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"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book." - Anonymous.
Come join our book club if you like reading a wide range of LGBT+ books!
Every month we'll be focusing on a book featuring prominent queer characters and themes. Our selection is not restricted by genre, but a combination of young adult, new adult, fantasy and science fiction, memoirs, essays, etc. If you have a favorite book you want to talk about, let us know and we might add it to our list!
Note: Vaishnavi Patel, author of Kaikeyi (see below), will be joining our discussion of her book on September 3, 2022!
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The next Saturday books are:
Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel (2022)
Available in eAudiobook, eBook, and print formats through Berkeley Public Library.
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
"MYTHIC RETELLING AT ITS BEST." --R. F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War
"A powerful, feminist retelling of the epic...Patel resets the balance of power, creating an unforgettable heroine who understands that it isn't necessarily kings or gods who change history." -The Washington Post
"Compulsively readable and infinitely compassionate." ―Roshani Chokshi, author of The Gilded Wolves
"A thought-provoking, nuanced new look at one of humanity's most foundational stories." --S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass
A stunning debut from a powerful new voice, Kaikeyi is the story of the infamous queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. It is a tale of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak--of an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.
"I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions--much good it did me."
So begins Kaikeyi's story. The only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, she is raised on tales of the gods: how they churned the vast ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land of Bharat prospers, and how they offer powerful boons to the devout and the wise. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.
Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most favored queen, determined to carve a better world for herself and the women around her.
But as the evil from her childhood stories threatens the cosmic order, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family. And Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak--and what legacy she intends to leave behind.
ABOUT VAISHNAVI PATELVaishnavi Patel is a law student focusing on constitutional law and civil rights. She likes to write at the intersection of Indian myth, feminism, and anti-colonialism. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Kaikeyi. Vaishnavi grew up in and around Chicago, and in her spare time, enjoys activities that are almost stereotypically Midwestern: knitting, ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, and making hotdish. Come meet her as she joins our discussion of her debut book!
Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by S. Bear Bergman and Kate Bornstein (2010)
Available in print only through the Berkeley Public Library (eBook available through San Francisco Public Library; no audiobook or eAudiobook exists)
This groundbreaking and inspiring collection of dozens of our most original trans voices is a “smart, sexy, and entertaining” (Jack Halberstam) exploration of gender today.
Transgender narratives have made their way from the margins to the mainstream and back again, and today’s trans and nonbinary people, genderqueers, and other sex/gender radicals are writing a drastically new world into being. Edited by the original gender outlaw, Kate Bornstein, together with writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, Gender Outlaws collects and contextualizes the work of this generation's trans and genderqueer forward thinkers—new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world's most respected publications. Gender Outlaws includes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.