Monday Evening Book Club October Selection

ferrante2

The Monday Evening Drop-In Book Club will meet at 7:00 pm on Monday, October 22 in the second floor Training Room to discuss My Brilliant Friend, a novel by Elena Ferrante.

About the book

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. (Publisher)

About the author

Ferrante is the pseudonymous author of three previous works of critically acclaimed fiction: The Days of AbandonmentTroubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. With My Brilliant Friend – the first of four Neopolitan novels – she proves herself to be one of Italy’s great storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her fiction. The other three novels in the Neopolitan series are The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child.

Based on published interviews, Ferrante claims to have been born in 1943 in Naples, Italy.

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the October 17, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Let darkness bury the deadLet Darkness bury the dead : a Murdoch mystery

By Maureen Jennings

A young man is found stabbed to death in the impoverished area of Toronto known as the Ward. Soon after, William Murdoch has to deal with a tragic suicide, also a young man. Two more murders follow in quick succession. The only common denominator is that all of the men were exempted from conscription. Meet Maureen Jennings at StarFest on October 20, 7 pm.

 

 

French exitFrench exit : a tragedy of manners

By Patrick DeWitt

Frances Price – tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help. And then there’s the Price’s aging cat, Small Frank. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris… See Patrick DeWitt at our StarFest event in the Arden Theatre on October 21, 2 pm.

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

9781459741218WHEN THE FLOOD FALLS: The Falls Mysteries by J.E. Barnard

Calgary author, J.E. Barnard, won the 2016 Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award for the Best Unpublished First Crime Novel for her mystery When the Flood Falls.  It’s a promising beginning to what appears to be a forthcoming series.

Lacey McCrae, ex-RCMP, has travelled from the Lower Mainland to Calgary with a lot of baggage – both literal and figurative.  She hopes to leave behind a marriage gone sour, and a job that she used to enjoy.  As she hooks up with her old university roommate, Dee Phillips, Lacey finds that the skills learned in her former job are called into play when Dee admits to being threatened on a number of different occasions.

Meanwhile, spring runoff threatens the main bridge crossing in the area and Lacey is particularly anxious about the possibility of being cut-off.  There’s obviously a back-story to Lacey’s anxiety but Barnard only hints at it.

I found there to be too many loose threads in this novel and can only hope that a subsequent book will tie up these loose ends, helping us to understand the cause of Lacey’s fears, the reason she left the force, and why she needed a new start in a new location.

xco2mg4zgjd6hffuiir4rhn6kyA DARKNESS OF THE HEART by Gail Bowen

Bowen’s 18th novel in the Joanne Kilbourn series brings a surprising revelation to the main character and proceeds to examine Joanne’s personal past in great detail.  This revelation affects many of the people in Joanne’s circle but none so much as Joanne herself.  She now has to re-examine her friendship with Sally Love and Sally’s family to understand how she, herself, fits into this new picture that has come into focus.

Roy Brodnitz, a writer of Broadway shows and a good friend of Joanne’s, hopes to examine the family history between Sally and Joanne in a mini-series and approaches Joanne about it while in town working on The Happiest Girl, his Broadway hit.  Soon Taylor has struck up a friendship with the young actress in the starring role and the entire family is thrust into the often seamy side of the movie industry.

This story often got bogged down in the lengthy descriptions and explanations of  past events and people and was slow to move forward where real action was at a minimum.  I found many of the passages to be tedious and was inclined to quickly read over them.  Now that Bowen has provided us with Joanne’s back-story, perhaps she’ll move on to more exciting events in the life of this character.

3 Daggers
Joanne gives this “3 daggers out of 5”

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the October 10, 2018 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Trust - JohnstonTrust : twenty reliable ways to build a better community

By David Johnston

Canada’s enduring success has been based on trust–trust in each other; in our businesses, organizations, and markets; and in our public institutions and the officials who run them. David Johnston identifies the 20 ways we can make ourselves, our organizations, and our institutions even more worthy of trust. See our former Governor General at StarFest in the Arden on October 17, 7 pm.

 

Our homesick daysOur homesick songs : a novel

By Emma Hooper

The Connors have lived in the idyllic fishing village of Big Running, Newfoundland, for generations. But the fish have suddenly disappeared, causing Martha and Aidan Connor, parents to Finn and Cora, to travel north for work, spending months away as other residents abandon the village altogether. Meet the author at our StarFest event on October 18, 7 pm.