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!