Happy fall — my favorite and objectively the best season — and welcome to the biggest publishing time of the year! I can guarantee there is something for everyone on this list of fall 2022 queer and feminist books, whether your jam is graphic novel fairy tales, memoirs about queer family, or anything in between. Other highlights include queer horror anthologies, a brand new Malinda Lo book, the latest from YA superstar Kacen Callender, winter holiday romances, TWO (!) queer Anne of Green Gables retellings, Chelsea Manning’s long-awaited memoir, the third book in Tamsyn Muir’s Locked Tomb series, and so much more. Let’s do it!
Real Bad Things by Kelly J. Ford (September 1)
This slow burn suspense thriller is about buried secrets, murdering abusive men, and returning reluctantly to your small hometown. Twenty-five years ago, Jane confessed to killing her stepdad and fled her home state of Arkansas — but the body had never been discovered… until now.
Space Trash Vol 1 by Jenn Woodall (September 6)
In this aesthetically punk graphic novel with snappy dialogue, three sapphic teenagers are attending boarding school on the moon in 2115. During a fight with a rival clique, they discover a secret about their school that could be life-changing.
Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt (September 6)
This contemporary YA features an all ace teenage heist team! Jack, the ringleader, is the kid of a Las Vegas casino mogul and a member of an online asexual friend group. When his mom is pinned for fraud she didn’t commit, he recruits his friends to infiltrate the rival casino he believes set her up.
Our Shadows Have Claws edited by Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortiz (September 6)
Latin American YA horror! This collection of 15 monster stories has multiple pieces by and about LGBTQ+ characters, including “El Viejo de la Bolsa” by Alexandra Villasante and “Blood-Stained Hands Like Yours” by Gabriela Martins.
Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong (September 6)
Wong, known for her work as the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, has penned a genre-bending memoir about her life as an activist. The book includes essays, conversations, interviews, photos, art commissioned by disabled and Asian American artists, and more!
The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish (September 6)
The first of many 2022 winter holiday themed sapphic romances, this one is about a lesbian AND a gay guy finding true love when a mutual friend sets them up for a house swap. But at the end of the holidays when they each have to go back home, can they keep their newfound queer love?
The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas (September 6)
From the author of the celebrated Cemetery Boys comes the first book in a new Mexican-inspired YA fantasy about a series of high-stakes challenges called The Sunbearer Trials. The trans protagonist, Teo, sees himself as a middle of the road, kind of average semi-diós so he is shocked when he is chosen to compete.
Doughnuts and Doom by Balazs Lorinczi (September 6)
In this graphic novel, an anxious witch and a passionate rockstar start off as enemies, become friends, and maybe shift to lovers? When Elena and Margot first meet, sparks fly — literally — and doughnuts float in the air, but both of them are too caught up in their own worries to really see the other for who she is.
Refusing Compulsory Sexuality by Sherronda J. Brown (September 13)
Subtitled “A Black Asexual Lens on Our Sex-Obsessed Culture,” Brown’s work of nonfiction explores asexuality with a focus on white supremacy, anti-Blackness, capitalism, heteronormativity, and patriarchy as they connect with acephobia. Chapters explore topics such as ace visibility, desire, possibilities, and “fuckability.”
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton (September 13)
Beaton, whom you might know as the feminist cartoonist behind Hark! A Vagrant, has written her first full length graphic narrative, a memoir about her time working in Alberta’s oil sands. She explores the incessant misogyny she encountered there, while at the same time how she couldn’t help but feel a connection with these men as fellow East Coasters also driven from their homes due to lack of economic opportunities.
Junie by Chelene Knight (September 13)
Set in the 1930s in Vancouver’s former Hogan’s Alley Black neighborhood, this work of poetic historical fiction focuses on the titular character of Junie, an artist and queer Black woman, as she grows up. Relationships between mothers and daughters are front and center, as Knight celebrates the lives of the Black people who thrived in this neighborhood that was ultimately demolished.
I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers (September 13)
In this queer YA thriller, Summers brings her usual infectious feminist anger to a story about two teen girls who come together to bring a killer to justice. Their investigation puts protagonist Georgia — and Nora, the older sister of the killer’s latest victim — into a world of unbelievable wealth and privilege, where they discover there are terrible, guilty men everywhere they turn.
Before We Were Trans: A New History of Gender by Kit Heyam (September 13)
In this global history of gender nonconformity, trans activist and historian Heyam focuses on narratives that don’t conform to today’s mainstream, binary understanding of stable gender categories. Rather, the book highlights overlooked trans experiences, from Edo Japan to Renaissance era Venice.
