Our Book Club: January through March 2019

January: The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Date: Wednesday, January 30 at 7:30pm

One of the truly great writers of the century reaches beyond the very top of his game in this uncannily timely knockout of a novel. In quality and compelling scope, this is Rushdie’s The Godfather meets The Great Gatsby–an unparalleled modern-day American thriller, with wonderful, moving characters and a grippingly entertaining story straight out of today’s headlines, set against the panorama of American culture and politics from the inauguration of Obama to post-election Trump.

When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities, reinventing themselves as emperors living in a lavish house in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons, each extraordinary in his own right, quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society, even as Nero Golden continues to raise huge buildings carrying his name in gold letters.
The story of the powerful Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. René chronicles the undoing of the house of Golden: the high life of money, of art and fashion, a sibling quarrel, an unexpected metamorphosis, the arrival of a beautiful former model, betrayal and murder, and far away, in their abandoned homeland, some decent intelligence work that could ruin Nero Golden forever.
Invoking literature, pop culture and the cinema, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years, hitting every beat: the rise of the birther movement, the Tea Party, and identity politics; Gamergate; the backlash against political correctness; the ascendancy of Superman and Batwoman and the superhero movie; and, of course, the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic villain with painted skin and coloured hair.


February: A Newfoundlander in Canada by Alan Doyle

Date: Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30pm

Following the fantastic success of his bestselling memoir, Where I Belong, Great Big Sea front man Alan Doyle returns with a hilarious, heartwarming account of leaving Newfoundland and discovering Canada for the first time.

Armed with the same personable, candid style found in his first book, Alan Doyle turns his perspective outward from Petty Harbour toward mainland Canada, reflecting on what it was like to venture away from the comforts of home and the familiarity of the island.
Often in a van, sometimes in a bus, occasionally in a car with broken wipers “using Bob’s belt and a rope found by Paddy’s Pond” to pull them back and forth, Alan and his bandmates charted new territory, and he constantly measured what he saw of the vast country against what his forefathers once called the Daemon Canada. In a period punctuated by triumphant leaps forward for the band, deflating steps backward and everything in between–opening for Barney the Dinosaur at an outdoor music festival, being propositioned at a gas station mail-order bride service in Alberta, drinking moonshine with an elderly church-goer on a Sunday morning in PEI–Alan’s few established notions about Canada were often debunked and his own identity as a Newfoundlander was constantly challenged. Touring the country, he also discovered how others view Newfoundlanders and how skewed these images can sometimes be.
Heartfelt, funny and always insightful, these stories tap into the complexities of community and Canadianness, forming the portrait of a young man from a tiny fishing village trying to define and hold on to his sense of home while navigating a vast and diverse and wonder-filled country.


March: Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

Date: Wednesday, March 27 at 7:30pm

The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century.

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It’s the adventure she’s been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.

In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest’s relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers.

Heralded by Ann Patchett as “the new star of historical fiction,” Paula McLain brings Gellhorn’s story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice.

Fall 2018 Book Club Lineup

September: A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre

Date: Wednesday, September 26 at 7:30pm

The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years
Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience for its justifications.

Interweaving past and present so that each tells its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters, old and new.

October: The Boat People by Sharon Bala

Date: Wednesday, October 31 at 7:30pm

By the winner of The Journey Prize, and inspired by a real incident, The Boat People is a gripping and morally complex novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage to reach Canada – only to face the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism in their new land.

When the rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees reaches the shores of British Columbia, the young father is overcome with relief: he and his six-year-old son can finally put Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war behind them and begin new lives. Instead, the group is thrown into prison, with government officials and news headlines speculating that hidden among the “boat people” are members of a terrorist militia. As suspicion swirls and interrogation mounts, Mahindan fears the desperate actions he took to survive and escape Sri Lanka now jeopardize his and his son’s chances for asylum.

Told through the alternating perspectives of Mahindan; his lawyer Priya, who reluctantly represents the migrants; and Grace, a third-generation Japanese-Canadian adjudicator who must decide Mahindan’s fate, The Boat People is a high-stakes novel that offers a deeply compassionate lens through which to view the current refugee crisis. Inspired by real events, with vivid scenes that move between the eerie beauty of northern Sri Lanka and combative refugee hearings in Vancouver, where life and death decisions are made, Sharon Bala’s stunning debut is an unforgettable and necessary story for our times.

