Our Shared Shelf - Unofficial Melbourne Chapter discussion

General > OSS 2.0: How do you want the group to run?

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message 1: by Lois (last edited Jan 22, 2020 10:53PM) (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments Well, you've probably heard the sad news by now ... Emma will no longer be choosing books for Our Shared Shelf :(

However, I for one intend to keep reading feminist books and chatting about them over wine, so I'm thinking about how we can keep the group going without Emma's guidance.

Before I make any decisions, though, I wanted to get your thoughts. How do *you* want the new group to run? How should we choose books? What kinds of books do you want to read? How do we want to define "feminist" when it comes to picking books? Do we want to use existing lists as inspiration or do we want to go rogue and come up with our own picks?

All is up for discussion, and now is a great opportunity for those who have been interested in participating but haven't had a chance yet to give their two cents on what would make the group even better.

So please, if you have any thoughts on what your ideal feminist book club would be, share them here so we can all take them into consideration!

message 2: by Yadira (new)

Yadira Narvaez | 7 comments Hi Lois!

Thanks for proposing this discussion! I like the idea of going rogue and pick the books ourselves :)
I am interested in books that include an element of inclusiveness and the importance of it! In that sense I have the book “the moment of lift” by Melinda Gates, in my to read list; I’m very interested in the argument about how empowering girls and women inevitably strengthens societies. What do you think?

message 3: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments That sounds like a great book pick! I'll set up a bookshelf for people to nominate books for future picks and add that one :)

Personally I like the idea of doing a mix of fiction and non-fiction – maybe we could alternate each meeting?

message 4: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments OK, I will just use the "To Read" shelf and add the person who nominated the book as the discussion leader so we can keep track of nominations. And I'll give some thought to what I'd like to nominate as a fiction pick ...

message 5: by Yadira (new)

Yadira Narvaez | 7 comments The idea of alternating between fiction and non-fiction is awesome 🤗

message 6: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments Yay :)

message 7: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments Some preliminary fiction suggestions:

In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
The Juniper Tree by Barbara Comyns
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

message 8: by Lois (last edited Apr 03, 2020 10:57PM) (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments Hey ya'll! Thanks to those of you who came to today's virtual meetup :) Here's a wrap-up of what we discussed/decided in terms of how the group is going to work from here on out ...

- We agreed that the definition of 'feminist' is very broad, so anything that explicitly or implicitly touches on feminist issues and female experiences can count - basically, it doesn't just have to be political non-fiction! Examples we talked about today included Their Eyes Were Watching God, Elena Ferrante, Things That Helped: Essays, The Female Persuasion, Jean Blackburn: Education, Feminism and Social Justice, and The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.

- Therefore, we will be alternating between fiction and non-fiction, where non-fiction can include political non-fiction, essays, biographies, etc. (Personally I love the idea of reading more biographies of feminist warriors!)

- For the time being (i.e. at least while we're all in isolation), we'll do a monthly meeting, so two per book: the first one will be like a 'kick-off'/'check-in' and the second one will be a 'wrap-up' in which we have the full discussion.

- Everyone who is interested in participating should nominate 2 fiction and 2 non-fiction books in the next week by replying below/messaging me directly. These will then be included in polls to decide each bi-monthly pick over the remainder of the year :)

message 9: by Yadira (new)

Yadira Narvaez | 7 comments Hi Lois!

Thank you for putting this together! Here are my book nominations :)

- The awakened woman, by Tererai Trent
- I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai

- Orlando, by Virginia Woolf
- The natural way of things, by Charlotte Wood

Looking forward to the first poll and next, likely virtual, meeting!


message 10: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments I’m so sorry for going totally AWOL! Life got crazy hectic and I just didn’t have the space to even think about this :/ Thanks for putting in your nominations Yadira, I’ll put mine in this weekend and we can pick a date for the next meeting!

message 11: by Yadira (new)

Yadira Narvaez | 7 comments Sounds great!! Don’t worry, life has gone quite unpredictable lately! Looking forward to meeting soon :)

message 12: by Janine (new)

Janine | 1 comments Hello, I don’t have any suggestions but would be keen to be involved going forward!

message 13: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments Thanks for reviving this thread Janine! Sad to see I’ve left it so long (again) ...

My nominations are:

- Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
- I Used to be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz by Eve Babitz

- Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Great Expectations by Kathy Acker

Given that we’re back in lockdown, how about we plan for another virtual catch-up in late August - maybe the 29th?

message 14: by Meg (new)

Meg | 2 comments Hi Lois,

I'm back on the site! Sorry for being absent so long, I'm still keen if people are.

I would love to read Herland or Orlando again, and for non-fiction Three Women or I Am Malala.

I'll try and be more on-the-ball in the future!


Lois wrote: "Thanks for reviving this thread Janine! Sad to see I’ve left it so long (again) ...

My nominations are:

- Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
- I Used to be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz by..."

message 15: by Yadira (new)

Yadira Narvaez | 7 comments Hi ladies!

All the recommendations sound very interesting! I’m keen to meet again :)

Should we choose one of the books and plan to meet sometime in November? (I still can’t believe it’s already October!)


message 16: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 27 comments That works for me! How about the afternoon of Saturday 28 November to give us all enough time?

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