Panics by Barbara Molinard, Translated by Emma Ramadan (September 13)
Groundbreaking French feminist writer Barbara Molinard’s (1921-1986) work is available for the first time in English, with an introduction by Margeurite Duras. The stories in this collection are nightmarish and surreal, with sharp insights into mental illness, bodily autonomy, violence, death, and control.
Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (September 13)
The third Locked Tomb book in Muir’s beloved dark fantasy series focuses on Nona, who has woken up in a body that’s not hers. Her city is under attack, and although Nona would prefer to live an ordinary life, she is expected to become the weapon that will save her people from the Nine Houses.
A Sentimental Education by Hannah McGregor (September 20)
You might know Hannah McGregor from one or both of her podcasts: Witch, Please and Secret Feminist Agenda. In this book of essays that blend the personal with the academic, she brings her accessible and smart voice to the topic of her own feminist education and feminism as a way of life rather than a mere methodology.
The Black Period by Hafizah Augustus Geter (September 20)
In this poet’s Afrofuturist memoir, Geter tells her origin story as a queer Black daughter with Muslim, Nigerian, and African American roots. Subtitled “On Personhood, Race, and Origin,” the book mixes her personal story — past and future — with cultural analysis, history, and politics, as well as artwork by her father.
Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland (September 20)
Ireland’s latest YA historical fantasy is set in 1937 America, where people are divided: those who practice the traditional mystical arts and those who think the future lies in technology and industry. Laura, a talented young mage, is hoping to establish herself in this hostile world at all costs.
The Unbalancing by R.B. Lemberg (September 20)
Set in Lemberg’s Birdverse, this lyrical fantasy novel is a queer, nonbinary Atlantis retelling about a starkeeper and a poet who fall in love while working together to save the island they live on. There is found family, ghosts, neurodivergence, a unique magic system, and a wonderful balance of thoughtful world-building with intense character work.
The Lost Century by Larissa Lai (September 20)
Lai’s latest novel explores generations of Hong Kong women, queer Asian history, the making of modern China, war, resistance, and cricket. In 1997, young Tobie asks her great aunt Violet about her family’s history. Violet delivers a scandalous World War Two story about a forbidden marriage, a brutal foreign occupation, and, oddly, a timeless match of cricket.
Other Ever Afters by Melanie Gillman (September 20)
Gilman’s collection of graphic fairy tales puts a delightful queer, feminist spin on the old familiar stories, centring princesses who don’t want to marry their princes, wise old women, barmaids, and other traditionally sidelined characters. There are also kind giants, feminist mermaids, and queer knights.
Love Me Tender by Constance Debré, Translated by Holly James (September 27)
In this autobiographical French novel, Debré describes the experiences of “her transformation from affluent career woman to broke single lesbian.” The book chronicles her losing custody of her son, short lasting affairs that leave her empty, and her routines of intense reading and writing.
Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender (September 27)
Lark is a nonbinary teen and aspiring writer in Callender’s latest YA contemporary novel. When their former BFF Kasim accidentally posts about a secret unrequited crush on Lark’s Twitter, the two old friends are brought back together in a storm of social media frenzy and messy high school love.
Leech by Hiron Ennes (September 27)
Blurbed by Tamsyn Muir as “impeccably clever and atmospheric. Think Wuthering Heights…with worms!”, Ennes’s debut queer gothic science fiction is surreal and horrifying. The book is set in an isolated northern castle where the Institute attempts to shelter humanity from the horrors of their ancestors’ mistakes. How? By replacing human practitioners of medicine with their own creations.
How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy (September 27)
Shay is a brown lesbian and overachieving teen witch who is reluctantly persuaded to join this year’s school musical in order to help boost an upcoming scholarship application. Too bad her enemy Ana will be playing the other lead. As Shay begins to receive unwanted attention from the theater teacher, she turns to Ana for support as an unlikely friendship — and romance? — blossoms.
find her. keep her. by Renaada Williams (September 27)
In this raw and intimate collection of poetry for fans of Rupi Kaur, Williams writes from her experiences as a queer Black woman. Topics include love, sexuality, acceptance, and abuse, which Williams often explores in short, tightly crafted poems of only a few lines.
Forest Hills Bootleg Society by Dave Baker and Nicole Goux (September 27)
In this funny and heartfelt graphic novel, four teen girls get themselves in a little too deep selling bootleg copies of an erotic anime DVD they found at the local gas station. Plus, things are getting complicated in their friendship as two of the girls are headed for a breakup while another has a crush on one of the soon-to-be exes.
