Read a good book lately? Or, do you want to meet new people? Then Brisbane book club Queer Readers might be for you.
The book club has served the LGBTIQA+ community since it began in November 2007. Bonnie Pimm (pictured, left) is the group’s convener and she told QNews.com.au the Queer Readers are currently looking for new members.
“My personal reason for joining the book club was that I love reading. My annual Goodreads challenge is 105 books,” she said.
“I specifically love lesbian novels so I wanted more recommendations and be able to discuss the books with like-minded people. And, yes, I do still read ‘mainstream’ books too!
“Queer Readers is a relaxed and inclusive space where people are free to voice their opinions and comments on the books. I’ve also made good friends through the group.”
Bonnie said as well as social benefits, book clubs afford great opportunities to broaden reading horizons and explore new genres.
“Recently, there have been more trans and gender fluid novels appearing, particularly young adult,” she said.
“It would be great to get more of that community interested in coming along.
“We have had quite a few messages from younger people asking what the average age of the group is – all ages are welcome.”
Queer Readers meets monthly in New Farm in Brisbane
For each meeting, the Queer Readers usually set three books for discussion, typically based on a common theme like biography or mystery.
“We try to include at least one gay and one lesbian focused book each month,” Bonnie said.
“We also try to ensure there are multiple copies of each at Brisbane City Council libraries. They’re longtime enthuastic supporters of our group.”
Each Queer Readers meeting includes a tea break for networking after which the group are free to discuss other books, movies or TV series they love.
“Members don’t have to read all of the books on offer,” assures Bonnie.
“They may only read one or two, or just listen to the discussion. Everyone gets a chance to talk, if they wish, and contribute to the reading list which is compiled annually.”
Bonnie said members are also invited to write reviews of the books which can appear on the Queer Readers’ blog.
Over the years, Queer Readers has hosted numerous guest authors including Benjamin Law, Alan Cumming, Errol Bray, Angela Slatter and Todd Alexander, author of Pictures of Us.
Bonnie says the group is always looking for prospective authors willing to come along for a chat.
QR meets on the third Monday of each month at 6.30 pm in the New Farm Library Meeting Room.
The group will meet next on Monday, March 16. They’ll discuss the books Deal with the Devil: The Death of Matthew Leveson by Grace Tobin, Devil’s Grip by Neil Drinnan and Ian McKellen: The Biography by Garry O’Connor.
Come along, you’ll be warmly welcomed. To get in touch, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See below for the Queer Reader’s top 10 all-time favourites:
Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin (the first book we ever discussed!)
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Experience in Death, Decay and Disaster – Sarah Krasnostein
Gentleman Jack – Angela Steidele
Maggie and Me – Damian Barr
A Very English Scandal – John Preston
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe– Benjamin Alire Saenz
Mullumbimby – Melissa Lucashenko
Rough Music – Patrick Gale
Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
Read more on these and other queer titles at the group’s blog at queerreaders.wordpress.com.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.