Daddyhunt Book Club First Official Selection

June 2, 2011
Category: The Arts
Giovanni's Room

Everyone seemed pretty enthused about the Daddyhunt Book Club so let's start off with a classic, shall we? For our first official selection we will be reading Giovanni's Room, the 1956 novel by James Baldwin.

Here's how it will work:

- You have until September 5th, Labor Day weekend, to read the book. That way you'll have all summer to find, read, and digest the novel.

- If you've read the book already, please feel free to re-read or join in on the discussion.

- Come Labor Day weekend, we'll post a few jumping off topics and feelings on the book and everyone can take it from there in the comments section.

- Feel free to leave comments on this post if you finish before the deadline and we'll include them later on.

We'd also like to encourage everyone, that should you want to organize an in person discussion with local daddies and hunters by all means contact us at participate@daddyhunt.com and we will help you get the word out!

Happy Reading!

Tags: Daddyhunt Book Club, James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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Comments

A lot of times people say that everyone is interested in one thing or another when "everyone" is too wide sweeping of an assumption just like when someone sais "I stand for America" or "we the people" or "yes we can" without letting us know which people are a part of something or who "we" is" within any given scenario.

stashufurdad

Not quite sure what ShyPup... is looking to discover, other than making a comment. However there are elements that he has picked up on that I find irritating as well. When someone gets before a crowd and says "Me and my Gay Brothers and Sisters ..." And as it turns out I generally don't feel the least bit related too this Man/Woman in any way, and do not want them to associate themselves with me. In this sense, I understand the need on occasion, for a classification of just who ... ("WE") ... is.

But my real point has to do with the new book club. First of all, congratulations on creating something that fills a void long left open and sorely needed by this group. I have no idea what is in store for the future, however upon considering the first selection for reading, I would just like to put forward a word of caution.

Just because 98% of us are Gay, does not mean that we must only read Gay or Gay Authored books. There is far too much to be learned about our past, present and future ... our history, our fantasies, or emotions (straight folks have emotions as well). Let me put it this way ... we do not go to only Gay oriented Movies .... and even if there were enough of them to compete for theater screens, I am certain that we "WE" would all grow weary of this narrow depiction of life. We have a strong tendency to ghetto-ize our everyday lives. Many of us live in a small "Gay neighborhood." We eat, shop, and many even work within those borders. Our Dr., Dentist, Police Service. Even our Minister or Priest, is Gay. We should at the very least READ about the outside world.

Of course, as I mentioned this is only the premiere selection and I've no idea what''s in store in terms of future books to be read. I only write as a cautionary tale. I collect books ... almost all fiction, again Mostly from the '60s to present. Nearly all of them are 1st editions and close to half are signed. I have somewhere near 1200 books. I mention this only as a demonstration of my devotion to books.

With this all said ... it would be more than appropriate to include a Gay themed Book upon occasion ... perhaps every 3rd or 4th book, which I hope, may be the concept that already exists.

I have no insider knowledge, but will say this Book Club provides 3 months to read a very slender novel. The 'deciders' for DaddyHunt's Book Club do not appear to be prescribing: "This is the only novel thou shalt read between now and September." So read a ton of other novels between now and then. Or don't read Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin if you've read it a half-dozen times already. Participation is, clearly, not mandatory. It's optional. So do it or don't do it.

The comment about "everyone"....now come on. It's a book club being discussed, not the state of the human race. Breath deep, relax, smile. Life's too short to take everything so seriously.

Of course everyone should read all sorts of books -- not just gay ones -- but for the purposes of this group, I would much prefer to explore issues relevant to us in our common bond as gay men (with an emphasis on older/younger relationships even). To me, it would be very weird for the DH book club to be anything BUT gay-focused.

It is true that we don't only go to gay-related movies; but at an LGBT film festival, ALL the films screened relate to the LGBT community. That's not because we're being narrow-minded: it's because it happens to be the whole point of an LGBT film festival -- in exactly the same way I would expect the DH book club to focus on literature directly relevant not to the general life experience, but to the gay life experience.

Many local bookstores and local communities have general book clubs. But if that's what I were looking for, I would not be expecting to find it here.

In great contrast to San Francisco, there's no "gay ghetto" where many of us live, and for those of us not able to have a "recommended daily allowance" of gay life, the DH book club feels like a great way to explore literature and share ideas precisely relevant to our lives as gay men.

By the way, I would suggest "Call Me By Your Name," by Andre Aciman, as a future book for this group. It's such a well-written exploration of an older/younger relationship, and it explores attraction and heartache with astounding insight and stark honesty.

:-)

-- Craig.

Craig, I agree wholeheartedly with your comment ! Thanks. Neil

Ye Gods ya think you were in a Pub in the middle of Co. Cork, Ireland. Someone makes a simple statement and a ballyhogh breaks in the air. This book is an important milestone in Gay History. Ive read it many times though out the years. I should be right pleased to join in the book discussion. Americans (now that Im a citizen here), stop takein lessons from the arguementative. Read the book or don't. Join the book club or pass on it. Seriously I did read it in 2 days, 2nd time in one day. Look forward to the discussion. Will have to read it once again. Great suggestion Craig......... Ric the blinkin Irishman

Funny that with all these comments, there is not one about the book. It is preposterous to believe that we cannot learn from any human experience. Is it just because I am white, Jewish, male, bald, and chubby and any other label I can think of, that I cannot learn from the experiences of others.

I absolutely loved the book! I read it in my LGBT Literature course during my freshman year, and a few times afterwards! I love James Baldwin's descriptive imagination, and the beautiful tragedy he wove for the world. The characters live their lives around their lies, escaping them momentarily through their interactions with one another, David, however, is sucked into embodies the very character he flees from.

His interaction with the man in make-up, when he first meets Giovanni, is the mirror image of what he see's in himself. The handsome, sexual man on the outside, is looking at himself incarnate. When he insults him and drives him away, it is really his own sexuality he is chasing away.

I can relate a lot to David. It took me a long time to come to terms with my homosexuality, and I longed to just run away from my life and start a fresh new life. Good thing I didn't. Even if I did, the eventual collision of the two worlds would leave a mess of devastation, as evident by the conclusion of Giovanni's Room.

Its been years since Ive read the book. But I had to comment on how incredibly brave and wonderful that Daddy Hunt is actually attempting to address the sexiest part of a man. His brain. I shall make a point to get more invested in this site. Best to everyone who appreciates the effort.

MrCain