Seniors Book Club | June Selection

Taken by the Muse
by Anne Wheeler

Print | eBook

This Library-led book club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 2 PM at the Downtown Library.

Book Club Kit copies are available for participants. Visit the Adult Information Desk (2nd floor, Downtown Library) to get your book.

Please register to discuss Taken by the Muse, a humorous and revelatory memoir by legendary Canadian filmmaker, Anne Wheeler.

Anne Wheeler’s creative non-fiction stories tell of her serendipitous journey in the seventies, when she broke with tradition and found her own way to becoming a filmmaker and raconteur.

Join this celebrated screenwriter and director as she travels south of Mombasa after calling off her wedding; attempts to gain acceptance in a male-dominated film collective; travels to India to visit friends who are devoted to a radical Master, and ultimately discovers her sense of purpose and passion close to home, sharing stories that would otherwise be lost about ordinary people living extraordinary lives.

FURTHER READING

Author Biography 

Author Website

INTERVIEW: Taken with Anne Wheeler | The Tyee

INTERVIEW: Muse you can use: Filmmaker Anne Wheeler dips into a past that helped guide her future | Vancouver Sun

INTERVIEW: Canadian director Anne Wheeler traces her path in new memoir | Edmonton Journal

REVIEW | Quill & Quire

REVIEW | Alberta Views

WATCH & LISTEN

INTERVIEW: Anne Wheeler at STARFest 2021 | St. Albert Public Library

INTERVIEW: Episode 163: Anne Wheeler | YVR Screen Scene Podcast

INTERVIEW: Making Movie History: Anne Wheeler | National Film Board of Canada

Seniors Book Club | May Selection

The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig

Print | eBook

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

Book Club Kit copies are available for participants. Visit the Adult Information Desk (2nd floor, Downtown Library) to get your book.

Please register here to discuss Matt Haig’s enchanting, fantastical new novel, The Midnight Library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

FURTHER READING

INTERVIEW: The Accidental Mental Health Guru | Cambridge Independent

REVIEW: In ‘The Midnight Library,’ Books Offer Transport to Different Lives | The New York Times

REVIEW: It’s Not Quite Dark Enough In ‘The Midnight Library’ | NPR

REVIEW | She’s So Full of Lit

WATCH & LISTEN

INTERVIEW: Matt Haig on living with depression, social media addiction and changing the nervous planet | Channel 4 News

INTERVIEW: Episode 971: Matt Haig Returns With The Midnight Library | Author Stories Podcast

INTERVIEW: Matt Haig: 5 books which changed my life | Book Week Scotland

Seniors Book Club | April Selection

Her Turn
by Katherine Ashenburg

Print| eBook

The Seniors 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).

Please register here to discuss Katherine Ashenburg’s delightful novel Her Turn.

A journalist in Washington, DC, Liz has turned lemons into lemonade after her husband walked out on her a decade ago. She likes her life–she’s the editor of My Turn, a weekly column in which readers write about their lives, has a few romantic nibbles–some better than others–a good relationship with her teen-aged son, and has come to terms with the shock and heartbreak of her divorce.

Or so she thinks.

One day at work, she receives a letter for the column she can’t ignore, because it’s written by her ex-husband’s current wife–AKA the other woman. It is the beginning of an unexpected correspondence between the two women–but only Liz knows the truth about their connection. Could it be she still cares? How far will she take this unusual relationship? And what happens if the truth comes out?

Her Turn is an immensely readable, joyful novel about fidelity and forgiveness that explores one woman’s second act in life, and the ties that still bind her to the first.

The Author

A 49th Shelf interview 

A Cece Scott Blog interview

A Johns Hopkins article on Forgiveness

A Pychology Today article on Forgiveness

Reviews

A Kirkus Book review

Other reviews

WATCH & LISTEN

Video Trailers, Reviews and Interviews

 

Seniors Book Club | March Selection

Letters Across the Sea
by Genevieve Graham

Print | eBook

The Seniors 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).

Please register here to discuss Genevieve Graham’s engaging historical novel Letters Across the Sea.

Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that’s perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society .

The Author

A Reading Frenzy Blog interview

An essay by Genevieve Graham on How I Write Historical Fiction

Historical information

Discussion Questions (provided by St. Albert Public Library staff – please scroll to p. 6)

Reviews

“An epic tale of enduring love, loyalty and heroism, and a haunting portrayal of one of the most tragic yet overlooked battles of WWII, Letters Across the Sea has all the ingredients of a historical fiction masterpiece. Genevieve Graham has delivered once more a powerful, devastating, and ultimately redemptive story that stirs the heart in profound and lasting ways.”
— ROXANNE VELETZOS, internationally bestselling author of The Girl They Left Behind

“I always look forward to diving into a Genevieve Graham novel, because I know I’ll be swept away by her meticulous evocation of the past, her memorable and wonderfully observed characters, and her unmatchable flair for shining a light into the neglected corners of our shared past. In Letters Across the Sea, she sends us from 1930s Toronto, then under siege by a relentless plague of anti-Semitism, to a different battleground altogether: the last stand of Canadian troops at the Battle of Hong Kong. This is history worth remembering–and fiction that both enlightens and entertains.”
— JENNIFER ROBSON, internationally bestselling author of The Gown

