Our Shared Shelf discussion

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message 1: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments My dear OurSharedShelf family!

I joined OurSharedShelf on January 8th, 2016 and I really like to be around here and discuss and help some members out when I can.
In my opinion, we've had a rather diverse reading list so far - we've had authors of colour, we've had autobiographies, fiction and non-fiction, we've had old books and newer books, and I learned a lot from reading nearly all of them. I have to say I didn't read all of them, but that's not why I created this topic.

I see OurSharedShelf as a space where everyone should feel welcome and respected, and we're doing fairly good on that. But there is something I miss.
I know, we swapped to bi-monthly books in summer last year, and therefore we cannot read as many books... and that is okay because I've seen OSS change and adapt according to the needs of us members.

I do miss something in our reading list, and it is LGBTQIA+ books. Now I know we've read The Argonauts last year in May, and that one taught me a bit new stuff, and we read Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl in July and August last year. I also really appreciated that one. So you might say: But we did read such books. And it is true, we did, but so far we have only read books for two letters in the acronym.
What I miss, and I really see this as an opportunity to prove how intersectional and diverse OurSharedShelf can be and should be, are intersex books.

When we pride ourselves as a group in being inclusive and accepting and willing-to-learn, which I think we are, then it would be very sad in my opinion to not read such a book.
In doing so, we truly embrace intersectionality as a concept.

Let's be daring.


message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Smart | 359 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "My dear OurSharedShelf family!

I joined OurSharedShelf on January 8th, 2016 and I really like to be around here and discuss and help some members out when I can.
In my opinion, we've had a rather ..."


Hopefully we will do so sometime in the future.
Intersectionality is key in Intersexuality. :)


message 3: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 194 comments While you make a good point and it would be nice to get more books as you described, I'd also like to point out that the group so far has read a total of 14 books (which means roughly 14% of the books read so far have been LGBTQIA+, 21% if you inlcude Hunger, since Roxane Gay does touch on the subject of being fluid in the book), and there are hundreds of topics that have the potential of being looked at within the group. I'm sure more LGBTQIA+ books will come up, but they might not be immediate.


message 4: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Ashley wrote: "While you make a good point and it would be nice to get more books as you described, I'd also like to point out that the group so far has read a total of 14 books (which means roughly 14% of the bo..."

I get what you want to say. And, as you can read, I do not complain that we do not read enough such books. My reasoning of writing this post comes from another point. Within the acronym, some letters are widely accepted and known, some are less, and with some, they are even unheard of.

I just think we cannot omit a demographic that makes up between 1 in 2000 and 1,7 per cent of the population.
And as Keith said, two important days are coming up. I really think OSS should read one. To be honest, I am sad that I read everywhere we should be more inclusive but then we still don't talk about intersex people, who are an as diverse group of people as it can be. It does no good to live in the shadows, face human rights violations, not being allowed to exist, I could go on...
You don't fight for all women if you only fight for a certain proportion of women, those who you deem are "women."


And so I say again:
Let's be bold, let's be daring.


message 5: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
If you have some titles that you know about which deal with the issues you feel strongly about (in your case intersex) then please please put them forward as a suggestion. We always want to hear your thoughts! I know Emma has a long (ever growing) list of book possibilities, on which include books which look at less talked about topics such as Transgender.

It's can sometimes be difficult to find the right balance, some people like the really heavy stuff that can be extremely difficult to read due to the themes, whilst others prefer something a little more light hearted (e.g Caitlin Moran).

As Ashley said there have only been 14 books so far, so there is plenty of time to tackle a subject which certain members will identify with more - but your book suggestions will definitely help us! :)


message 6: by MeerderWörter (last edited Oct 13, 2017 07:04AM) (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Jo wrote: "If you have some titles that you know about which deal with the issues you feel strongly about (in your case intersex) then please please put them forward as a suggestion. We always want to hear yo..."

We could read:
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
None of the Above by I.W.Gregorio
Golden Boy by Abigail Tartellin
Intersex (for lack of a better word) (edit: by Thea Hillman)
or some others that I personally haven't read yet, but I have heard good things about:
Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis by Georgianne Davis
Critical Intersex by Morgan Holmes (Ed.)

The last two are from an academic point of view, so maybe not exactly what we're looking for on OSS. Intersex (for lack of a better word), is an autobiography. Golden Boy shows us a Golden Boy, a boy, but with a very special secret. Max blurs our understanding of anatomy pretty much, it is not the easiest book to read because of the content, but it is really good. It shows us how diverse men can be. I so love it.
Then, None of the Above shows us how diverse women can be. It deals with questions on gender identity, medical terms a bit and also with puberty. It's really good, especially since it's a fiction book in which non-fiction events are included. It's my favourite one so far.
Now Middlesex is the oldest one here, and it focuses on other issues as well, but it shows really good what an intersex life looked like in the 60s and 70s. It's again not so easy to read because you just think how can you put a child through something like that, but it deals really good with asking how gender identity is formed, with feeling well in your own body, with having authority over your own body. And it shows, that sometimes the question of: Who are you?", needs to be answered with: What time do you want to know?"


message 7: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
Thank you :) I'll pass these along for 'The List'.


message 8: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Jo wrote: "Thank you :) I'll pass these along for 'The List'."

Thanks a lot!


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Smart | 359 comments I know this isn't the "Book Suggestion" thread, but I also have read:

None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio
and
Golden Boy by Abigal Tartellin
I loved both books and much like Emma Clement I also liked Golden Boy the most.


message 10: by Griselda (new)

Griselda (graygal) What I've noticed, besides what you have mentioned, is that we haven't really read books by male authors. There are feminist men out there.

However, the group, although large in size, is short in years so I'm sure we have plenty of opportunities to eventually have more diversity.


message 11: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "My dear OurSharedShelf family!

I joined OurSharedShelf on January 8th, 2016 and I really like to be around here and discuss and help some members out when I can.
In my opinion, we've had a rather ..."


"dear OurSharedShelf family" that statement makes me smile. and we all need one at the moment


message 12: by Arnaud (last edited Oct 14, 2017 04:43PM) (new)

Arnaud B. | 119 comments I don't know if it can be included but "Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens" by Eddie Izzard could be interesting to discuss.


message 13: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 149 comments I think we are doing a good job, a lot better than most groups.


message 14: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Alyson wrote: "I think we are doing a good job, a lot better than most groups."

Doesn't mean we can't strive for the even better. We should always aim for the higher road.


message 15: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (last edited Nov 01, 2017 08:18PM) (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Hey everyone,

Please post book suggestions in the How to Suggest a Book thread.

You can also post suggestions for Intersex books here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Because the thread has become more of a duplicate of that thread, I am going to lock and archive.

But I agree with Jo's response, and I'm glad you brought up the issue. It's great that you all feel strongly about this. Definitely get those books on the bookshelf by posting them in the thread(s) linked above. Thanks!


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