About 3-1/2 years ago there was some effort toward starting a WisCon-related book group in the Puget Sound area. Emails were exchanged, but eventually things just sort of fizzled out. I blame the ~holidays~.
But i’d really like to see this happen! I came home from WisCon this year rejuvenated and inspired, and despite WisCon’s (current) problems i am still very interested in trying to get a book group inspired by WisCon going. So let’s try it!!
I’m going to make a few concrete proposals to grow from:
- Meet only 4-6 times a year. A monthly book group is hard to keep up with — my current monthly book group12 sometimes can’t meet because people have conflicts crop up, and a few years ago we finally just gave up trying to meet in the summer at all because what’s the point of regularly cancelling those 2 meetings.
- Read at least the Tiptree, Parallax, and Kindred award winners. Plus 1-3 books selected from book group member suggestions. Always, however, keeping an eye on selecting books that are available via libraries, used book stores, or intra-member loan.
- Try to keep meetings:
- Accessible via public transit.
- In public, non-commercial spaces (e.g., library community rooms, rather than cafes) if possible — OR
- In member homes that are smoke- and pet-free (for allergies) if possible.
- Bring your own snacks/beverages, so there’s no pressure on any one host to prepare food for everyone and no awkwardness when a member can’t eat the snacks provided.
How do we get this going?!
Well, 1st, sign up at the Yahoo group if you’re interested — the group has open, unmoderated membership at the moment3. If you need help signing up, or if you’re interested but have questions/concerns, contact me at this temporary email: bookgroup @ wrdnrd.net
2nd, i’d like to propose that we just go ahead and get the 1st meeting on the table so we have a fixed point to start planning around. I suggest a weekend (because i already know of people in Olympia who are interested in coming up to Seattle for the book group) in either late August or early September — we can hammer out the exact date/time via the discussion list.
(Discussions for “1st meeting”: set reading list for 1st few meetings, set meeting dates and locations, generate ideas for naming the book group, random chit-chat)
And, also, i’m offering my place in Seattle’s UDistrict to host the inaugural meeting. We do have cats, but we also have a large deck where the group can meet so that we’re out of the allergy zone. My place also has accessibility issues because there are 19 stairs up to the front door, so if this is a problem then obviously we can move elsewhere. I offer my place simply because it’s flexible scheduling-wise and we cut out the extra step of having to book a time at a library or something.
Possible book list based on my suggestion in #2 above:
- Rupetta by N. A. Sulway. Which, unfortunately, isn’t available at Seattle Public Library4. We could start with last year’s winners — The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam are both available at SPL. (Checking SPL because it’s my local library.)
- Smoketown by Tenea D. Johnson. Available at SPL.
- Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston. Available at SPL.
Edited to add: Also! Personally, i am definitely interested in including readings that aren’t just novels or fiction. I’d love to read some non-fiction (who wants to read Marx with me??), or go wild and read some fic, occasionally dissect a movie or TV series. Let’s think big! Mostly i want to engage with speculative fictions thru’ a feminist/social justice framework.
So, what do you think — shall we try it??
- We’re 12 years old! Go us!! [↩]
- Good grief, i am really really far behind in putting up our book lists. [↩]
- The use of a Yahoo group is open to negotiation. This is how the book group i’m currently in organizes, so i’m familiar with the system and thought this would work for the time being. [↩]
- Yet! Let’s all request it! [↩]