Social Justice Syllabus vol VI

Founded in 2017, the Social Justice Syllabus Book Club invites community members to read together on themes related to equality and justice. During our first series, Kaepernick’s Reading List, we read and discussed books the New York Times described as being inspirational to quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s activism. Our second syllabus, called Borders, focused on fiction, nonfiction, and poetry about immigration, asylum, and borders. Our third series, Pages Against the Patriarchy, explored what patriarchy is, how it affects us, and looked at other ways of living. Series four, Policing & Protest, explored the role of policing in the Unitied States and looked at how protest movements can be used to build a more just future for all. During our fifth series, Native Lands, Native Lives, we spent the year reading histories, novels, and poetry by and about Native Americans, with a particular focus on some of the Native stories from the Seattle region.

Series 6 is called Say Gay. After kicking off with a radical fairytale/treatise that may provide a touchstone, we will spend the year exploring, in chronological order by date-published, the writings of LGBTQ+ people and communities. 

Writer and pro bono immigration attorney C. Hudak is the founder of the Social Justice Syllabus Book Club. She collaborates with Third Place Books to develop the SJS reading lists and hosts the monthly discussions.

The Social Justice Syllabus Book Club meets on the last Thursday of every month. All are welcome and no purchase is required.

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Past reads include:

The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice Is Justice for All By Shon Faye Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781839768392
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Verso - September 13th, 2022

An incisive case for trans justice from a powerful new voice

In this brilliant introduction to trans politics, journalist Shon Faye gives an incisive overview of systemic transphobia and argues that the struggle for trans rights is necessary to any struggle for social justice.


The Prophets By Robert Jones, Jr. Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593085691
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 8th, 2022

Best Book of the Year
NPR • The Washington Post • Boston Globe • TIME • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Real Simple • Parade • Buzzfeed • Electric Literature • LitHub • BookRiot • PopSugar • Goop • Library Journal • BookBub • KCRW


Staff Pick Badge
The Membranes (Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan) By Ari Larissa Heinrich (Translator), Ta-Wei Chi Cover Image
By Ari Larissa Heinrich (Translator), Ta-Wei Chi
$17.00
ISBN: 9780231195713
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Columbia University Press - June 1st, 2021

It is the late twenty-first century, and Momo is the most celebrated dermal care technician in all of T City. Humanity has migrated to domes at the bottom of the sea to escape devastating climate change. The world is dominated by powerful media conglomerates and runs on exploited cyborg labor.


Borealis By Aisha Sabatini Sloan Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781566896191
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Coffee House Press - November 2nd, 2021

Art about glaciers, queer relationships, political anxiety, and the meaning of Blackness in open space--Borealis is a shapeshifting logbook of Aisha Sabatini Sloan's experiences moving through the Alaskan outdoors.


Peaces: A Novel By Helen Oyeyemi Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593192344
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Riverhead Books - April 5th, 2022

“Enchanting . . . the most surprising, confounding, and oddly insightful couple’s trip in recent literary history.” —Entertainment Weekly


And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th-Anniversary Edition By Randy Shilts Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780312374631
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - November 27th, 2007

Upon its first publication more than twenty years ago, And the Band Played on was quickly recognized as a masterpiece of investigative reporting.


Staff Pick Badge
Cantoras By Carolina De Robertis Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525563433
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - June 2nd, 2020

In defiance of the brutal military government that took power in Uruguay in the 1970s, and under which homosexuality is a dangerous transgression, five women miraculously find one another—and, together, an isolated cape that they claim as their own.


She of the Mountains By Vivek Shraya Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781551525600
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - October 14th, 2014

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award

In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she.

Two cells make up one cell. This is the mathematics behind creation. One plus one makes one. Life begets life. We are the period to a sentence, the effect to a cause, always belonging to someone. We are never our own.

This is why we are so lonely.


Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches By Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke (Foreword by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781580911863
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Crossing Press - August 1st, 2007

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature.

“[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware.”—The New York Times 


Giovanni's Room (Vintage International) By James Baldwin Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345806567
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - September 12th, 2013

From one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the past century comes a groundbreaking novel set among the bohemian bars and nightclubs of 1950s Paris, about love and the fear of love—“a book that belongs in the top rank of fiction” (The Atlantic).

One of The Atlantic’s Great American Novels of the Past 100 Years


Orlando, A Biography: The Virginia Woolf Library Authorized Edition By Virginia Woolf Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780156701600
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books Classics - October 24th, 1973

“Come, come! I’m sick to death of this particular self. I want another.”

As his tale begins, Orlando is a passionate sixteen-year-old nobleman whose days are spent in rowdy revelry, filled with the colorful delights of Queen Elizabeth I’s court.


The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions By Larry Mitchell, Ned Asta (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Larry Mitchell, Ned Asta (Illustrator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781643620060
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Nightboat Books - July 2nd, 2019

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions is a beloved queer utopian text written by Larry Mitchell with lush illustrations by Ned Asta, published by Calamus Press in 1977.