Lez Liberty Lit: What’s Up With Reading Lists


Hey there and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit! I’m writing to you from Monday night because I don’t know what happens next but it sure doesn’t involve a lot of distraction-free focus.

Apocalypse 1999, by Jude Ellison Sady Doyle, is now available free online for trans kids and by donation for everyone else. In an interview with yes!, Doyle says:

“I wrote this sort of as a means of transitioning almost, I wrote it when I was going through a lot of sort of struggle around my gender. And that made me feel very teenaged again, it made me feel like I was being pitched right back into puberty one more time. I wrote it for the teenager that’s still buried alive inside of a lot of older people.”

Today is a good day to preorder We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, edited by Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel.

This is a great explainer on Afrofuturism, including why it feels especially relevant in 2020.

Female Ghosts and Spirits from Japanese Folklore, Ranked.”

Here are some poems about dogs.

Check out this great collection of readings on climate, the desert, and clean energy transition.

Read Shirley Jackson’s Eerily Contemporary Letter About Fear.”

Here are the Tamora Pierce series, ranked.

Independent bookstores need a second wave of support.

How did creativity become an engine of economic growth and a corporate imperative?

Can a Black novelist write auto fiction?”

Does our reverence for nature come from wonder, or horror?

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Tamsyn Muir discusses the butch lesbian sci-fi aesthetic, body horror, and more with Mikaella Clements:

“Gideon as a book itself is the butch lesbian aesthetic that I’ve always wanted to write; that is my teenage self. You’re just lucky that Gideon isn’t walking around with the really ugly, patterned, button-up men’s shirts that we were all wearing in 2006.

I wrote Gideon focusing on an inevitably homoerotic relationship between every woman who stands next to another woman for more than five seconds. It’s an expression of the fact that in the early Noughties when my lesbian mates told me: “You’ve gotta see this movie, it’s gay,” — the understanding was that nothing was going to be gay, but we had to put on our lesbian goggles. In Gideon, the lesbian goggles are fused to your face. It’s impossible to escape. Even the plot relies on women having had terrible affairs with each other. I wanted it to reflect the world as I lived in it, where everybody’s three degrees removed from everybody else, everybody’s ex-girlfriend is another person’s ex-girlfriend, or current girlfriend, or future girlfriend. There is an awareness of everybody’s ability to date each other that I think is not present in a book that has more heterosexual concerns. Writing the series, I wanted it to be a book where every girl could possibly hook up with every other girl.”

Here’s how to improve your reading comprehension as an adult.

What traits actually help writers to succeed?

Read this discussion of why we love reading lists and where they come from. Then, read these reading lists:

Read these eight epic journeys in literature. Read these new horror books. Read these small press books from 2020. Read these eight books about hexing the patriarchy. Read these eight trans-inclusive fantasy books. Read these 50 apocalypse novels. Read these 9 YA books this month.

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?

Join AF+!

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. Really loved the ‘is it wonder or horror’ nature article. I’ve had this discussion a million times over with friends/family who live in warmer climates with moderate weather patterns. When they come to visit they always tell me how wonderful nature is and how lucky i am to live in a country that’s huge and mostly empty. And i try to explain to them that one bad spring storm could wipe out half the town in a flood or how losing power in the winter can be deadly they just stare at me like it can’t possibly be true.

    I try to liken it to that one game of thrones house motto “winter is coming”. It’s not a threat in the traditional sense, it doesn’t mean they’re coming with the intention to kill you it’s just a statement of fact, winter is coming, its beautiful and horrible and it doesn’t care if you live or die.

  2. “I wanted it to be a book where every girl could possibly hook up with every other girl.” HA I love Tasmyn Muir. Gideon was phenomenal, and I’m only 50 pages into Harrowhark the Ninth but I’m in love all over again. I have a crush on every single girl in this series.

  3. “Here are the Tamora Pierce series, ranked.”

    My lil closeted teen heart fluttered and clicked that link so hard I think my finger snapped.

    • I also have to hard agree with Jae-Yeon Yoo’s ranking tbh. Protector of the Small is definitely above The Lioness series, though I’d even say The Circle series is above the Lioness series.

Comments are closed.