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[Insert clever name for a Toronto queer book club

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Welcome! [Jul. 9th, 2006|02:41 pm]
[Insert clever name for a Toronto queer book club


My many searches have turned up no queer book club in Toronto.  So here it is.

I'm hoping for suggestions about the following things:

Ok, we need a name!  Whatcha got?

(Suggestions for new icons also appreciated!)

Where do we meet?

When do we meet?

What books would we like to read and discuss?  Should we make an effort to read new, emerging stuff, or start with some old standards?

I was thinking it'd be a good idea to get a reading schedule together, meet about once a month, talk about the new book, and we'd already know what the next book coming up is at that time - so basically, to get us started, we need a book to talk about in August and one for September, and we'll decide October's book in August.

My other suggestion is that we would all touch base via LJ with a few things to think about with regard to the book being discussed, not to formalize the discussion, but just to kind of get it started online and give everyone's thinker a kickstart.

Ok, so drop a comment, introduce yourself, and let's talk when, where, and what!

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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-09 06:57 pm (UTC)
My suggestion is that we meet somewhere in the west end of the city - I'm all about Parkdale, I live here, I love it, but I know it's a bit far for some. I was thinking a coffeeshop off the beaten path that would welcome us, but I realize this creates financial pressures for some.

I feel really uncomfortable becoming "those book people who sit here all night and don't spend any money!" but I also feel uncomfortable pressuring people to spend money they don't have.

Similarly, with books, it would be great if we made a point of reading stuff available through the library and/or setting up a system where members could share books.

Ok, my book suggestion...

What do you think of Drag King Dreams, Leslie Feinberg's new novel?

And...my introduction:

I'm Andy, I'm 25, I've been out for ten years, first as a dyke, later as an FTM, I currently identify as queer and as transmasculine.

I'm tattooed, I lean left, I don't read enough fiction. I'm a graduate student in sociology at York, doing my MA, en route to my PhD, maybe at York, maybe not. We'll see.
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[User Picture]From: scottyt2
2006-07-09 07:24 pm (UTC)
I'd be more likely to take part sporatically. Ie. if there was a book I was interested in, I'd take part that month, but if the book didn't interest me, I'd be a no-show. I like that degree of flexibility.
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[User Picture]From: sesby
2006-07-09 08:17 pm (UTC)
I'd be in :) I like the Annex/downtown. And I like Leslie Feinberg.

Good idea!
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-09 08:41 pm (UTC)
Any specific places in the Annex?
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[User Picture]From: femmusic
2006-07-09 09:19 pm (UTC)

Count me in...

I thought there was a queer book club run through SOY, or maybe the Women's Bookstore, but maybe I'm wrong and maybe those are too restrictive for most of us. Anyway, here I am.

Group name? Need more time for that one. I suck at icons.

I'm definitely interested... I live in East York but near the Danforth line so it's not a hassle to get anywhere, but downtown is probably more preferable than west end, unless it's super near a metro stop.

Once a month or every 5 weeks is usually what's recommended for book clubs (I'm in one other one and sporadically subscribe to Oprah's [the she-devil]), although a bit longer in the summer so people have more time to laze about and read.

I'd like to try out newer stuff, take some chances, and then if people want to try some standards (I read Tales of the City not too long ago) then we can poll. And in my experience it's kind of nice to get someone to do some author research, or have some questions to start so that discussion is more directed than a social evening (though that's definitely part of it). I've read a bit of Fineberg, would be interested to read more. But am wary of buying books for a book club (glad you already noted financial restrictiveness) and if this can be found through the library then I'm a go for it. The TPL has put out a brochure of gay & lesbian titles in the TPL--perhaps a starting discussion point? I have a copy somewhere and can post the listed titles at some point...

Intro? Just graduated from Concordia U. in Montreal and back in Toronto after 7 years. Out since 2001 to most, earlier for some. Dyke-identified, girly by nature. Looking forward to a queer book club!!!
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-10 12:50 am (UTC)

Re: Count me in...

And in my experience it's kind of nice to get someone to do some author research, or have some questions to start so that discussion is more directed than a social evening (though that's definitely part of it).

I agree, completely! I was thinking we could kind of pick people through the group's LJ, and folks could take turns.

