In the Books Section:
- Bob – Private Pleasures: Myth and Representation in Male Photo Sets and Pornography from the Pre-Stonewall Era to 1979
- Moishe – Beneath the Tallis: The Hidden Lives of Gay and Bisexual Orthodox Jewish Men
- Luke – A Mirror Crack’d: Affirmation and Denial in Gay Male Pronography from 1980 to the Present
- Angela – Mansfield Park
- Neil – A Pocket Book of Gay Love Poems
- Jerry – Christianity and Homosexuality: A New Perspective
- Sunny – Making the Most of the Life You Want
- (and others)
- (and others)
- Did you like the book? Why or why not?
- The genre (and its related areas of mythology, faerie tale, etc) has a long history of “talking animal” stories – the anthropomorphism of creatures. Did you find this similar to that type of story – why/why not? How well do you think the author handled the “personification” of books?
- Despite this being a work of fiction about books, fiction is rarely encountered in this story? Do you think this was a realistic portrayal of our social relationship to books?
- Sexual assault plays an interesting role in the story – two victims of assault are presented in a somewhat better light after their assaults change them (Owen and Luke). What do you think this says about the author’s attitudes toward sex and assault?
- Women play an almost inconsequential role in the story…..minor sidekicks, off-stage catalysts, etc….what did you think about the male-centric angle?
- What did you think of the portrayals of each “book”? Did you find them original? Did they make sense? Did they delve into stereotype?
- What did you think of the idea that books “speak” and “influence” people?
- What year/time period did it feel like this was written in/taking place in?
- What did you think the novel was trying to say about our relationship with books?
- How many people read this book digitally – and how does the growth of digital reading change the dynamics of our relationship to books... of gay literature...