Monday Evening Book Club January Selection

The Monday Evening Book Club will meet in Forsyth Hall on January 9 at 7:00 pm. Our pick this month is The Prison Book Club, a memoir by Ann Walmsley.

prison-book-club

About the book

An attack in London left journalist Ann Walmsley unable to walk alone down the street, and shook her belief in the fundamental goodness of people. A few years later, when a friend asked her to participate in a bold new venture in a men’s medium security prison, Ann had to weigh her curiosity and desire to be of service against her anxiety and fear.
But she signed on, and for eighteen months went to a remote building at Collins Bay Institution, meeting a group of heavily tattooed book club members without the presence of guards or security cameras. There was no wine and cheese, no plush furnishings. But a book club on the inside proved to be a place to share ideas and regain a sense of humanity.
From The Grapes of Wrath to The Cellist of Sarajevo, Outliers to Infidel, the book discussions became a springboard for frank conversations about loss, anger, redemption, and loneliness. The books changed the men and the men changed Walmsley. (Publisher)

About the author

Ann Walmsley is a magazine journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. She is the recipient of four National Magazine Awards and a Canadian Business Journalism Award. In November 2016, Walmsley won the 25th annual $10,000 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction for The Prison Book Club. 

Ann Walmsley founded her first book club at age nine. She lives in Toronto with her family. (Publisher)

Book Clubs for Inmates website

The book club at the big house: How reading makes a difference in prison (Globe and Mail)

The darkness inside Canada’s prisons: Michael Enright interviews Carol Finlay (podcast)

When an author visits a [prison] book club

Book review in the Globe and Mail

Book review in Quill and Quire 

Book review in the Winnipeg Free Press

Carol Finlay on The Morning Show (video)

Ann Walmsley website

Seniors Book Club October Selection

The Seniors Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor “Training Room” on Wednesday, October 12 at 2 pm. Our pick this month is The Prison Book Club, a memoir by Ann Walmsley.

prison-book-club

About the book:

An attack in London left Ann Walmsley unable to walk alone down the street, and shook her belief in the fundamental goodness of people. A few years later, when a friend asked her to participate in a bold new venture in a men’s medium security prison, Ann had to weigh her curiosity and desire to be of service against her anxiety and fear.
But she signed on, and for eighteen months went to a remote building at Collins Bay Institution, meeting a group of heavily tattooed book club members without the presence of guards or security cameras. There was no wine and cheese, no plush furnishings. But a book club on the inside proved to be a place to share ideas and regain a sense of humanity.
From The Grapes of Wrath to The Cellist of Sarajevo, Outliers to Infidel, the book discussions became a springboard for frank conversations about loss, anger, redemption, and loneliness. The books changed the men and the men changed Walmsley. (Publisher)

 

Book Clubs for Inmates website

The book club at the big house: How reading makes a difference in prison (Globe and Mail)

The darkness inside Canada’s prisons: Michael Enright interviews Carol Finlay (podcast)

When an author visits a [prison] book club

Book review in the Globe and Mail

Book review in Quill and Quire 

Book review in the Winnipeg Free Press

Carol Finlay on The Morning Show (video)

Ann Walmsley website

 

 

 

 

Seniors Book Club September Selection

precious-cargoThe Seniors Book Club will meet in the 2nd floor “Aquarium” meeting room on Wednesday, September 14 at 2 pm. Our pick this month is Craig Davidson‘s memoir Precious Cargo : my year driving the kids on school bus 3077.

About the book:

Surprising and revelatory non-fiction from a talented young writer whose last book, “Cataract City,” was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Trillium Book Prize, and was a Globe Best Book and national bestseller. In this new work of intimate, riveting, and timely non-fiction, based loosely on an award-winning article he published, Davidson tells the story of one year in his life – driving a school bus full of special-needs kids. Davidson shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the precious cargo in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society. (Publisher)

Craig Davidson’s website

Author biography on Wikipedia

Craig Davidson’s blog – reader questions

A Chatelaine interview

A Radio interview on CBC’s The Next Chapter

A TVO article and video interview

A CBC’s The Current podcast and transcript

A Globe and Mail review

A Quill and Quire review

Craig Davidson aka Nick Cutter

 

