The three very successful Book Clubs that operate in the Village of Lions Bay are making my job very easy with this edition of From Our Shelves. Each club has chosen their favourite books during the last 10 months, with a hope that you may also enjoy reading their choices during the summer months.
Between the Lions
Our longest running club, comprises of members, who take their book selections extremely seriously, their meetings are lively, full of detail, and they actually vote on each selection. Among this years choices were:
“The Lollipop Shoes” by Joanna HarrisIf you enjoyed "Chocolate" either the book or the movie, you will enjoy this. It is not a sequel but follows the same characters at a later date.
Set in Montmartre it changes the place from a district of Paris to a neighbourhood with real living and believable characters. However the main characters are witches and obviously it is a fantasy with amazing
things done by magical people. The further you get with the book the more real these fantastic people become and the more familiar you get with Montmartre its narrow streets and little shops and bars, its famous graveyard, (read the book by Bill Richardson one day, and its varied but real people).
If you don’t try to separate the real from the imaginary and just immerse yourself in the book you have a real treat in store.
Helen Williams is a long time member of Between the Lions and travels to the meetings from Vancouver, so dedicated is she to Book Club.
"Let the Great World Spin" by Colum McCann won great reviews by our book club, writes member Tracy Marsh.This audacious and gifted storyteller writes a tale of a tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers and the impact of this act on various New York residents - a symphonic interweaving of stories of New York! A must read!
Friends Thru Fiction
Friends started in January 2006. Its reviewers are serious readers and often follow themes of the books with wonderful food and guest speakers.
“The Long Hello” by Cathie BorrieOur most recent book club review was THE LONG HELLO, a memoir written in poetic prose by local author, CATHIE BORRIE, our guest who guided us through her 7 year journey as she cared for her mother suffering with Alzheimer’s. With taped conversations as an aide memoir, she was able to capture the raw emotions experienced by both mother and daughter through their conversations and activities, interspersed with Cathie’s memories of their earlier life’s tragedies, relationships, anger and love. This book and Cathie’s warm personality evoked deep feelings for all of us, enabling us to share some of our experiences and emotions when caring for loved ones suffering from similar afflictions. THE LONG HELLO will be presented in play format in November at St Andrews Wesley Church, and can be found in local bookstores. Her website is www.cathieborrie.com.Written by Wendy Conway-Mair
While I was reading "Sara's Key" I had to admit I knew nothing about this dark chapter of French History.
The book takes place in Paris (July 1942) as Sara, her family and 12'000 Jews were rounded up and taken to the Velodrome d' Hiver (Vel d'Hiv). It is Sara, the young girl who made the promise to her brother to come back for him. Sara holds the key to reunite......? It was French President Jacques Chirac who on July 16th 1995 gave an emotional speech about the guilt and gruesome reality of their involvement.
"Sara's Key" made me search for more information. On my next trip to Paris there will be many stops along the "City of Lights." Written by Trudi Luethy
"Secret Daughter" by Shilpi Somaya Gowda was for me, a deeply moving and insightful novel. Although I found it to be an easy read, the author had me gripped with emotion right from the first page as she graphically described the gut-wrenching, pre-ordained loss of her protagonist's second girl-child. With a helpful glossary at the back of the book, Gowda managed to slip in just enough Indian terminology that enlightened and educated, without being distracting. She did an excellent job of juxtaposing the stories of two young mothers: one in India and one in the U.S. She successfully wove together their respective stories, along with one daughter, cohesively and in layers. I found her characters, on the whole, to be very well developed and contrary to what could have become a predictable "lived happily ever-after" story, her treatment of the novel's conclusion both surprises and leaves the reader with lots of food for thought. Overall, I found this to be a nine-out-of-ten novel and a great read. Karen Dodd reviewed this book.
Ingrid Wray’s choice was “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese.
From the opening few pages of this beautifully crafted novel Abraham Verghese engages the reader in a colourful, dramatic and often graphic portrayal of the human condition with all its complexities.
The story follows the lives of twin brothers born in Ethiopia at a time of political unrest. From their brutal arrival into the world and their subsequent relationship to both their environment and the other characters the author takes us on a journey of unconditional and unrequited love and lust. Whilst delivering the reader engrossing technical detail the book also has a thread of gentle subtlety, wisdom and insight.
This is a gripping wonderful read worthy of staying up late into the night to finish but subsequently lamenting its completion. I will be looking forward to any future books by this very talented author
Of all the wonderful books read this year, member Paula McLaughlin choose to review ”Little Princes” by Connor Grennan.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I admire Connor's honesty in describing his initial motivations and his self doubts when faced with the harsh reality of his volunteerism. In the face of so many obstacles he had great courage and I love his undeniable passion for the plight of the children. He is a gifted writer and recounts his adventures with humor and compassion in a very relatable way. When I finished the book I researched Connor and "Next Generation Nepal". I was heartened by the authenticity of his non profit organization and was delighted to find that his work continues today.
My book club was formed in 2006 by former Lions Bay resident Christie Manners. Along with her literature and teaching skills, she felt we should enjoy an occasional glass of wine. We have grown from 6 to 15 members and thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie all book clubs share.
Thank you to all the Lions Bay book clubs for providing these great recommendations! These titles and more are available on our shelves.
Trail Blazing -Thur 9am-Logging Rd at Sunset, firstname.lastname@example.org