What we're about

A book club to scratch that sweet spot inside of your head. Reading books that will gnaw their way into your brain and then eat it from the inside out. Books that aren't afraid to imagine radical new possibilities for both you and the rest of the world. Books that question themselves and everything else. Books that make strange noises and funny little beeps. Books that refuse to offer easy answers and instead invite you to... go a little bit deeper.

Conversations that get beneath the surface and beyond the superficial to examine the various beautiful and mysterious ways that books can challenge and shape our perspectives and ideologies in ways that enrich and inspire us further. Making us into better humans or maybe even something better than human?

For fans of: Ursula K. Le Guin, Stanisław Lem, Slavoj Žižek, Philip K Dick, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavia E Butler, Jeff VanderMeer, Haruki Murakami, Brian Catling, Kurt Vonnegut, Ann Leckie, China Miéville, M. John Harrison, Mark Fisher, Iain M. Banks, J. G. Ballard and many many more.

Upcoming events (5)

Head Lights 008 / The Center Blows Itself Up by David Graeber

"In a long and fascinating essay David Graeber locates the underlying causes of Labour’s electoral defeat in the shifting structure of class relations in Britain. He goes beyond the simplistic analysis of this as a shift from manufacturing to service work, arguing that the “real story” is the phenomenal growth of professional-managerial administrator types, , on the one hand, and, of “care workers” on the other. Labour has been the party representing both their interests (the former having provided the core support for Blairism). But their interests have increasingly diverged and the coalition frayed, setting the scene for the battles of recent years, all mediated through the Brexit lens. One thing is clear: the centre in British political life has imploded: “The country is now being governed by a hard-right government placed in power by its oldest citizens, in the face of the active hatred of its increasingly socialist-inclined youth.”"

Read the full article here: https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/the-center-blows-itself-up-care-and-spite-in-the-brexit-election/

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Brain Worms 024 / His Master's Voice by Stanisław Lem

Online event

"His Master's Voice is a philosophical first contact story about an effort by scientists to decode, translate and understand an extraterrestrial transmission. The novel critically approaches humanity's intelligence and intentions in deciphering and truly comprehending a message from outer space."

Available from all good libraries and book shops.
You don't have to have read it to join us - but it'll probably help.

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Head Lights 009 / One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power

Online event

"Where have all the interesting women gone? If the contemporary portrayal of womankind were to be believed, contemporary female achievement would culminate in the ownership of expensive handbags, a vibrator, a job, a flat and a man. Of course, no one has to believe the TV shows, the magazines and adverts, and many don't. But how has it come to this? Did the desires of twentieth-century women's liberation achieve their fulfilment in the shopper's paradise of 'naughty' self-pampering, playboy bunny pendants and bikini waxes? That the height of supposed female emancipation coincides so perfectly with consumerism is a miserable index of a politically desolate time. Much contemporary feminism, particularly in its American formulation, doesn't seem too concerned about this coincidence. This short book is partly an attack on the apparent abdication of any systematic political thought on the part of today's positive, up-beat feminists. It suggests alternative ways of thinking about transformations in work, sexuality and culture that, while seemingly far-fetched in the current ideological climate, may provide more serious material for future feminism."

Available from all good libraries and book shops.
You don't have to have read it to join us - but it'll probably help.

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Brain Worms 025 / To Be Taught, if Fortunate by Becky Chambers

"At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through a revolutionary method known as somaforming, astronauts can survive in hostile environments off Earth using synthetic biological supplementations. They can produce antifreeze in sub-zero temperatures, absorb radiation and convert it for food, and conveniently adjust to the pull of different gravitational forces. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to explore neighbouring exoplanets long suspected to harbour life. Ariadne is one such explorer. On a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds fifteen light-years from Earth, she and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But as they shift through both form and time, life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening."

Available from all good libraries and book shops.
You don't have to have read it to join us - but it'll probably help.

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This will be sent out on the day (to everyone who has clicked attending) at 6pm. Thank you.

Past events (32)

Photos (50)