Two gay book clubs, one great city

By | 2011-01-20T09:00:00-04:00 January 20th, 2011|News|

“I like book clubs because you get to share what you’re reading with your friends. You get to learn from their different perspective.”-Jackie Walker
Ferndale -The city is full of book clubs, and the LGBT community is about to add two more to the collection. Simultaneously springing up are the GLBT Book Club at Como’s and the Queer for Books, which will meet at the Ferndale Public Library.
GLBT book club at Como’s
Ann Cox and Jackie Walker, members of Metropolitan Community Church, are the founders of the GLBT Book Club. The group will meet at Como’s Restaurant on the NE corner of Woodward and 9 Mile on Jan. 25 from 6:30-8 p.m. There is no obligation to purchase food and everyone is welcome.
The first book selected for the group is “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers, which is about a man who struggles to survive Hurricane Katrina only to be arrested and detained by military police who abuse him.
“Ann and I had both read this book and liked it. It’s pretty popular and since it took place in New Orleans during Katrina, it’s got lots of things to discuss,” said Walker, who has been with MCC “off and on” since 1975. “We’ve had book clubs before at that church, but we thought having one at Como’s might be a nice way to have a nice night out.”
Walker said she belongs to other book clubs, but hopes this can be a good one for the GLBT community. “I like book clubs because you get to share what you’re reading with your friends. You get to learn from their different perspective.”
Queer for Books at FPL
Mark McMillan of Ferndale got the idea of starting a book club after reading about other groups at the Ferndale Public Library. “I honestly hadn’t really thought about a gay book club until I saw an ad for a science fiction book club,” McMillan said. “I immediately thought of a gay book club, saw that there wasn’t one and contacted Darlene Hellenberg and have been working with her at the Ferndale Library since October last year.”
McMillan’s group, called Queer for Books, was supposed to start in December. But the library closed down due to flooding after a water storage tank leaked from the upper level and destroyed the carpeting and some of the staff work area. It is expected to reopen in February, and Queer for Books will be one of the first events, meeting there Feb. 26 at 3 p.m.
The First Book is “Me” by Ricky Martin. It’s the autobiography of the pop star who sold more than 60 million albums. He was adored by millions as part of the boy band Menudo, lusted after by men and women during his popular solo career in the 90s and beyond, and has struggled to come to terms with his sexuality. “After months of consideration, I decided on Ricky Martin because of his celebrity status and broad cross-section appeal,” McMillan said.
Queer for Books will feature a variety of books to appeal to a range of readers. In March they’ll read “Sweet Swagger” by Mike Warren, a steamy crime novel full of lust and betrayal.
For more information on Queer for Books or any of the other book clubs held at the Ferndale Public Library, please check out http://www.ferndale.lib.mi.us.

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