Heartstrings: Melissa Etheridge and Her Guitars by Melissa Etheridge, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Frank Mariffinno, et al (October 3)
The title (almost) says it all here: The graphic narrative goes through many of Etheridge’s favorite instruments, using them as a jumping off point to tell stories of her life and journey as a musician. Each guitar is named after a famous woman!
The Last Hope in Hopetown by Maria Tureaud (October 4)
Sophie is a regular 12-year-old girl who lives with her two adoptive vampire moms in this Halloween season middle grade novel. But when one of Sophie’s moms goes rogue and stops being her normal vampire law-abiding self, it’s up to Sophie to solve the mystery and get her family back together.
Màgòdiz by Gabe Calderón (October 4)
In the Algonquin dialect of Anishinabemowin, Màgòdiz is “a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of their country”; it’s a fitting title for this Two-Spirit dystopian novel. The story focuses on six characters whose lives intersect in a ruined world that is not without love, friendship, family, sacredness, or hope.
The Family Outing by Jessi Hempel (October 4)
Hempel’s unique memoir is not just about her own queerness and identity journey, although it is that. In her family, she’s just one of four queer and trans family members who have come out by Hempel’s adulthood, although it turns out that coming out is just the beginning for their family’s transformation.
Queer Little Nightmares edited by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli (October 4)
Queer. Horror. Anthology!! This collection of “monstrous” poetry and fiction turns the queer lens on monsters and reimagines them, asking: “What does it mean to be (and to love) a monster?” Contributors include some of my personal favorites, Amber Dawn, Kai Cheng Thom, jaye simpson, Hiromi Goto, and more!
A Minor Chorus by Billy-Ray Belcourt (October 4)
The first novel from poet Billy-Ray Belcourt (Driftpile Cree Nation) is about a queer Indigenous doctoral student caught in between his new academic life and his memories of childhood on the reservation. The novel unfolds through past and present conversations and encounters with family, friends, and colleagues. I love Belcourt’s writing and am so eager for his work to be more widely recognized in the US, which I hope this novel will accomplish!
Cry Perfume by Sadie Dupuis (October 4)
Cry Perfume is a collection of lyrical, activist poems about grief, loss, addiction, and overdose. Borrowing the performative sensibility and improvisation of pop, punk, and electronic music / culture, the poems are rooted in Dupuis’s background in organizing and social justice.
The Future is Disabled by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (October 4)
In their latest work of “prophecies, love notes, and mourning songs,” Piepzna-Samarasinha explores how the wisdom of disabled people and the disability justice movement are crucial for survival and liberation. The book is a love letter to QTBIPOC disabled communities, a guide to survival and organizing, and a celebration of brown disabled femme joy.
The Restless Dark by Erica Waters (October 4)
In this macabre seasonally appropriate YA, three teen girls attend a creepy true crime podcast contest to find the bones of a recently deceased serial killer. Each girl has her own reasons for being there: looking for answers, a new identity, or a place to bury her own secrets. But the darkness within them might be their biggest obstacle.
Anne of Greenville by Mariko Tamaki (October 4)
This is not a drill: QUEER ANNE OF GREEN GABLES RETELLING! Tamaki’s modern Anne is a disco-opera writer/singer/actor, queer, and Japanese American. At her new school in middle of nowhere Greenville, she meets her new BFF Berry as well as the girl of her dreams, Gilly. But she soon finds herself in an unexpected love triangle wondering which girl is her true soulmate!
A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo (October 4)
A companion novel to Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Lo’s latest YA novel is also set in the Bay area but with the 2013 US Supreme Court’s first rulings on same sex marriage as a backdrop. It’s a story of messy first love, bisexual discovery, and working class queer community.
Movements and Moments edited by Sonja Eismann, Maya Schöningh, and Ingo Schöningh (October 4)
This ambitious anthology of “Indigenous Feminisms in the Global South” contains work by contributors from Vietnam, Thailand, India, Philippines, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Brazil. Topics include preserving traditional knowledge, climate change, trade unions, domestic and care work, political protest, and more.
Where the Lost Ones Go by Akemi Dawn Bowman (October 11)
Bowman’s middle grade fantasy novel is about a 12-year-old named Eliot who is grieving the loss of her grandmother. Attempting to contact her grandma beyond the grave leads her to a haunted house where, along with her new crush Hazel, Eliot finds herself helping many ghosts remember their pasts and find peace.
Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner (October 11)
Already known lovingly as “the MILF book” on queer booktok, Wilsner’s latest romance is personally one of my most anticipated 2022 reads! When college senior Cassie has a hot one night stand with an older woman at an off-campus bar during Family Weekend, she thinks she’ll never see the woman again. Except the next day when her best friend introduces Cassie to her mom … it’s the woman Cassie slept with the night before.
