The Book Club ran from January – June 2021, this page is recording a past project for posterity. The Book Club is no longer running.
The idea was very simple – we chose six books, each of which had a connection disability culture. The selection included fiction and non-fiction, and each book had also been released as an audio book, so that visually impaired people could take part too.
Once a month, from January to June 2021, we met on Zoom to discuss one of the books from the selection. Members of the public were free to attend every single group, or only for the books that interested them – it’s up to them.
We released the full list of six books before Christmas so that people who wished to take part could place some of the titles titles on their 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 was a barrier due to cost or logistics, we offered a process of BOP buying a book on behalf of readers.
Below is the full list of books that were part of the Book Club. We also included links where people could buy the titles as physical books, ebooks or audiobooks. Prices were correct as of December 2020.
THE BOOK SHELF
|TITLE (BOOK CLUB MEETING)||AUTHOR||BOOK||EBOOK||AUDIOBOOK|
|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: 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; 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: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist
By Judith Heumann
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.
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
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
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 met on the last Tuesday of every month, January to June 2021, 1pm – 2pm.
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 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.
|Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century||Tue 26 Jan, 1pm – 2pm||Booking Closed|
|Care Work; Dreaming Disability Justice||Tue 23 Feb, 2pm – 3pm||Booking Closed|
|Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist||Tue 30 Mar, 1pm – 2pm||Booking Closed|
|Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and Relationships||Tue 27 Apr, 1pm – 2pm||Booking Closed|
|Every Little Piece of My Heart||Tue 25 May, 1pm – 2pm||Booking Closed|
|To Kill A Mockingbird||Tue 29 Jun, 1pm – 2pm||Booking Closed|