Weekend Picks

A nearly inescapable heatwave will be hanging around the entire long weekend so stay cool and if it helps, dive into these refreshing flicks.

Splash

A successful businessman falls in love with the girl of his dreams. There’s one big complication though; he’s fallen hook, line and sinker for a mermaid.

The Swimmer

Well-off ad man Ned Merrill is visiting a friend when he notices the abundance of backyard pools that populate their upscale suburb. Ned suddenly decides that he’d like to travel the eight miles back to his own home by simply swimming across every pool in town. Soon, Ned’s journey becomes harrowing; at each house, he is somehow confronted with a reminder of his romantic, domestic and economic failures.

The Abyss

A civilian oil rig crew is recruited to conduct a search and rescue effort when a nuclear submarine mysteriously sinks. One diver soon finds himself on a spectacular odyssey 25,000 feet below the ocean’s surface where he confronts a mysterious force that has the power to change the world or destroy it.

On Chesil Beach

In 1962 England, a young couple finds their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.

On a Clear Day

After decades of laboring as a Glasgow shipbuilder, Frank Redmond, a no-nonsense 55-year-old working-class man, suddenly finds himself laid off. For the first time in his life, he is without a job or a sense of direction, and he’s too proud to ask for guidance. His best mates – rascally Danny, timid Norman and cynical Eddie – are there for him, but Frank still feels desperately alone. An offhand remark from Danny inspires Frank to challenge himself. Already contemplating the state of his relationships with loving wife Joan and all-but-estranged son Rob, Frank is determined to shore up his own self-confidence. He will attempt the near impossible – swimming the English Channel. ×

Weekend Picks

Movies about Making Movies

Check out these movies about making movies (both real and fictional) for a glimpse of the behind the scenes drama that makes for onscreen magic.

8 1/2

Guido Anselmi, a film director, finds himself creatively barren at the peak of his career. Urged by his doctors to rest, Anselmi heads for a luxurious resort, but a sorry group gathers—his producer, staff, actors, wife, mistress, and relatives—each one begging him to get on with the show. In retreat from their dependency, he fantasizes about past women and dreams of his childhood.

Adaptation

A love-lorn script writer grows increasingly desperate in his quest to adapt the book ‘The Orchid Thief’ by Susan Orlean.

Becoming Bulletproof

A diverse group of disabled people from across the U.S. take on leading roles in a magical rip-roaring costume drama Western, filmed on vintage Hollywood locations. This riveting film within a film immerses us in a dynamic, inclusive world of discipline and play, raising questions about why we so rarely see real disabled actors on the big screen.

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

A chronicle of the production problems — including bad weather, actors’ health, war near the filming locations, and more — which plagued the filming of Apocalypse Now, increasing costs and nearly destroying the life and career of Francis Ford Coppola.

Monday Evening Book Club | September Selection

Five Wives by Joan Thomas

“Book club only” print copies are available at the downtown location of the Library. To pick up a copy, visit the Information Desk on the 2nd floor.

Register here to discuss this riveting, wrenching account of evangelism and its legacy.

The Monday Evening Book Club meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM via Zoom.

In the tradition of The Poisonwood Bible and State of Wonder, a novel set in the rainforest of Ecuador about five women left behind when their missionary husbands are killed. Based on the shocking real-life events

In 1956, a small group of evangelical Christian missionaries and their families journeyed to the rainforest in Ecuador intending to convert the Waorani, a people who had never had contact with the outside world. The plan was known as Operation Auca. After spending days dropping gifts from an aircraft, the five men in the party rashly entered the “intangible zone.” They were all killed, leaving their wives and children to fend for themselves.

Five Wives is the fictionalized account of the real-life women who were left behind, and their struggles – with grief, with doubt, and with each other – as they continued to pursue their evangelical mission in the face of the explosion of fame that followed their husbands’ deaths.

Five Wives is a riveting, often wrenching story of evangelism and its legacy, teeming with atmosphere and compelling characters and rich in emotional impact.

