Book Club

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Introduction

We are very excited to announce that we are launching a book club.

The idea is very simple – we have chosen six books, each of which has a connection disability culture. The selection includes fiction and non-fiction, and each book has also been released as an audio book, so that visually impaired people can take part too.

Once a month, from January to June 2021, we will meet on Zoom to discuss one of the books from the selection. You are free to attend every single group, or only for the books that interest you – it’s up to you.

We are releasing the full list of six books now so that if you wish to take part you can place the titles on your Christmas wish list or take advantage of the sales. We also understand that for some people purchasing the titles may be a barrier to taking part. If getting hold of the books is a barrier for you due to cost or logistics please contact us.

Below is the full list of titles that we will be discussing from January to June 2021. We also have included links where you can buy the titles as physical books, ebooks or audiobooks. The prices indicated here were correct as of early December. Of course you are also welcome to buy the book from a different place of your choosing – these links are posted for your information and we are not aimed at promoting one seller over another.

The Book Shelf

TITLE (BOOK CLUB MEETING)AUTHORBOOKEBOOKAUDIOBOOK
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century (JANUARY)Alice Wong£9.97£10.22£14.99
Care Work; Dreaming Disability Justice (FEBRUARY)Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha£13.01£8.99£14.99
Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist (MARCH)Judith Heumann£14.66£20.70£14.99
Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and Relationships (APRIL)Camilla Pang£9.29£8.99£9.99
Every Little Piece of My Heart (MAY)Non Pratt£7.43£7.99£7.99
To Kill A Mockingbird (JUNE)Harper Lee£7.43£4.99£9.99

Find out more about each book here:

Disability Visibility

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century

By Alice Wong

Genre: Essay / Biographies

According to the last Census, one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some are visible, some are hidden–but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together an urgent, galvanizing collection of personal essays by disabled people in the 21st century.

From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her famous debate with Princeton philosopher Peter Singer over her own personhood, to original pieces by up-and-coming authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, eulogies, testimonies to Congress, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse of the vast richness and complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own assumptions and understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and past with hope and love.

Care Work

Care Work; Dreaming Disability Justice

By Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Genre: Political & Social Issues

Lambda Literary Award winning poet and essayist and long-time disability justice advocate Leah Piepzna-Samarasinha writes passionately and personally about disability justice in her latest book of essays. Discussing subjects such as the creation of care webs, collective access, and radically accessible spaces, she also imparts her own survivor skills and wisdom based on her years of activist work, empowering the disabled – in particular, those in queer and/or BIPOC communities – and granting them the necessary tools by which they can imagine a future where no one is left behind. Presently, disability justice and emotional/care work are buzzwords on many people’s lips, and the disabled and sick are discovering new ways to build power within themselves and each other; at the same time, those powers remain at risk in this fragile political climate in which we find ourselves. Powerful and passionate, Care Work is a crucial and necessary call to arms.

Being Heumann

Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist

By Judith Heumann

Genre: Biography

One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human.

A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn’t built for all of us and of one woman’s activism–from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington–Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann’s lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society.

Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy’s struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a “fire hazard” to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher’s license because of her paralysis, Judy’s actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people.

As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples’ rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Candid, intimate, and irreverent, Judy Heumann’s memoir about resistance to exclusion invites readers to imagine and make real a world in which we all belong.

Explaining Humans

Explaining Humans

By Camilla Pang

Genre: Biological Science

How proteins, machine learning and molecular chemistry can teach us about the complexities of human behaviour and the world around us.

How do we understand the people around us? How do we recognise people’s motivations, their behaviour, or even their facial expressions? And, when do we learn the social cues that dictate human behaviour?

Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight, Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her and the way people worked. Desperate for a solution, Camilla asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that she could consult. But, without the blueprint to life she was hoping for, Camilla began to create her own. Now armed with a PhD in biochemistry, Camilla dismantles our obscure social customs and identifies what it really means to be human using her unique expertise and a language she knows best: science.

Through a set of scientific principles, this book examines life’s everyday interactions including:

  • Decisions and the route we take to make them;
  • Conflict and how we can avoid it;
  • Relationships and how we establish them;
  • Etiquette and how we conform to it.

Explaining Humans is an original and incisive exploration of human nature and the strangeness of social norms, written from the outside looking in. Camilla’s unique perspective of the world, in turn, tells us so much about ourselves – about who we are and why we do it – and is a fascinating guide on how to lead a more connected, happier life.

Every Little Piece of My Heart

Every Little Piece of My Heart

By Non Pratt

Genre: Young Persons Fiction

When Sophie receives a parcel from her best friend, Freya, she expects it to contain the reason why Freya left town so suddenly, without goodbyes and without explanation. Instead, she finds a letter addressed to Win, a girl Freya barely knew – or did she? As more letters arrive for more people on the periphery of Freya’s life, Sophie and Win begin to piece together who Freya was and why she left. Sometimes it’s not about who’s gone, but about who they leave behind…

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

Genre: Fiction – Classic

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man falsely charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s.

The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

Schedule & Registration

The book club will meet on the last Tuesday of every month, January to June 2021. We are continuing to meet from 1pm – 2pm, but understand that perhaps an evening group may be better for some people. To let us know if you would prefer a different start time, please get in touch at all@boptheatre.co.uk

Attending the Book Club is free but places are limited to 10 people per meeting, to ensure we are able to have an effective meeting where everybody is included.

If you register to attend a meeting but circumstances arise that mean you know longer can attend, please email callum@boptheatre.co.uk to let us know so we can offer the space to someone on the waiting list.

BOOKING:

To book for a Book Club meeting, please click on the link adjacent to the meeting date in the Reading Schedule below.

ACCESS:

If you require a sign language interpreter or a captioner to make a meeting accessible to you, you will prompted to provide this information at the registration link.

Reading Schedule

TITLEDATEREGISTRATION LINK
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First CenturyTue 26 Jan, 1pm – 2pmBooking Closed
Care Work; Dreaming Disability JusticeTue 23 Feb, 2pm – 3pmBooking Closed
Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights ActivistTue 30 Mar, 1pm – 2pmBook Now
Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and RelationshipsTue 27 Apr, 1pm – 2pmBook Now
Every Little Piece of My HeartTue 25 May, 1pm – 2pmBook Now
To Kill A MockingbirdTue 29 Jun, 1pm – 2pmBook Now

Financial Support

As mentioned above, we do not want personal finances to be a barrier for someone attending the Book Club. Some of the books are more expensive – for instance, Being Human as it is newly released.

If you are really keen to take part but cannot afford to buy the title for the session/s you wish to attend, please get in touch with us a all@boptheatre.co.uk and we will make arrangements to supply a book to you.