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 (2)See all
- Book Swap in Berlin (it’s an in-person meetup!)Biergarten Jockel, Berlin, BE
In August we did our first in-person book swap in Berlin-Kreuzberg and ~12 people showed up. It was originally supposed to be a one-off, however, it was such a lovely evening and the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that we have to do it again! So we’re swapping books once more on Oct 13, 2023!
How it works: We meet around 7pm at Jockel beer garden in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district and each person brings 1-2 books they want to trade. Could be your favorite book of all time, but also something that just wasn’t for you and someone else might appreciate. If you were at the previous swap, feel free to bring the book you received then.
To get it all started we will do a quick round with everyone introducing the book(s) they brought and then we all put our names down for those books we find interesting. If one book gathers multiple names, those people will have to discuss who wants it the most. It worked out quite well the last time and was charmingly chaotic! Hopefully everyone leaves with a new book they are eager to read.
To make this very clear: You need to bring a book if you’re coming and it should be something another person might want to read! Don’t dump your trash books on us! 😅
Jockel has lots of tables outside, so when you arrive you’ll have to find the one with a bunch of books on it. Shouldn’t be too hard, we’ll also post instructions in the event chat once we’re there on the day. They serve all kinds of beverages and also food at moderate prices. We will be outside; hopefully the October weather will be kind to us.🤞
This is an additional event to the regular zoom discussions. Rest assured, nothing changes about the main events, they’ll stay remote-first!
Looking forward to seeing you in person! Oh, and thanks go out to Nelli for the illustration! 💛
- “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers: let’s read + discuss!Link visible for attendees
Welcome back! For this round of the book club we’re going back to our roots – back to space: We chose The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, a space opera with a focus on interpersonal relationships and the weird situations that might arise when a bunch of humans and aliens live in close quarters while tunneling hyperspace lanes. It’s been called “feel-good science fiction” and that’s just what we need after our last book was on the gloomy side!
> When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The ship, which has seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.
> But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful - exactly what Rosemary wants.
> Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years... if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful. But Rosemary isn't the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.
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.