Season of Love by Helena Greer (October 11)
In this butch/femme holiday romance, successful artist Miriam inherits her beloved great aunt’s (ironically) Jewish-run Christmas tree farm. The tree farm, it turns out, is at risk of going under and Miriam will have to work with the farm’s grumpy yet sexy manager in order to turn things around.
Power: The Rise of Black Women in America by Charity C. Elder (October 11)
Using evidence from census data, theory, history, ethnographic work, pop culture, her own lived experiences, and more, Elder examines Black women’s success, power, and agency in the US today. They have achieved this, Elder writes, in the face of “persecution that has failed to frustrate a perseverant persistence to prevail.”
Jade is a Twisted Green by Tanya Turton (October 11)
This new adult queer Black coming of age follows a 24-year-old first-generation Jamaican immigrant living in Toronto. Jade’s story begins at the lowest point of her life, trying to make sense of her twin’s mysterious death. It moves through to her self-actualization, where she eventually finds love, passion, chosen family, and pleasure after immense loss.
It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror edited by Joe Vallese (October 4)
In contrast to this fall’s other queer horror anthology that focuses on fiction and poetry, this book collects essays by queer and trans writers on horror film from old school monster movies to Hereditary, Halloween, and Get Out. The essays explore topics like the “final girl” trope, secret identities, body possession, feminist horror, and more. The book includes an essay by Carmen Maria Machado on Jennifer’s Body!
Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston (October 13)
Hairston’s historical 19th century fantasy is about family secrets, aliens, and magic. The protagonist Cinnamon is an aspiring actress but a mysterious book about a performance by a warrior woman and an alien given to her by her brother before his passing haunts her. There is some mysterious connection to her family’s past and her own future, but what is it?
Helen House by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya (October 18)
Helen House is the first book by Autostraddle’s very own beloved managing editor!! It’s a queer ghost story that touches on grief and trauma. It’s also a novelette, which means you can gobble it up all in one spooky evening. KKU’s writing is accompanied by original illustrations by Kira Gondeck-Silvia. Limited edition hardcovers are also available for preorder.
When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar (October 18)
In this lyrical, heartrending novel with bisexual representation, Asghar tells the story of three Muslim American sisters who lose their parents early. Focusing on the journey of the youngest Kausar, the novel explores her gender, sibling relationships, and coming of age.
When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb (October 18)
This queer Jewish historical fantasy features an agender angel and a disabled demon in love who travel from their tiny shetl with two women to America. But it turns out what lies ahead of them might be as difficult as what they’re leaving behind.
Lavender House by Lev A.C. Rosen (October 18)
In this queer historical suspense novel set in 1952, the titular Lavender House estate is the home of matriarch Irene Lamontaine, who has created a safe haven with all queer staff and residents. After Irene’s recent death, however, it appears the house may be harboring a murderer among its queer found family.
Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One by Maggie Horne (October 18)
Horne’s contemporary middle grade novel is queer, feminist, and funny. Hazel’s frenemy Ella is her number one rival in this year’s school speech competition but when Hazel finds out Ella is being bullied online by popular boy Tyler, the girls band together to stand up to him.
Whorephobia: Strippers on Art, Work, and Life edited by Lizzie Borden (October 18)
True to its subtitle, this anthology collects essays and interviews by 23 dancers on topics including motherhood, activism, teaching, art, friendship, and work. The writers discuss how stripping and sex work have informed other aspects of their lives and tell illuminating stories about their first night on the stage, when they decided to retire (or not), and everything in between.
Nothing Sung and Nothing Spoken by Nita Tyndall (October 18)
Set in Berlin in 1938, Tyndall’s YA novel features sapphic teen Charlotte aka “Charlie” as she discovers an underground dance club that plays forbidden American and British jazz and swing music. Embracing her place in the Swingjugend movement leads Charlie to acts of anti-Nazi resistance while at the same time the girl who introduced her to the scene increasingly distances herself due to her dad’s place in the Nazi party.
Life in Every Breath: Ester Blenda by Fatima Bremmer, Translated by Gloria Nneoma Onwuneme (October 18)
Life in Every Breath is a biography of a groundbreaking Swedish investigative journalist and lesbian who was born in 1891. She defied gender norms of the time by wearing pants, smoking a pipe, and riding a motorbike, but it was her undercover work that was truly revolutionary. She lived and worked with Indigenous Sami peoples in Sweden, traveled with poor emigrants to America, studied volcanoes in Siberia, delivered aid during the Finnish civil war, and more!
Pretend It’s My Body by Luke Dani Blue (October 18)
In this debut collection of speculative stories a la Carmen Maria Machado, Blue focuses on misfit characters: a trans teen who can read minds, but only indecisive ones; a woman who plans to upload her mind and abandon her body; con artists; and more.
