Thursday, 27 November 2014

Our November Edition

Reading by the fireside, how nice!

Matchbook Book Club presents:

The November Edition

Dear Members,

We have arrived at a time where the days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder, and all we want to do is stay indoors, wear our favorite sweaters and cozy socks, and read! 
As a result, this month's theme will provide the much needed entertainment to carry on between our commutes and quiet hours in the evening. 
Additionally, the festive season is slowly upon us. With that in mind, our annual holiday meeting is coming up! I strongly encourage everyone to come out, as this is the perfect opportunity to see old faces and catch up with your bookish chums as well as meeting new faces- not to mention fun games and gifts for all. Stay tuned for more details!

See you all very soon!

I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.
–Harold Kushner
Gods and Monsters: Political Thrillers

Thank you to all who voted for our titles for this month's theme. The votes are in and this month's pick is:
Summary: Vince Flynn is back with another nail-biting political thriller that follows the young Mitch Rapp on a deadly mission to hunt down the men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack.

For months, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians becomes increasingly clear. He is given his next target: a plump Libyan diplomat who is prone to drink and is currently in Paris without a single bodyguard.

Rapp finds him completely unprotected and asleep in his bed. With confidence in his well-honed skills and conviction of the man's guilt, he easily sends a bullet into the man's skull. But in the split second it takes the bullet to leave the silenced pistol, everything changes. The door to the hotel room is kicked open and gunfire erupts all around Rapp. In an instant the hunter has become the hunted. Rapp is left wounded and must flee for his life.

The next morning, the news breaks in Washington that Libya's Oil Minister has been killed along with three innocent civilians and four unidentified men. The French authorities are certain that the gunman is wounded and on the loose in Paris. As the finger pointing begins, Rapp's handlers have only one choice: deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way, avoiding capture and dying quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and he absolutely cannot be allowed to be taken alive by the French authorities. But it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.
Our November Meeting
A big thank you to everyone who turned up to this month's meeting! We had brunch at the very lovely Drake Hotel. To make up for last month's cancellation, not only were we treated to drinks and their famous warm sconces, they also lavished us with desserts! Jealous?

We discussed our latest book The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. It was worth a read, but there were storylines where members either thought they were weak or well-written. Some liked her fiction whereas others liked her non-fiction bits. Overall, it was agreed upon that it was a book worth passing on to a friend.

Our annual holiday-themed meeting is right around the corner! As you all know, this is one of our biggest highlights of the year, so everyone is invited! Wear your best Christmas hats and ugly sweaters and let's get festive! We will also be hosting our Secret Santa swap and there will be lovely treats for all. Best of all, it's seeing old and new faces: a perfect time to catch up. 
So pick your availability on the  Doodle here!
Events Around The City

ROM Exhibition: Wildlife Photographer of the Year (Recommended by Shirley)

One of A Kind Christmas Show

Union Station Holiday Art Market

Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery

AGO- Michelangelo: Quest For Genius Exhibition (Recommended by Sonya)

Christmas by Lamplight at Black Creek Village

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Our October Edition

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books.” 

Matchbook Book Club presents:

The October Edition

Dear Members,

October is a busy month for many reasons: Thanksgiving, Halloween, bookish events such as the International Festival of Authors (which is taking place right now!) Additionally, it's also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and October 11th was the International Day of the Girl Child. 

Keeping all these things in mind, I thought it would be a great opportunity for our book club to turn to female writers that have made an inspirational impact on our world, young and old.

From Maya Angelou to Joan Didion, there are fantastic reads out there written by wonderful female authors.TIME Magazine has written an article called" 21 Female Authors You Should Be Reading"- it's definitely worth a look!

See you soon and happy reading!

Thank you to everyone who came out to this month's meeting for brunch at the Gladstone Hotel (last minute venue change)! We discussed our previous pick, Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects-and WHAT a discussion! From the themes to the multi-faceted characters in the book, Sharp Objects left us chilled. Overall, we highly recommend this book.
Let's all take a moment to enjoy this wonderful idea that Penguin Books have come up with: The Great Penguin Bookchase! Board Game! Book lovers rejoice! I know I've definitely added this to my holiday wish list!  Gah!!
Thank you to those who have voted!
This month's pick:
Summary: An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assem­blage of Marina’s essays and stories that, likeThe Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.
When I’m old and gray, I want to have a house by the sea. And paint. With a lot of wonderful chums, good music, and booze around. And a damn good kitchen to cook in.
Ava Gardner

Our November meeting will be taking place in the middle of the month. The dates and time are on Doodle, so click hereto vote!
Member's Reads:


All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn


Hector And The Search For Happiness by Francois Lelard

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Sorry if I missed out on anyone! Will jot down the titles next time!
Up Next...
Days are getting shorter, and the urge to curl up with a good read is stronger. Hence, we turn to political thrillers for a good time. Think Ian McEwan and Robert Graves. Stay tuned!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Our September Edition

Matchbook Book Club presents:
The September Edition
Dear Members,

I hope that everyone is off to a lovely start to the month so far!
Fall has got to be my favorite time of the year- not to mention 'tis the season for book lovers everywhere in Toronto: from Word on the Street to Fall's newest releases!
As per tradition, September is also the month of Mystery- who wouldn't like to cuddle up with a thriller in your armchair by the fireside!