Further reading

Interview: Why Joan Thomas wrote about the wives of missionaries killed trying to convert Ecuador’s Waorani people | CBC Books

Interview: The Chat with Governor General’s Literary Award Winner Joan Thomas | 49th Shelf

Review: Left Behind: A novel look at an evangelical mission | Literary Review of Canada

Review: Into the wild: Novelist’s latest offering a riveting fictional account of missionaries’ plight | Winnipeg Free Press

An Uncommon Victory for an Indigenous Tribe in the Amazon| The New Yorker

Watch & Listen

Interview: The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers – Nov. 30, 2019: Joan Thomas on Five Wives

Interview: Author! Author! with Joan Thomas and Jane Urqhart | Kingston WritersFest

Seniors Book Club | September Selection

A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson

Print and eBook Options

This Library-led drop-in book club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Book Club Kit copies are available for participants upon request from the Adult Information Desk (780-459-1682).

Register to drop-in and discuss this heart-felt and atmospheric new novel by the bestselling Canadian author of Crow Lake, The Other Side of the Bridge, and Road Ends.

Rebellious teenager Rose been missing for weeks with no word, and Rose’s younger sister, the feisty and fierce Clara, keeps a daily vigil at the living-room window, hoping for her sibling’s return.

Enter thirtyish Liam Kane, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in this small northern town, where he promptly moves into the house next door–watched suspiciously by astonished and dismayed Clara, whose elderly friend, Mrs. Orchard, owns that home. Around the time of Rose’s disappearance, Mrs. Orchard was sent for a short stay in hospital, and Clara promised to keep an eye on the house and its remaining occupant, Mrs. Orchard’s cat, Moses. As the novel unfolds, so does the mystery of what has transpired between Mrs. Orchard and the newly arrived stranger.

Told through three distinct, compelling points of view–Clara’s, Mrs. Orchard’s, and Liam Kane’s–the novel cuts back and forth among these unforgettable characters to uncover the layers of grief, remorse, and love that connect families, both the ones we’re born into and the ones we choose. A Town Called Solace is a masterful, suspenseful and deeply humane novel by one of our great storytellers. (Publisher)

FURTHER READING

Author Biography

A CBC Radio’s Next Chapter Interview

A Style.ca Interview

Praise for A Town Called Solace

A Toronto Star book review

Maclean’s article by Mary Lawson: Why I write about the Canadian Shield (with family pictures)

Discussion Questions (no specific guide available at this time – generic Fiction questions)

WATCH & LISTEN

Video Interviews with Mary Lawson

A CBC Radio’s Next Chapter Interview

 

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

Transient Desires
by Donna Leon

Commissario Guido Brunetti is in an uncharacteristically sullen mood as we encounter him in the opening pages of the thirtieth installment of Donna Leon’s award-winning series. Is it because he laments the trajectory of his life, based on last night’s meeting with old friends? Perhaps he’s reached the tipping point with his children who take him so much for granted? Or is it the endless line of tourists who seek to swallow up everything good about the city he loves? Whatever the cause it foreshadows the horrendous events that are about to consume most of his time and energy.

Two women, with multiple injuries, are found unconscious on the dock outside the emergency room of the Ospedale Civile early in the morning. It’s determined that their injuries are the result of a boating accident while they were joy riding with two young Italian men. But why abandon them when it was just an accident?

As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, continue their investigation they encounter the very darkest side of criminal behaviour and the most heinous of crimes.

Joanne gives this book 4 daggers out of 5!

Weekend Picks

Getaways Gone Wrong

Once in a while everyone needs some time away to relax and recharge. Sometimes these trips are awesome. And sometimes….well, they don’t quite go as planned. These movies might make you consider swapping your next getaway for a more staid staycation.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Clark Griswold is on a quest to take his family on a quest to Walley World theme park for a vacation, but things don’t go exactly as planned.

Us

Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.

The Descent

After a tragic accident, six friends reunite for a caving expedition. Their adventure soon goes horribly wrong when a collapse traps them deep underground and they find themselves pursued by bloodthirsty creatures. As their friendships deteriorate, they find themselves in a desperate struggle to survive the creatures and each other.

L’Avventura

Claudia and Anna join Anna’s lover, Sandro, on a boat trip to a remote volcanic island. When Anna goes missing, a search is launched. In the meantime, Sandro and Claudia become involved in a romance despite Anna’s disappearance, though the relationship suffers from guilt and tension.

