Vote For The 100 Best Lesbianish Fiction & Memoir Books Of All Time

It is a truth universally acknowledged that people like to make lists of the 100 Best Books Of All Time. For example, Ms. Magazine’s 100 Best Non-Fiction Books Of All Time, The Guardian’s 100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books and The Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels. We like making lists too, but when it comes to parsing out the 100 Best Lesbian Fiction & Memoir Books of all time (yes, graphic novels included), that’s  feat we can hardly accomplish on our own. It’s gotta be a group decision.

So, we need you to vote on the best queer lady themed books of all time in the Fiction and Memoir category. As for what it means to be considered a queer-lady book, we figure that’ll actually be up to you — your votes will determine what counts and what doesn’t.

Here’s how to vote:

Go to Goodreads to nominate books and vote on books that have already been nominated. Feel free to add a lot of books to the list! If you don’t have a goodreads account, it’s pretty easy to register — you can sign up and vote and never return again, if you so desire. Wanna jog your memory? Check out the many lists of LGBT books we’ve made on this website.

On November 25th, voting will cease and we’ll publish The Autostraddle Readers’ List of The Top 100 Lesbianish Fiction & Memoir Books Of All Time.

PSA: Also a reminder that whenever you buy books on the internet, you could be buying that book AND incidentally giving ten cents to autostraddle if you access amazon via this link or the book depository via this link or indiebound via this link.

What are you waiting for? Go vote!

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+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of 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 3213 articles for us.


  1. I’m not saying they’re all the BEST, but, 100(+) books? I got this:

    1. Annie on My Mind (Nancy Garden)
    2. The Well of Loneliness (Radclyffe Hall)
    3. Ash (Malinda Lo)
    4. Keeping You a Secret (Julie Anne Peters)
    5. Kissing Kate (Lauren Myracle)
    6. Empress of the World (Sara Ryan)
    7. The Rules for Hearts (Sara Ryan)
    8. Commencement (J. Courtney Sullivan)
    9. The Price of Salt (Patricia Highsmith)
    10. The Talented Mr. Ripley (Patricia Highsmith)
    11. Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
    12. Tipping the Velvet (Sarah Waters)
    13. Patience & Sarah (Isabel Miller)
    14. Good Moon Rising (Nancy Garden)
    15. The Hours (Michael Cunningham)
    16. Duchess: a novel of Sarah Churchill (Susan Holloway Scott)
    17. Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)
    18. Without You: A memoir of love, loss, and the musical Rent (Anthony Rapp)
    19. A Single Man (Christopher Isherwood)
    20. Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
    21. Deliver Us From Evie (M. E. Kerr)
    22. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You (Peter Cameron)
    23. The Weekend (Peter Cameron)
    24. The City of Your Final Destination (Peter Cameron)
    25. If You Follow Me (Malena Watrous)
    26. Rainbow Boys (Alex Sanchez)
    27. Rainbow High (Alex Sanchez)
    28. Rainbow Road (Alex Sanchez)
    29. Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence (ed. Marion Dane Bauer)
    30. Dare Truth or Promise (Paula Boock)
    31. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
    32. How They Met (David Levithan)
    33. Pages For You (Sylvia Brownrigg)
    34. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café (Fannie Flagg)
    35. Landing (Emma Donoghue)
    36. Stir-fry (Emma Donoghue)
    37. Touchy Subjects (Emma Donoghue)
    38. Written on the Body (Jeanette Winterson)
    39. The Night Watch (Sarah Waters)
    40. Rage: a love story (Julie Anne Peters)
    41. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For (Alison Bechdel)
    42. Kissing the Witch: old tales in new skins (Emma Donoghue)
    43. Stone Butch Blues (Leslie Feinberg)
    44. Beebo Brinker (Ann Bannon)
    45. Swish: my quest to become the gayest person ever (Joel Derfner)
    46. Fun Home (Alison Bechdel)
    47. Gay Haiku (Joel Derfner)
    48. Running With Scissors (Augusten Burroughs)
    49. Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green & David Levithan)
    50. Disobedience (Naomi Alderman)
    51. Boy Meets Boy (David Levithan)
    52. The Line of Beauty (Alan Hollinghurst)
    53. Maurice (E.M. Forster)
    54. Welcome to My World (Johnny Weir)
    55. Angels in America (Tony Kushner)
    56. Likewise (Ariel Schrag)
    57. Just Kids (Patti Smith)
    58. Awkward (Ariel Schrag)
    59. Definition (Ariel Schrag)
    60. Potential (Ariel Schrag)
    61. Inferno (Eileen Myles)
    62. Tales of the City (Armistead Maupin)
    63. A Home at the End of the World (Michael Cunningham)
    64. Huntress (Malinda Lo)
    65. Brokeback Mountain (Annie Proulx)
    66. More Tales of the City (Armistead Maupin)
    67. Further Tales of the City (Armistead Maupin)
    68. The Swimming-Pool Library (Alan Hollinghurst)
    69. Babycakes (Armistead Maupin)
    70. Significant Others (Armistead Maupin)
    71. Rubyfruit Jungle (Rita Mae Brown)
    72. M. Butterfly (David Henry Hwang)
    73. Valencia (Michelle Tea)
    74. Sure of You (Armistead Maupin)
    75. Michael Tolliver Lives (Armistead Maupin)
    76. Last Watch of the Night (Paul Monette)
    77. She Loves You, She Loves You Not… (Julie Anne Peters)
    78. Geography Club (Brent Hartinger)
    79. Boyfriends with Girlfriends (Alex Sanchez)
    80. Alma Mater (Rita Mae Brown)
    81. Getting It (Alex Sanchez)
    82. Life Mask (Emma Donoghue)
    83. Grl2grl: short fictions (Julie Anne Peters)
    84. Hello, Groin (Beth Goobie)
    85. Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story (Ellen Wittlinger)
    86. The Lost Language of Cranes (David Leavitt)
    87. Parrotfish (Ellen Wittlinger)
    88. Luna (Julie Anne Peters)
    89. She Looks Just Like You: a memoir of (nonbiological lesbian) motherhood (Amie Klempnauer Miller)
    90. My Invented Life (Lauren Bjorkman)
    91. Wide Awake (David Levithan)
    92. The Vast Fields of Ordinary (Nick Burd)
    93. The Teahouse Fire (Ellis Avery)
    94. Mary Ann in Autumn (Armistead Maupin)
    95. Crush (Carrie Mac)
    96. Pink (Lili Wilkinson)
    97. Gravel Queen (Tea Benduhn)
    98. Annabel (Kathleen Winter)
    99. The Bucolic Plague: how two Manhattanites became gentleman farmers (Josh Kilmer-Purcell)
    100. You’re Not from Around Here, Are You? A lesbian in small town America (Louise A. Blum)
    101. The Kid: what happened after my boyfriend and I decided to go get pregnant (Dan Savage)
    102. Times Two: Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made (Kristen Henderson and Sarah Kate Ellis)
    103. I Am Not Myself These Days: a memoir (Josh Kilmer-Purcell)
    104. Happy Accidents: a memoir (Jane Lynch)
    105. Weetzie Bat (Francesca Lia Block)
    106. Are You My Mother?: a comic drama (Alison Bechdel)
    107. The Miseducation of Cameron Post: a novel (Emily M. Danforth)
    108. Beauty Queens (Libba Bray)
    109. The Last Nude (Ellis Avery)
    110. Sing You Home (Jodi Picoult)
    111. How Beautiful the Ordinary (ed. Michael Cart)
    112. Transparent: love, family, and living the T with transgender teenagers (Cris Beam)
    113. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Jeanette Winterson)

