Sunday, 1 December 2013

Our Recent Selection + Updated News and Events!

Dear Members,

A huge thank you to everyone who came to our recent book club meeting, which took place at the Bannock Restaurant! Great comfort food all around- from Pad Thai to their fantastic Chicken Pot Pie, everything was scrumptious- another location worth returning to!

Overall, there was good responses for our previous pick, Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. His life lessons and values have taught us that nothing comes easy- hard work and positive motivation are key drivers to success.

While some members thought that parts of the book may have been too "preachy" and needs more editing, there were others who thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very inspirational. Overall, there was positive feedback from the members and we all agreed that having read this book, we have found Hadfield to be quite an interesting person. There were many memorable scenes throughout the book, and towards the end of our discussion, there was Trivia Time based on this month's title- congrats to Barbara and Shirley!

I am also very excited to announce our first "From Books to Film" series for our book club! I hope to coordinate these events as much as possible and make it a success.

In light of our next selection: all of us agreed on this particular title, which as we eventually discovered, have not read yet and coincidentally it has a film that's currently being released in theatres!

Without further ado, this month's pick is:

Summary: The extraordinary #1 New York Times best-seller that will be in movie theatres on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

The film: starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson- by the looks of the trailer, the film seems riveting.

Watch the trailer here:

Our film night will be taking place on Tuesday, December 3rd ( on Tuesdays, the movie tickets are half off, so it's the perfect opportunity), 7:20pm at Varsity Cinema located in the Manulife Centre near Bay and Bloor.

Please RSVP to our email address: matchbookclub (at) live (dot) ca with the subject line "The Book Thief" to this email address if you are attending so that I can keep count of how many people are coming: that way, we can all meet up at the front entrance before heading inside the theatre! I do recommend arriving no later than 15 mins prior to the film.

All are welcome and feel free to bring a guest!

See you all there! :)

A look ahead:

Holiday season has finally arrived!!

As per tradition of the book club, it's that special time of the year where we all get together at Marche Restaurant (located at Brookfield Place near King Station) and catch up with everyone old and new (feel free to bring friends too)! The meeting will be taking place on Saturday, December 14th at 12pm.

This year, we will continue to do our Gift Swap, where everyone spends under $20 and on that day we will do a fun switcheroo! I will also be bringing lovely treats for everyone.

To make it even more festive, I also want to do a Book Swap as well for those who are interested- it's the perfect way to relieve any books you want to give away before the New Year, and for those who would like to pick up some lovely free books for the holidays!

I highly encourage each and everyone of you to attend this special event, as it is our final grand hurrah with one another before the New Year: to reserve an accurate amount of seating at Marche, pleaseRSVP with the subject line "Holiday Meeting" to this email address no later than December 7th!

I am super excited for this event, and I am very much looking forward to seeing you all there!

Until then, happy reading!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Our Latest Book Club Pick + News

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” 
-L.M. Montgomery

Dear Members,

Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday! We had a great catch-up and discussions- however with more members that are available to attend next month, we thought to push the trivia giveaway for our next meeting!

Everyone had such great selections for this month's theme "Closer to the Truth", where we are taking a look at non-fiction: as a result, I have used Randomizer to determine which title will be our picks, and it turned out to be:

Eric's choice:

Summary: Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it. 

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counter intuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.

**Note: the book will be out on October 28th- there will be time to pre-order!**

Special Events

What's great about this pick is that Chris Hadfield will be attending many events which will have the opportunity to meet and get your book personally signed!
We can definitely make it a book club outing:

He is available at these dates- so maybe we can vote on which dates we can all attend together:
(Taken from the Indigo website)

In Conversation: Chris Hadfield 

Join Indigo's Chief Booklover Heather Reisman in conversation with the Commander of the International Space Station and Canadian hero, Chris Hadfield, about his inspiring journey and how to think like an astronaut with his new book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life On Earth. Book signing to follow.

Date and Location:
Indigo Bay & BloorToronto, ON

Tuesday, October 29th
7:00 PM

(Taken from the Toronto Public Library website)

Chris Hadfield
Mon Dec 09, 2013
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
90 mins
Toronto Reference Library Bram & Bluma Appel Salon

Canadian space superstar Chris Hadfield discusses his debut book, "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth." With broadcaster Valerie Pringle.

