Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Eleven Bestselling Books of 2011

This is a list of the eleven books that have been bought the most often through this site in the year of 2011. They're a nice mix of first novels and old classics, and are mostly fantasy and romance novels. There are a few young adult books in the list, a couple that we never even reviewed, and a lot of fairy tale retellings.

Anyway, I figured an overview would be interesting, and they're all good books (some amazing, some just pretty good and some of my favourites aren't even here), so if you're looking for a quick list of titles to spend some money on, this list is a great place to start.

(I did want to take a look at some of the actual bestselling titles on Amazon, but it's impossible to search for lesbian books by popularity or rating - most of the first few pages are either smut/erotica, or not even lesbian. And everything in the 'Gay & Lesbian' category gets pulled up, with a heavy emphasis on the 'Gay'... so our stats will have to do. They're a pretty small sample size, though, so it's not going to be the interesting analysis I was hoping to write.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Clara's Story by Dorreen Perrine

Clara's Story by Dorreen Perrine is a fairly light, but interesting, romance set in New York and Italy, that's as much about family drama and family as it is about falling in love.

Claire is the assistant of a small, but increasingly successful, New York art gallery, a job she got through her mother's connections, under the thumb of a reasonably unpleasant little man. Isabelle is the young, forward and overwhelming Italian artist that arrives for a show and takes an interest in Claire.

While the attraction is mutual, Claire is too busy denying her emotions, pacifying her manipulative mother and getting to know her estranged father to be interested. That, and she can't quite tell if Isabelle is just playing the Italian flirt, or truly, exclusively interested in her. And of course, she's part of Claire's job, now, so can't be ignored - but also has to be handled carefully.

Meanwhile, Claire spends a lot of energy dealing with her mother, isn't really connecting to her boyfriend, and is becoming much closer to her serious father and his flamboyant partner. All the while dealing with the fact her mother views this as the ultimate betrayal and has devoted years to cutting her gay ex-husband out of his life. Along the way, we get flashbacks to Claire's disastrous engagement, life with her mother and first (female) lover. Basically, it's an overload of family history, with us coming in at the tipping point, with Claire carrying us along on her personal psychological journey, while her siblings find their own ways of coping (or not).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Posted Review: Beebo Brinker by Ann Bannon

We have a guest review up at The Rainbow Reader on Beebo Brinker - the 1962 lesbian pulp fiction classic by Ann Bannon. Last in the 'Beebo Brinker Series', it's a prequel to the other books, and the best place to start.

Drop by to check it out! (It's a pretty darn good read, and recommended to fans of historical novels, erratic love affairs, shy butch girls and lesbian classics).

Read the review of Beebo Brinker at The Rainbow Reader!

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Review: Promises, Promises by L-J Baker

Promises, Promises
by L-J Baker
Promises, Promises is L-J Baker's fourth book. Much more lighthearted than the author's previous works, it's quite different, but just as well-written. Although it's "her first attempt at a humorous one", it's witty and entertaining, while also containing some genuinely sweet moments. It lives up to its description, "a romp with plenty of dykes, a unicorn, an ogre, an oracle, a quest, a princess, and true love with a Happily Ever After" -- everything on that list can be checked off, and serves as a basic summary of the plot. (There are definitely lesbian main characters, and the girls get the girls.)

The book might not be what you're looking for if you're after a serious Lord of the Rings style quest, but if you enjoy parody and humour, especially of the meta sort (maybe comparable with Pratchett), Promises, Promises delivers and is worth a read. The references to various well-known works are fun to spot, among them The Princess Bride, The Life of Brian, Narnia, Shrek and Lord of the Rings. Readers will also be able to spot plenty of self-referential humour that points out common fantasy tropes.