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.