The Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, October 9 in the Training Room to discuss the novel Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson.
About the book
From 70-year-old debut author Anne Youngson, a novel about a farmer’s wife and a museum curator seeking second chances.
In Denmark, Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife and his hopes for the future. On an isolated English farm, Tina Hopgood is trapped in a life she doesnt remember choosing. Both believe their love stories are over.
Brought together by a shared fascination with the Tollund Man, they begin writing letters to one another. And from their vastly different worlds, they find they have more in common than they could have imagined. As they open up to one another about their lives, an unexpected friendship blooms. But then Tina’s letters stop coming, and Anders is thrown into despair. How far are they willing to go to write a new story for themselves?
About the author
How to write a smash-hit debut novel at 70 (by the retired grandma who’s done just that)
The intimacy of letter writing: an interview with Anne Youngson
Interview with Anne Youngson
Review: Bonding over bog bodies in ‘Meet Me at the Museum’
Review in Kirkus
Tollund Man (Wikipedia)
Europe’s famed bog bodies are starting to reveal their secrets
The Monday Evening Book Club will meet at 7:00 pm on Monday, October 7 in Forsyth Hall to discuss The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel.
About the book
Many people dream of escaping modern life. Most will never act on it—but in 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight did just that when he left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another person for the next twenty-seven years.
Drawing on extensive interviews with Knight himself, journalist Michael Finkel shows how Knight lived in a tent in a secluded encampment, developing ingenious ways to store provisions and stave off frostbite during the winters. A former alarm technician, he stealthily broke into nearby cottages for food, books, and supplies, taking only what he needed but sowing unease in a community plagued by his mysterious burglaries. Since returning to the world, he has faced unique challenges—and compelled us to reexamine our assumptions about what makes a good life. By turns riveting and thought-provoking, The Stranger in the Woods gives us a deeply moving portrait of a man determined to live his own way. (Publisher)
About the author
A hermit’s lonely path: an interview with Michael Finkel
‘There have always existed people who’ve simply wanted to be alone’: an interview with Michael Finkel
Review in The Globe and Mail
Review in The Guardian
Review in the New York Times
This reclusive life: what I learned about solitude from my time with hermits
Hermitary: hermits around the web
The Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, September 11 in Forsyth Hall to discuss the memoir Educated by Tara Westover.
About the book…
Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of traditional lessons, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse. She had no birth certificate and no medical records and had never been enrolled in school.
Westover’s mother proved a marvel at concocting folk remedies for many ailments. As Tara developed her own coping mechanisms, little by little, she started to realize that what her family was offering didn’t have to be her only education. Her first day of university was her first day in school—ever—and she would eventually win an esteemed fellowship from Cambridge and graduate with a PhD in intellectual history and political thought.
CBC’s The Current interview (audio)
A Book Review by Bill Gates
A New York Times Book Review
A Guardian Book Review
Ruby Ridge siege (an event that radicalized Tara’s father)
The Monday Evening Book Club will meet at 7:00 pm on Monday, September 9 in Forsyth Hall to discuss the novel Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Scottish author Gail Honeyman.
About the book
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
The only way to survive is to open your heart. (Source: Publisher)
About the author
Publisher’s Readers Guide (includes discussion questions)
Discussion questions & hosting tips (BookBub)
A Guardian interview
A Conversation with Gail Honeyman (Penguin Random House)
Video interviews with Gail Honeyman
A Guardian book review
An Irish Times book review
An Independent article on loneliness in young people
A US News article on youth loneliness in the U.S.
The Seniors Drop-In Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, June 12 in the second floor Training Room to discuss the memoir Feeding my mother: comfort and laughter in the kitchen as my Mom lives with memory loss by Jann Arden.
About the book
Based on her hugely popular Facebook posts and Instagram photos, Feeding My Mother is a frank, funny, inspirational and piercingly honest account of the transformation in Jann Arden’s life that has turned her into the primary “parent” to her mom, who is in the grip of Alzheimer’s.
Jann Arden moved in to a house just across the way from her parents in rural Alberta to be close to them but also so they could be her refuge from the demands of the music business and a performing career. Funny how time works. Since her dad died in 2015, Jann cooks for her mom five or six times a week. Her mom finds comfort in her daughter’s kitchen, not just in the delicious food but also just sitting with her as she cooks. And Jann finds some peace in caring for her mom, even as her mom slowly becomes a stranger. “If you told me two years ago that I’d be here,” Jann writes, “I wouldn’t have believed it. And yet we still fall into so much laughter, feel so much insane gladness and joy. It’s such a contrast from one minute to the next and it teaches me constantly: it makes me stronger and more humble and more empathetic and caring and kind.”
The many people who are dealing with a loved one who is losing it will find inspiration and strength in Jann’s wholehearted, loving response and her totally Jann take on the upside-down world of a daughter mothering her mother. Feeding My Mother is one heck of an affirmation that life just keeps on keeping on, and a wonderful example of how you have to roll with it. (amazon.ca)
Jann Arden’s website
A CBC The National TV interview
A Toronto Sun interview
A Lost in a Great Book blog interview
A Huffington Post article
What is Alzheimer’s?