Luise’s Summer Reading Reviews

Our Fiction Librarian, Luise, has been reading up a storm for the Summer Reading Game! Here are her reviews.

y648And After the Fire: a Novel by Lauren Belfer

Weaves an engaging story around a fictional long-lost Bach cantata with anti-Semitic lyrics. Incorporates facts about many interesting historical figures (Bach, Mendelsohn, Luther, etc.). Shows the progression of anti-semitism over the centuries. Touches on many interesting subjects, from musicology to philanthropy and includes a love story – lots to like!   (Historical Fiction)

 

man-s-search-for-meaningMan’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir about his years in Nazi death camps and the lessons he learned for spiritual survival. His theory (logotherapy) is that it is not the pursuit of pleasure and happiness that gives us meaning, but the ability to find meaning and purpose in unavoidable suffering. Amazing insights by an exceptional individual who lived through unspeakable trials; a timeless classic.   (Memoir)

 

adams_invinciblesummer_1_12Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

“Four close friends who graduate college together in 1998 venture off to pursue their fortunes in the new millennium, but find themselves drawn back together twenty years later amidst broken dreams, lost jobs, and shattered relationships.” (publisher summary)
A great summer read, well written, entertaining without being shallow.   (Romance/Love story)

 

thetroublewithgoatsandsheepThe Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

I expected an amusing, light summer read, but this debut novel is simply brilliant on so many levels! Yes, it was charming and quirky with plenty of eccentric characters (including the wittiest and smartest and most lovable two 10-year-old girl “sleuths” I’ve ever encountered), but it was also dark and tragic and full of depth and nuances and complex characterizations evoking the reader’s empathy for both victims and perpetrators. On the surface this is a very British book with countless cultural and food references (vast amounts of very unappetizing sounding sweets are being consumed throughout this book), but the message is universal and timeless (and very timely in the age of Trump). Best of all, the writing is exquisite! Don’t miss this one!

Plot-loving mystery fans beware, though – this is a different kind of “mystery”.   (Mystery)

Staff Reviews for the Reading Game

librarian glassesSummer Reading Game action continues behind the scenes! The Library staff are playing their own reading game, and writing reviews.  This might help you choose your book when you spin next…

 

Now & forever by Mary Connealy51KXpsLoSeL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Now & Forever is the second book in the Wild at Heart Series, with a story that can stand alone.  This is the tale of Shannon Wilde, homesteading in the Idaho Territory of 1866. She is one of three sisters, all of whom were bullied by their father into disguising themselves as men, and serving in the Civil War.

The action in this story starts right on the first page. Shannon, out for a hike in the woods, comes face to face with Mountain Man, Matthew Tucker–and a mad grizzly bear right behind him.  Since they are on the edge of a cliff, Shannon sees their only chance for survival is jumping into the river below. Unknown to Shannon, that is the Slaughter River, so named because no one has ever gone in it and survived…”

Staff review by Kemmie S., July 2015

Category: Christian Historical Romance

 

My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall13587511

“Penny Marshall has written about what happened in her life without seeking praise or forgiveness or anything else from the public.  She’s not perfect and she is not a saint, but she is no way claiming to be either. Penny lives by simple rules: ‘try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun’.

If you liked Laverne and Shirley or her work on The Odd Couple, or any of the movies that Penny Marshall has directed, than I think you’ll enjoy this book. It’s simple. This isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s funny, and I really recommend it.

Staff review by Kemmie S, July 2015

Category: Bios & Memoirs

 

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me.CMYK.jpgMy Grandfather would have shot me: a black woman discovers her family’s Nazi past by Jennifer Teege

A German-Nigerian woman finds out that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the brutal Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler’s List.

Fact really can be stranger than fiction! Not only is Teege the mixed-race offspring of a brutal racist, but she has a strong connection to Israel, having spent years there learning Hebrew and immersing herself in its culture and history.
Interesting observations on the parallels between what descendants of war criminals and descendants of their victims go through.
I liked the way the first person account was interspersed with observations by the interviewer.

Staff review by Luise M-J, July 2015

Category: Bios & Memoirs

 

The Adult Summer Reading Game continues until August 18, with a prize draw every week, and a grand prize draw for a Kobo Arc at the end of the game! Stop in to the 2nd floor of the Library to play.Adult SRG banner 2015