Current Book Selection and Meeting Time
NAMI Hunterdon Book Club
Date: Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Location: 36 Barry Road, Lambertville NJ 08530
All are welcome – come as you are. For further information Contact Louise Hartman at 609-468-6036 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please RSVP.
Our book discussions are gentle and kind and explore the problems and possibilities of living with mental illness. We use the lens of the authors whose books we read to inform our discussions. But our group enthusiastically embraces digressions and invites participants to bring their own personal stories into our forum (if they so choose). And sometimes it’s not always possible for members to read the book prior to our meetings. That’s fine, we’re not sticklers on that front (or any front for that matter); we just encourage the free flow of compassion.
We look forward to seeing you!
Brave Face: A Memoir by Shaun David Hutchinson. (Simon Pulse, $18.99, 368p, ISBN 978-1-5344-3151-5).
YA author Hutchinson (The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried) explores the travails of coming into his sexuality in the early 1990s, when homophobia was deeply rampant in the U.S., the AIDS crisis was in devastating full force, and equal rights for anyone on the LGBTQ spectrum were still a distant dream. With the lack of positive representation of queerness, Hutchinson’s views of gay people were so negative that it took him years to recognize his own sexuality. In the meantime, trying to live an inauthentic life left him angry and depressed for reasons he couldn’t grasp. The author explores his teenage years with raw honesty, presenting the truth as he saw it and sharing passages from his diaries to illustrate the turmoil he experienced—which many queer teens will continue to empathize with. Though he describes himself at times in deep depression and engaging in self-harm, the memoir ends on a positive note, sharing the ways in which he finds acceptance both within himself and within the queer community, and sending an important message to other queer teens: your life is a gift, and support is out there.
All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva. (Paperback Jun 18, 2019, 288 pages).
“Wonder and terror meet at the horizon, and we walk the knife-edge between them,” Sachdeva writes in her brief introduction; this is the world of her stories. There are no merciless gods here, not like in the olden days; instead, there is “science, nature, psychology, industry.” But these modern forces are as vast and incomprehensible as any gods were. The stories that follow span time, space, and logic: Nigeria and New Hampshire, the past and the future, realism and science fiction. And yet, for all its scope, it is a strikingly unified collection, with each story reading like a poem, or a fable, staring into the unknowable.