Dream Rooms by River Halen (October 18)
Dream Rooms is “part essay, part poem, part fever dream journal entry,” as it recounts Halen’s life in the years leading up to coming out as trans. Transition is an epilogue while the book focuses on changing your bookshelf, taking care of a pet rabbit, considering birth control, and more.
README.txt by Chelsea Manning (October 18)
In Manning’s much anticipated memoir, she tells the story of her activism calling for government accountability and transparency while fighting for her rights as a trans woman. She begins with her child- and teenagehood, tracing her journey from being a kid interested in computers to working as an intelligence analyst for the military.
Unsettling: Surviving Extinction Together by Elizabeth Weinberg (October 18)
Queer science writer Weinberg writes about climate change and climate crisis as they are connected to white supremacy, colonialism, heteronormativity, and sexism. She blends science, personal essay, pop culture analysis, and history to carve out a different way of thinking about the environment.
Into the Riverlands by Nghi Vo (October 25)
The third book in Vo’s Singing Hills Cycle, this novella can be read as a standalone, but it’s linked to the others in the series by the character of cleric Chih. As Chih travels to the riverlands with a talking bird, a older couple, and two women, they find themselves confronting “old legends and new dangers.”
Heretic by Jeanna Kadlec (October 25)
Kadlec‘s memoir charts her journey of growing up Evangelical and eventually marrying a pastor’s son to coming out as queer and leaving the church. She focuses not just on her own story, but how Evangelicalism has a far-reaching effect on the US at large, from pop culture to power structures.
The Scratch Daughters by Hannah Abigail Clarke (October 25)
Number two in The Scapegracers witchy YA series finds lead witch Sideways disappointed that her crush Madeline was not trying to make out with her last Halloween, she was trying to steal Sideways’s specter, aka her ability to cast magic spells. Having succeeded, Madeline runs off to enact some revenge and Sideways finds herself chasing Madeline as well as her own enemies.
Anne: An Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables by Kathleen Gros (October 25)
MORE GAY ANNE OF GREEN GABLES!! Gros’s book is a contemporary middle grade graphic novel adaptation where preteen Anne is placed with new foster parents Matthew and Marilla, even though they were looking for a much younger kid. Anne finds happiness and support with them, as well as a burgeoning crush on her new friend Diana.
The Call-Out by Cat Fitzpatrick (October 25)
You might recognize Fitzpatrick from her editorial work on the excellent anthology of trans SFF called Meanwhile Elsewhere, but her debut book is something quite different: “a tragicomedy of manners written in verse.” The novel is about all queer, mostly trans women living in Brooklyn, featuring all the mainstays of their cultural moment and place: punk houses, queer lit readings, online call-outs, dating app hookups, financial instability, feminist philosophy, and more.
Faltas: Letters to Everyone in My Hometown Who Isn’t My Rapist by Cecilia Gentili (October)
Coincidentally, this book is the first published by Little Puss Press, run by Cat Fitzpatrick as just mentioned and Casey Plett! With praise from Janet Mock, Torrey Peters, and more, Faltas is a collection of letters that is as heartwarming and funny as it is heartbreaking and sad. Argentinian American actress and storyteller Gentili “reinvents the trans memoir putting the confession squarely between the writer and her enemies, paramours and friends.”
The Color Pynk: Black Femme Art for Survival by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley (November 1)
Focusing on queer cis and trans femininity, Tinsley argues that Black femmes’ creative work is political, passionate, and essential for survival. It challenges dominant power structures; disrupts conventions around race, gender, and sexuality; and is a place for joy and love. Tinsley looks at Janelle Monae’s music, Janet Mock’s TV writing, Indya Moore’s fashion, and more!
When Franny Stands Up by Eden Robins (November 1)
Robins’s new unique mid-century historical fantasy novel is about comedy, trauma, and family. Franny, a new standup comedian, is introduced to a new special magic called Showstopper, an effect that momentarily transforms women — and only women — if they laugh hard enough.
Learned by Carellin Brooks (November 1)
The poems in Brooks’s new collection take place in the 90s, between Oxford and London, on university grounds and in queer BDSM spaces. Tackling desire, abuse, pain, pleasure, and the body’s own memory, Brooks charts her education of sorts in the body and the mind.
A Restless Truth by Freya Marske (November 1)
The second book in The Last Binding queer historical fantasy series, A Restless Truth includes murder, magic, and romance aboard a ship! Maud is traveling from Britain to New York when she discovers a dead body, a rude talking parrot, and the most beautiful and intriguing woman she’s ever met. Which problem should she tackle first?
