Monday Evening Book Club April Selection

EducatedThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet at 7:00 pm on Monday, April 8 in the 2nd floor Training Room 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.

Author website

Discussion Questions

Video Interviews

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)

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the April 3, 2019 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Tilly+and+the+Crazy+Eights_CoverTilly and the Crazy Eights : a novel

By Monique Gray Smith

When Tilly receives an invitation to help drive eight elders on their ultimate bucket-list road trip, she impulsively says yes. Before she knows it, Tilly has said good-bye to her family and is on an adventure that will transform her in ways she could not predict, just as it will for the elders who soon dub themselves “the Crazy Eights.”

 

Bad IdeasBad ideas : a novel

By Missy Marston

Wildly funny and wonderfully moving, Bad Ideas is about a string of bad ideas and the absurdity of love.

Loosely inspired by Ken “the Crazy Canuck” Carter’s attempt to jump the St. Lawrence River in a rocket car, and set in a 1970s hollowed-out town in eastern Ontario, Marston paints an indelible portrait of people on the forgotten fringes of life. Witty and wise, this is a novel that will stay with you a long time.

 

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

91couijfr5lMYCROFT HOLMES by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

Mycroft Holmes is making a name for himself as the Secretary to the Secretary of State for War in the British government. When his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, receives disturbing reports of child murders in his birthplace of Trinidad, Holmes shares his friend’s distress. When Holmes’ fiancée, Georgiana, learns of these murders she abruptly departs for the island, where her family still holds property. Of course Holmes must follow and he and Cyrus team up to find her.

The pair is thrust into a web of superstition, violence, and murder from the moment they board the ship that is to take them to the Port of Spain. And as they search for Georgiana, they both come to realize that those whom they thought they knew turn out to be completely different people.

The story has moments of excitement but then gets bogged down with chapters that do nothing to move the main story forward. The disjointed plot lines leave one to shake one’s head as the reader tries to follow the trail that the authors have set down.

One wonders how the authors collaborated on this novel. First you have Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Then there’s Anna Waterhouse, a screenwriter and script consultant. Who wrote what? Would knowing explain its deficiencies or really make any difference? I wonder…

The pair have penned a second novel – Mycroft and Sherlock. It will be interesting to see if this one fares better.

2 Daggers
Joanne gives this “2 daggers out of 5”

 

71z42bzjdewlThe GOLDEN TRESSES of the DEAD by Alan Bradley

Rumour has it that this will not be the last book in the Flavia de Luce Mystery series (if we’re to believe the author, himself, who claims that “Flavia still wakes me up in the middle of the night with strange snippets and intriguing insights”.)   However, if another book is not to be, then The Golden Tresses of the Dead certainly leaves this Flavia fan satiated.

It’s autumn in Bishop’s Lacey and Flavia’s sister, Ophelia, is getting married to Dieter.  Other than a few minor cat-calls from someone in the pews, the wedding goes off without a hitch.  That is, until Feely and Dieter come across something quite unexpected when cutting the cake: a human finger!

And there you have it – the first case for Arthur W. Dogger & Associates, Discreet Investigations.  Flavia and Dogger are quickly on the case when they’re approached by Mrs. Prill to find some missing letters. Two cases in a matter of minutes!   And then things just spiral from there: a dead body, a trip on the London Necropolis Railway, missionaries, and poison!

Flavia is as delightful in this tenth book in the series as she was when first we met her in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  She’s older in her attitudes and understanding of the workings of the human heart, but still the plucky young girl whose knowledge of chemistry has helped solve so many crimes in her small English town.

Flavia is original, funny, and adorable.  Hopefully Bradley will continue to delight us with this brilliant little sleuth for years to come.

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

Check out Joanne’s other “Flavia” reviews!

 

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the March 27, 2019 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Paragon HotelThe Paragon Hotel : a novel

By Lyndsay Faye

The new historical thriller by this Edgar-nominated author follows Alice “Nobody” from Prohibition-era Harlem to Portland’s Paragon Hotel. The year is 1921, and Alice James is on a cross-country train, carrying a bullet wound and fleeing for her life following an illicit drug and liquor deal gone horribly wrong. She has her sights set on Oregon: a distant frontier that seems the end of the line.

 

CassandraThe Cassandra : a novel

By Sharma Shields

The Cassandra follows a woman who goes to work in a top secret research facility during WWII, only to be tormented by visions of what the mission will mean for humankind.  A timely novel about patriarchy and militancy, using both legend and history to look deep into man’s capacity for destruction, and the resolve and compassion it takes to challenge the powerful.

Weekend Picks

Though you won’t be able to check out and experience the latest addition to Indigenous Film this weekend, you are able to sign-up for the Library’s screening of Three Feathers hosted by the inimitable Richard Van Camp!

Three Feathers

Based on the novel of the same name by Richard Van Camp, ‘Three Feathers’ is set and was filmed in Fort Smith. Flinch, Bryce, and Rupert have been sent by their Elders to live nine months on the land. There, the young men learn to take responsibility for their actions and acquire the humility required to return home.

Movie Promo