Berkeley & Portland LGBT+ Book Club

Woman in yellow talking on Zoom call with 4 other people on the computer screen.
Next event (Monthly): September 3, 2022 - 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 
  • October 1, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm 
  • November 5, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm 
  • December 3, 2022 - 11:00am-1:00pm 
  • January 7, 2023 - 11:00am-1:00pm 
  • 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!

Note: Vaishnavi Patel, author of Kaikeyi (see below), will be joining our discussion of her book on September 3, 2022!

 

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The next Saturday books are:

September Book

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel (2022)

Available in eAudiobook, eBook, and print formats through Berkeley Public Library.

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

"MYTHIC RETELLING AT ITS BEST." --R. F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War

"A powerful, feminist retelling of the epic...Patel resets the balance of power, creating an unforgettable heroine who understands that it isn't necessarily kings or gods who change history." -The Washington Post

"Compulsively readable and infinitely compassionate." ―Roshani Chokshi, author of The Gilded Wolves

"A thought-provoking, nuanced new look at one of humanity's most foundational stories." --S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass

 

A stunning debut from a powerful new voice, Kaikeyi is the story of the infamous queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. It is a tale of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak--of an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.

"I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions--much good it did me."

So begins Kaikeyi's story. The only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, she is raised on tales of the gods: how they churned the vast ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land of Bharat prospers, and how they offer powerful boons to the devout and the wise. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.

Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most favored queen, determined to carve a better world for herself and the women around her.

But as the evil from her childhood stories threatens the cosmic order, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family. And Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak--and what legacy she intends to leave behind.

 

ABOUT VAISHNAVI PATEL
Vaishnavi Patel is a law student focusing on constitutional law and civil rights. She likes to write at the intersection of Indian myth, feminism, and anti-colonialism. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Kaikeyi. Vaishnavi grew up in and around Chicago, and in her spare time, enjoys activities that are almost stereotypically Midwestern: knitting, ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, and making hotdish. Come meet her as she joins our discussion of her debut book!

 

 

October Book

Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by S. Bear Bergman and Kate Bornstein (2010)

Available in print only through the Berkeley Public Library (eBook available through San Francisco Public Library; no audiobook or eAudiobook exists)

This groundbreaking and inspiring collection of dozens of our most original trans voices is a “smart, sexy, and entertaining” (Jack Halberstam) exploration of gender today.

Transgender narratives have made their way from the margins to the mainstream and back again, and today’s trans and nonbinary people, genderqueers, and other sex/gender radicals are writing a drastically new world into being. Edited by the original gender outlaw, Kate Bornstein, together with writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, Gender Outlaws collects and contextualizes the work of this generation's trans and genderqueer forward thinkers—new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world's most respected publications. Gender Outlaws includes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.

 

ABOUT KATE BORNSTEIN

Since 1989, trans trailblazer Kate Bornstein has—with humor and spunk—ushered us into a world of limitless possibility through a daring re-envisionment of the gender system as we know it. Today, Kate identifies as nonbinary: not a man, and not a woman—and she’s been writing about nonbinary gender identity for nearly thirty years. She looks beyond the gender binary to see gender as both a conscious practice, and a playful journey. Kate’s work is taught in five languages, in over 300 high schools, colleges, and universities around the world. The titles of her books say a lot about who she is, and how she views things. If you haven’t read Kate’s work or heard her speak before, get ready—she is the radical role model, the affectionate best friend, and the guiding mentor all in one. You will come away energized, comforted, and full of hope.

ABOUT S. BEAR BERGMAN

S. Bear Bergman is the author of nine books, founder of Flamingo Rampant press, and frequent consultant in equity and inclusion to business and government. Bear began his work in equity at the age of 15, as a founding member of the first ever Gay/Straight Alliance and has continued to help organizations and institutions move further along the pathways to justice ever since. Bear’s work in equity education has brought him to sporting arenas, field offices in actual fields, code-named government buildings in unplottable locations, and many unremarkable boardrooms in which great and lasting change has begun and continued. These days Bear spends his time making trans cultural competency interventions however he can and trying to avoid stepping on his children’s Lego.

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