The Frenemy Zone by Yolanda Wallace (November 1)
In Wallace’s YA romance, Olly is a fish out of water, having recently moved with her dads from San Francisco to a small town in West Virginia. She has no idea she’s caught the eye of local star softball player Ariel, who’s jealous of Olly’s easy out and proud queerness, wishing it could be that easy for her.
Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun (November 1)
In this queer Christmas rom com, Ellie still dreams about the woman she fell for last Christmas Eve in a bookstore but then never saw again. This Christmas, Jack — the landlord of the coffee shop where Ellie works after losing her dream job — proposes a crazy plan: a marriage of convenience so he can get his recent inheritance and help them both out financially. But when Ellie and Jack go to spend Christmas with his family to establish the fake relationship, guess who his sister is??
The World We Make by N.K. Jemisin (November 1)
The final book in Jemisin’s Great Cities duology, The World We Make picks up with New York City’s six souls / human avatars, having temporarily stopped the Woman in White from destroying the world. The final enemy still remains, though, and NYC may have to join forces with the souls of some of Earth’s other great cities to defeat evil once and for all.
How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow (November 1)
Yes, we’re getting not one, but TWO sapphic Jewish Christmasy rom coms this year! In this college-set romance, Shani and May are enemies — they met when Shani ran into May with her car — but when these two Jewish girls get snowed in together on Christmas Eve, there might be a little holiday magic in the air.
Rethinking Gender by Louie Läuger (November 1)
Läuger’s cheerful, accessible illustrated guide attempts to answer the big question of “what is gender?” With their trusty cat as sidekick, Läuger explains terms like transgender and cisgender, goes over histories of queer and trans activism, shows how gender is a spectrum, and much more without claiming to have figured it all out and to have all the answers.
Small Game by Blair Braverman (November 1)
Queer author Braverman’s debut novel is a thrilling suspense story about a survival reality TV show gone terribly wrong. Mara, the main character, runs her own survival school, so she’s prepared for everything except…dealing with the other contestants.
The Forever Factor by Melissa Brayden (November 1)
In this second chance lesbian romance, two women who were high school cheerleaders together meet again as adults. When Reid shows up as a patient in Bethany’s office, both women are about to learn the other’s story of what really happened to break them up as teenagers.
Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk (November 8)
An historical novel set in 1930s Chicago, Polk’s latest sapphic period piece is also equal parts fantasy, mystery, and romance. With a classic noir tone, the book follows a magical detective on the hunt for a serial killer named Whity City Vampire.
Holding Space: Life and Love Through a Queer Lens by Ryan Pfluger (November 8)
Photographer Pfluger’s collection of 100 full color photographs features queer interracial couples and their stories. Taken in 2020 and 2021, the photos are a testament to modern queer love, joy, vulnerability, and beauty. The book also includes an essay by Brandon Kyle Goodman and an introduction by Janicza Bravo.
A Short History of Queer Women by Kirsty Loehr (November 8)
This short, accessible guide written from a British perspective adds an ample dash of humor to the history of women who loved women throughout the ages. Highlights include Anne Bonny and Mary Read, who were 18th century lovers and pirates together!
The Long Covid Survival Guide edited by Fiona Lowenstein (November 8)
Guess who’s featured in this anthology?? Our very own Heather Hogan!! Lowenstein has crafted this book from the original online support group for people with long Covid they created, transforming years of collaborative work into this book. Topics include taking care of your mental health, dealing with fatigue, employment issues, medical racism, and more.
The Age of Goodbyes by Li Zi Shu, Translated by YZ Chin (November 8)
An experimental historical novel set in 1969 in Malaysia, The Age of Goodbyes is available for the first time in English, translated from the original Chinese. A feminist story about family, storytelling, memory, official history, and political unrest, the novel is told in multiple timelines, including one in which “you” as the reader of this book are the main character.
Cyclettes by Tree Abraham (November 10)
Aptly named, this book consisting of cycling vignettes follows queer author and designer Abraham through all the bicycles she has ever known, from her first childhood bike to loaners she rode while traveling in India. Featuring text and images, Cyclettes shares a life full of passionate two-wheeled journeys and philosophical musings on wanderlust, millennial adulthood, depression, and more.
The Polyamory Workbook by Sara Youngblood Gregory (November 15)
This “interactive guide to setting boundaries, communicating your needs, and building secure, healthy open relationships,” lesbian author Gregory addresses both those new to nonmonogamy and not. The toolbox the book provides will help you determine what you want from relationships and community, as well as how to get it.