Free tickets are required for this event and will be available starting Monday November 11 beginning at 10 am. Limit of two tickets per library customer.


Doors open at 6 pm. Please join us for a cash bar reception starting at 6 pm.

As most Appel Salon events are free, it is our policy to overbook. In case of a full program, your ticket reservation may not guarantee admission. Unclaimed reservations will be released to standby customers 10 minutes prior to the start of the program. We recommend that you arrive early.

Ticket holders will be required to bring a print out of their tickets to this event. Tickets are numbered and will be individually checked in at the reception desk.

Until then, feel free to take a look at the other selections that we have chosen!

Happy reading!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Fall News + Our Selection!

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile.” - William Cullen Bryant

Chasing Seasons

Dear Members,

Happy autumn everyone! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, despite the chilly weather we have received!

Thank you to all who came out on a rainy Saturday afternoon- it was a wonderful surprise to see some of you at this year's Word on the Street!

Special note: While strolling towards College Street towards the Bestsellers Tent on Sunday, who should I bump into on the street but author Cathy Buchanan herself (her novel, The Painted Girls, was one of our picks in the previous months and also came to visit us during one of our meetings)! Happily, she recognized us and remarked that she took Shirley's travel advice on visiting the Northern UK for inspiration on her next novel- and even brought her son along on what she said was a fantastic trip.

Some great events/places to visit that we have brought up during the meeting:

Love to take in a nice play? Check out some great performances at The Village Playhouse
From book to the stage: Les Miserables is here in Toronto and begins on Sept 27. I think i'll be playing " I Dreamed A Dream" on rotation!
In theatres: Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal is a gripping crime drama- directed by a Canadian director (woot!) this film will sure to keep you hanging until the very end- very well directed, and the actors were phenomenal. It was one of the top three films of the People's Choice at TIFF!
For those who did go to TIFF this year, I would love to hear your recommendations: I personally went to see The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman (which received standing ovation), based on the moving memoir of Eric Lomax, as well as A Promise, with Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall. Both exciting films to look for this year- perhaps even Oscar nods?
Speaking of which, later in the months to come, I hope to do a book-to film selections in light of the Oscar season- let me know what you think!

Thanks to all who submitted their Giller Prize Longlist titles! I have used randomizer to determine which title will be our pick- and as a result:

It's Barbara's choice!

The Crooked Maid by Dan Vyleta:


From the writer praised as a cross between Hitchcock and Dostoyevsky, a dark and suspenseful novel set in post-war Vienna among the spectators in a criminal trial.

Mid-summer, 1948. Two strangers, Anna Beer and young Robert Seidel, meet on a train as they return to Vienna, where life is just resuming after the upheavals of war. Men who were conscripted into the German army are filtering back home, including Anna's estranged husband, Dr. Anton Beer, who was held prisoner in a brutal Russian camp. But when Anna returns to their old apartment, she finds another man living there and her husband missing.

At his own house, Robert is greeted by a young maid with a deformed spine. The household is in disarray, with his mother addicted to narcotics and his stepfather, an industrialist and former Party member, hospitalized after a mysterious attack.

Determined to rebuild their lives, Anna and Robert each begin a dogged search for answers in a world where repression is the order of the day. Before long, they are reunited as spectators at a criminal trial set to deliver judgement on Austria''s Nazi crimes.

In The Crooked Maid, Dan Vyleta conjures up a city haunted by its sins and a people caught between the needs of the present and debts owed to the past.

To learn more about the author, visit the HarperCollins Canada website!

Happy reading!

Friday, 23 August 2013

August 2013

Dear Members,

As most of us are looking forward to Fall, there are certainly plenty of memories that have being made this summer- whether it's relaxing with a good read at the cottage, having a good laugh (or shriek) at the drive-in theatre, getting together with fellow members to welcome Canadian best-selling author Ania Szado at our meeting at Balzac's, or simply dancing the night away at the Beaches Jazz Festival: there were laughter and good company.

I want to thank everyone that came to our recent meeting, which took place this past Wednesday evening at Marche Restaurant. While there were a couple of members that were not able to attend (and for that we missed you lots!), I was happy to hear everyone's selections. This month's read, which was:

Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953

It was delightful to hear that everyone quite enjoyed the book! It was a light and easy read, with fascinating insight into the Sylvia before The Bell Jar, about society and women in the 1950's, and the ideas, values, and inspirations which Sylvia held. All agreed that this book is one which we would recommend to others.

