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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