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Book Group

Book Groups sponsored by Left Bank Books

Great Novels of the 22nd Century - Roadside Picnic

Wednesday, February 5, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Great Novels of the 22nd Century for a reading roup discussion of Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky!

Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a “full empty,” something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he’ll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems.

First published in 1972, Roadside Picnic is still widely regarded as one of the greatest science fiction novels, despite the fact that it has been out of print in the United States for almost thirty years. This authoritative new translation corrects many errors and omissions and has been supplemented with a foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin and a new afterword by Boris Strugatsky explaining the strange history of the novel’s publication in Russia.

Get Roadside Picnic for 20% off in store and online during the months of January and February!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 7:00pm

Great Novels of the 22nd Century - The Future of Another Timeline

Wednesday, January 8, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Great Novels of the 22nd Century for a reading roup discussion of The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz!

1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend's abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realize many other young women in the world need protecting too.

2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she's found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travelers bent on stopping her at any cost.

Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine as war breaks out across the timeline--a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline?

Get The Future of Another Timeline  for 20% off in store and online during the months of December and January!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 7:00pm

Gay Men's Reading Group - The Journalist of Castro Street

Thursday, February 27, 7:30pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of The Journalist of Castro Street by Andrew E. Stoner!

As the acclaimed author of And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts became the country's most recognized voice on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. His success emerged from a relentless work ethic and strong belief in the power of journalism to help mainstream society understand not just the rising tide of HIV/AIDS but gay culture and liberation.In-depth and dramatic, Andrew E. Stoner's biography follows the remarkable life of the brash, pioneering journalist. Shilts's reporting on AIDS in San Francisco broke barriers even as other gay writers and activists ridiculed his overtures to the mainstream and labeled him a traitor to the movement, charges the combative Shilts forcefully answered. Behind the scenes, Shilts overcame career-threatening struggles with alcohol and substance abuse to achieve the notoriety he had always sought, while the HIV infection he had purposely kept hidden began to take his life.Filled with new insights and fascinating detail, The Journalist of Castro Street reveals the historic work and passionate humanity of the legendary investigative reporter and author.

Get The Journalist of Castro Street for 20% off in store and online during the months of January and February!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 7:30pm

Gay Men's Reading Group - Ziggy, Stardust and Me

Thursday, January 23, 7:30pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon!

The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely "normal" and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal--at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn't want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be "fixed" once and for all. But he's drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he's perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

Get Ziggy, Stardust and Me for 20% off in store and online during the months of December and January!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 7:30pm

Well-Read Black Girl Book Club - Some Places More Than Others

Monday, November 25, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Well-Read Black Girl Book Club! for a reading group discussion of Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson!

All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father's family in New York City--Harlem, to be exact. She can't wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family--and herself--in new way.

But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It's crowded, with confusing subways, suffocating sidewalks, and her father is too busy with work to spend time with her and too angry to spend time with Grandpa Earl. As she explores, asks questions, and learns more and more about Harlem and about her father and his family history, she realizes how, in some ways more than others, she connects with him, her home, and her family.

Some Places More Than Others will be offered at 20% off the month before and the month of the reading group both online and in the store.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, November 25, 2019 - 7:00pm

Novel Ideas - Tin Man

Wednesday, December 18, 12pm
Left Bank Books

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of Tin Man by Sarah Winman!

This is almost a love story. But it's not as simple as that.

Ellis and Michael are twelve-year-old boys when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.

But then we fast-forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question: What happened in the years between?

With beautiful prose and characters that are so real they jump off the page, Tin Man is a love letter to human kindness and friendship, and to loss and living.

Get Tin Man for 20% off in store and online during the months of November and December!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 12:00pm

Novel Ideas - Washington Black

Wednesday, November 20, 12pm
Left Bank Books

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of Washington Black by Esi Edugyan!

Eleven-year-old George Washington Black—or Wash—a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning, and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human.
 
But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Over the course of their travels, what brings Wash and Christopher together will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again.

Get Washington Black for 20% off in store and online during the months of October and November!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 12:00pm

Lesbian Reading Group - Sugar Run

Thursday, December 19, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of Sugar Run by Mesha Maren!

In 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison. When she’s released eighteen years later, she finds herself at a Greyhound bus stop, reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom but determined to chart a better course for herself. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian Mountains, she heads south in search of someone she left behind, as a way of finally making amends. There, she meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother living in a motel room with her children. Together they head toward what they hope will be a fresh start. But what do you do with your past—and with a town and a family that refuses to forget, or to change?

Set within the charged insularity of rural West Virginia, Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run is a searing and gritty debut about making a break for another life, the use and treachery of makeshift families, and how, no matter the distance we think we’ve traveled from the mistakes we’ve made, too often we find ourselves standing in precisely the place we began.

Get Sugar run for 20% off in store and online during the months of November and December!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Thursday, December 19, 2019 - 7:15pm

Lesbian Reading Group - Love Wins

Thursday, November 21, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of Love Wins by Debbie Cenziper!

The fascinating and very moving story of the lovers, lawyers, judges and activists behind the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that led to one of the most important, national civil rights victories in decades—the legalization of same-sex marriage.

In June 2015, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law in all fifty states in a decision as groundbreaking as Roe v Wade and Brown v Board of Education. Through insider accounts and access to key players, this definitive account reveals the dramatic and previously unreported events behind Obergefell v Hodges and the lives at its center. This is a story of law and love—and a promise made to a dying man who wanted to know how he would be remembered.

Twenty years ago, Jim Obergefell and John Arthur fell in love in Cincinnati, Ohio, a place where gays were routinely picked up by police and fired from their jobs. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had to provide married gay couples all the benefits offered to straight couples. Jim and John—who was dying from ALS—flew to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal. But back home, Ohio refused to recognize their union, or even list Jim’s name on John’s death certificate. Then they met Al Gerhardstein, a courageous attorney who had spent nearly three decades advocating for civil rights and who now saw an opening for the cause that few others had before him.

This forceful and deeply affecting narrative—Part Erin Brockovich, part Milk, part Still Alice—chronicles how this grieving man and his lawyer, against overwhelming odds, introduced the most important gay rights case in U.S. history. It is an urgent and unforgettable account that will inspire readers for many years to come.

Get Love wins for 20% off in store and online during the months of October and November!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 7:15pm

Gay Men's Reading Group - River Runs Red

Thursday, December 16, 7:30pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of River Runs Red by Scott Alexander Hess!

Calhoun McBride and Clement Cartwright are men from different worlds. Young Calhoun works backbreaking, midnight shifts at the Snopes Brewery...and earns a little extra selling his body to eager men. Clement left St. Louis to pursue his architectural ambitions and returns to great fanfare as the man planning the city's first skyscraper. But one steamy night, by the Mississippi River, both men find themselves drawn to one another. But what chance has brought together, the machinations of a bitter and cruel man, Belasco Snopes, who thinks St. Louis belongs to him...down to its people, victims for all his appetites. Lambda Literary Award finalist Scott Alexander Hess's new historical novel offers readers a sultry story with menace.

Get River Runs Red for 20% off in store and online during the months of November and December!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, December 16, 2019 - 7:30pm

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