November: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Date: Wednesday, November 28 at 7:30pm

“In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,” Lillian Boxfish writes, “I worked in a walnut-paneled office thirteen floors above West Thirty-Fifth Street…”

She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.”

Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

Book Club Author Visit!

Attention all Book Club Members!

Jean E. Pendziwol will be attending our upcoming book club meeting to join in the discussion about her new novel, and our March reading selection, The Light-Keeper’s Daughters!

The meeting will take place in the Penthouse (8th floor) of The Edinburgh Retirement Residence (10 Vaughan Street) at 7:30pm on Wednesday, March 28.

We hope to see you there!

Spring Book Club List

April: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Session 1: Wednesday, April 11 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30pm

May: The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carre

Session 1: Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, May 30 at 7:30pm

Attendees only need to attend one session per month and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. New members are always welcome.

For more information or to join the Book Club, give us a call at 613-742-5030 or send us an e-mail at staff@booksonbeechwood.ca

Happy Reading!

Winter 2018 Book Club List

January: The Chosen Maiden by Eva Stachniak

Session 1: Wednesday, January 10 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, January 31 at 7:30pm

February: Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Session 1: Wednesday, February 14 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30pm

March: The Light-Keeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol

Session 1: Wednesday, March 14 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, March 28 at 7:30pm

Attendees only need to attend one session per month and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. New members are always welcome.

For more information or to join the Book Club, give us a call at 613-742-5030 or send us an e-mail at staff@booksonbeechwood.ca

Happy Reading!

Fall 2017 Book Club List

September The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

Session 1: Wednesday, September 13 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, September 27 at 7:30pm

October: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Session 1: Wednesday, October 11 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, October 25 at 7:30pm

November: Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh

Session 1: Wednesday, November 8 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, November 29 at 7:30pm

Attendees only need to attend one session per month and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. New members are always welcome.

For more information or to join the Book Club, give us a call at 613-742-5030 or send us an e-mail at staff@booksonbeechwood.ca

The Book Club will be taking a break after May for the summer. Keep an eye on our website for the club’s return in September for the fall session.

Happy Reading!

Book Club List for April and May 2017

AprilCommonwealth by Ann Patchett

Session 1: Wednesday, April 12 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30pm

MayThe Marriage Bureau by Penrose Halson

Session 1: Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30pm

Attendees only need to attend one session per month and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. New members are always welcome.

For more information or to join the Book Club, give us a call at 613-742-5030 or send us an e-mail at staff@booksonbeechwood.ca

The Book Club will be taking a break after May for the summer. Keep an eye on our website for the club’s return in September for the fall session.

Happy Reading!

Book Club Reads Through March 2017

FebruaryMinister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter

Session 1: Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30pm

March: Birdie by Tracey Lindberg

Session 1: Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, March 29 at 7:30pm

 

Attendees only need to attend one session per month and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. New members are always welcome.

For more information or to join the Book Club, give us a call at 613-742-5030 or send us an e-mail at staff@booksonbeechwood.ca

Book Club Reads for September through November 2016

illegalhillSeptemberThe Illegal by Lawrence Hill

Session 1: Wednesday, September 14 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, September 28 at 7:30pm

October: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Session 1: Wednesday, October 12 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30pm

heroswalk

November: The Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami

Session 1: Wednesday, November 9 @ 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, November 30 @ 7:30pm

Attendees only need to attend one session per month and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. New members are always welcome.

 

For more information or to join the Book Club, give us a call at 613-742-5030 or send us an e-mail at staff@booksonbeechwood.ca

Book Club Reads for April and May

outlinecuskApril: Outline by Rachel Cusk

Session 1: Wednesday, April 13 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30pm

May: The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

Session 1: Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30pm

Session 2: Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30pm

arttraveldebottonAttendees only need to attend one session per month and can select whichever date is most convenient for them. New members are always welcome.

For more information or to join the Book Club, give us a call at 613-742-5030 or send us an e-mail at staff@booksonbeechwood.ca