The Book Club: August Rewind



When I first started the Book Club, I wanted to make the idea of choice central in how it was run, because DEMOCRACY! While presenting a few selections of books to choose from each month has largely worked well, I think, there are a few drawbacks to it. Mainly, the fact that I get to research so many great looking books each year for the club, but then only have time to read a third of them!

Every now and then, we also just need a breakas workers, as people, and yes, even as readers. And I can’t think of a better time to take a break than August.

So starting now, I’m going to make a new AE Book Club tradition. Each August, we’ll take a break to collect our breaths for a little bit. If you want to totally not care about lesbian and queer literature during this month, you go ahead and ignore it! Or if you want to catch up and actually read that book that we all read months and months ago that you didn’t get a chance to read, because you were busy being a productive and magnificent human being in the modern world, you can do that now! Or if there was a book that was included as an option one month that you voted for but no one else did because everyone else were losers, now is the time to go back and celebrate that book!

I present to you a list of all of the books that have been included as options for the Book Club since its inception.

Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
Six Metres of Pavement, Farzana Doctor
Inferno, Eileen Myles
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson
Mean Little Deaf Queer, Terry Galloway
Adaptation, Malinda Lo
Santa Olivia, Jacqueline Carey
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
Love, In Theory, E.J. Levy
Astray, Emma Donoghue
The Last Nude, Ellis Avery
Rubyfruit Jungle, Rita Mae Brown
The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall
The Price of Salt, Patricia Highsmith
Calling Dr. Laura, Nicole J. Georges
The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, edited by Tom Leger and Riley MacLeod
Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg
Drag King Dreams, Leslie Feinberg
First Spring Grass Fire, Rae Spoon
The Raven’s Heart, Jesse Blackadder
Carry the One, Carol Anshaw
The World We Found, Thrity Umrigar
Silhouette of a Sparrow, Molly Beth Griffin
Nevada, Imogen Binnie
Before the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Revolution, Luisita Lopez Torregrosa
The Dream of a Common Language, Adrienne Rich
The Madness Vase, Andrea Gibson
A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver
Jericho, Ann McMan
And Playing the Role of Herself, K.E. Lane
Curious Wine, Katherine V. Forrest
The Will of the Empress, Tamora Pierce
Ammonite, Nicola Griffith
The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner
Blue is the Warmest Color, Julie Maroh
Willow: Wonderland, Jeff Parker
Stumptown, Greg Rucka
Inheritance, Malinda Lo
Landing, Emma Donoghue
Bottle Rocket Hearts, Zoe Whittall
Missed Her, Ivan E. Coyote
Cha-Ching!, Ali Liebegott
Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, Julia Serano
Bodies of Water, T. Greenwood
Redefining Realness, Janet Mock
Love Alters: Lesbian Love Stories, edited by Emma Donoghue
On Loving Women, Diane Obomsawin
Love Burns Bright: A Lifetime of Lesbian Romance, edited by Radclyffe
Bi! Notes for a Bisexual Revolution, Shiri Eisner
Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the United States Since World War II, Daniel Winunwe Rivers
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, Susan Kuklin
Everything Leads to You, Nina LaCour
Far From You, Tess Sharpe
Fat Angie, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
Gender Failure, Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon
The Gravity Between Us, Kristen Zimmer
In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court, Brittney Griner
Annie on My Mind, Nancy Garden

If you’re in, choose a book, and then find the discussion post for it on our Goodreads page and try to revive the discussion this month. I’m going to read finally read Stumptown! And Adrienne Rich! And finish a bunch of recent books that I’ve started and never finished, like In My Skin and Beyond Magenta! You can also talk your book(s) up on Tumblr, tagging them with “AfterEllen Book Club,” and I’ll try to give you a shout out on our book club Tumblr. Let’s do this thing, August!

I’m also curious to know, if you have played along with the book club, even just for a bit, what selections from the above list have been your favorite? So far, I think the ones that have stood out for me are Ellis Avery’s The Last Nude, Malinda Lo’s Adaptation novels, Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, and just this month, the iconic Annie on My Mind.

As a parting note, I should also mention that Sarah Waters‘ new novel, The Paying Guests, comes out at the end of August. It’s her first new release in five years. We can probably all agree that that will be our pick in September, right?

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