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Books read in 2023

December 31, 2023 - thoughts

2023 was the year I managed to rediscover my love of books and reading. Once I got turned on to the array of trans and sapphic books available, it was like I couldn't get enough.

Below is the list of the books I read this year, sorted by author, loosely in the order I read them.

One note before I begin: a lot of the books below deal with trauma of some form or another. If you're sensitive to this, please look into the book you're interested in first.

Stephen King

Before we get into the trans/sapphic stuff, the first author I turned to this year was Stephen King. This is largely because in recovering from online addiction, I wanted to read through stories of other people dealing with addiction. I ended up picking three Stephen King books.


This is the main book King cites when he mentions books he's written about addiction. According to him, this book is about his struggle with cocaine.

Perhaps so, but the interplay at the heart of this book is definitely the reason to read it. It's so tense, and it works really well.


Addiction to independence, maybe? I remembered this story fondly though after reading it I think I may have preferred the movie more.

The Shining

Addiction to spirits. Interesting book - I think this was the first time I'd read it, despite having seen the movie a handful of times.

April Daniels

Now we get into the trans and sapphic books. April was the first trans author I read. She wrote two books about a trans superhero. After I read those, I was hooked and kept looking for more.

Dreadnought and Sovereign

A two book series about a trans superhero. April doesn't shy away from some harsh topics and situations, giving the stories quite a bit of grit in parts. The end of the second book, Sovereign, definitely had me wanting more in the series.

Sakaomi Yuzaki

She Loves To Cook, and She Loves To Eat (Vol I-III)

I didn't read much manga this year, but this was a fun read that deals with aro(?) connection between two women and how they discover who they are and what they want together.

Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl

Coming of age story about a trans girl. Not bad though I think I prefer Russo's follow up book, which is...


If people are looking for a good young adult (YA) coming of age/coming out story with a bit of a romantic twist, this is one of the books I'd hand them. It's solid, deals with some real issues, and pulled me along to the end.

Julie Anne Peters


I... did not like this one. It doesn't feel like a relatable trans experience. The main character, Luna, feels drawn from details that matched more closely to maybe female impersonators rather than being trans.

Still, it's no doubt remarkable both for its age and for the fact it was a trailblazer as the first mass market YA book with a trans main character.

Vyria Durav

The Hatchling

This book initially felt like it was for a YA audience. All up, not a bad first effort, but truly overshadowed by Vyria's follow-up effort...


My god, this book is so good. It's like a warm bath in trans-affirming goodness. I've read it twice so far and no doubt will read it again soon.

Molly J. Bragg

Heart of Heroes series (Scatter, Transistor, Aether)

This three book series is tied together with recurring characters though each book is very distinct tonally and thematically from each other. Of the three, I think I liked the first one the best because of the focus and the mind-bending romance/erotica.

Transistor is also notable for having a trans main character.

Blood of the Basilisk

Loved this one. Slow burn sapphic romance with an adorable dragon makes this one a clear fave of the year.

Mail Order Bride

My god, this book is cute. Wholesome sapphic romance in space. I finished it and was so sad that it was over I just started re-reading it immediately. I wish Molly had more with these characters.

The Inevitable Singularity

I... wasn't so sure about this one. It has elements of romance, though the main threads revolves around prophesy, predestination, and a kind of psychic-meets-pseudoscience fabric woven throughout. At times I found it difficult to read, both because of the density of what was being described but also because giving too much of the future plot away ruins a bit of the book's magic.

Tiffany E. Taylor


Please avoid. I... yeah, it just reads too much like it was written in the 90s without any of the benefit of modern thought. Was not my thing.

Akwaeke Emezi


There are a small handful of masterworks on my list, and this is one of them. I've recommended it to friends and family.

I think to get the most out of it you need to have been brought up religious, but I don't think that's a requirement. It's written with beautiful prose with a lovely handling of trans-affirmation in the near-future.

Casey Plett

A Safe Girl to Love

A collection of short stories. I found them to be a bit too focused on 20-somethings by a 20-something to be really relatable.

A Dream of a Woman

Seven years later, and her powers as an author are noticeably sharper. Her themes more on point and more mature. It feels like she's reaching to learn and yet be honest with the journey.

The stories in this one are also much more relatable. The first story in the collection, Hazel & Christopher, is worth the price of the book alone.

Alison Rumfitt


Not a fan of this one. It felt too much like a trans remix of Things Have Gotten Worse Since Last We Spoke. Some good ideas here and there but tried far too hard to be edgy for me.

