queer seattle book club


The Queer Seattle Book Club meets at SASG on Capital Hill
every Wednesday, 6-7:15pm.

We read one book each month and discuss that book all month.
Some members come every Wednesday; some join us once or twice a month.

For busy people, four opportunities means not having to worry about missing out! And spreading the discussion over a month allows us to approach  topical questions in depth, for readers to dive back into the text and  explore thoughts different from their own.


Rebecca Makkai

Have I found a wonderful book to start our New Year! Most of Rebecca Makkai’s THE GREAT BELIEVERS takes place in 1985-86, when the AIDS crisis is just beginning to devastate the big cities, and I’ll say it here: this is the best description of what it felt like to be gay and live those those years that I’ve ever read. Ever.
Makkai weaves together two stories with overlapping characters. One of them centers on one of the most decent, likeable gay characters I’ve ever encountered. Yale Tishman has a wonderful lover, a good job as development director of a budding art museum in Chicago, and is about to bring to the collection an outrageously important group of sketches and drawings by some French greats.

the great believers cover

Yale is faithful, has some delightful friends, and genuinely loves art. But like the twists and turns of life, this novel has surprises and detours and blind alleys ahead, as well as superb writing. You’ll thank me for this one.

Tonight will be our last discussion of DRAGONWEED.

There will be NO MEETINGS for the remainder of December through the first Wednesday of January, the 2nd.
We’ll return to our book club meetings on January 9, and for the four remaining Wednesdays we’ll discuss this provocative novel. You’ll have a lot to say, believe me.

This may be our last book in the old space. By now you have probably heard that SASG will be renamed PEER SPACE, and will have a new location on Bellevue, between Pike and Pine. The move is expected to happen in February.

UNIVERSITY BOOK STORE has expressed a strong interest in supporting and promoting our club, it has a sweet little café where we can meet if we choose, and easy free parking. I’m considering all kinds of alternatives and futures for our club, and your thoughts are welcome. I’d love to connect with the Q Center on campus, and have some students join us. If we don’t transmit the best of gay culture to the next generation, all our strides forward are lost. Let me know your ideas. And if you really want a gay book club, get a copy of THE GREAT BELIEVERS and start reading it. Let’s try to get the first 100 pages done for January 9th.
Thanks to John Treat for first mentioning this book. I’m wishing you all wonderful holidays filled with the people you love – and a few good books! Perfect time to make a resolution – one evening a week to share the riches of a good book with other gay readers. Join us!



List of previous books

Come join us any Wednesday, 6-7:15pm at

115 15th Ave. East Suite 201
Seattle 98112

SASG phone: (206) 322-2437

Feel free to just show up, whether you’ve finished the book or not.

For more information, contact Nick at

Read the SGN interview with Nick about the club

Read all about SASG, our hosts


Previous books


Breakfast with Scot Michael Downing

Orange Are Not the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson

I Am Not Myself These Days John Kilmer-Purcell

The City and the Pillar Gore Vidal

The Price of Salt Patricia Highsmith

Fun Home Alison Bechdel

Queer William Burroughs

A Fairly Honourable Defeat Iris Murdoch

The Thief’s Journal Jean Genet

Wild Dogs Helen Humphreys

The Gifts of the Body Rebecca Brown

Death in Venice Thomas Mann


The Immoralist Andre Gide

A Single Man Christopher Isherwood

The Pure and the Impure Colette

The Last of the Wine Mary Renault

Satyricon Petronius

Maurice E. M. Forster

Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman

Dog Years Mark Doty

Portrait of the Addict as a Young Man Bill Clegg

Confessions of a Mask Yukio Mishima

Stuck Rubber Baby Howard Cruse

My Father and Myself J. R. Ackerley


Hindoo Holiday J. R. Ackerley

The Line of Beauty Alan Hollinghurst

Dry Augusten Burroughs

We Think the World of You J. R. Ackerley

Just Kids Patti Smith

The Counterfeiters Andre Gide

Union Atlantic Adam Haslett

Teleny and Camille Jon Macy, adapted from Oscar Wilde and His Circle

Moffie Andre Carl van der Merwe

The Ladies Doris Grumbach


The Stranger’s Child Alan Hollinghurst

We the Animals Justin Torres

Jack Holmes and His Friend Edmund White

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Jeanette Winterson

Are You My Mother? Alison Bechdel

The Swimming-pool Library Alan Hollinghurst

Mars Vs. Maple School Nick DiMartino

Goodbye to Berlin Christopher Isherwood

Christopher and His Kind Christopher Isherwood

The Picture of Dorian Gray (uncensored) Oscar Wilde

Mr. Fortune’s Maggot Sylvia Townsend Warner

Changes: In A Little Gay Bar Nick DiMartino


Becoming A Man Paul Monette

Borrowed Time Paul Monette

Heaven’s Coast Mark Doty

The Gallery John Horne Burns

Stories for Boys Gregory Martin

Money Boy Paul Yee

The End of San Francisco Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore &
Toast Nigel Slater

The Story of the Night Colm Toibin

The Dream of the Celt Mario Vargas Llosa

Rough Music Richard Gale

The Two Hotel Francforts David Leavitt

The Devil in Love Nick DiMartino


Fairyland Alysia Abbott

Vainglory Ronald Firbank

Our Lady of the Flowers Jean Genet

Tell the Wolves I’m Home Carol Rifka Brunt

The Normal Heart Larry Kramer

Firefly Noel Coward

Young Torless Robert Musil

The Poetry of C.P. Cavafy

Arctic Summer Damon Galgut

The Life to Come E.M. Forster

Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov

Sea Baby Scarlett Phelan


The Golden Handcuffs  Nick DiMartino

Totempole  Sanford Friedman

The Days of Anna Madrigal Armistead Maupin

Bettyville George Hodgman

Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers
Plotted Against the Plague
Joyce Brabner

On The Move Oliver Sacks

Tales of the City Armistead Maupin

The Boatman John Burbidge

Gaysia Benjamin Law

The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House John Whittier Treat

The Price of Salt Patricia Highsmith

Landscape with Traveller Barry Gifford


The Professor’s Wife Nick DiMartino

These Things Happen Richard Kramer

Hide Matthew Griffin

The Blackwater Lightship Colm Toibin

Sergio Y.  Alexandre Vidal Porto

Dancer from the Dance  Andrew Holleran

Don’t Let Him Know  Sandip Roy

Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe  John Boswell

Guapa Saleem Haddad

While England Sleeps David Leavitt

Straight Nick DiMartino


A Place Called Winter Patrick Gale

Insomniac City Bill Hayes

The End of Eddy Edouard Louis

Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris

Crazy for Vincent Hervé Guibert

Insignificant Others Stephen McCauley

The Absolutist John Boyne

The Big Party Nick DiMartino


Call Me By Your Name Andre Aciman

What Belongs to You Garth Greenwell

Necessary Errors Caleb Crain

The Sparshot Affair Alan Hollinghurst

Less Andrew Sean Greer

White Houses Amy Bloom

The Grow House Nick DiMartino

My Ex-Life Stephen McCauley

History of Violence Edouard Louis

The Diamond Setter Moshe Sakal

Horse Crazy Gary Indiana

Dragonweed Nick DiMartino


The Great Believers Rebecca Makkai