But am wary of buying books for a book club (glad you already noted financial restrictiveness) and if this can be found through the library then I'm a go for it. The TPL has put out a brochure of gay & lesbian titles in the TPL--perhaps a starting discussion point? I have a copy somewhere and can post the listed titles at some point...

I would love for you to post that list!

Of course, people can always share books, get them from the library, and once we know how many people we have on a regular basis, we could talk to one of the local independent bookstores to see if we could get a discount on a specific title each month if we could guarantee a certain number of sales, possibly by pre-ordering or something.

One problem with having a bunch of people reading the same title at the same time is that it's often the case that the library doesn't have very many copies.
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[User Picture]From: caliza
2006-07-10 12:26 am (UTC)
I'm not actually IN TO, but I'd love to follow along from Guelph, and contribute to the community, etc..
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-10 12:41 am (UTC)
Sure, please suggest some books for us!
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-10 12:46 am (UTC)

Book suggestions....

These two are my favourite queer books:

Boys Like Us and Sweetheart, both by Peter McGehee. They're set in Toronto, mostly on Church Street.

The last book in the trilogy is Labour of Love by David...um, something, which was oultined by Peter and finished by David after he died of AIDS. As a young queer, arriving in Toronto for the first time at sixteen, I already had a mental map of Church Street thanks to these books.
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[User Picture]From: deuceknits
2006-07-10 01:11 am (UTC)
Hi! I think this is an awesome idea. My name is Laurel and I'd so be down for some queermo reading and discussion. I also agree that Leslie Feingburg is a great, reliable start to the reading list. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Leslie a few weeks ago! Aw well.

In terms of location, I'm down with anywhere.
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[User Picture]From: thecherrybomb
2006-07-10 02:21 am (UTC)
this is a great idea!

my thoughts right now:
location WILL effect attendence, even for those who say it doesn't matter... it probably will in a pinch for most people. see where most people live and try to be central to that...

also, you could consider changing up the location every once in a while. it may cause someone from that new area to come just that one time and decide it's worth the trip to the more remote location.

personally, i would LOVE to be in a book club but i'm super busy volunteering a lot this summer and with being so busy a 30 to 40 minute trip to parkdale wouldn't work for my schedule.

i would suggest the annex... somewhere on the bloor line. it's west of yonge so hopefully not terrible for people near queen west but also reasonable for people scattered elsewhere since it's on the subway line, near to the university, and a quick/reasonable subway for people in the gayberhood all the way to greektown, cabbagetown, etc.. someplace super cheap like the green room might work. also, the art bar supports a lot of spoken word stuff and if you let them know ahead of time what you have planned, they could probably work with you.

also... look into booking rooms at libraries or at the university if you know any students.
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-10 02:30 am (UTC)
Thanks for the great suggestions!

Please, join us once your schedule frees up!
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[User Picture]From: gretchenthespy
2006-07-10 12:22 pm (UTC)
This sounds like a really great idea. I look forward to hearing more about it and the chosen book.

Book Suggestions:

Boys Like Her - Taste This
Female Masculinity

I also think Leslie's new book would be a great first read.
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[User Picture]From: notaprettygrrl
2006-07-11 07:24 pm (UTC)
I second Boys Like Her -- what a fantastic book. I read it years ago and would love to revisit it!
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[User Picture]From: vorpal
2006-07-10 12:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Book suggestions....

Hey all!

I'm Sebastian, a 28 year old gay guy living in eastern Toronto (think Greenwood area), currently working on my PhD in computer science at U of T. I've actually been looking for a GLBT oriented book club for awhile now. There was one being offered downtown, but when I contacted them, I believe that it was a very tiny group with the youngest member being 50, and I think I would have felt out of place being that much younger than everyone else, so I didn't really pursue it.

Anyways, I've never really done the whole book club thing before and I'm not convinced that it'll be my cup of tea, but I'd certainly like to give it a try!

As for area, I have no objections to going anywhere that's easily TTC accessible, provided it won't take me an hour to get there. Downtown is definitely good, as is the Annex, as some people mentioned.