Reader, I Murdered Him by Betsy Cornwell (November 15)
This title!! In Victorian England, a teenage girl named Adele becomes a feminist vigilante who punishes abusive men. The young con artist who teaches Adele her craft is also her love interest! I personally cannot wait for this feminist historical thriller with a queer romance at its heart.
The Secret of Matterdale Hall by Marianne Ratcliffe (November 15)
Ratcliffe’s latest queer historical novel is a gothic tale about a young woman, Susan, forced into teaching at a remote English boarding school — the titular Matterdale Hall — when her father’s death sinks her family into poverty. There she meets a beautiful and mysterious woman, Cassandra, with whom she must untangle the hall’s dark secrets.
Securing Ava by Anne Shade (November 15)
Shade’s latest novel is a romantic thriller about a private investigator and the runaway heiress she’s been hired to locate. But when Paige, the PI, realizes the heiress Ava has been the victim of a botched kidnapping, she has to pull out all the stops to … secure Ava … and find out who wants to hurt her family.
Mabel and Everything After by Hannah Safren (November 17)
Safren’s new adult romance tells the story of two women, Emma and Mabel, as their relationship goes through the ups and downs of college life. While their initial summer fling fizzles because of Emma’s struggle with internalized homophobia, they keep showing up in each other’s lives enough that they begin to wonder if they’re destined for each other.
Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake (November 22)
The second book in Blake’s small town Bright Falls queer romance series features an uptight interior designer who falls in love with the carpenter she’s working with on a renovation project being featured on a home improvement show. This is an enemies to lovers story: at first they hate working together but then they fall in love!
Schuss by E.J. Noyes (November 22)
Queer winter sports romance!! Stacey is a competitive alpine skier with an amazing best friend — Gemma, who’s been in love with Stacey forever — and a “hot-but-vapid” girlfriend. Will Gemma risk their longtime friendship to make the leap to romance? Does Stacey love her back??
At Midnight edited by Dahlia Adler (November 22)
Queer YA author Adler’s latest anthology collects 15 reimagined fairy tales. There are lots of familiar queer favorites among the contributors, including Malinda Lo, Anna-Marie McLemore, Darcie Little Badger, Meredith Russo, Rebecca Podos, and more!
Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales (November 29)
In this YA rom com, two 18-year-old young women agree to participate in a reality dating show with their now famous ex-boyfriend. One of them is looking for revenge, while the other is open to getting back together; neither of them are planning to fall for each other.
The Two Doctors Górski by Isaac Fellman (November 29)
If you loved Fellman’s trans vampire archivist novel from earlier this year like I did (Dead Collections), check out his second 2022 book, a fantasy set in academia. The protagonist is Annae, a gifted grad student of psychiatric magic who compulsively reads everyone’s minds. Fleeing to the UK in the wake of academic abuse, she begins to study under the legendary Dr. Górski, in whose mind she sees a possible road to redemption.
We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (November 29)
Hammond’s contemporary YA story is about family secrets, a queer romance, a small American Southern town setting, and a Black biracial queer lead character, 17-year-old Avery. When Avery is uprooted to Georgia from DC in the wake of her grandmother’s illness, she finds unexpected connection and unsolved mysteries.
I Thought You Loved Me by MariNaomi (November)
A multi-genre and format memoir told in graphics, collage, and prose, MariNaomi explores her teenage and young adulthood feminist friendship with Jodie. The friendship intersected with her coming out as bisexual and her identity as biracial, but despite Jodie’s importance to MariNaomi’s life, Jodie suddenly and mysteriously ends the relationship. Years later, MariNaomi investigates what happened.
Last Chance Chicago by Diana Digangi (December 6)
Digangi’s legal thriller with a dash of romance stars Sam, an attorney and recovering addict who’s still in love with her ex-wife, Amy. The two women have been keeping their distance, but when Amy is falsely accused of felony insider trading, Sam might be the only one who can help her.
The Ivory Tomb by Melissa Caruso (December 6)
The second and final book in the queer epic fantasy Rooks and Ruin series, The Ivory Tomb picks up in “the Dark Days.” Demons roam the lands, a war is brewing, and Warden of Gloamingard Ryx must defeat the rising evil at all costs, despite her conflicting loyalties.
This Cursed Crown by Alexandra Overy (December 6)
The second book in Overy’s “These Feathered Flames” queer YA fantasy novel, this one finds Izaveta trapped in a tower, trying to escape make her way home to claim the throne. Asya, her sister, attempts to prove that Izaveta is still alive.
Camp Lost and Found by Georgia Beers (December 13)
Two women, both dealing with recent tragedies in their lives, are brought together at an old rundown campground. Cassidy is there to scatter her friend’s ashes at the place where they met. Francesca is managing the campground with the hopes of running from her past and staying away from other people. Will Cassidy and Francesca find love even though it’s the last thing they’re looking for?
