What we're about

Meet other fans of Lesbian Literature here in Seattle. Chat about books while meeting fellow queer ladies who like to read and socialize. You can jump in and join anytime!

Meeting Structure: The meetings are structured to discuss the books and get to know each other. We start with introductions, something we thought about the book (longer than a paragraph, shorter than a page), then we launch into discussion. We discuss the book and the issues discussed in the book for about an hour and a half. Then we end with our names again, last thoughts on the book and any activities/events/announcements people want to share with the group.

You are welcome to attend the meeting if you haven't read the book or haven't finished the book, especially if you're trying to determine if it's the right fit for you. We have on average about 20 women at every book club, often more, sometimes less.

Where we Meet: We meet at Gay City Health in the Calamus Auditorium, 517 East Pike Street. Note, occasionally if there is a conflicting event, we will meet downstairs in another Gay City Meeting room. Enter through Gay City's doors and walk past the library to the doors at end of the path. We occasionally remember to put the book on the door a print out of the cover of the book so you'll know you're in the right place.

After book club: Many of us head over to Elliott Bay Book Store where we pick up the next month's book. We're an official book club with Elliott Bay, so they have enough books in stock for our group and we get a 20% discount. To get the book, simply go to the front counter and tell them you are there to get the Seattle Lesbian Literature Book Club Book. It's often helpful to know the title of the book. (They usually stock our books one or two months in advance.)

After Elliott Bay: Many of us go out for dinner after we pick up the next month's book. Sometimes during the summer it's just ice cream. We decide together where we go for dinner on the spur of the moment.

Occasional changes to meeting space: In the summer, we often head over to Cal Anderson Park and will discuss the book in the sun. Because Seattle weather is unpredictable, we try to post something a day before about the change in meeting space. We also put a note where we had previously said we would meet and one of the organizers typically meets people at the original meeting space and walks over while the other organizer starts the meeting. Other times of the year, we occasionally have a scheduling conflict with the other events that Gay City puts on, we try to make sure people know about this and the alternative space we are meeting.

Parking Advice: Seattle Central Community College has a lot on Pine and Harvard that is $10 all day and evening, so it's cheaper than filling a parking meter.

Picking Books: Julie is always on the lookout for for books that might be good. If you have any suggestions, please email them to her. If we haven't read them, and Elliot Bay can order them for us, they'll go on the next poll. She puts up a poll of four books a few months in advance of a meeting, so members can vote on what we read. An email goes out with descriptions of all the options and the link to vote. If it's a tie between two, we may read them on subsequent months. If there's a strong second place choice, it will probably re-appear on the next poll. The list of books we've already read is here: https://www.meetup.com/lesbianlit-117/pages/1539505/Books_We%27ve_Read/

Upcoming events (2)

November In-Person Book Club - The Year of Needy Girls

Century Ballroom

"The Year of Needy Girls” by Patricia A Smith
https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9781617754876

Our meeting will be at Century Ballroom, a temporary indoor location for us. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required. Those who aren't vaccinated, aren't comfortable with indoor groups, or are no longer in Seattle are welcome to join the Zoom meeting the next day.

Since Century Ballroom is giving us the space for free, those who are comfortable eating inside will head to Tin Table (owned by the same woman) for an optional dinner afterwards. Those of us interested in socializing over dinner but only outdoors will head to another nearby restaurant we pick that night.

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Lesbian Fiction

Recalls both Hellman's The Children's Hour and Lehane's Mystic River in a story about murder and false accusations.
--Bay Area Reporter

A tense story about a small town swept up in bigotry and paranoia after the brutal murder of a local boy sends the residents into a frenzied witch hunt...Smith's crisp prose and dedication to realistic moral ambiguity make for a provoking read.
--Publishers Weekly

Smith's first novel successfully builds tension and a sense of dread among the picture-perfect New England fall.
--Library Journal XPress Reviews

Smith shows us the power of fiction to fully describe the internal and external forces that set the scene for unfounded accusations...Smith deftly builds tension...Smith shows us both the damage that will be ongoing and the revelations and growth that can arise out of ugly times. This is something to remember for the times ahead.
--Lambda Literary

Smith conveys the impact of this prejudicial hostility on two young women who are struggling to make their way in an intolerant world with a tender and delicate understanding in this nuanced tale of identity and misperception, connection and alienation.
--Booklist Online

Well-written. The dynamics between the lesbian couple are quite compelling. Smith takes on several important issues, such as classism, racism, and bigotry.
--The Gay and Lesbian Review

