Book Club

I love to share my books, recommend my favourites, and talk about what I like about them. I rarely don’t like something about a book. It is someone’s heart and soul so you have to find something to like! Click here for my list to date.

“Clara Callan” by Richard B. Wright

Clara CallanUnderneath the seemingly ordinary lives of Wright’s characters are entire worlds of emotion that, once entered, become wildy unpredictable. Clara Callan has that capacity to surprise, to draw the reader below the smooth surface of convention into a world of passion, where secrets percolate and sudden, unexpected violence erupts.

Clara Callan is set in the middle of the Great Depression, chronicling the lives of two sisters.Clara is a spinsterish school teacher whose quiet life in a small Ontario town masks a passion for love and adventure. Nora, her flighty and very pretty sister, travels to New York where she lands a starring role in a radio soap opera. Written in diary and letter form, the novel brilliantly reveals the sisters’ stories, as their lives become increasingly complex.

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“A Blade of Grass” by Lewis DeSoto

A Blade of GrassSome of my favourite books are set in South Africa (ie. Power of One, my ultimate favourite book).

Set on the border between South Africa and an unnamed country, A Blade of Grass is the taut story of two women, one white and one black, who struggle to save their farm and, ultimately, their lives. Märit, a young woman of British descent, recently orphaned and newly wed, comes to live with her husband, Ben, on their new farm. Despite its Edenic setting, the land explodes in violence and tragedy, and Märit finds herself caught in a tug of war between the local Afrikaner community and the black workers who live on her farm. Frightened, she turns to the only person who can help her, a young woman who is now also alone in the world— her maid, Tembi. As the novel builds to its devastating climax, it unfolds a tale both terrifying and hopeful, moving beyond its own time and place to become a universal story of the price of freedom.

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“Ten Thousand Lovers” by Edeet Ravel

Ten Thousand LoversA work of fiction, but could easily be a true story.

Lily is a young emigrant student exploring the wonders and terrors of her new land when she meets the man of her dreams. Ami, a former actor, is handsome, intelligent and exciting – but, like his beautiful, disintegrating country, he has a terrible flaw – he is an army interrogator. As Lily and Ami’s unexpected passion grows, so too does the shadow that hangs over them – the unspeakable horrors which Ami’s work forces him to face.

In today’s world, where danger, terrorism and the possibility of war are a part of all our lives, no novel could be more brilliantly, terrifyingly contemporary. Yet Ten Thousand Lovers is set in Israel in the Seventies: a dazzling backdrop to a universal story of passion, suffering and the transcending power of love.

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“The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty

The ChaperoneThe 20s and 30s was such an era of change with prohibition and depression. Very interesting times and The Chaperone highlights this era.

A New York Times bestseller, The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in the 1920s and the summer that would change them both. Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s, ’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.

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“Left Neglected” by Lisa Genova

Left NeglectedThis book is on the top of my to read list. Because it touches so many of the different aspects of our lives. And it could have happened to any of us.

Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children—Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus. Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.
 A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt. A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her past and her uncertain future. 
Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny—her new, true life—may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice

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“The Pursuit of Happyness” by Chris Gardner

The Pursuit of HappynessThis is such an inspiring story, and was also made into a movie with Will Smith and his son. Perseverance and love is what it took

The astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall Street. At the age of twenty, Milwaukee native Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city’s working homeless and with a toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, “HO-tels,” soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station. Never giving in to despair, Gardner made an astonishing transformation from being part of the city’s invisible poor to being a powerful player in its financial district. More than a memoir of Gardner’s financial success, this is the story of a man who breaks his own family’s cycle of men abandoning their children. Mythic, triumphant, and unstintingly honest, The Pursuit of Happyness conjures heroes like Horatio Alger and Antwone Fisher, and appeals to the very essence of the American Dream.

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