As well, it was also our seasonal Book Swap! From Agatha Christie to Julia Stuart, there were books for everyone to take home! We also got into the topic of some fantastic places to eat around Toronto, and Sonya had some wonderful places to recommend (which, thankfully I had recorded for all to share- thanks Sonya!):

Libretto (located at Danforth and Logan) - fantastic pizza, I've been told!

Chino Loco (tasty good burritos)

Mercury Cafe (for great coffee)

Ed's Real Scoop (for some scrumptious ice cream before the temperature cools)

There are some upcoming events to check out in and outside the city which I am looking forward to:


TIFF In The Park (free screening of films outside Roy Thompson Hall on Wednesday nights, the last screening of the season ends next week!)

Shakespeare in High Park (from Macbeth to Taming of the Shrew- there's something for everyone)

Visiting Wychwood Barns

Checking out plays such as Anything Goes (which one of our members Barbara has attended!)

Lastly, came our selections for September- as per tradition, I have carefully handpicked some great Mystery titles (and to that I am grateful for your wonderful feedback about these choices!!) There was an overwhelming majority vote for one particular title, and so our book club pick is:

Meet Lucifer Box: Equal parts James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with a twist of Monty Python and a dash of Austin Powers, Lucifer has a charming countenance and rapier wit that make him the guest all hostesses must have. And most do.
But few of his conquests know that Lucifer is also His Majesty''s most daring secret agent, at home in both London''s Imperial grandeur and in its underworld of despicable vice. So when Britain''s most prominent scientists begin turning up dead, there is only one man his country can turn to for help.

Following a dinnertime assassination, Lucifer is dispatched to uncover the whereabouts of missing agent Jocelyn Poop. Along the way he will give art lessons, be attacked by a poisonous centipede, bed a few choice specimens, and travel to Italy on business and pleasure. Aided by his hench woman Delilah; the beautiful, mysterious, and Dutch Miss Bella Pok; his boss, a dwarf who takes meetings in a lavatory; grizzled vulcanologist Emmanuel Quibble; and the impertinent, delicious, right-hand-boy Charlie Jackpot, Lucifer Box deduces and seduces his way from his elegant town house at Number 9 Downing Street (somebody has to live there) to the ruined city of Pompeii, to infiltrate a highly dangerous secret society that may hold the fate of the world in its claw-like grip--the Vesuvius Club.

Happy reading everyone!

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”
-Carl Sagan

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Our April Selection

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books” 
-Henry Longfellow


Dear Members,

Spring has arrived and this promises greener grass, the blossoming of the trees, and flora appearing from earth's surface. We yearn for warmer weather, but knowing we are one step closer to that fulfilment than where we were before three months ago- that provides much hope indeed.
I want to thank everyone that came to the previous meeting, where author Cathy Buchanan graciously accepted our invitation to join us. She was a very warm and open person, freely expressing aspects about The Painted Girls, where she had the chance to go to the Paris Opera and even watched a class! She announced the good news of the novel being optioned for a television series by the CW! While CW renders shows like Gossip Girl and America's Next Top Model, the CW hopes to lure an older demographic and The Painted Girls look to be promising. Fingers crossed it works out!

Back (from left to right): Barbara, Joanne, Eric
Front (from left to right): Shirley, author Cathy Buchanan, and Lauren
Photo taken by member JoAnneWhen asked about the title, originally it was supposed to be named another title, but with American publishers disagreeing on how the readers would view it, "The Painted Girls" seemed satisfying to both parties. She went in depth as to how they made her change the ending, which they thought was too depressing! Growing up near the Niagara Falls, she used to dance, which partially affected the origins of writing about ballet.
When asked about her favourite books, Ian McEwan appeared. She loved Sweet Tooth (where I observed lots of raised eyebrows ensued from the members!) and told us the one incident where during a Festival of Authors event at the Harbourfront where McEwan was there- all the Toronto authors were gathered around and McEwan was standing in a corner by himself, since everyone was so overwhelmed and seemed to be intimidated by him because-well, he's Ian McEwan! Cathy thought it silly and then went over to talk to him and found out he was a lovely gentleman indeed.
Overall it was a fantastic afternoon of discussion- it turns out that the owner of Balzac's is a close girlfriend of Cathy's! Small world indeed!

