Berkeley & Portland LGBT+ Book Club

Woman in yellow talking on Zoom call with 4 other people on the computer screen.
Next event (Monthly): February 4, 2023 - 11:00am-1:00pm View all dates

All scheduled dates:

  • June 11, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • July 2, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • August 6, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • September 3, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • October 1, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • November 5, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • December 3, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • January 7, 2023 - 11:00am-1:00pm (ended)
  • February 4, 2023 - 11:00am-1:00pm 
  • March 4, 2023 - 11:00am-1:00pm 
  • April 1, 2023 - 11:00am-1:00pm 
  • May 6, 2023 - 11:00am-1:00pm 

"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book." - Anonymous.

Come join our book club if you like reading a wide range of LGBT+ books!

Every month we'll be focusing on a book featuring prominent queer characters and themes. Our selection is not restricted by genre, but a combination of young adult, new adult, fantasy and science fiction, memoirs, essays, etc. If you have a favorite book you want to talk about, let us know and we might add it to our list!

For more updates and a chance to talk to others between meetings, you can join the club's Meet Up page.

 

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The next Saturday books are:

January Book

The Boy with a Bird in his Chest by Emme Lunde (2022)

Available in print through the Berkeley Public Library and Link+

Longlisted for The Center for Fiction 2022 First Novel Prize

"A modern coming-of-age full of love, desperation, heartache, and magic" (Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author) about "the ways in which family, grief, love, queerness, and vulnerability all intersect" (Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author). Perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Thirty Names of Night.

Though Owen Tanner has never met anyone else who has a chatty bird in their chest, medical forums would call him a Terror. From the moment Gail emerged between Owen's ribs, his mother knew that she had to hide him away from the world. After a decade spent in hiding, Owen takes a brazen trip outdoors in the middle of a forest fire, and his life is upended forever.

Suddenly, Owen is forced to flee the home that had once felt so confining and hide in plain sight with his uncle and cousin in Washington. There, he feels the joy of finding a family among friends; of sharing the bird in his chest and being embraced fully; of falling in love and feeling the devastating heartbreak of rejection before finding a spark of happiness in the most unexpected place; of living his truth regardless of how hard the thieves of joy may try to tear him down. But the threat of the Army of Acronyms is a constant, looming presence, making Owen wonder if he'll ever find a way out of the cycle of fear.

A heartbreaking yet hopeful novel about the things that make us unique and lovable, The Boy with a Bird in His Chest grapples with the fear, depression, and feelings of isolation that come with believing that we will never be loved, let alone accepted, for who we truly are, and learning to live fully and openly regardless.

 

ABOUT EMME LUND

Emme Lund is an author living and writing in Portland, OR. She has an MFA from Mills College. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, TIME Magazine, The Rumpus, Romper, the Portland Mercury, and Autostraddle, among many other venues. In 2016, Quiet Lightning Books published a limited run of her book, The Sacred Text of Rosa Who is Great, complete with art by Stella Peach, about which Andrew Sean Greer wrote, “I have been looking for this book for years! Against every modern trend: a brilliant, old-world, handmade piece of magic.” In 2019, she was awarded an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Fiction. She is represented by Leila Campoli at Stonesong. The Boy with a Bird in His Chest (Atria Books, 2022) is her first novel.

 

February Book

Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie (2022)

Available through the Berkeley Public Library as an eAudiobook (Overdrive/Libby), and in multiple formats through Link+.

Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose gardening, and boys—way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn't change, even if she wanted to. So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia's firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love—and sexuality—never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she's always imagined or upending everyone's expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

ABOUT RACQUEL MARIE

Racquel Marie grew up in Southern California where her passion for storytelling of all kinds was encouraged by her friends and big family. She received a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in gender and sexuality studies from the University of California, Irvine. Racquel primarily writes YA contemporaries starring queer Latine characters like herself. She is the author of Ophelia After All and You Don’t Have a Shot.

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