Monday, 26 March 2012

Our March Selection

"Know your own Happiness, want for nothing but patience, or give it a more fascinating name: call it Hope."
-Jane Austen

Dear Members,


With the arrival of March, comes the first blooms of Spring. We begin to view the world in a different light and feel not only a lightness in our step, but in our hearts as well. This month we take a look at non-fiction, where the narrative no longer intertwines with the soaring ways of the imagination, but rather, lands deep into the extraordinary insight of what is real. Hence, we are "touching ground"- our theme for this month.

There were many wonderful picks that made it into the Selections (thank you to all who added their two cents in, and for those who helped to decide!)- it was quite hard to choose which one! However towards the end, a winning title was declared and our book club chose:


Here is the trailer for the book:

Summary: From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter-Annawadi's "most-everything girl"-will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call "the full enjoy." 

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi. 

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget. 

Happy reading!


Recommendation Round

During our tenth meeting, there were many interesting recommendations that all of us shared.


Perfect Sense: Starring Eva Green and Ewan McGregor. When I first saw this film, it completely blew me away because of the beautiful meaning behind the film, not to mention the stellar acting from both these actors. I have been a long time fan of Eva Green, and I think this has got to be one of her best works.
What the film is about: A chef and a scientist fall in love as an epidemic begins to rob people of their sensory perceptions.

Sonya recommended "Payback" a documentary film based on Margaret Atwood's book that was part of the Massey Lectures.

What a cinematic experience to see the Oscar award winning silent film noir "The Artist" - a true delight for the senses when it comes to both the acting and the cinematography.


Playing at the Mirvish theatre until June, one of our members, Shirley, went to see it and said that it was fantastic. You forgot that the horses were puppets! It would be interesting to see the different takes of War Horse via film, play and book.

Another play that Shirley said was great fun to watch was Shrek the Musical- playing until April 1st at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.


Shirley and Sonya have been on this incredible adventure in Saltzburg where you can go on a Sound of Music Tour. Upon hearing this, I know I had to write it on my Bucket List. That and going on a Jane Austen tour when I go to England.

Fellow members, if there are more events, films, music, and others that you will like to share, send an email my way and I will post them up!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Recommendation Round

May you live all the days of your life.
-Jonathan Swift

Dear members,

In the previous meeting, I came up with the idea of having a small segment called the "Recommendation Round" where all members can share with one another their favourite films, music, book (of course!), places to eat, things that inspire them, interesting events to take part of- the list goes ever on and on!

Normally we would share them during the meetings, but of course now and again we come across something that must be shared at once- as such, I will be posting them not only here, but also on our Facebook page as well.

I want to share with you a hilarious clip from one of my favourite shows I love to watch, particularly on Sundays (as it has just that right sort of comfort and humour which fits that day perfectly) is The Vicar of Dibley, which stars the hilarious Dawn French. The show is about the life and happenings of a female vicar in a small English village (one can't help but think of a landscape like Nether Monkslip found in our November book club pick, Wicked Autumn!) In this clip here, the Vicar (played by Dawn) attempts to start a book club and they are gathered for their first meeting.


Vicar of Dibley - Book Club from Maria Grazia on Vimeo.

The second clip was recommended by Barbara- she came across this wonderful stop motion short, which is shot in our very own city at Type Books which I'm very proud!

Happy watching!