Interesting Notes:

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts about some ideas via email on some points:

During the month of May, we can do a Great Gatsby theme, as the movie is being released on the 10th! Interested?

As well, with next month, I was thinking of hosting another book swap- it's been awhile, so let me know if you're all interested!

With Studio Saint-Ex by Ania Szado as a previous selection-if everyone's interested, during the month of June, we will invite Ania to our meeting! Thanks to Cathy, I have her contact information so if all agrees, I'll set up a date right away!

Films to watch:

Official trailer:

Summary: The Côte d'Azur. 1915.
In his twilight years, celebrated impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir is tormented by
the loss of his wife, the pains of his arthritic old age and the terrible news that his
son Jean has been wounded in action.
But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a
new, wholly unexpected energy. Blazing with life, radiantly beautiful, Andrée will
become his last model and the wellspring of a remarkable rejuvenation. Back at the
family home to convalesce, Jean too falls under the spell of the new, redheaded star
in the Renoir firmament. In their Mediterranean Eden - and in the face of his father's
fierce opposition - he falls in love with this wild, untamable spirit...and as he does so,
within weak-willed, battle-shaken Jean, a filmmaker begins to grow.
To The Wonder: Official trailer:
ummary: After visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane.

Before Midnight- Official trailer:

Summary: In BEFORE MIDNIGHT, we meet Celine and Jesse 9 years on. Almost two decades have passed since that first meeting on a train bound for Vienna, and almost a decade since they reunited in Paris, and we now find them in their early 40's in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.

Plus: Roman Holiday returns to the big screen for Cineplex's Classic Film Series, featuring Gregory Peck and the lovely Audrey Hepburn!
Opens May 5, 8th, 13th, Yonge and Dundas.

As it was member's choice, Cathy Buchanan had the honour of picking our next title out of a hat, and sure enough it was:

The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill

A love story set in 1845 Nantucket, between a female astronomer and the unusual man who understands her dreams.

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman's path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different-and elusive-goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.
And then she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared interest in the stars develops into something deeper, Hannah's standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.
Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America,The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity.

Happy reading!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Our March Selection

“For to know a man's library is, in some measure, to know his mind.”
- Geraldine Brooks, March

Dear Members,

Despite how it feels outside right now, we can look forward to better days knowing that Spring weather is right around the corner! That means longer days, flowers blossoming, and more outdoor trips.
This month, we have something very special in store for the book club: but first, some fun and interesting events to look forward to next month around the city- I hope to see some of you there!

March 27: Authors at the Harbourfront Centre: Readings with Cathy Buchanan of The Painted Girls, Colin McAdam of A Beautiful Truth, and Taiye Selasi of Ghana Must Go.
April 2nd: Author M.L. Stedman, of "The Light Between Oceans", which was our August 2012 book club pick, will be doing a book signing at Indigo Bay and Bloor at 7pm!
April 11-14: The Toronto Art Expo will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
April 17: The 1939 Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, will be playing at Silvercity Fairview. Fun for those who love the classics.
April 20: Our meeting!

Special Announcement: 
It is with great pleasure to announce that we have secured yet another author visit in our next meeting! Cathy Buchanan of the best-selling novel, The Painted Girls, will be dropping by. As a result, this month's pick will be her latest book. Feel free to come with questions, and for those who may have already read The Painted Girls, you can give a try at her other novel, The Day the Falls Stood Still. Many thanks to our member JoAnne, who helped make this event possible. 

Summary for The Painted Girls: A heart-ending, gripping novel set in belle époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged 14 and by the era's most famous criminal trials. Following their father’s sudden death, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet and meet Edgar Degas. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds employment—and the love of a dangerous young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s Naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change,The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.”

For more interesting tidbits, please visit her website!

