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24 November 2008, 8:00 pm 12 Comments

Sexuality: Gay and Lesbian Book Club Roundup (December)

Event Details: Gay and Lesbian Book Club Roundup (December) - :

Dear TNG Readers:

Here are 6 book club event listings from 5 different area gay or lesbian book clubs.

Click on “Read more…”, and you’ll find fiction! Nonfiction! Classics! Comedy! A graphic novel! Fewer exclamation points!

Thanks to my dear friend Jonathan, who correctly pointed out that my linking books to their Amazon.com pages is an evil thing to do. Because Amazon, as you may know, is evil (perhaps this is a topic for another column). Starting with this roundup, all my book references in all my columns will link to that book’s Lambda Rising page (or the page of a similar independent bookseller).

As always, all the clubs listed here welcome new members at any time, and you’re under no obligation to go to every meeting in order to be a member.

And finally: If you like to complain that there’s no gay life in this area outside of bars and clubs, and you aren’t giving at least one of these book clubs a try, would you get up off your ass and go already?


Big Gay Book Group: Wednesday, December 10th, 7 p.m. Location: TBA; check their website closer to the meeting date or e-mail Robert at biggaybookgroup@hotmail.com for more information. Book: The Legal Limit by Martin Clark. (No relation to me: my columns are a nepotism-free zone.)

Bookmen DC: All meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. at the Charles Sumner School (1201 17th St., NW). Wednesday, December 3rd: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Wednesday, December 17th: Between Men: Best New Gay Fiction (pp. 251-330) edited by Richard Canning

Lavender Book Club: Tuesday, December 16th, 7:30 p.m. Location: Borders, 1801 K St., NW. Book: Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry by Evan Wolfson

Lambda Sci-Fi: Thursday, December 4th, 7:30 p.m. Location: Peter and Rob’s house, 1425 S St., NW. Book: Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale.

Literally Lesbians: Monday, December 1st, 6:30 p.m (discussion of book starts at 7 p.m.). Location: Teaism, Penn Quarter (400 8th St. NW). Book: The Kid: What Happened When My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant by Dan Savage

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  • Anonymous said:

    Why is everyone reading gay books? There are a lot of great books out there beyond “gay world” that would be very cool to read and discuss with a gay group. One of the reasons people are turned off to gay book clubs is that all the books are all gay all of the time.

    The gay thing gets claustrophobic after a while.

  • Zack said:

    Does it get stifling for a jewish person to read books about their jewish cultural heritage? Should women only read books by men? You’re not pigeonholing yourself by perusing the gay canon. There’s a big straight world out there, including book clubs, that one can easily find if they want to. Those who might be curious about gay literature will probably appreciate Philip’s posts.

  • Greg McElhatton said:

    And perhaps more importantly, anonymous’s comment isn’t true that all gay book clubs read nothing but gay books 100% of the time. But it’s easier to complain, of course.

  • Philip said:

    Because it gives me great joy to do so, I am going to quote myself. From my recent “Lesbians!” reading roundup:

    “When I began to try to understand my sexuality during high school, it was natural for me—a heavy reader—to search for books to help. This led me to reading things like Carl Wittman’s “A Gay Manifesto” or Essex Hemphill’s Ceremonies when I was 14 or 15 years old. Too young? Some would say so, but they would be wrong, because those essays and poems and novels helped shape me—and, I think, for the better. They have set me on a course of continuing to read writing by gay males as a method for discovering the world around me.”

    Dear Anonymous: For me, that’s the reason for reading gay books.

    Leaving aside the irony of using a GLBT blog as a forum for complaining about “all gay, all the time,” I do think you raise a valid idea that deserves pursuit. If you want to help start a gay book club that reads all different kinds of books, I know there are people working for and reading this very blog who would be happy to help you turn your idea into reality.

  • Daniel said:

    Not too mention the fact that there are a lot of gay and lesbian interest books of which we are not aware of, be it because the author was not out at the time, or the book was edited in such a way so that part of the content was whitewashed, or it came out on a very limited release. Since we have many discussions in this blog about what is the gay and lesbian community, to examine our intellectual heritage by way of literature is only logical.

  • Anonymous said:

    some of us have read the gay canon. some of us already know our gay history. some of us are not 12.

  • j anthony said:

    Thanks for the roundup Philip.

    I’m sure it’s helpful to those who may want to get out and meet some guys into contemporary gay literature as well as the “greatest hits” for good conversation.

  • Clearlyhere said:

    For those of us who haven’t read the gay cannon but dip into it occasionally, thanks for the tips.

  • Philip said:

    You’re settling for the canon? But it’s the byways and backroads that make for the most interesting reading!

    But if you already know gay history and gay literature, then I give you permission not to read any of the columns I write! I can assure you that, unless otherwise noted, I will always be writing about history and literature because that’s what I’m fascinated by. For everyone who enjoys being along for the ride, thanks for reading!

  • Anonymous said:

    Wow. Defensive much? You gays are so touchy. Philip: there is nothing wrong with your column or gay book groups. No one, least of all me, said there was.

    Some diversity of subject is necessary. Bell Hooks or John Updike could use a gay read and interpretation. Just to name a few…

  • Anonymous said:

    Wow. Defensive much? You gays are so touchy. Philip: there is nothing wrong with your column or gay book groups. No one, least of all me, said there was.

    Some diversity of subject is necessary. Bell Hooks or John Updike could use a gay read and interpretation. Just to name a few…

  • Tim Peterson said:

    Hi my name is Tim and I am the author of the Men Talk Book Series and recently published the ebook “Gay Men Talk”. I was writing to ask if I can send you a copy of Gay Men Talk for you to review, read and share with your book club members. It’s an ebook, so I can send it right out. You can take a look at Mentalk.org for more info on me as the books in general. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely, Tim Peterson