Tuesday Afternoon Book Club | February Selection

Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

Print| eBook (Libby) | eAudiobook (Libby)

Register to drop-in and discuss one of the most talked about and bestselling books in recent memory.

Additional “book club only” print copies are available at the downtown location of the Library.

To pick up a copy, come to the front doors of the Library inside St. Albert Place (face coverings are mandatory). Call 780-459-1682 when you arrive and be ready to provide your library barcode number, email address and phone number over the phone. A staff member will bring down your book to you after recording your contact information.

The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Register to drop-in and discuss one of the most talked about and bestselling books in recent memory.

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

FURTHER READING

About Delia Owens

An Interview with Delia Owens | BookBrowse

A bona fide smash: Delia Owens talks all things ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ | Amazon

Delia Owens: A Natural Way of Storytelling | BookPage

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens review – in the swamps of North Carolina | The Guardian

The Dark History Behind the Year’s Bestselling Debut Novel | Slate

Questions for Discussion | Book Club Kit from deliaowens.com

VIDEO

Delia Owens on ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ | CBS News

Delia Owens: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ | PBS Bookwatch

Offbeat’s Top Books

Here they are, Offbeat’s favourite reads from 2020! Would you like to see your top picks posted this time next year? Then join the club! Here’s how. 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

I’m going through all her books! They are quite interesting. You get a great feel of how remote the locations are in this book.

 

Rule of Three by Megan McDonald

I’ve enjoyed all the books in this series with my daughter. It’s been such a great experience with lots of bonding.

 

In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Since travel is off-limits, travel books have been great.

 

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas J. Preston

I heard about this book from one of the Offbeat member’s top picks from last year. Loved it!

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I got wrapped up in this story and could not put it down. Scenes of a fading starlett were done very well.

 

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Just a fabulous read. Sounds like people either love or hate it, but I loved it.

 

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamil

Didn’t do as much reading I normally do but this move was a very memorable read.

 

Untamed by Glendon Doyle

Just loved it. Simply put.

 

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Desperately needed to talk to people about it this book after reading it. 

 

Aria by Nazanine Hozar

I got this book as a gift from the book club and absolutely loved it.

The Trip to Echo Springs by Olivia Laing

Part memoir, part travelogue, this is just and an honest and artfully written book on the connection between alcohol and the relationships of some of literature’s memorable names.

Seniors Book Cub | February Selection

Akin
by Emma Donoghue

Print | eBook

The Seniors Book Club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Please register here to discuss Emma Donoghue’s novel Akin, a brilliant tale of love, loss and family.

A retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes his great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother’s wartime secrets. Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France. This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak haché to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael’s ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past, both of them come to grasp the risks that people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew. Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room a huge bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together. (Publisher)

Further Reading

About Emma Donoghue

About Akin (including a personal note by Emma Donoghue)

A Chatelaine interview

A Waterstones Blog interview

A Guardian book review

A Washington Post book review

An Irish Independent book review

An Irish Times book review

Discussion Questions

Historical background on Nice, France

Excelsior Hotel, Nice – historyWatch & LISTEN

 

WATCH & LISTEN

An Appel Salon (Toronto Public Library) video interview

A CBC Books video trailer

Interview by Shelagh Rogers on CBC’s The Next Chapter

Interview by Tom Power on CBC’s Q

 

 

Monday Evening Book Club | February Selection

Man’s Search for Meaning
by  Viktor E. Frankl

Print | eBook (simultaneous use) on Libby (Overdrive)

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

Register to drop-in and discuss this thought-provoking and inspirational classic.

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, Man’s Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey by the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America. (From the publisher.)

Further Reading

About Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl at Ninety: An Interview

Book Reviews

Discussion Questions

 

Watch & Listen

Next Read

How to Do Nothing:
Resisting the Attention Economy
by Jenny Odell

Print |eAudiobook (hoopla)

“Odell’s great strength as a writer is her ability to convey art’s unique power without overestimating or misstating its social impact. . . . Ultimately, what sets her book apart from self-help is not a less quixotic set of demands but a more life-affirming endgame.”—Megan Marz, THE BAFFLER

We’ll discuss this book and more on February, 25 at 7:00 pm via Zoom. To find out how to join email offbeat@sapl.ca

The Offbeat Book Club is a drop-in book discussion group for 20-40 somethings who want to read mostly new, sometimes bold, and always entertaining books. Basically, we read books you’ll want to read, and not the ones you “should.”

Meetings take place five times a year at various restaurants* throughout St. Albert and are facilitated by library staff.

Seniors Drop-In Book Club | January Selection

Chop Suey Nation
by Ann Hui

Print | eBook (Hoopla)

The Seniors Book Club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Please register here to discuss Ann Hui’s road-tripping cultural and culinary exploration in Chop Suey Nation.

In 2016, Globe and Mail reporter Ann Hui drove across Canada, from Victoria to Fogo Island, to write about small-town Chinese restaurants and the families who run them. It was only after the story was published that she discovered her own family could have been included—her parents had run their own Chinese restaurant, The Legion Cafe, before she was born. This discovery, and the realization that there was so much of her own history she didn’t yet know, set her on a time-sensitive mission: to understand how, after generations living in a poverty-stricken area of Guangdong, China, her family had somehow wound up in Canada.

Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurantsweaves together Hui’s own family history—from her grandfather’s decision to leave behind a wife and newborn son for a new life, to her father’s path from cooking in rural China to running some of the largest “Western” kitchens in Vancouver, to the unravelling of a closely guarded family secret—with the stories of dozens of Chinese restaurant owners from coast to coast. Along her trip, she meets a Chinese-restaurant owner/small-town mayor, the owner of a Chinese restaurant in a Thunder Bay curling rink, and the woman who runs a restaurant alone, 365 days a year, on the very remote Fogo Island. Hui also explores the fascinating history behind “chop suey” cuisine, detailing the invention of classics like “ginger beef” and “Newfoundland chow mein,” and other uniquely Canadian fare like the “Chinese pierogies” of Alberta.

Hui, who grew up in authenticity-obsessed Vancouver, begins her journey with a somewhat disparaging view of small-town “fake Chinese” food. But by the end, she comes to appreciate the essentially Chinese values that drive these restaurants—perseverance, entrepreneurialism and deep love for family. Using her own family’s story as a touchstone, she explores the importance of these restaurants in the country’s history and makes the case for why chop suey cuisine should be recognized as quintessentially Canadian.

Further Reading

Globe & Mail Review

The Tyee Review

Calgary Herald Interview

Forbes Interview

The Adroit Journal Interview

Watch & LISTEN

The Agenda with Steve Paikin | Stirring Up my Chinese Family History

The Next Chapter | Ann Hui on Chop Suey Nation

CBC Radio | 5 Delicious podcasts on food & identity

The Sporkful with Dan Pashman | Your Mom’s Food 

Tuesday Afternoon Drop-In Book Club | January Selection

Mr. Dickens and His Carol
by Samantha Silva

This title is only available in print. Click here to place a hold.

The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Register here to drop in and discuss Silva’s creative re-imagining of Dickens’ inspiration for his holiday classic.

Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva’s Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic.

Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

Further reading

Author website

New York Time Review

Ceasefire Magazine Review

Washington Independent Review of Books

Los Angeles Public Library Interview

Discussion Questions

BBC Culture | How did A Christmas Carol come to be?

Watch & LISTEN

Dialogue on PBS | Samantha Silva on Mr. Dickens and His Carol

Literary Hub Interview

Monday Evening Book Club | January Selection

Moon of the Crusted Snow
by  Waubgeshig Rice

Print | eBook and eAudiobook (Hoopla)

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

Register to drop-in and discuss this slow burning thriller and powerful story of survival.

We’ve been waiting for this story. It irresistibly turns our gaze toward something we already knew but couldn’t quite make ourselves see. The result is intense, thrilling, and vivid as the darkest dreams – much like the old Anishinaabeg stories told by the Elders. As one revelation follows another, we come face to face with mystery and responsibility of being human. ~Warren Carious, director, University of Manitoba Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture. 

Further Reading

About Waubgeshig Rice

Toronto Star | At Home During COVID-19

Hamilton Review of Books Interview

CBC Books

Twitter

Watch & Listen

Tuesday Afternoon Drop-In Book Club November Selection

No Good Asking
by Fran Kimmel

Print | eBook (Hoopla) | eAudiobook (Hoopla)

Register to drop-in and discuss this heart-felt and heart-warming novel.

You can also access the ebook via Libby (we have a “simultaneous use” subscription for this title).

Additional “book club only” print copies are available at the Adult Information Desk upon request.

This month, The Tuesday Drop In Book Club will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 11 am (please note time change – we are excited that Fran Kimmel will join us for part of the meeting!)

A profoundly moving exploration of our capacity to heal one another.

Ellie and Eric Nyland have moved their two sons back to Eric’s childhood farmhouse, hoping for a fresh start. But there’s no denying it, their family is falling apart, each one of them isolated by private sorrows, stresses, and missed signals. With every passing day, Ellie’s hopes are buried deeper in the harsh winter snows.

When Eric finds Hannah Finch, the girl across the road, wandering alone in the bitter cold, his rusty police instincts kick in, and he soon discovers there are bad things happening in the girl’s house. With nowhere else to send her, the Nylands reluctantly agree to let Hannah stay with them until she can find a new home after the Christmas holidays. But Hannah proves to be more balm than burden, and the Nylands discover that the only thing harder than taking Hannah in may be letting her go.

Author website

Open Book interview

Lacombe Express interview

Author interview (Alexis Marie Chute blog)

A Kirkus book review

A Prism Magazine book review

Discussion Questions

 

Seniors Drop In Book Club November Selection

No Good Asking
by Fran Kimmel

Print | eBook (Hoopla) | eAudiobook (Hoopla)

You can also access the ebook via Libby (we have a “simultaneous use” subscription for this title).

Additional “book club only” print copies are available at the Adult Information Desk upon request.

The Seniors Book Club usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom. Please note: because of Remembrance Day this month, we will meet a week later on November 18!

Special exciting announcement: the author, Fran Kimmel, will visit our group for part of the meeting!

Register to drop-in and discuss this heart-felt and heart-warming novel.

A profoundly moving exploration of our capacity to heal one another.

Ellie and Eric Nyland have moved their two sons back to Eric’s childhood farmhouse, hoping for a fresh start. But there’s no denying it, their family is falling apart, each one of them isolated by private sorrows, stresses, and missed signals. With every passing day, Ellie’s hopes are buried deeper in the harsh winter snows.

When Eric finds Hannah Finch, the girl across the road, wandering alone in the bitter cold, his rusty police instincts kick in, and he soon discovers there are bad things happening in the girl’s house. With nowhere else to send her, the Nylands reluctantly agree to let Hannah stay with them until she can find a new home after the Christmas holidays. But Hannah proves to be more balm than burden, and the Nylands discover that the only thing harder than taking Hannah in may be letting her go.

Author website

Open Book interview

Lacombe Express interview

Author interview (Alexis Marie Chute blog)

A Kirkus book review

A Prism Magazine book review

Discussion Questions