Next Meetup

March Book Discussion - EBQBC
For March, we'll be discussing "Swordspoint", a novel by Ellen Kushner. Here's how describes the book: "Hailed by critics as "a bravura performance" (Locus) and "witty, sharp-eyed, [and] full of interesting people" (Newsday), this classic melodrama of manners, filled with remarkable plot twists and unexpected humor, takes fantasy to an unprecedented level of elegant writing and scintillating wit. Award-winning author Ellen Kushner has created a world of unforgettable characters whose political ambitions, passionate love affairs, and age-old rivalries collide with deadly results. "On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. . . . Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye." And it's earned a place on Goodreads' lists of "Best LGBTQIA Literature", "Best Fantasy Books Under the Radar", "100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime", "Sci-Fi and Fantasy Must-Reads", and many others. The author's own perspective on the background of the book includes: "My first novel, "Swordspoint", was set in a city that remains nameless to this day. Despite that, I have never found it difficult to find my way there . . .. "I invite you to join me there. "The setting is an unnamed city, the capital of an unnamed city state currently ruled by a Council of Lords which overthrew the monarchy long ago. . . . It’s inspired by all the cities I have read about, studied, and walked in, and loved the best: Elizabethan London, 18th century Paris, 1980s New York, and many others both real and fictional…. "[At the time I wrote it,] I was living . . . on Manhattan’s gloriously crumbling Upper West Side. In those days it was a tough, edgy place: today’s luxury condo’s were then SRO’s . . .. I adored it. But I wondered what it would be like to be able to walk those streets without always having to look over my shoulder to see who might be behind me." Neil Gaiman reportedly called this the best fantasy novel of 1988. Oakland Public Library's annotations include reference to it as "a cult classic". And on part of the cover cut by Meetup's formatting software is a quote from George R. R. Martin: "'Swordspoint' has an unforgettable opening... And just gets better from there." Let's see! AS ALWAYS, we don't require that participants have completed, or even read, the book (but it can occasionally help, for those who care about having some idea of whether what you're saying dovetails with what's actually in the book). No matter how much or how little you know of the book, we would love to have you, and it can be enjoyable to hear about the book and meet some cool people. Our discussions are lively, and pleasant social time is also typical. REFRESHMENTS are usually available. Please feel free to bring a snack or beverage, though not necessary to be welcome to join us. AFTER THE DISCUSSION, several of us often go for something more substantial to eat, joining the real Alamedans to sample their local fare. PARKING can be challenging along Alameda's commercial streets, but since it's Sunday no need to worry about parking meters, & there are a few parking lots in the area, also free on Sundays. (Closest are small lots, one a strip between Central & Alameda Avenues; another reportedly accessible from Park Ave. [Not Park Street!] between Central & Santa Clara Avenues. The largest is a multi-layer structure on Oak St. between Central & Santa Clara, around the corner from the Central Ave. movie theater.) BUSES also cruise down Park Street from Oakland, including Fruitvale BART station, which is right across the raging river from this end of Alameda.

Books Inc.

1344 Park Street · Alameda, CA


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What we're about

Public Group

This is a meetup for LGBTQ and/or otherwise "queer"-identifying folks to get together and read books together, talk about them, and socialize. (But we won't discriminate against any straight allies that may want to participate!)

Unless otherwise announced, we meet on the 4th Sunday of the month. (Don't assume that it is the last Sunday of the month because there are sometimes 5 Sundays, so keep that in mind.) The Meetup site should automatically send out reminders as the meeting days approach.

Books read in this meetup group will include multiple genres, and group participants will help decide what books will be read by suggesting titles to be added to the ongoing list (from which the monthly choices will be picked). It is a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to books and genres that you may not otherwise read on your own (at least, that has been my experience with book clubs).

There is never any pressure to have the book for a given meeting fully read (or even cracked open to read). We know that life happens to take away time, and joining really close to a meeting date doesn't leave much room to finish a book either. Just join us for some good conversation and wine. Maybe you'll be inspired to read the book after the fact.

Did you say wine? Yes! I will supply at least one bottle of some type of wine at each meeting. Attendees are also encouraged to bring something to share--but, like having the book read--this is not a requirement. It just makes it more social.

Please feel free to offer suggestions for books to read, and just have fun. We are not overly philosophical, academic, or pretentious in our treatment of the books we read. But we aren't light and fluffy about things either. We are a diverse group, with different opinions; but that just makes for good discussion.

Oh, and any book that we read for the club will be available through Books, Inc., who provide a 15% discount when you buy it through them and tell them that you are reading it for the book club. They keep track of what we are reading, so they will be able to confirm this.

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