What we’re about
Welcome to UNREAD – the mostly utopian book club, happening virtually via Zoom. We strive to understand the complex new world around us better, through discussion and exchanging experiences. This book club is not focused on a particular genre, instead we alternate between novels and non-fiction books. We like sci-fi, eye-opening popular science and occasionally revel in the absurd, but don’t shy away from classics either.
The book club has been going strong since August 2017, with a core group of returning participants, but also new faces joining each time. Usually we end up being between four and twelve people who show up.
We discuss in English and/or German, depending on which languages are present. Don’t worry if you aren’t fluent … we’ll make it work! You definitely don’t need a literature degree to participate either! It’s important to us to listen to each other, to treat everyone with respect and to create an inclusive setting.
The book club meets digitally via Zoom – the link will be added to the event on the day it happens. It doesn’t matter if you have actually finished the book – everyone is welcome, as long as they have read at least a few pages and bring their impression.
Books we have read so far:
- “The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. LeGuin
- “Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami
- “Positioning” by Al Ries and Jack Trout
- “Borderliners” by Peter Høeg
- “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari
- “Uncommon Type” by Tom Hanks
- “Homo Deus” by Yuval Noah Harari
- “Measuring the world” by Daniel Kehlmann
- “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker
- “Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller
- “Invisible Women” by Caroline Criado Perez
- “Shikasta” by Doris Lessing
- “How to do Nothing” by Jenny Odell
- “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood
- “Because Internet” by Gretchen McCulloch
- “Educated” by Tara Westover
- “You Look Like a Thing and I Love You” by Janelle Shane
- “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- “The Future We Choose” by C. Figueres, T. Rivett-Carnac
- “The Overstory” by Richard Powers
- “User Friendly” by Cliff Kuang
- “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro
- “The New Breed” by Kate Darling
- “Dune” by Frank Herbert
- “I didn’t do the thing today” by Madeline Dore
- “The Ministry for the Future” by Kim Stanley Robinson
- “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” by Rebecca Solnit
- “The Wall” by Marlen Haushofer
- “Goodbye, Again” by Jonny Sun
- “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin
- “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert
The next book is always decided on the spot at the meeting, by the people who attend, or afterwards here on meetup – so bring suggestions! These days we gravitate towards books by authors from underrepresented groups!
Upcoming events (1)See all
- “Everyday Utopia” by Kristen GhodseeLink visible for attendees
This time around we’re reading “Everyday Utopia” by Kristen Ghodsee – we are the mostly utopian book club, after all. The book’s subtitle varies by region and either reads “What 2000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us About the Good Life” (US) or “In Praise of Radical Alternatives to the Traditional Family Home” (UK). Rest assured though, it’s the same book!
Short bio for the author:
> Kristen R. Ghodsee is an award-winning author and ethnographer. She is professor of Russian and East European Studies and a member of the Graduate Group in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of 12 books, among them “Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence” and her work has been translated into over twenty-five languages. She loves popcorn, manual typewriters, and Bassett hounds.
About Everyday Utopia:
> A dazzling tour through 2,000 years of audacious utopian thinking and experiments, exploring better ways to arrange our daily lives, plus a globetrotting jaunt to the communities already putting these seemingly fanciful visions into practice today: from the Danish cohousing communities that share chores and deepen neighborly bonds to matriarchal Colombian ecovillages where residents grow all their own food; and from Connecticut, where new laws make it easier for extra “alloparents” to help raise children not their own, to China, where planned microdistricts ensure everything a busy household might need is nearby. “Everyday Utopia” offers a radically hopeful vision for how to build more contented and connected societies, alongside a practical guide to what we all can do in the meantime to live the good life each and every day.
You can find more information and reviews on the GoodReads page. Curious? Then order a copy at your local book shop or online:
We usually discuss in English and/or German, depending on which languages are present, but most likely the conversation will be in English. You definitely don’t need a literature degree to participate! It’s important to us to listen to each other, to treat everyone with respect and to create a safe setting.
The discussion takes place virtually in Zoom and the meeting link will be added to this event on the day it happens. Just check back here half an hour before the meetup starts!
We usually discuss for 1.5-2 hours. It doesn’t matter if you have actually finished the book – everyone is welcome, as long as they have read at least a few pages and bring their impression.