This is my kind of year end round up as I love knowing what writers are reading (or who their touting): Band of Thebes asked 80 authors to select their favorite glbtq books of 2010 and while there were lots of familiar titles—and lots of men—there were several lesbian books and authors I didn’t have on my radar until now:
1) THE BIG BANG SYMPHONY by Lucy Jane Bledsoe (University of Wisconsin Press). Though Bledsoe has written several books, I’ve never read her. Maybe I’ll start with this one; the setting in Antarctica appeals to my bleak, wild landscape sensibilities.
2) SKIM by Mariko Tamaki (Groundwood Books). After reading Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME, I am much more likely to pick up a graphic novel, though it’s taken me 6 months to make it halfway through Watchmen—and I like it!—which says something about my ability to process intense, detailed illustrations and text. But, if this boldly illustrated novel about an angsty goth teen with a crush on her English teacher is as “quiet, perfect, and painful” a love story as Jill Malone says, I may actually race through this one. In a good way.
3) SO MUCH BETTER by Terri Griffith (The Green Lantern Press). A 2009 book but why be a stickler? “Peculiar and deceptively quiet piqued my interest but “in the absence of her lover, she (the main character, a “cold woman at odds with the world”) seduces her lover’s sister” cinched it.
4) A COMPASS ERROR by Sybille Bedford (Counterpoint). 2010, 2001, who cares when this edition was published? Originally published in 1968, the novel takes place in the south of France in the 1930s as young Flavia experiences love, seduction, and betrayal at the hands of a woman.
And, even though it was published in 2009, I’m especially thrilled to see Barb Johnson’s fantastic collection of linked short stories, MORE OF THIS WORLD OR MAYBE ANOTHER (Harper Perennial), acknowledged twice on this list.
It was my favorite book club read this year: gorgeous yet gritty language, lyrical descriptions, and vivid, compelling characters. Seriously, don’t miss this one. I can’t wait to read more by this author.