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A sort of book club, mostly thought experiment celebrating female authors and sex positivity in literary works.

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If you follow Olivie Blake is Not Writing, then you're probably already aware that Aurora Sinclair and I accidentally started a book club by virtue of insisting people listen to our excited bursts of rambling as we explored literary erotica, beginning with Anaïs Nin. After realizing there were a number of women interested in reading along, we decided to create a monthly book recommendation along with guided discussion questions.


The idea behind this particular thought experiment is that each book focuses on an aspect of the female experience. While not every book is necessarily erotica (some definitely are, but not all), each one has a feature of sex positivity along with a contribution to the collective understanding of womanhood in literature.


If you'd like to follow along, check in on any of my social media! We start reading on the first of the month and discuss during the final week.

Previous discussions:

March 2019: Henry and June by Anaïs Nin

April 2019: The Awakening by Kate Chopin

May 2019: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure

June 2019: Seductress by Betsy Prioleau

July 2019: Chéri by Colette

August 2019: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

September 2019: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

October 2019: Jane Eyre / Rebecca by Charlotte Brontë, Daphne du Maurier

November 2019: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin

December 2019: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

January 2020: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

February 2020: The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

March 2020: Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

April 2020: Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

May 2020: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

June 2020: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

July 2020: If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

August 2020: You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat

September 2020: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

October 2020: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

November 2020: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

December 2020: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

January 2021: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

February 2021: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

March 2021: Too Much by Rachel Vorona Cote

April 2021: Kindred by Octavia Butler

May 2021: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

June 2021: The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans

July 2021: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

August 2021: The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements & Onjuli Datta

September 2021: Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

October 2021: Affinity by Sarah Waters

November 2021: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

December 2021: Fault Lines by Emily Itami




by Emily Itami

This book is my favorite 2021 release (along with NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS by Patricia Lockwood) and because I'm very tired and also very curious what other people will think about this book, I'm luring you into reading it. A funny, heartbreaking story about love and duty, this has one of the finest, most emotionally moving denouments that I can remember reading. In a style that's very Bridget Jones meets Sally Rooney, the story chronicles a neglected Japanese mother having an extramarital affair.

Check back in at the end of December for discussion questions and any suggestions for further reading. If you'd like to follow the discussion, send me an ask on Tumblr or reply to this month's S.P.E.L.L. post to be tagged!

This Month
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