  2. Things that I didn’t see listed above that are also very good:

    Orlando – Virginia Woolf
    Nina Here Nor There – Nick Krieger
    Fingersmith – Sara Waters
    The Juggler (La Jongleuse) – Rachilde

  3. It’s posts like this that have me convinced that Autostraddle is the best girlfriend that I dont actually have.

  4. I’m not sure I want to create a Goodreads account just to vote, since I already have my books and reading elsewhere.

  5. So much Winterson on the list. I must be the only queer lady around who doesn’t like her unless she’s being funny (Boating for Beginners is one of the most hilarious books I’ve read).
    But otherwise, definitely a list of to-read books. I do like a good read.

    • Checking out the Goodreads list… I’m a little surprised by the results so far. Not to hate on Winterson… but yeah, I agree with CatD, I only like when she’s being funny.

      I really hope to see The Price of Salt break top 10 at least and Odd Girl Out or Spring Fire needs to get bumped up if only history alone! Also needs more Faderman!

    • You are not alone. My favorite college professor said it best: reading Winterson’s sex scenes in particular is like “watching spiders do pushups over mirrors”. I will never forget that image nor read another Winterson book.

      • Haha that’s fantastic! My own MA supervisor has a history with Winterson. She doesn’t like her because she’s very difficult when people criticise her books. As in, if you say anything negative she won’t give permission to use quotes from her texts. I heard from the prof that she’s not the nicest person you’ll ever meet.

        • Ugh, I definitely got that vibe. My problem with her is that she thinks she is Virginia Woolf’s heir apparent, which is patently ridiculous because frankly nobody is as genius as woolf. Nobody.

          That said…I know a lot of people do enjoy her books, and I’ve only read the PowerBook.

          • Yes, exactly. She’s come out and said that she is. But I love Woolf and I will never love Winterson.
            I had to read them all for one of my MA modules. Oranges and Boating for Beginners are the only ones I can stand. It’s a pity because she is a great comedy writer.

      • YES. There are very few books I have enjoyed less than that one. None actually come to mind right now.
        That said, I did really like Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.

      • This to the nth degree. I hate to think what she would’ve contributed to Tumblr if it had’ve been around when she was a teenager.

  6. You guys, as a lesbrarian-in-training who is about to write a paper for library school on the shortcomings of traditional subject headings for lesbianish books, this makes me SO. GODDAMN. HAPPY.

    I mean, this is also really not very good for the productivity I need to actually write the paper, buuuuut this totally also counts as research, so.

  7. Wow – yes, added so many books to my “to read” list, and also checked off stuff I had read previously.

    I could only think of one book that was missing off the top of my head, so I added it.

  8. Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid, brilliant bit of crime fic (and I love a bit of crime fic). It’s almost midnight and my brain is knackered but I’m adding that one on the other side of sleep.

  9. I’m so excited that BOTH Harriet the Spy books got on there. BOTH! And ORLANDO! Be still my heart.

    Also, this excellent list! Definitely consulting it to bulk up my lesbian fiction cred.

  10. well I’m glad I told my mom that all I wanted for hannukah was amazon gift cards because this list is going to fill the shit out of my kindle

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