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!