A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar (December 13)
Acclaimed queer YA author Jaigirdar’s latest novel is a sapphic heist story set aboard the Titanic! A thief, an acrobat, an artist, and an actress are all determined to steal the Rubaiyat, a jewel-encrusted book someone has brought with them on the ship. Will the heist succeed, and, more importantly, will they survive the shipwreck?
A Spark in the Air by Dena Blake (December 13)
In this wintery small town romance, a tech company executive named Crystal lands in Pine Grove, a quaint little place that hasn’t entered the 21st century when it comes to high speed internet and wifi. Crystal’s mission is to sell the local government on her company’s offerings, which puts her in direct opposition to Janie, who runs her family’s internet cafe business. Can these two enemies find a way to follow their hearts?
Picture-Perfect Christmas by Charlotte Greene (December 13)
Lesbian Christmas second chance romance! Photographer Nicole left her small Colorado mountain town and thought she’d never look back; twenty years later, she’s itching to return permanently and a new job over the holiday season might be the ticket. But she’d be working with Quinn, her old high school rival and one time kissing partner. Will these two ladies start kissing again??
Winter’s Moons by Lise MacTague (December 15)
Queer werewolves in wintery Chicago! Cassidy, the new alpha of the North Side pack, is dealing with way too many challenges at once: wolves from her pack are disappearing without a trace; her sister — a werewolf slayer — is missing; and a new lone wolf in town is acting suspicious. Snow, said lone wolf, is only in town to check on her brother’s old pack, but finds herself staying longer than she planned in Chicago when she has some strong feelings for a certain new alpha pack leader.
I Dare You to Love Me by Lori G. Matthews (December 20)
If you like lots of furry pets in your lesbian romance, this is the book for you! Dani is living her ideal life with her fiancé Will, a surgical residency, and her beloved cat Jinx. When Will brings home a rescue dog who does not get along with Jinx, Dani is unexpectedly attracted to Kara, their new dog trainer. But are the sparks between her and Kara worth leaving her so-called perfect life for?
After Happily Ever After Once Again edited by Astrid Ohletz (December)
Have you ever wondered what happened to the women in your favorite lesbian romances after the happily ever after? This anthology from Yvla aims to give readers a little snapshot of the happy couples from some of their most popular romances and mysteries, by authors such as Harper Bliss, Lola Keeley, Cheyenne Blue, Fiona Zedde, Roslyn Sinclair, and more!
Great list I’m particularly excited about:
• Season of Love
• Mistakes Were Made
• Kiss Her Once For Me
• How to Excavate a Heart
• Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail
• Never Ever Getting Together
Yeah, there are some romances with great premises coming out this fall. An accidental one night stand with your friend’s mom?? Falling in love on a reality show with your ex-boyfriend’s other ex? I love it!
Thank you! I just remembered the other day I need to pre-order the long covid survival guide and hadn’t gotten around to finding it yet. Also forgot I already pre-ordered the future is disabled! So now I am stoked to have that coming eventually!
thanks as always, casey! you’re a goddamned treasure and i love your lists 🤗
So many books to add to my to-read list! One not on here that I’m looking forward to: ‘the Last Hero’ by Linden A. Lewis, the finale in a trilogy that has a lot of queer and trans rep. It’s really bleak in a lot of ways, but I highly recommend the first two books so will be really excited to read the third.
Thanks for sharing!
Eat your Mind: The Radical Life and Work of Kathy Acker by Jason McBride comes out on Nov. 28.
Ooh great addition to the list!
Yaay, I always appreciate these book preview guides!
There are a lot of pub dates I’m waiting for with bated breath–I have a huge countdown timer in my head for Nona the Ninth, it is part cuckoo clock and part child saying “are we there yet?”
So many of these that I’ve been excited for! And I can’t believe that Kate Beaton has a graphic novel memoir out. I love Hark A Vagrant, and while I’m not usually a reader of memoirs or fictional graphic novels, I adore the center of that Venn Diagram. (One of my favorites that I’ve read this year was Spellbound by Bishakh Som, whom I found out about through her Scenes from a Gender series on Autostraddle!)
With full sincerity, thank you for making my to be read list even more unmanageable. I’m now at 194 books and I cannot wait! These lists are such a gift!
Also, genuinely cannot believe that there are two sapphic Jewish Christmas romances this year, what.
thanks for the list! Hey, would you know which of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club books have lesbian themes or characters?
I could probably identify a lot if not all! Is there a master list of them somewhere?
I know that True Biz does!
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