Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Love, What Turns Me On, What I Yearn For in BOOKS!

A bit of a listical for you today, Gentle Reader!

My Reading Wheelhouse

I enjoy the podcast Reading Glasses and I love their idea of readers having reading wheelhouses.

These are sort of amorphous tropes, archetypes, and plots that me the reader really desires.


I have a pretty strict wheelhouse in terms of what I like to read (as opposed to what I like to write). It’s not the same thing, Gentle Reader. So, without further ado…


5 Plots I’m Always Looking For

  1. Unique Triumphs:
    Female fighter excels against adversity (e.g. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley)
  2. Culture Conflict:
    Displaced heroine outside of her own culture must survive confusion (e.g. Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan)
  3. Political Machinations:
    Against all odds, heroine must manipulate politics in order to save her world (e.g. Local Custom by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller)
  4. Burden of Exile:
    Exile must keep her integrity in adversity (e.g. Lord of Two Lands by Judith Tarr)
  5. Crossdressing for Subversion:
    Girl disguises herself as a boy in order to infiltrate a patriarchal environment (e.g. Alanna by Tamora Pierce)


10 Things I Actively Hunt For

  1. Unique non-western historically based world building with a strong HEA romance thread (e.g. Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts)
  2. Warm, lighthearted, own voice authors (e.g. Nikki Woolfolk )
  3. Funny female and/or queer-centric genre fiction (e.g. TJ Klune’s Lightening Struck Heart)
  4. Bisexual main characters (e.g. Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee)
  5. Happy poly relationships with good communication (e.g. Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey)
  6. Found family comfort books (e.g. R Cooper)
  7. Queer or gender fluid sci-fi with alien love interests and heavy emphasis on cultural world building (e.g. Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala)
  8. Honest treatment and good examples of healthy BDSM relationships that are NOT male-Dom/female-sub (e.g. For Real by Alexis Hall)
  9. The Heroine’s Journey (learn about what that means to me from my non-fiction book/seminar… but basically I’ll take Captain Marvel over Wonder Woman)
  10. Animal companions

8 Writerly Things I Dig as Reader

  1. Lots of snappy dialogue and short sharp sentence structure (e.g. Tanya Huff’s Valor series)
  2. Stand alones in a shared world (e.g. By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey)
  3. Novella length (e.g. Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis)
  4. Jane Austen or Shakespeare retellings with unique twists (e.g. Clueless)
  5. Gender flipped and queer’d up fairy stories (e.g. Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane)
  6. Funny commercial genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, romance but COMEDY~ e.g. Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde)
  7. Lesser known but established workhorse authors who never get enough attention (e.g. Sherwood Smith)
  8. Snappy, tight, fast-paced space opera with HEA (e.g. the Paradox series by Rachel Bach)

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Check my 5 star Goodreads ratings or Bookbub reviews for things I love.

And yes, I’ll be posting about the stuff I hate soon!

Yours, forever reading,

Miss Gail

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Book de Jour!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Your Vendor of Choice | Direct from Gail

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.


Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writers Should Read Nonfiction

Book News:

The Lesbian Review says of Romancing the Inventor:

“This is a fantastic and quick read. Fans of Carriger’s will be well-served in picking up this novel, and those who aren’t familiar with her work will find it a great way of introducing themselves to her steampunk universe. I was sold at the name Genevieve Lefoux, and I suspect many others will be also. It’s a wonderful story with two characters who are more than a match for each other. The combination is electric and sure to please.”

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


Posted by Gail Carriger

One Response

  1. Sara Sambrook-Jones said:

    I LOVE Sherwood Smith and I always feel like I’m the only one. Loving seeing that name on this list! I’ve read Crown Duel (the version with Crown Duel and Court Duel as one book) countless times.

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