Monday Evening Book Club April Selection

ConfabulistThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet April 13 at 7 pm in Forsyth Hall. We will discuss the novel The Confabulist by Steven Galloway, one of last fall’s StarFest authors. As some of you were at the event we should have an interesting conversation, enriched by your impressions.

Booklist review:

Confabulation is the invention of imaginary memories to compensate for memory loss. It’s not lying because the confabulist is not aware the memories are false. This fascinating novel is narrated by Martin Strauss, who confesses to two things: he is the man who killed Harry Houdini (twice), and he suffers from a degenerative condition that affects his brain’s ability to store memories. Strauss tells a fascinating story about the unknown Houdini: stage magician—sure, we all know that—but also a secret spy for the U.S. Treasury Department, advisor to the American military, confidant of a Russian spy, faker of his own death. Strauss’ story so cleverly mixes historical fact with fiction that it is virtually impossible to separate the two (and, remember, Strauss believes it’s all true). Author Galloway will often take a real event, such as Houdini’s escape from a prison transport in Moscow, and layer on fictional elements, but it’s done so seamlessly that it’d be easy to think the whole episode really happened (as Strauss, in fact, does). The book’s title itself could easily apply either to Strauss (for obvious reasons) or to Houdini himself, whose escape-artist persona, even his name, was an embellishment of the real man. A brilliant novel, and one that virtually demands multiple readings to pick up all the subtleties (especially concerning the end of the book, and enough said about that).

Author biography

Author interview

Youtube video of interview

Reviews

Discussion Questions

Harry Houdini on Wikipedia

Spiritualism

Weekend Picks

Nymphomaniacs. Immortalists. Clearly, we’re more than just books.

Nymphomaniac Volume I & Volume II

Volume I: Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac is found beaten in the gutters. As a kind soul tries to nourish her back to health, Joe reveals her troubled past encounters, through erotic flashbacks of her youth that led her down this road to low self-esteem and self-worth.

Volume II: The story picks up with Joe’s adulthood, where her journey of self-discovery leads to darker complications, near destruction, reconciling her decisions to move on.

Vol. I Trailer & Vol. II Trailer

The Immortalists

Two eccentric scientists struggling to discover a medical breakthrough to create eternal youth; Bill Andrews is a lab biologist and famed long-distance runner. Aubrey de Grey is a genius theoretical biologist who conducts his research with a beer in hand. They differ in style and substance, but are united in their common crusade: to cure aging or die trying. As they battle their own aging and suffer the loss of loved ones, their journey toward life without end ultimately becomes personal.

Trailer

Weekend Picks

Seniors Book Club April Selection

Road endsThe Seniors Book Club will meet Wednesday, April 8th at 2 pm in Forsyth Hall to discuss Road Ends by Mary Lawson.

About the book:

Mary Lawson’s beloved novels, Crow Lake and The Other Side of the Bridge, have delighted legions of readers around the world. The fictional, northern Ontario town of Struan, buried in the winter snows, is the vivid backdrop to her breathtaking new novel.

Roads End brings us a family unravelling in the aftermath of tragedy: Edward Cartwright, struggling to escape the legacy of a violent past; Emily, his wife, cloistered in her room with yet another new baby, increasingly unaware of events outside the bedroom door; Tom, their eldest son, twenty-five years old but home again, unable to come to terms with the death of a friend; and capable, formidable Megan, the sole daughter in a household of eight sons, who for years held the family together but has finally broken free and gone to England, to try to make a life of her own.

Roads End is Mary Lawson at her best. In this masterful, enthralling, tender novel, which ranges from the Ontario silver rush of the early 1900s to swinging London in the 1960s, she gently reveals the intricacies and anguish of family life, the push and pull of responsibility and individual desire, the way we can face tragedy, and in time, hope to start again. (Publisher)

About the Author

A UK magazine interview with Mary Lawson

A Youtube interview with Mary Lawson

A Globe and Mail review

A National Post review

A New York Times review

Weekend Picks

Add some color to this drab start to spring – a burst of blue to pull on your heartstrings and a limited color palette aged to perfection are sure to lead a charge of visual delight into the long weekend.

Blue is the Warmest Color

Trailer

Inspired by Julie Maroh’s graphic novel: Adele’s life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

Available in DVD.


Dick Tracy

Trailer

Hard-boiled detective Dick Tracy is searching for evidence that proves Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice is the city’s most dangerous crime boss. He may have found the key to unraveling the crimelord’s illegal empire in Breathless Mahoney  an enigmatic barroom singer who has witnessed some of Caprice’s crimes firsthand. However, she seems more set on stealing Dick away from his girlfriend, Tess , than helping him solve the case of his career.

Don’t remember Dick? Then read this retrospective about a film that was part of the first wave in a growing trend: the superhero movie and the lucrative possibilities of cross-promotion.

Also available is an original copy of Madonna’s 1990 soundtrack , back from when Compact Discs were all the rage in music!

Weekend Picks