Want to dig into some books that could change your life? Want to discuss with others how a book made you a better painter or writer? Want to experience literature across an array of subjects and not feel left behind? Then break out your bookmarks! The Digressions Book Club is a monthly book club series curated by Streetlight Guild, designed for readers, writers and artists of all stripes to engage literature that functions not only as art and recreation, but as an occasional bit of creative inspiration.
Facilitated discussions start at 3:00 every third Sunday at Streetlight Guild (1367 E. Main Street).
All Digressions meetings are free and provide further reading lists.
We do not provide books, so get your library cards in order, as all selected titles are easily accessible in moderate quantities for free through libraries.
* Certain book discussions will focus on pre-selected parts. Look for the asterisk!
BOOKS FOR 2023
February 19 – How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America / Kiese Laymon (essays)
“Revised and expanded from its original publication in 2013, this collection of forthright, spirited essays (six are new) moves back and forth among Jackson, Mississippi, where Laymon was born and grew up…A timely and disquieting contribution to urgent conversations about race.” —Kirkus
March 19 – Intimations / Zadie Smith (essays)
“While quarantined amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Smith penned six dazzling, trenchant essays burrowing deep into our contemporary culture of disease and upheaval and reflecting on what was ‘once necessary’ that now ‘appears inessential . . .’” —O, The Oprah Magazine
April 16 – Against Heaven / Kemi Alabi (poetry)
“Once in a while, a book comes along that makes me shout, that makes me viscerally giddy with poetry’s good news. This is one of those books… With abundant sonics, formal virtuosity, and a rigorous queer erotic, Alabi proves that every inheritance can be both wound and portal. Against Heaven is a stunning debut from one of our most talented emerging voices; the wildest part of you has been waiting for it.” ―Franny Choi
June 18 – Art is Life *** / Jerry Saltz (essays)
“Eminently accessible, often humorous (he is a master of the sharp parenthetical aside), and stimulating. The art world is convoluted, but Saltz cuts right through it.” —Publishers Weekly
July 16 – On Tyranny / Timothy Snyder (non-fiction)
“Timothy Snyder reasons with unparalleled clarity, throwing the past and future into sharp relief. He has written the rare kind of book that can be read in one sitting but will keep you coming back to help regain your bearings.”—Masha Gessen
August 20 – The Source of Self-Regard *** / Toni Morrison (essays)
“Close your eyes and make a wish. Wish that one of the most informed, smartest, most successful people in your profession walks into your living room, pulls up a chair and says, “This is what I’ve been thinking. …” That’s “The Source of Self-Regard… The bursts of rumination examine world history, skirt religion, scour philosophy, racism, anti-Semitism, femininity, war and folk tales… This book demonstrates once again that Morrison is more than the standard bearer of American literature. She is our greatest singer. And this book is perhaps her most important song.” —James McBride, New York Times
September 17- Lone Women / Victor LaValle (fiction)
“If the literary gods mixed together Haruki Murakami and Ralph Ellison, and threw in several fistfuls of twenty-first-century attitude, the result would be Victor LaValle.” —Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land
November 19 – If You Want to Write / Brenda Ueland (non-fiction)
“[T]he best book ever written about how to write.” —Carl Sandburg
December 17 – High on the Hog *** / Jessica B. Harris (non-fiction)
“Rejoice, all you lovers of the personal and inimitable voice of Jessica B. Harris. In High on the Hog, she has woven her own story into the epic of the African Diaspora, using food to illuminate the intertwined tapestries of Africa, Europe, and America. From General George Washington’s black cook Hercules to New Orleans’ famed Dooky Chase, she shows how important are the African underpinnings of the American table. Harris’s passionate devotion to languages and history, together with her own compassion and wit, resonate with the humanity she espouses in all her books, but especially this one.” ―Betty Fussell, author of Raising Steaks and My Kitchen Wars
Can’t find the books? We have a deal with Prologue Bookshop here in town for 20% off these titles! If you order the books through their website, type in SG23 in the discount field to get the 20%!
Prologue Bookshop – firstname.lastname@example.org – 841 N High St Columbus, Ohio 43215