Silvia Shaw

Rand books 1, 2, and 4

Yes, you read that correctly. I accidentallly read these out of order. In my defence, the fourth book says "Book 1" on the cover and is indeed the first book of a new series in the same world as the original series.

These are solidly plotted, well-written sapphic fantasy novels. I'm looking forward to getting back around and reading the 3rd one when the mood hits. Of the ones I've read so far, I think the 4th book (Daughter of the Light) was the best.

Issy Waldrom and Mackenzie Sutton

Best Friends' Promise

Trans sapphic vampire romance. It's exactly what it says on the cover. An enjoyable ride, and one that I recently re-read and still enjoyed.

Ela Bambust

Any Other Name

Loved this one. Magic school meets Beetlejuice in a trans/queer-affirming way? Yes, please. Tightly plotted and well-written.

The Principles of Non-Euclidean Romance

One part Groundhog Day, one part eldritch-flavoured romance? I have no idea how to describe this. I liked some parts more than others, though I think preferred the tighter feel of Any Other Name over this one.

Rosemary Kirsten

The Steerswoman

Wow, we actually took a quick detour away from trans and sapphic books for a minute to read this one because friends kept asking us what we thought.

I think my short summary is: it's well done. It's nice that it has some clearly autistic spectrum characters in it, and their unique view of the world matters deeply. I just found myself wishing that there was more queerness among the characters.

Maria Ying

The Grace of Sorcerers

This took me a couple tries to fall into, but after I did was richly rewarding. The prose is stellar, and the characters build as you progress.

Andrew Joseph White

The Spirit Bares Its Teeth

My god. Here's another masterwork. That's not to say it'll be an easy read for anyone. Andrew is steeped in the dark Southern history of literature, and it's pretty clear. I'm actually speechless as I write this, as I truly have no idea how I might do this book justice.

If you can make your way through it, I think the book richly pays for your investment. Especially, after the end when you find out what the book is based on. That killed me. I just walked around the house in a daze.

Kai Cheng Thom

Falling Back in Love with Being Human

I laughed. I cried. I... honestly just wanted to take Kai out for coffee after reading this. Just to sit across the table from someone else who wanted to marry being honest about pain with desperately looking to find ways to forgive and heal.

The book is made up of letters to various people who had done harmful things in Kai's life, including to people like Jesus and JK Rowling. At times poetic, it flows from the heart with a keen edge.

Mel E. Lemon

Violet Moon

Slow burn werewolf sapphic romance. I'm looking forward to reading more in the series as they become available.

Zoe Storm

The Bradford McKinley Chronicles (books 1-4)

Zoe is one of my go-to authors for coming of age/coming out trans books. These are the kinds of books I would hand other newly-out trans folks, or folks who are questioning whether or not they're trans.

The 4th book in the series especially is quite good. It deals more directly with dysphoria and how to work through it, and for that reason alone will be something I recommend to others as they deal with their own dysphoria.

The Enchanted Forest

A collection of five trans-focused short stories. Some of these stories, like the vampire-themed one, really feel like they want to grow to be their own larger work.

Avery Arden

Blood Mistress (1, 2, 3)

So you say the other things I have listed so far are a bit tame? You want something a bit spicier? Yes, come feast at this three novella set (which I think of as one novel). Spicy sapphic vampire erotica with heart. The third book especially definitely fills out this world and makes it more alive, which I enjoyed.

Oh, and it actually emphasises consent. Thank goodness.

SD Simper

Carmilla and Laura

I loved this. More vampire goodness. Honestly, it feels like the third masterwork in our list. It so deftly allows the readers to watch the characters grow, come into their own, and discover themselves. It's erotic but also has so much heart to go along with it. Definitely one I'm looking forward to re-reading.

May Peterson

Calyx Charm

I saw this book called out by a few folks as one of their faves. I was quite a bit more mixed on it. I struggled with the narration style through a lot of the book, as the plot would slip from present day, to past, to possible future without much indication as to where you were.

That said, it has by far some of the hottest trans erotic scenes I read this year.

Elena Abbott/Lily Hardt

Pack of Her Own and Mate of Her Own

Elena's werewolf series with strong trans representation and sapphic romance/erotic elements. I quite enjoyed this, though I'd recommend spacing them out a bit. Elena isn't afraid of dealing with different aspects of trauma in her work, and I definitely noticed feeling overwhelm after I finished the second book.

Need (as Lily Hardt)

BDSM and trans? Yes. Dealing with internalised trauma? That, too. This book is erotic but it's really more about healing.

That's wrap

And that's it for my list. If any of you have reading recommendations that fall along with this list, let me know! I got turned on to a lot of authors that I'll be watching in the coming year(s).