I'm very excited for what's to come this season: from themes like political thrillers, to fun movie nights and special events- there's something for everyone.

See you all very soon!

Thank you to everyone who turned up to our recent meeting! Lunch at the Gallery Grill inside Hart House was splendid. A fantastic experience for all. 
When discussing about our previous pick, A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor, it was mixed reviews. Some couldn't make it to the last page, while others thought it was a wonderful read but just needed a bit more time and the right mood to enjoy the book. Overall, we'd probably give it a 3/5 star rating.
Speaking of travels, Eric and I will be off to Italy next week, and will promise there will be tales to tell when we get back.
We also wish safe travels to Lauren, who will be off to Washington- exciting!
Thanks to everyone who's submitted their choices for this month!
At the draw of a hat, our September book club pick is:

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg 
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle 
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.
“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien
Future Event

Due to Thanksgiving long weekend, I have set out different dates and times to accommodate our next meeting. Vote for your date!
Here is the link. 
From Books To Films...

One of our previous reads, Serena by Ron Rash, finally has a movie trailer out (starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper)- long overdue!
Check it out. I can't wait to discuss everyone's reactions during the next meeting!
Watch it here.
Events in TO
Dates: Sept 17-27, 2014
Location: Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens 
Price Summary: $25 
Audience: All ages
Movie Night!

Choice of films and times are TBA!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

This Month's Selection

A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.- Franz Kafka

Matchbook Book Club Newsletter

Theme: Where The Streets Have No Name

Dear Members,

As summer is drawing to a close, we look back at some fantastic moments spent with loved ones and with one another: we've entered our third year as a book club, we've checked out fun cultural events and explored parts of the city we've never been. So it's only fitting we turn to reads that will help to provide some armchair travel !

Here's to the final weeks of summer. I can't wait to see what's new in store for us next season.

See you next month!

Thank you to everyone who came out to this month's meeting! There were a lot of laughs, great discussions and best of all, fine company. A big welcome to Teresa, who joins us as a new member!
One thing's for sure, hosting a BBQ means great food and even better desserts- there definitely wasn't a shortage of them!

In regards to our previous pick, Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, there was an overall high satisfaction with the book. Many members thought it was great fun to have read bits of Canadian history throughout the book, and will definitely pass it on to younger members of the family to read, or to those who would love an adventurous book!
The votes are in and this month's pick is...
 In 1933 Patrick Leigh Fermor was eighteen. Expelled from school for a flirtation with a local girl, he headed to London to set up as a writer, only to find that dream harder to realize than expected. Then he had the idea of leaving his troubles behind; he would "change scenery; abandon London and England and set out across Europe like a tramp . . . travel on foot, sleep in hayricks in summer, shelter in barns when it was raining or snowing and only consort with peasants and tramps." Shortly after, Leigh Fermor shouldered his rucksack and set forth on the extraordinary trek that was to take him up the Rhine, down the Danube, and on to Constantinople.

It was the journey of a lifetime, after which neither Leigh Fermor nor, tragically, Europe would ever be the same, and out of it came a work of literature that is as ambitious and absorbing as it is without peer.  Taking in not just haylofts but mountain heights, country houses as well as cottages, with stops along the way in the great cities of Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, and Prague, A Time of Gifts is a radiant evocation of people and places and one of the glories of modern English prose.
Barbara's Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookie Receipe

Thank you to everyone who brought lovely treats for our BBQ! A big hit was Barbara's lovely chocolate chip cookies made with quinoa flour! Many requests were made for the recipe and Barbara happily send the recipe my way to share it with you all.
As I walked, I ran my fingers along the spines of hundreds of books. I let myself be imbued with the smell, with the light that filtered through the cracks or from the glass lanterns embedded in the wooden structure, floating among mirrors and shadows.
 - Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n, The Angel’s Game 

Member's Recommendations!

Apart from our book club picks, many of our members have read great titles along the way and for that reason, I will be adding this feature in future newsletters for all to enjoy.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray

The Martian by Andy Weir
Sweetland by Michael Crummey

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Then and Always by Dani Atkins
Future Event

Our September meeting will be taking place a wee bit early as I will be away on vacation from September 20-29th!
As a result, I hope all will be okay with meeting up onSunday, September 14th. The location is to be determined, however you can vote for times here on theDoodle!

Coming up on September 4-14, the Toronto Film Festival comes to town! Potential get-together to enjoy a film or two? Let me know!

Artfest Toronto is taking place this coming long weekend at the Distillery! Check it out! (Thanks to Kristin for this heads-up!)
Author Q & A 

I am still waiting on a reply from author Kenneth Oppel with our questions. Once I receive the e-mail, I will post the Q & A to next month's newsletter.

Stay tuned!