“Readers weary of European-centric World War II dramas will delight in Genevieve Graham’s Letters Across the Sea, which centers on the courage and tenacity of Canadian soldiers, veterans, and home-front fighters. A budding love affair between Irish aspiring-journalist Molly and Jewish medical student Max is derailed first by a shocking anti-Semitic riot, then by the winds of war which send Max to fight in the Pacific as Molly carves herself a niche as a reporter. A lost letter has the power to bring them back into each other’s lives, but at what cost? A tender, moving tale illuminating a fascinating lesser-known chapter of World War II history!”
— KATE QUINNNew York Times bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network

WATCH & LISTEN

Video Trailers, Reviews and Interviews

 

Seniors Book Club | February Selection

Five Little Indians
by Michelle Good

Print | eBook

The Seniors 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).

Please register here to discuss Michelle Good’s award-winning timely novel Five Little Indians.

Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention.

Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.

Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can’t stop running and moves restlessly from job to job—through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps—trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew.

With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward. (Publisher)

The Author

A Canadian Press interview

A Quill & Quire interview

A Globe and Mail article

A Toronto Star review

The Ides Book Club discussion questions

WATCH & LISTEN

Michelle Good on why she wrote Five Little Indians || TIFA 2020 (2:07 min.)

Other video interviews

 

Seniors Book Club | January Selection

Leonard and Hungry Paul
by Ronan Hession

Print 

The Seniors 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).

Please register here to discuss Ronan Hession’s charming novel Leonard and Hungry Paul.

A disarming novel that asks a simple question- Can gentle people change the world?

In this charming and truly unique debut, popular Irish musician Ronan Hession tells the story of two single, thirty-something men who still live with their parents and who are . . . nice. They take care of their parents and play board games together. They like to read. They take satisfaction from their work. They are resolutely kind. And they realize that none of this is considered . . . normal.

Leonard and Hungry Paul is the story of two friends struggling to protect their understanding of what’s meaningful in life. It is about the uncelebrated people of this world – the gentle, the meek, the humble. And as they struggle to persevere, the book asks a surprisingly enthralling question- Is it really them against the world, or are they on to something?

The Author

An Irish Times interview

A Bookmunch Blog interview

Discussion Questions

A Guardian book review

A Chicago Review of Books review

WATCH & LISTEN

Video interviews

 

 

Seniors Book Club | November Selection

Hamnet & Judith
by Maggie O’Farrell

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 Maggie O’Farrell’s novel Hamnet and Judith,

“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

Seniors Book Club | October Selection

Rabbit Foot Bill by Helen Humphreys

The Seniors 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). If you prefer a digital copy of the book, click here.

Register to drop-in and discuss this insightful, compelling novel based on the true story of a small town murder in 1940s Saskatchewan.

Canwood, Saskatchewan, 1947. Leonard Flint, a lonely boy in a small farming town befriends the local outsider, a man known as Rabbit Foot Bill. Bill doesn’t talk much, but he allows Leonard to accompany him as he sets rabbit snares and to visit his small, secluded dwelling.

Being with Bill is everything to young Leonard—an escape from school, bullies and a hard father. So his shock is absolute when he witnesses Bill commit a sudden violent act and loses him to prison.

Fifteen years on, as a newly graduated doctor of psychiatry, Leonard arrives at the Weyburn Mental Hospital, both excited and intimidated by the massive institution known for its experimental LSD trials. To Leonard’s great surprise, at the Weyburn he is reunited with Bill and soon becomes fixated on discovering what happened on that fateful day in 1947. (from harpercollins.ca)

FURTHER READING

INTERVIEW: 1947 Saskatchewan murder case provides the hook for ‘Rabbit Foot Bill’ | Global News

REVIEW: The Hauntings of History and the Human Condition in “Rabbit Foot Bill | Chicago Review of Books 

REVIEW: Lonely Hearts Club: Settling in with Helen Humphreys | Literary Review of Canada

REVIEW: Rabbit Foot Bill by Helen | Cloud Lake Literary

WATCH & LISTEN

INTERVIEW: The true story of a 1947 Saskatchewan murder case inspired Helen Humphreys’ latest novel | The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers

INTERVIEW: An Evening with Emma Donoghue & Helen Humphreys | Kitchener Public Library

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

 

Seniors Book Club | June Selection

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

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 quirky new novel by the bestselling Swedish author of A Man called Ove.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths. As police surround the premises, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people. (Publisher)

FURTHER READING

Author Biography

Author website

A New York Times interview

A Pen America interview

A Bookweb interview

A Kirkus book review

A Washington Independent book review

A USA Today book review

A Read It Forward essay on Backman’s work

Discussion Questions

WATCH & LISTEN

Fredrik Backman video interviews

Netflix series coming in 2021