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Novel Ideas: A YWCA Social Justice Book Club

Calling all book lovers and social justice changemakers! Join Novel Ideas, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s interactive, insightful book club with a focus on diverse, thought-provoking writers and subjects. Titles include non-fiction, fiction, graphic novels, and memoirs. Most are readily accessible, in various media forms, through our amazing regional libraries. Topics will range from current events and social movements to more personal glimpses of life and diverse people.

Book selections, often including audio and Kindle versions, are available at your local library. Allegheny County resident?

Live in another county? Check out these links:  Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland 

How can I participate?

Participate in Novel Ideas in two ways:

  • Attend our monthly lunchtime discussion group at the Downtown Pittsburgh YW to share insights on our book selections.
  • Register your own book club (new or pre-existing), and meet at your group’s convenience with our discussion guide. We will email you the free materials after you sign up.

All participants will receive a small token of thanks for participating in their first meeting. No long-time commitment - come when your interests and schedule allow! 

See below for 2018 reading selections - we hope to see you!


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Wed, Jan. 10 – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward

This collection of reflections, essays, and poems by celebrated writers addresses history, current events, and a vision for our future. Inspired by James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward gathers some of her generation’s most original thinkers to give voice to their concerns


Wed, Feb. 14 Black History Month

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis
These newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches illuminate the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout the world. A legendary activist in her own right, Angela Davis discusses the legacies of liberation struggles from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement.

Wed, Mar. 14 Women’s History Month

Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel 
This memoir/graphic novel, about a family living next to their funeral home business, is a blend of feminism, LGBT themes, and coming-of-age insights. It was not until college that Bechdel, who had come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. He died shortly after this revelation, thus leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

Past selections & discussions:

Please be patient - one click is all you need! Thank you!

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In this time of change, YWCA remains resolute and focused on our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Enlist in our vision. 
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