Monday Evening Book Club | April Selection

Akin
by Emma Donoghue

Print | eBook

The Monday Evening Book Club meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 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

About Odette Abadi (co-founder of the Marcel Network)

Washington Post article about the Marcel Network

 

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

 

 

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

About Odette Abadi (co-founder of the Marcel Network)

Washington Post article about the Marcel Network

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

Tuesday Afternoon Drop-In Book Club | September Selection

Recipe for a Perfect Wife : a novel by Karma Brown

eBook | Print |Additional “book club only” copies available at the Adult Information Desk upon request.

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

Please register here to discuss the novel Recipe for a Perfect Wife : a novel by 2020 STARfest author Karma Brown.

Seniors Drop-In Book Club | September Selection

Recipe for a Perfect Wife : a novel by Karma Brown

eBook | Print |Additional “book club only” copies available at the Adult Information Desk upon request.

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

Please register here to discuss the novel Recipe for a Perfect Wife : a novel by 2020 STARfest author Karma Brown.

Seniors Book Club November Selection

piano-makerThe Seniors Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor Training Room on Wednesday, November 9th at 2 pm. This month we’re discussing The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka.

About the book

Helene Giroux arrives alone in St. Homais on a winter day. She wears good city clothes and drives an elegant car, and everything she owns is in a small trunk in the back seat. In the local church she finds a fine old piano, a Molnar, and she knows just how fine it is, for her family had manufactured these pianos before the Great War. Then her mother’s death and war forces her to abandon her former life. The story moves back and forth in time as Helene, settling into a simple life, playing the piano for church choir, recalls the extraordinary events that brought her to this place. They include the early loss of her soldier husband and the reappearance of an old suitor who rescues her and her daughter, when she is most desperate; the journeys that very few women of her time could even imagine, into the forests of Indochina in search of ancient treasures and finally, and fatefully, to the Canadian north. When the town policeman confronts her, past and present suddenly converge and she must face an episode that she had thought had been left behind forever. The suspenseful, emotionally resonant, and utterly compelling story of what brings an enigmatic French woman to a small Canadian town in the 1930s, a woman who has found depths of strength in dark times and comes to discover sanctuary at last.
About the author

Kurt Palka was born and educated in Austria. He began his working life in Africa where he wrote for the African Mirror and made wildlife films in Kenya and Tanzania. He has worked on international stories for CTV and GLOBAL TV, wrote for American and Canadian publications such as the Chronicle Herald and the Globe and Mail, and worked as a Senior Producer for the CBC. The Piano Maker is his sixth novel. His previous work includes Clara, which was originally published in hardcover as Patient Number 7, and was a finalist for The Hammett Prize. He lives near Toronto. (adapted from  https://www.bookreporter.com/authors/kurt-palka and https://penguinrandomhouse.ca/authors/23101/kurt-palka-1 )

A Globe and Mail interview

Publisher’s Reading Guide

A Toronto Star review

A Manitoban review

A Globe and Mail review

A London Free Press review

Monday Evening Book Club October Selection

The Monday Evening Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor Training Room on Monday, October 17 at 7 pm. This month we’re discussing The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys.

About the book

Resigned to living out the Second World War in a German POW camp, James Hunter, an the evening chorusEnglish officer, begins studying a pair of redstarts near the camp. His interest in the birds captures the attention of the Kommandant and gives James cause to fear for his life. Meanwhile, back in England, James’s young wife, Rose, falls headlong into a passionate affair with another man. When James’s sister, Enid, is bombed out of her London flat, she comes to stay with Rose, and the two women form a surprising friendship that alters the course of both of their lives.

With wonderfully developed characters, exquisitely shaped by and reflected in the natural world, The Evening Chorus is a brilliant, beautiful evocation of place and a natural history of both the war and the human heart. (Publisher)

Helen Humphreys on The Evening Chorus and the solitary act of writing

Helen Humphreys on writing historical fiction

Q and A with Helen Humphreys (The Globe and Mail)

Review in the The Globe and Mail

Review in the National Post

John Buxton (ornithologist)

Birdmen of the German Stalags

Airmen’s memorial on Ashdown Forest