Who we are: The Boarding Pass Book Club was created by Seattle bookseller and author events producer Grace Rajendran to bring people together over a shared love of reading and learning about the many perspectives and experiences that make up this wonderful world we live in.

What do we read: Fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, generally set in contemporary times, featuring stories and voices from all over the world.

When do we meet: We read a book for two months and then meet at the end of those two months. Typically, this will be the last weekend of the month, but we will wait to pick the day each month, in case the author will be joining us. For more information about ongoing and upcoming activities, please sign up for Boarding Pass Book Club News using the short form at right and follow me on Instagram: @gracerajendran

What is the format: We will meet on Zoom and the book club is one hour long. If the author participates, we will discuss among ourselves for 1/2 hour to 40 mins and the author will join us for the last part.

Who can join: All are welcome and all we expect is warm and respectful participation and a curious perspective! We are all learning together.

Since we will be reading across genres, it is understandable that you may prefer to join in for some discussions and not all, which is completely fine! You can join as many as you’d like, and you’re not obligated to join all.

How to join: Please register for the Book Club News e-mail at the right side of this page (or at the bottom in mobile browsers).  This will let you know about upcoming book selections, will share additional author and book information, and will provide the Zoom links for registering for each book club session.  You can also send an email to gracerajendranart@gmail.com

Cover of Heart Radical

Hello, everyone! I hope your September has been off to a good start. I am so excited to present this month’s selection, HEART RADICAL: A SEARCH FOR LANGUAGE, LOVE, AND BELONGING by Anne Liu Kellor.

Here’s a little bit about the book, in Anne’s own words, from her website: “I wanted to understand how my path was tied to my mother tongue. As a young, multiracial, bilingual American woman, I traveled through China, the country of my mother’s birth. Along the way, I tried on different roles—spiritual seeker, English teacher, student of Chinese, girlfriend, artist, and daughter—and continually asked myself: Why am I called to make this journey”

I met Anne through this book club and also invited her to read at the bookstore where I used to work. Her reading was thought-provoking and insightful and Anne is wonderful speaker – I know you will all love getting to chat with her during the Author Visit portion of the book club.

In related, exciting news, HEART RADICAL was recently announced as one of the 2022 Washington State Book Awards finalists in the memoir category.

I hope you will be able to read along with us this month and make it to the book club – registration details are below. I’m looking forward to sharing HEART RADICAL with you.

Happy Reading!
❤ , Grace

Date: Saturday, September 24th
Time: 6 PM PST (UTC-7)
Author : Anne Liu Kellor
Book: Heart Radical: A Search For Language, Love, And Belonging

Please register in advance for this session at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsfuyhrz8qE9JzwDrjVG9rrRa9nCM5rGYV.

Even if you have attended a previous Boarding Pass Book Club, this is a new Zoom meeting, specific for the upcoming book club, so you will need to register again.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Wanting to understand how her path is tied to her mother tongue, Anne, a young, multiracial American woman, travels through China, the country of her mother’s birth. Along the way, she tries on different roles—seeker, teacher, student, girlfriend, artist, and daughter—and continually asks herself: Why do I feel called to make this journey?

Whether witnessing a Tibetan sky burial, teaching English at a university in Chengdu, visiting her grandmother in LA, or falling in love with a Chinese painter, Anne is always in pursuit of intimacy with others, even as she is all too aware of her silences and separation. For two years, she settles into a comfortable routine in her boyfriend’s apartment and regains fluency in Chinese, a language she spoke as a young child but has used less and less as an adult. Eventually, however, her desire to know herself in other ways surfaces again. She misses speaking English, she feels suffocated by urban, polluted China, and she starts to fall for another man. Ultimately, Anne realizes that to live her truth as a mixed-race, bilingual woman she must embrace all of her influences and layers. In a world that often wants us to choose a side or fit an ideal, she learns that she can both belong and not belong wherever she is, and that home is ultimately found within.


Photo of Anne Liu Kellor from her website

Learn more about Anne on her website: http://www.anneliukellor.com/

Anne Liu Kellor is a mixed-race Chinese American writer, editor, and teacher based in Seattle. Her essays have appeared in YES! Magazine, Longreads, Fourth Genre, Witness, New England Review, Entropy, The Normal School, Los Angeles Review, Literary Mama, and many more. She earned her MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles, and is the recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook, The Seventh Wave, Jack Straw Writers Program, 4Culture, and Hypatia-in-the-Woods. Anne teaches writing workshops and leads writing retreats across the Pacific Northwest. She also facilitates a year-long creative nonfiction manuscript program for womxn seeking mentorship and community.

I am thrilled to present our May selection, BEYOND GUILT TRIPS: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World by author, professor, and DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion) consultant, Dr. Anu Taranath.

I got to know Dr. Anu when I worked with her on events at University Book Store and every time I hear her speak, I am left feeling inspired, looking at the world with a new, broader, and more inclusive perspective.

This is the perfect book for one of the first meetings of Boarding Pass Book Club and I know that it will be a thought-provoking guide for our future literary journeys. I am looking forward to sharing this with you.

Happy Reading!
❤ , Grace

Meeting 2
Date: Saturday, May 21st
Time: 6 PM PST (UTC-7)
Author : Dr. Anu Taranath
Book: Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel In An Unequal World

Please register in advance for this session at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsfuyhrz8qE9JzwDrjVG9rrRa9nCM5rGYV.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


  • Washington State Book Award Finalist in Nonfiction
  • Oprah Magazine’s “26 Best Travel Books of All Times”
  • Fodors’ Travel “Best Books to Bring on Vacation”
  • Winner of Newsweek’s Future of Travel Awards in Storytelling
  • Wishing Shelf Book Award Finalist
  • Foreward Indies Book Award Finalist
  • Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist
  • Global Shakers “40 Leaders in Sustainable Tourism”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people pack their bags to study or volunteer abroad. Well-intentioned and curious Westerners–brought up to believe that international travel broadens our horizons–travel to low-income countries to learn about people and cultures different from their own. While travel abroad can provide much-needed perspective, it can also be deeply unsettling, confusing, and discomforting. Travelers can find themselves unsure about how to think or speak about the differences in race or culture they find, even though these differences might have fueled their desire to travel in the first place.

In Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World, storyteller Anu Taranath begins at home, unpacking our baggage about who we are, where we come from, and how much we have. She takes us on a journey through engaging personal travel stories and thought-provoking questions, providing us with tools to grapple with our discomfort and navigate differences with accountability and connection. Yes, travel! But be mindful. Be present.

Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World was shortlisted for the Washington State Book Award, named one of Oprah Magazine’s “26 Best Travel Books of All Times” and Fodor’s Travels best “13 Books to Inspire Your Travels.” In its one year since publication, the book has been featured in numerous magazines including YES!, AFAR, Mindful Magazine, Bitch, and National Geographic. Dr. Anu has been interviewed by the Peabody award-winning podcast “To the Best of Our Knowledge” and “Travel with Rick Steves” radio program.


Learn more about Dr. Anu on her website: https://www.anutaranath.com/

Dr. Anu brings both passion and expertise to her work as a speaker, facilitator and educator. As faculty at the University of Washington for the past 18-years, she teaches about global issues, race, gender, identity, and equity. A four-time member of Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, she has also received the Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” recognition, the UW’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and multiple US Fulbright Fellowships to work abroad.