says Jennifer Weiner, who has been vocal in the past about the implicit sexism of ‘chick lit.’ ‘But it’s often credited with more respectable names, like thriller, mystery, speculative fiction, horror, while women’s books receive the more derisive, dismissive labels and a lot less critical attention.'”

Why not co-work in a library?

These are the most-cursed days for writers.

We like literary retellings.

What does it mean to be a Thai feminist?

Permission author Saskia Vogel spoke to Lit Hub about BDSM, suburbia, contemporary sexual narration and Los Angeles:

“LA is a very existential city.You can feel an intense loneliness there, especially when you’re driving point to point. It can be like waiting in line for a ride at an amusement park. You wait, you get on the ride and have your shared experience, then you’re back waiting in line. Unlike a city structured around the communal, building community in LA felt more like a puzzle. You can live one life in one part of the city, and be a completely different person in another part and have a reasonable expectation that those worlds will not collide.”

Read these 35 books this summer and these books this June. These books are buzzy right now, whatever that means. Read these 18 inclusive anthologies. Read these books if you kill all your houseplants. Read these books when women’s bodies are under attack. Read these books by Pacific Islanders.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I associate the term ‘beach read’ with snobbishness/ableism. The only person I’ve heard using it irl was my teacher at school who told us we were above reading beach reads in our class. She included thrillers amongst what she considered beach reads. Maybe because it was the year of Dan Brown (who I enjoyed reading as a teenager).

    To an extent, I agree with her that kids who are good at reading should challenge themselves sometimes. But at the same time, nobody is ‘above’ reading ‘beach reads’ and it’s a bad attitude to pass onto teenagers. And nobody is ‘above’ someone else just because they’re good at reading or enjoy reading the ‘canon’.

    I still enjoy challenging books today but because authors like Joyce and Danielewski are so weird in how they write so I get something new out of it every time. I find 18th/19th century books boring, especially those written by straight white men and I refuse to read boring books just because they’re in the ‘canon’.

    • I agree so much with you! Reading is educational, but it is also fun and a very specific state of mind. Everyone should be invited to participate, no matter what their favourite kind of literature it is.

      As a teenager, I also really liked Dan Brown. Until I found him boring, because his plots are always the same. But these kind of thrillers and crime fiction in general gets so many people to read a lot of books, and thick ones. My father-in-law reads a lot, and almost exclusively thrillers and crime fiction. He read through the whole Song of Ice and Fire in no time. It’s great! Why should I judge this?
      I myself have used (for me) very easy reads to get back into the habit of reading. Rather than enjoy reading, I tend to pick up books that are too intellectual and too little fun and then I stop reading altogether. That’s not a smart habit right there…

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