Bookgroup of the Month Archive
Every month we feature a different bookgroup. We'd like to hear from other bookgroups. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your group. If we choose it we'll send you a book voucher for £10.
London Gay Reading Group, London
Bookgroup of the Month, May 2005
Who are you?The London Gay Reading Group. A group of London gay men of all ages and all walks of lives united by a love of literature. We currently have about 60 members also some have never turned up to a meeting. Usually only about 10 people come to a meeting.
We meet once a month in central London, usually on the second Sunday of the month, have a drink and discuss a book of gay interest. Each month, a book is chosen from suggestions made by the members of the group attending the meeting. We try to choose books of good literary quality but we also like to widen our horizon by being a bit adventurous in our choices. In addition to being an enjoyable and informal social experience, the group is a great way of discovering new authors or genres to which we would not otherwise have turned naturally as individual readers.
For more details visit: http://www.lgrg.cjb.net
How did you get started?The founder put an ad in Time Out asking interested parties to contact him.
How long have you been going?Since June 2001
Where and how often do you meet?Monthly meetings in a cafe in Soho. We have tried several other public venues and this one seems the best suited although it is not perfect.
What sort of books do you read?Mostly fiction with some sort of gay "link" (ie the author is gay, or one of the characters is). Sometime the "link" is quite teneous. We try to be quite adventurous and varied in our selection. our mode of selection (members make suggestion during meetings) ensures variety.
Which books have provoked the best discussion?Sarah by JT Leroy and Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Brite, because of their controversial themes meant that the usual approximate concensus on the worth of the books was broken.
Regarding suggestions of interesting books, here is list of our favorites. All the books we have read, being by gay authors or having a gay theme, were in their own way "insightful about gay 'issues'" without one standing out particularly, the "gay experience" being something very divers in itself anyway.
The Long Firm by Jake Arnott and Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar are probably our favorites.
The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp.
Regeneration by Pat Barker.
At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill.
Another Country by James Baldwin
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham.
Buenas Noche, Buenos Aires, Gilbert Adair. (for its original view on the beginning of AIDS epidemic)