Throughout the novel, Smith peels back layers from relationships. Weaving throughout the story like twin strands of a braid are secrets and the eventual harm brought about by their revelation--prejudices exposed and lies told by loved ones uncovered. From a landscape peopled with supportive neighbors, coworkers and lovers of all types, Smith erases the certainty underlying characters' beliefs and sets them tumbling into chaos. The Year of Needy Girls is an intelligent and captivating read that will spur readers to question their own truths.
--VA Living Magazine

Included in BookRiot's list of 9 Small Press Books to Read in January 2017

A recommended novel that explores small town bigotry.
--She Treads Softly

A tale of persecution where it shouldn't have happened...There are many people you can't trust. And it's hard to tell.
--Journey of a Bookseller

A young boy's murder unleashes chaos in the life of a schoolteacher and a small New England town.

Bradley, Massachusetts is in many ways a typical small New England town, but a river divides it in half--on one side, the East End: crowded triple-deckers, the Most Precious Blood parish, and a Brazilian immigrant community; and on the other, the West End: renovated Victorians, Brandywine Academy, and families with last names as venerable as the Mayflower.

Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane (SJ) Edmonds have just moved to their first house--and for the first time are open in their relationship--in the West End, where Deirdre teaches at Brandywine Academy. A dedicated teacher from a working-class background, she is well loved by her students. But the murder of ten-year-old Leo Rivera from the East End changes everything--for Deirdre and SJ, for the girls at Brandywine, and for all of Bradley. And when Deirdre is falsely accused of sexually molesting one of her students, the entire town erupts.

November On-line Book Club - The Year of Needy Girls

Online event

This is the ON-LINE meeting of the book club. Once you RSVP, you will have access to the Zoom link.

We'll be discussing "The Year of Needy Girls” by Patricia A Smith
https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9781617754876

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Lesbian Fiction

Recalls both Hellman's The Children's Hour and Lehane's Mystic River in a story about murder and false accusations.
--Bay Area Reporter

A tense story about a small town swept up in bigotry and paranoia after the brutal murder of a local boy sends the residents into a frenzied witch hunt...Smith's crisp prose and dedication to realistic moral ambiguity make for a provoking read.
--Publishers Weekly

Smith's first novel successfully builds tension and a sense of dread among the picture-perfect New England fall.
--Library Journal XPress Reviews

Smith shows us the power of fiction to fully describe the internal and external forces that set the scene for unfounded accusations...Smith deftly builds tension...Smith shows us both the damage that will be ongoing and the revelations and growth that can arise out of ugly times. This is something to remember for the times ahead.
--Lambda Literary

Smith conveys the impact of this prejudicial hostility on two young women who are struggling to make their way in an intolerant world with a tender and delicate understanding in this nuanced tale of identity and misperception, connection and alienation.
--Booklist Online

Well-written. The dynamics between the lesbian couple are quite compelling. Smith takes on several important issues, such as classism, racism, and bigotry.
--The Gay and Lesbian Review

Throughout the novel, Smith peels back layers from relationships. Weaving throughout the story like twin strands of a braid are secrets and the eventual harm brought about by their revelation--prejudices exposed and lies told by loved ones uncovered. From a landscape peopled with supportive neighbors, coworkers and lovers of all types, Smith erases the certainty underlying characters' beliefs and sets them tumbling into chaos. The Year of Needy Girls is an intelligent and captivating read that will spur readers to question their own truths.
--VA Living Magazine

Included in BookRiot's list of 9 Small Press Books to Read in January 2017

A recommended novel that explores small town bigotry.
--She Treads Softly

A tale of persecution where it shouldn't have happened...There are many people you can't trust. And it's hard to tell.
--Journey of a Bookseller

A young boy's murder unleashes chaos in the life of a schoolteacher and a small New England town.

Bradley, Massachusetts is in many ways a typical small New England town, but a river divides it in half--on one side, the East End: crowded triple-deckers, the Most Precious Blood parish, and a Brazilian immigrant community; and on the other, the West End: renovated Victorians, Brandywine Academy, and families with last names as venerable as the Mayflower.

Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane (SJ) Edmonds have just moved to their first house--and for the first time are open in their relationship--in the West End, where Deirdre teaches at Brandywine Academy. A dedicated teacher from a working-class background, she is well loved by her students. But the murder of ten-year-old Leo Rivera from the East End changes everything--for Deirdre and SJ, for the girls at Brandywine, and for all of Bradley. And when Deirdre is falsely accused of sexually molesting one of her students, the entire town erupts.

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