Tough Topics Book Club

Cover art for Garrard Conley's Boy Erased depicts a young man with his head bowed and hands held as if in prayer. Adults 18+ | Room 105  | Wednesday, April 19. 2023 | 6–7:30 p.m. | FREE | Zoom option available

Boy Erased 
by Garrard Conley

“The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small-town Arkansas, Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality as a young man. When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized twelve-step program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and, because of his brush with sin, stronger in his faith in God. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to search for his true self, empathy, and forgiveness. By examining and excavating his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heartbreaking, at times triumphant, this memoir is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.” –Dust jacket.

Please request a copy for the discussion in the MORE system. The title is also available in eBook and audiobook formats through Wisconsin’s Digital Library (Libby). If you need assistance requesting a copy, please call 715-839-5004 or email us at

Please remember that self-care is essential when engaging in difficult subjects. We encourage you to take breaks and utilize self-care throughout our discussion. If at any point you wish not to continue for your own well-being, that is okay. We are all at different points on our journey. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to talk or find more resources, but in case of a more urgent issue here are some crisis lines and supports:

  • In case of an emergency please contact 911
  • Trevor Lifeline by The Trevor Project : 866-488-7386
  • LGBT Community Center of the Chippewa Valley: 715-552-5428

Staff from the Family Support Center, the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association’s Ntuj Tshiab Program, and Bolton Refuge House will be joining us for this discussion. 



This event is intended for adults and may contain mature content.

Co-hosted by our Community Resource Specialist, Libby Richter, and Reference & Digital Services Librarian, Anna Zook.

Register Here

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Room 105 with Virtual Option | FREE

Upcoming Titles

June 28, 2023 Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

August 23, 2023 A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

October 25, 2023 When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann

December 20, 2023 Broken by Jenny Lawson