Y’all, two of my favorite forces have combined to create a thing and I couldn’t possibly be more excited! happy dance Starbucks partnered with Netflix for Netflix Book Club. Officially titled, ‘But Have You Read the Book?’, Netflix Book Club is a social series that melds discussions of books and how they’re adapted for movies and television shows. Y’all, this is a whole ‘nother level of book clubbing and I’m here for it…

I know I’m not the only one who reads a book and sees the characters – can actually visualize which actor or actress should play which role. Then again, I’m also guilty of screaming “BUT THAT’S NOT HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE BOOK!” at the tv screen. ‘But Have You Read the Book?’ takes its name from that ubiquitous question that people always ask when they encounter someone who has just finished a movie based on a book {that we know is soooooo much better}. Emmy winner and Orange is the New Black actress, Uzo Aduba, will discuss how books are adapted for tv and film with authors, cast members, and other folks involved in the process.

The first book club selection is Nella Larsen’s Passing. Nella Larsen is one of my favorite Harlem Renaissance writers and Passing is one of those novels that I re-read on the regular. In fact, I used to use it as a supplemental novel in my American history class. My students were often fascinated by the idea of Black people giving up everything to pass for Caucasian. Besides the obvious theme of passing, there was so much more to discuss: racism, sexuality, and classicism.


Nella Larsen was an American novelist who published two novels, Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929), along with a few short stories. From 1922-1926, Larsen served as a librarian at the New York Public Library. After resigning from her position, she began her literary career by writing QuicksandQuicksand is a mix of autobiography and fiction, which explores racial duality and the marginality of black middle class women. Larsen won the Harmon Foundation’s bronze medal {second prize} for Quicksand, thus, securing her position as a key Harlem Renaissance figure.


Passing centers on the reunion of two childhood friends—Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield—and their increasing fascination with each other’s lives. The title refers to the practice of racial passing, and is a key theme in the novel. Throughout the book, the women play a tense game of cat and mouse, until the trap snaps shut.

‘But Have You Read the Book?’ DETAILS

Read: Passing by Nella Larsen

Listen: Passing by Nella Larsen on Spotify

Movie premier: Wednesday, 10 November on Netflix

Discussion: Tuesday, 16 November on Facebook and YouTube

Twitter follow @UzoAduba and @DaenelT

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Happy Reading,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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