With regards to specific books, heh... most of my exposure to queer literature has been to the pretty vapid variety, which isn't really book club worthy stuff, so I'll leave it to you guys and just go with the flow. Anything over 400 pages-ish I can't imagine I'd have the time to read what with research and what not.
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[User Picture]From: kits_meow
2006-07-11 12:04 am (UTC)


Queer femme living in the West End reporting for duty. :)

As someone else said - anywhere that's TTC accessible and won't take an hour to get to is fine with me. I used to be part of Sappho Stories - and we met at Slacks. They didn't mind because we would spend money too - but if that's a problem for a lot of people, maybe we can get space at the 519. I know they let you have the room for free - it's just whether it's available or not.

I'm okay with Drag King Dreams - I just finished it a couple of weeks ago but I'd love to discuss it with others who have read it.

Name? No idea. I like this icon that I use sometimes - but it's kind of girl-specific *heh*. http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b45/MsKit/reading.png
But maybe it helps lead you in the right direction...

Okay - that's my .2 cents. :D
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-11 03:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Hey!

Welcome aboard! Thanks for the icon! I've added it!

I'm kind of reluctant to have the group meet at The 519 or elsewhere in the Gaybourhood, just because - you know? I'm scouting Annex locations.
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[User Picture]From: notaprettygrrl
2006-07-11 01:56 am (UTC)
Hi all,

I am so excited to see this club starting up -- I've never been part of a book club because the ones I checked out were filled with older folks with whom I had little in common, but I love to read. I'm a 28-year-old bi girl, I live in the village, and I'm a student at the chiropractic college north of the city. I don't have much preference in terms of where to meet -- if it's on the subway line, I'm happy!

I think Drag King Dreams is great to start with -- and here's a question. I know this is a book club but how does everyone feel about graphic novels with GLBT themes? Just a suggestion, but there are quite a few out there. And I've just revealed myself as a giant nerd. :)
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[User Picture]From: notaprettygrrl
2006-07-14 03:50 pm (UTC)
I just thought of two books that I've read that would fit in here:

Trans-Sister Radio, by Chris Bohjalian
(Amazon link: Here)

The Case of the Good-For-Nothing Girlfriend (A Nancy Clue Mystery) by Mabel Maney
(Amazon link: Here)

I read the first one a number of years ago and to be perfectly honest, I know that I liked it fine, but I don't remember much else about it. The Amazon link explains better than I could!

The second one made me laugh and laugh. It's much more lesbian-themed than anything else and is a spoof on the Nancy Drew mysteries. I recommend it as a fun, fast, fluffy read. I've been hoping to find more like it, actually, as it's perfect for the summer.

Hope that helps!
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[User Picture]From: tormenta
2006-07-11 03:45 am (UTC)
I'm queer, femme, 24, don't read enough, need motivation to read more, and very interested in this group! West end is best but anywhere downtown w/ TTC is ok.

I'd be cool with reading anything from non-fiction to graphic novels. I am not usually nerd identified but can be found in the geek section most of the time. =)
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[User Picture]From: vorpal
2006-07-19 10:13 pm (UTC)
...so did this idea just die completely? Looks like that newest post got one pathetic comment. C'mon, people :D. I'll never get any reading done unless I have you folks to help motivate me to get off the interweb!
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[User Picture]From: rexlezard
2006-07-19 10:20 pm (UTC)
I hope not! I've been slowly working on it...but thanks for the push. I've been pretty busy the last couple of weeks, but I'm looking for a venue...expect an announcement soon!
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From: tawnygurl
2006-07-28 06:26 pm (UTC)
Hey everyone,

was glad to hear of this group from a friend (notaprettygrrl). I used to be in a queer women's bookclub in Calgary, and miss the literary directions it used to provide me. It's been fun just reading people's suggestions here (I really enjoyed Tipping the Velvet, and had/have an insane crush on Lyndell of Taste This, so would recommend either of them).

I live way in the north end of town, so location doesn't really matter to me - I'll be travelling no matter where it is!

So... has Drag king Dreams been decided upon?
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[User Picture]From: notaprettygrrl
2006-08-12 10:10 pm (UTC)
Hey everyone,

Any thoughts for when/if our first meeting should be? Autumn is such a bookish time of year -- perhaps sometime in early September?

I ask because I'm still very interested!

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