The Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 8 in Forsyth Hall to discuss Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung.
About the book
In 2010, the al Rabeeah family left their home in Iraq in hope of a safer life. They moved to Homs, in Syria – just before the Syrian civil war broke out.
Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtapositions of growing up in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy – soccer, cousins, video games, friends.
Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone with a passion for sharing his story and telling the world what is truly happening in Syria. As told to her by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, writer Winnie Yeung has crafted a heartbreaking, hopeful, and urgently necessary book that provides a window into understanding Syria. (Amazon)
About Winnie Yeung
Radio interview with Shelagh Rogers
Interview with Chuck Comeau for Canada Reads
Article in The Guardian
Article in the Edmonton Journal
Review in Quill and Quire
Review in Alberta Views
Book backgrounder for teachers
BBC News: Syria: The story of the conflict
The Seniors Book Club will meet at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, November 13 in Forsyth Hall to discuss the novel Sofie & Cecilia by Katherine Ashenburg.
About the book
In Sofie & Cecilia, beloved non-fiction author and journalist Katherine Ashenburg draws upon her formidable skill and maturity as a writer to craft an extraordinary and splendid debut novel. This is the story of a lifelong female friendship, set in the fascinating art world of Sweden between 1900 and 1940, just as modern art and the beginnings of the Scandinavian mid-century modern design movement were inspiring a creative revolution across northern Europe. Loosely based on the lives of celebrated artists Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn (“Nils Olsson” and “Lars Vogt” in the novel), Ashenburg transports us behind both the public and domestic scenes–and canvasses–of these larger-than-life men to reveal the lesser-known but equally astounding and rich stories of the women who married them: restlessly creative artist-in-her-own-right Sofie Olsson, and fiercely private and intelligent curator Cecilia Vogt.
Here is a gorgeous gem of a book: surprising, unique, layered with insight into the nuances of female friendship as it stretches, changes, and deepens in unexpected ways over a lifetime. Woven effortlessly through this tapestry, like a beautiful motif, is absorbing detail about Scandinavian painting, design, and textile work; European history and sexual politics; the country life, city salons, vibrant art, and folklore of Sweden; and the secrets and challenges of bright, talented women juggling marriage, career, individual aspirations, and family life inside an artist’s household in the early twentieth century. (amazon.ca)
About the author
A CBC radio Next Chapter interview
A Global News interview
A CBC Books interview
Book review in Quill & Quire
Book review by literarytreats.com
Author essay on writing her first novel in her 70’s
Karin Larsson artist biography
Carl Larsson artist biography
Emma Zorn biography
Anders Zorn artist biography
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 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 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?