Indigenous Book Club?
January 7, 2019 7:38 AM - Subscribe

I'm wondering if there's any interest in a FanFare bookclub that focuses on reading Indigenous writers.

I am trying to read more books (generally fiction) by Indigenous authors. These mostly aren't huge blockbuster books -- Indian Horse, Motorcycles & Sweetgrass, Moon of the Crusted Snow are the three most recent -- so they're unlikely to prompt much discussion unless there is a group of people who plan to read them. I'd also like to involve other people in choosing the books to help move away from the fairly narrow scope of Indigenous authors I tend to hear about -- who are mostly Anishinaabe and Canadian.

There's been some discussion of Rebecca Roanhorse on the Blue that made it seem like there might be some interest in this.
posted by jacquilynne (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
As an additional note, I'm not really all that sure how bookclubs usually work on FanFare. I've been in several in real life, but not here, so if anyone has thoughts on how best to pick books / set timelines / etc, I'm all ears. I'll go back and read some past FFT posts about bookclubs, as well, to see what others have done.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:41 AM on January 7, 2019

I am interested and would participate, although I'm not at a point right now where I can think about specifics.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 8:44 AM on January 9, 2019

Sounds great! I'd say throw up a schedule of books to be discussed, maybe one a month, so people can plan ahead.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:37 PM on January 9, 2019

I'd be into it , if i could figure out the logistics. Would Tommy Orange's There, There be on your list? It's definitely on mine :)

Anyway, Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning is ++ amazing! I'm only sorry that the next book isn't out yet, because I want to see how (or if) the wider arc set up before the adventure really starts is resolved.
posted by platitudipus at 7:23 AM on January 12, 2019

A few people seem interested, so I went ahead and created the actual book club, and then added this post to it:s

I'm going to set up events for three books -- including There, There -- so we have a small schedule to start with, but I hope people will list books here that they are interested in reading and we can add them to the schedule later. It doesn't seem like there are so many books or so many Mefites that we'll need to do formal polling to decide what to read next.

I've tried to pick books that are available in ebook format and in plenty of libraries so that people shouldn't have too much trouble getting them. I would have liked to have included The Bone People by Keri Hulme, for example, but there doesn't seem to be an ebook of it.

I'm of mixed feelings on the Roanhorse novel, because of the concerns of cultural appropriation that were brought up in the thread on the Blue, so I haven't scheduled it. Do people still want to read it?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:31 AM on January 12, 2019

So, on the first of each month, starting in March, I'll add a new book post to the club. I've put three books up in the schedule so far -- The Marrow Thieves, There, There and Rabbit-Proof Fence. Hopefully people will be able to acquire and read them in time for the first of the month, but of course if people are still reading them throughout the month or in the future, they can still post, they might just run into some spoilers in the discussion.

I think if you click through to the club and join it, you'll see the books in your MyFanFare feed. I don't know if there are any other notifications.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:38 AM on January 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Cool. Looking forward to the first book.
posted by platitudipus at 3:53 PM on January 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, hey! This sounds great. I've got There, There on my reading list right now along with Moon of the Crusted Snow.

Indian Horse is brilliant, BTW, for anyone thinking of giving it a go.

The first three picks sound great, so I'm in! Will calibrate the timing of my reading list accordingly.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:49 PM on January 24, 2019

If people have other books they think would be good, please do list them here so we have more things to add to the list. I have read Indian Horse and Moon of the Crusted Snow, but very happy to put them on the list to discuss if other people want to read/talk about them.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:03 PM on January 24, 2019

Oh crap! I'm still waiting for my library's e-copy of The Marrow Thieves, so I'm probably out of that discussion -- at least if it's going to happen on time. Sorry!
posted by platitudipus at 2:29 PM on February 27, 2019

It will just be a discussion thread that will remain open for your thoughts once you get the book!
posted by jacquilynne at 5:55 PM on February 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for letting me know...I wasn't clear how this was going to work, exactly.
posted by platitudipus at 7:53 PM on February 27, 2019

I created the discussion thread for The Marrow Thieves. I'm at work, so I'm not adding my own thoughts to it yet, but it's open for others to jump in.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:25 AM on March 1, 2019

Hi there - I am in for the club generally and Marrow Thieves specifically but will need to come back and post on the Marrow Thieves later tonight or this weekend when I have more time.

I would second an addition of Moon of the Crusted Snow - I just finished that one and would be interested to discuss with others if there is interest.
posted by Cyrie at 9:41 AM on March 1, 2019

Just found this group and wanted to mention that there's already a post about There, There. Didn't want it to be a surprise for whoever tried to make a post later.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:44 PM on March 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

As tofu_crouton mentioned, there is an existing thread for There, There so I am not posting a new thread for it. I have added the club tag, though, so it will appear on the club page.

I hope people have been reading the book and are ready to add their thoughts to the mix.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:37 PM on March 31, 2019

The newest post is up: Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence.

This is the last of the books I originally scheduled and I wanted to check in with people and get some feedback before posting another round of books.

There are a fair number of people who have commented in this thread or joined the book club, but the two previous threads didn't get many comments. Are people reading the books but not commenting? Or not reading the books for some reason -- you can't get them in time, these are not the books you want to read, something else?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:13 AM on May 1, 2019

There wasn't a lot of response when I asked people for feedback, so I let this go, but I figured I could at least tag the group when I do read books by indigenous authors (and so could you!) so I've added Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline, which I recently read.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:00 PM on October 11, 2020

I added Thomas King's Indians on Vacation, since I just finished reading it.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:06 AM on December 3, 2020

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