Happy reading!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Our February Selection

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” -Mark Twain


Dear Members,

February is a month where, despite the terrible on-and-off encounters with snow storms, does provide the comfort that we are one month closer to Spring. Fantastic bookish events are taking place such as Freedom to Read Week (February 24th- March 2nd) where Canadians heighten their awareness that to read freely should never be taken for granted, discovering interesting titles that used to be banned in many countries.
There are lots of interesting reading pledges to take part of, including Random House of Canada's Reading Bingo Challenge!
I figured that as a book club we can all take part in this fun challenge- it also has a printable card for you to carry around- should be exciting to see which member completes the challenge first! Let's make sure to update one another during each meeting!
As well, HarperCollins Canada has once again, reinstated the 50 Book Pledge- a pledge to read 50 (or more if you dare!) books within the 2013 year. So far I have read five titles- as well, there's lots of interesting tidbits to unlock and contests should you sign up.
Thanks to Lauren who brought this up: those who were fond of our previous read, "The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman, the author herself will be doing a book signing in Toronto at Indigo on Bay and Bloor on April 2nd at 7pm.

Bookmobiles: If only there are more of these nowadays!
Happy reading everyone, and I'll see you next month!


Meeting Update

Our February meeting took place at lovely Hart House at the University of Toronto's St. George campus. We caught up on one another's lives, what films we watched (lots to discuss as many were Oscar nominated!) and more importantly, what books we were reading! We discussed our previous book, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher- which proved to be quite the eye-opener, where the subject matter had a serious undertone. Additionally, we were able to vote on our next book club pick- and this one proves to be an interesting read.

Our Selection

 Is there any difference between memory and invention? That is the question that fuels this stunning novel, written with the depth of character, the clarifying lyricism and the sly humor that have marked all of John Banville’s extraordinary works. And it is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave, an actor in the twilight of his career and of his life, as he plumbs the memories of his first—and perhaps only—love (he, fifteen years old, the woman more than twice his age, the mother of his best friend; the situation impossible, thrilling, devouring and finally devastating) . . . and of his daughter, lost to a kind of madness of mind and heart that Cleave can only fail to understand. When his dormant acting career is suddenly, inexplicably revived with a movie role portraying a man who may not be who he says he is, his young leading lady—famous and fragile—unwittingly gives him the opportunity to see with aching clarity the “chasm that yawns between the doing of a thing and the recollection of what was done.” Ancient Light is a profoundly moving meditation on love and loss, on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives, on how invention shapes memory and memory shapes the man. It is a book of spellbinding power and pathos from one of the greatest masters of prose at work today.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Our January Selection

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” 
-Mark Twain


Dear Members,

We are well under way in 2013! January came and went, and now that we've said our hellos to February, it seems that time is going quite fast!
For those who like to make resolutions, this is the perfect time to reflect and really stick to these goals. I for one, will do my very best to fulfil them all: some include travel plans, be more healthy, learn a new instrument, bike more, paint more, write more, and of course, read more!

I am beyond thrilled to realize that our lovely little book club has stepped into another year with great success. Looking back, we had some very fun and special moments, including a beach trip, a mystery murder event, inviting author C.S. Richardson along for a Q & A, and of course, catching up on everyone's lives and what they're reading! We welcome new faces, and look forward to seeing familiar ones.
I wish everyone a fantastic year- there are lots of things to look forward to! New places to meet, new titles to select, with possibly more authors to visit, and best of all- more picnics as we look forward to warmer weather- won't be long now!

Thank you all.


Meeting Update

Our January 2013 meeting took place at Panera Bread on a Saturday. Everyone was catching up on the last films such as Les Mis, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, and much more. We discussed our previous read, Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child, which many enjoyed. Characters such as Esther were unforgettable, as well as the love story between Faina and Garrett and the enduring trials and triumphs of Mabel and Jack out in Alaska in the 1920's. Many agree the ending was too much, especially with the disappearance of Faina, but overall the writing was wonderful, and the draw between what's real and what's fantasy about the "Snow Child" leaves us to ponder whether she was indeed, human or mythical.
Lastly, the draw for our January selection came about, and with a draw of a slip of paper picked by Lauren, our January book club pick is:

Summary: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Note: I want to say that, during that very weekend the group met for our monthly meeting, I was in Montreal shortly after and read this book. Instantaneously, I was hooked, and I highly recommend everyone to follow this read- after the Amanda Todd incidents and many other similar occurrences, this is definitely a book which will raise many interesting questions that will make a fitting discussion in our next meeting. Many thanks to Shirley, who recommended this title in the first place.

See you all very soon in our February meeting!