What we're about

What: A once-a-month current-events-themed book club in Houston.

Who: All are welcome.

Who: All are welcome regardless of political affiliation, and the word citizenship is about acts of citizenship (including reading and discussion), not the status.

Where: for the 2019-2020 Book Club Season -- we reserve meeting space at the Freed-Montrose Library (4100 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006). (2017-2018/previously: the communal table in the dining area at Whole Foods on Waugh)

When: The third or fourth Thursday of the month, starting at 6:30pm. (Some months we take a break and do not meet.)

Approach: We discuss the book to discern what the author is saying—what are his/her/their main points and arguments. As we discuss, we point to key passages. In this way, our primary function is to discuss the text carefully, and clarify the group’s understanding of the text. This doesn’t mean we have to agree with the book, but our agreement/disagreement with the book is secondary to spending time to understand it.

Purpose: We hope to support and motivate you to read about topics that interest you and that are pressing to our times. Through our discussions, we want to build a meaningfully engaged community in Houston.

Attendance: Of course we'd love for you to join all the discussions, but please feel welcomed to come when you can/for the months and books that you choose.

January 2019 to February 2020 Reading List (14 months, 10 books!):

Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville, University of Chicago, ed. Mansfield. Please see our website, linked below, and/or the posted Meet-up event, for selected pages/chapters. January 17, 2019 (6:30 pm)

2019 Legislative Budget Board (LBB) Staff Report ( https://www.lbb.state.tx.us/State_Entity_Reviews.aspx ) February 28, 2019 (6:30 pm) – pick three articles. This will publish in mid- to late January of 2019.

March break!

Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, by Zeynep Tufekci, April 18, 2019 (6:30 pm) – and your own review of the recent data privacy laws coming out of the European Union (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -- https://eugdpr.org/the-regulation/ ) and California (California Consumer Privacy Act, A.B. 375).

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, by Sam Quinones, May 23, 2019 (6:30 pm)

June break!

The Human Condition, by Hannah Arendt, July 18, 2019 (6:30 pm)

August break!

The Captive Mind, by Czesław Miłosz, September 19, 2019 (6:30 pm)

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, by Adam Tooze, October 17, 2019 (6:30 pm)

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond, November 28, 2019 (6:30 pm)

December break!

Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, by Eric Klineberg, January 23, 2020 (6:30 pm)

Brother I'm Dying, by Edwige Danticat, February 27, 2020 (6:30 pm)

Additional Optional Recommended Reading (throughout the year):

· On Revolution, by Hannah Arendt

· Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving through Deep Difference, by John Inazu

· Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas, by David Scott FitzGerald ( http://www.hup.harvard.edu/results-list.php?author=17179 )and David Cook-Martín ( http://www.hup.harvard.edu/results-list.php?author=17180 )

· Roots to Power: A Manual for Grassroots Organizing, by Lee Staples

· The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander

· Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild

· The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson
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Find us online: https://houstoncitizen.weebly.com (https://houstoncitizen.weebly.com/)

Find us on Facebook: Houston Citizenship Book Club

Hope to see you soon!!

Upcoming events (5+)

Discuss your 3 selections from 2019 Legislative Budget Board (LBB) Staff Report

Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library Meeting Room

In honor of the Texas Legislative Session, which convenes once every two years, with the 86th Legislative Session beginning in January 2019, we will take a break from our great books/topical books to engage more deeply with our civic duties, since being informed is a responsibility of citizens in a representative democracy. For this meeting, please select 3 articles (typically each 6-14 pages single-spaced) from the "2019 Legislative Budget Board (LBB)" Staff Report (under “Performance Audits and Evaluations”). You can expect the LBB Staff Report to publish and be posted here in mid to late January 2019: https://www.lbb.state.tx.us/State_Entity_Reviews.aspx. Bonus points for messaging the Houston Citizenship Book Club organizer, Elizabeth, through Meet-up 1 week in advance (by midnight on Thursday, February 21st) with your three selections, so she can publish them to the Meet-up website in case anyone else would like to prepare in advance to have also read your same chosen articles. Even more bonus points for proposing/sharing your selected political action around one of the articles or a bill in the session, as applicable -- such as calling a certain congressperson or writing a letter to a certain congressperson, or other peaceful participation in the democratic process.

Discuss "Twitter and Teargas:...Networked Protest" by Tufekci + Data Privacy Law

Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library Meeting Room

We'll meet to discuss "Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest," by UNC college professor and "techno-sociologist" Zeynep Tufekci (361 pages) and your own review of the recent data privacy laws coming out of the European Union (General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -- https://eugdpr.org/the-regulation/) and California (California Consumer Privacy Act, A.B. 375). Our objective when we meet is to talk about key themes. We do this by taking turns highlighting and re-reading aloud brief quotes/excerpts of the book (and in this case discussing also what you have found out about these two new data privacy laws), and then talking about the author's/law's key points based on the excerpt and the whole reading. Hopefully this book club can help you to read books you had already wanted to read (now you have a deadline!), as well as offer the enjoyment of meeting other readers and discussing books that inform us, in a way, about how to live as well as the world in which we live. Thursday, April 18, 2019 (6:30pm - 7:45pm). Find a copy of this book here: https://www.amazon.com/Twitter-Tear-Gas-Fragility-Networked-ebook/dp/B06XR259MG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541888684&sr=8-1&keywords=twitter+and+teargas Location: we reserve meeting space at the Freed-Montrose Library (4100 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006), but we can only do this 3 months in advance -- so I am waiting to confirm/reserve the room before officially publishing the location.

Discuss "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic," by Sam Quinones

We'll meet to discuss "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic," by Sam Quinones (400 pages), a book that was the 2015 Winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award for General Nonfiction. Our objective when we meet is to suss out the author's key themes. We do this by taking turns highlighting and re-reading aloud brief quotes/excerpts of the book, and then talking about the author's key points based on the excerpt and the whole reading. Hopefully this book club can help you to read books you had already wanted to read (now you have a deadline!), as well as offer the enjoyment of meeting other readers and discussing great books that inform us, in a way, about how to live and/or about the world in which we live. Date/time: Thursday, May 23, 2019 (6:30pm - 7:45pm). Find a copy of the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Dreamland-True-Americas-Opiate-Epidemic/dp/1620402521/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541891715&sr=8-1&keywords=dreamland Location: we reserve meeting space at the Freed-Montrose Library (4100 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006), but we can only do this 3 months in advance -- so I am waiting to confirm/reserve the room before officially publishing the location.

Discuss "The Human Condition," by Hannah Arendt

Needs a location

We'll meet to discuss "The Human Condition," by Hannah Arendt (372 pages). Our objective when we meet is to suss out the author's key themes. We do this by taking turns highlighting and re-reading aloud brief quotes/excerpts of the book, and then talking about the author's key points based on the excerpt and the whole reading. Hopefully this book club can help you to read great books you had already wanted to read or reread (now you have a deadline!), as well as offer the enjoyment of meeting other readers and discussing great books that inform us, in a way, about how to live and/or about the world in which we live. Date/time: Thursday, July 18, 2019 (6:30pm - 7:45pm) Find a copy of the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Human-Condition-Second-Hannah-Arendt-ebook/dp/B00H4UP5UE/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1541888925&sr=1-2&keywords=the+human+condition Location: we reserve meeting space at the Freed-Montrose Library (4100 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006), but we can only do this 3 months in advance -- so I am waiting to confirm/reserve the room before officially publishing the location.

Past events (11)

Discuss selections from "Democracy in America," by Alexis de Tocqueville

Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library Meeting Room

Photos (13)