Deliverance

Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they’ll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

Weekend Picks

Summer Blockbusters

Below is a very biased blast of blockbuster flicks from this blogger’s summers past.

Enjoy, everyone!

Dick Tracy

The comic strip detective finds his life vastly complicated when Breathless Mahoney makes advances towards him while he is trying to battle Big Boy Caprice’s united mob.

Unforgiven

William Munny is a retired, once-ruthless killer turned gentle widower and hog farmer. To help support his two motherless children, he accepts one last bounty-hunter mission to find the men who brutalized a prostitute. Joined by his former partner and a cocky greenhorn, he takes on a corrupt sheriff.

Jurassic Park

A wealthy entrepreneur secretly creates a theme park featuring living dinosaurs drawn from prehistoric DNA. Before opening day, he invites a team of experts and his two eager grandchildren to experience the park and help calm anxious investors. However, the park is anything but amusing as the security systems go off-line and the dinosaurs escape.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

’Toon star Roger is worried that his wife Jessica is playing pattycake with someone else, so the studio hires detective Eddie Valiant to snoop on her. But the stakes are quickly raised when Marvin Acme is found dead and Roger is the prime suspect.

Nearly 10 years have passed since Sarah Connor was targeted for termination by a cyborg from the future. Now her son, John, the future leader of the resistance, is the target for a newer, more deadly terminator. Once again, the resistance has managed to send a protector back to attempt to save John and his mother Sarah.

 

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

Bryant & May: Oranges and Lemons
by Christopher Fowler

Fowler’s Bryant & May series is a trivia lovers’ dream.  Filled with arcane and esoteric facts they’re a treasure-trove of the weird and wonderful, the fantastic and fabulous.  

When the Speaker of the House of Commons is nearly killed in an absurd “accident” involving a van unloading oranges and lemons, the investigation is turned over to the Peculiar Crimes Unit.  However, they’d been disbanded and had all gone their own way.  Scrabbling to get them back together and finding a new center of operations is no mean feat!  They are joined by a new recruit – Sydney – a young woman who seems to “ring a bell” with some of the team.

Meanwhile the perpetrator of the incident involving the Speaker has upped his game and now has a murder to answer for.  But he is not finished yet as he continues his barrage on churches following the lines of the old nursery rhyme: “Oranges and Lemons”, and adding to his list of the murdered and injured. Bryant pulls out all the stops as he consults the magicians, white witches and sundry others of his followers to complete the picture of the murderer and bring him to justice.

Clever twists and turns and surprises around every corner make this episode in the annals of the PCU as entertaining as those that have gone before.  The quirkiness and eccentricity of the characters provides a laugh on every page.

It’s a great read from the very first page.

Joanne gives this book 5 stars out of 5!
Joanne gives this book 5 daggers out of 5!

Summer Meeting

Hamnet and Judith by Maggie O’Farrell
Print | eBook

Offbeat Book Club will discuss Hamnet and Judith on Thursday, July 29 at 7:00 PM via Zoom.

To find out how to register and more, email offbeat@sapl.ca

“Hamnet & Judith is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written” ~ Women’s Prize for Fiction Website

The Author

‘The Angel Who Saved My Daughter'(you Magazine)

The Novel’s Inspiration (The Guardian)

NPR Review

Women’s Prize for Fiction: Reading Guide

WATCH & LISTEN

Politics & Prose Interview

The Author on Life & Death Scenarios

Giving New Life to Shakespeare’s Son 

Hamnet with Maggie O’Farrell and Bernard Cornwell

10 Tenuous Quick Questions

Weekend Picks

Beat the high heat with a couple of scenic stylized thrillers adapted from the pages of Patricia Highsmith.

Two Faces of January

A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a private detective.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Tom Ripley is a calculating young man who believes it’s better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody. Opportunity knocks in the form of a wealthy U.S. shipbuilder who hires Tom to travel to Italy to bring back his playboy son, Dickie. Ripley worms his way into the idyllic lives of Dickie and his girlfriend, plunging into a daring scheme of duplicity, lies and murder.