Book Club

The Blue Heron Book Club meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month in the Blue Heron Studio unless otherwise advised.  Occasionally this eclectic group likes to mix it up a bit with special off-site locations and menus. Casual, friendly and informative; all discussions are open and meant to encourage participation. We live books through our own individual lens, shaped by our own experiences, and through that we have our own perspective to share. Join the discussion. Oh, and yes, there are refreshments!  Call the store to add your name to the list.  905-852-4282

In addition, we support over 20 different book clubs! Literary fiction, mystery, mother/daughter and the Amnesty International reading groups are some of these. Register your bookclub and receive 20% off your book club books.

June Book Club

Swing Time by Zadie Smithswing

New York Times bestseller
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
Finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for Fiction

An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from northwest London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty

Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

May Book Club

Today I Learned It Was You by Edward Richetoday

Longlisted for Canada Reads 2017

When a retired actor who frequents a city park is purported to be transitioning from man to deer, municipal authorities in St. John’s, Newfoundland, find themselves confronted by an exasperatingly difficult problem.

Complications mount as advocates, bureaucrats, police, and local politicians try to corral the situation, which escalates into an even bigger problem after the story blows up on Facebook. Leading the charge is the mayor himself. A former professional hockey player and local hero, Mayor Matt Olford is juggling a number of personal challenges on top of his city’s man-deer problem: his wife has become a born-again Christian and he’s found himself attracted to one of his colleagues at City Hall. When the Prime Minister’s office calls to ask if he’ll run as a Conservative in the next federal election, Mayor Olford finds himself at a crossroads: Surrender his political values or remain as the sole voice of reason on the increasingly ineffective city council?

Hilariously sending up the drama and dysfunction of local politics, overzealous rights activists, and perils of contemporary social media, Today I Learned It Was You is another bitingly brilliant comic novel from one of Canada’s funniest and most astute literary talents.

April Book Club

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logangracekeepers

North and her bear live on a circus boat, floating between the scattered archipelagoes that are all that remains of the land. To survive, the circus’s acrobats, fire-swallowers and pony-tricksters must perform for the few fortunate islanders in return for food and supplies.

Callanish tends the watery graves along the equator as penance for a long-ago mistake. She craves forgiveness but instead must spend her days alone with the dying birds that mark people’s mourning for the dead.

A storm brings a change in both of their lives that they may not have been looking for, but that may bring them the peace and happiness they have silently yearned for. Will they have the courage to embrace the possibilities of a world where the old boundaries are dissolving?

March Book Club

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Wittall

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?

George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?

With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.

February Book Club

Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang

From the author of Three Souls (“heartbreaking and hopeful,” Booklist) comes a new novel set in early-twentieth-century Shanghai, where, as an ancient imperial dynasty collapses, a new government struggles to life and two girls—one a Eurasian orphan, the other a daughter of privilege—are bound together in a friendship that will be tested by duty, honour and love.

Abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate outside Shanghai, seven-year-old Jialing learns she is zazhong—Eurasian—and thus doomed to face a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. The Yang family, new owners of the estate, reluctantly take her in as a servant. As Jialing grows up, her only allies are Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the courtyard for more than 300 years. But when a young English girl appears and befriends the lonely orphan—and then mysteriously vanishes—Jialing’s life takes an unexpected turn and gives her hope of finding her long-lost mother.

Instead, Jialing finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves. Ultimately, she learns that for years Fox has been preparing her for a very different sort of fate . . . should she choose to accept it.

October Book Club

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

At the centre of this epic tale, as capacious and mysterious as life itself, are enigmatic Sparrow, a genius composer who wishes desperately to create music yet can find truth only in silence; his mother and aunt, Big Mother Knife and Swirl, survivors with captivating singing voices and an unbreakable bond; Sparrow’s ethereal cousin Zhuli, daughter of Swirl and storyteller Wen the Dreamer, who as a child witnesses the denunciation of her parents and as a young woman becomes the target of denunciations herself; and headstrong, talented Kai, best friend of Sparrow and Zhuli, and a determinedly successful musician who is a virtuoso at masking his true self until the day he can hide no longer. Here, too, is Kai’s daughter, the ever-questioning mathematician Marie, who pieces together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking a fragile meaning in the layers of their collective story.

With maturity and sophistication, humour and beauty, a huge heart and impressive understanding, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once beautifully intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of daily life inside China, yet transcendent in its universality.

September Book Club

The Jungle South of the Mountain by Andrew Westoll

In an unnamed country on the northern coast of South America, scientist Stanley is deeply embedded in the life of the rainforest. He’s been studying a troop of capuchin monkeys for eight years—seven since his wife, Maria, left him, and their mentor, Professor Collymore, mysteriously disappeared.

The country is preparing for a hotly contested election, which promises to unleash ancient tensions among the populace. Stanley, however, is oblivious to this, focused only on his research and his conviction that Maria will one day come back to him. But then his research is violently threatened: one of his beloved monkeys goes missing, and then another. Something is killing them, one by one. Stanley decides to take matters into his own hands, but soon learns that there are forces in the jungle as difficult to quell as the spirit of rebellion brewing in the south. Soon, Stanley finds everything he holds dear—his livelihood, his monkeys, his very life—in danger. The Jungle South of the Mountain is a powerful, brilliantly imagined novel about the stories we believe, the lies we tell and the choices we make to protect what we love.

June Book Club

inventionThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

May Book Club

heroThe Hero’s Walk by Anita Rau Badami

Anita Rau Badami explains that “The Hero’s Walk is a novel about so many things: loss, disappointment, choices and the importance of coming to terms with yourself and the circumstances of your life without losing the dignity embedded in all of us. At one level it is about heroism – not the hero of the classic epic, those enormous god-sized heroes – but my fascination with the day-to-day heroes and the heroism that’s needed to survive all the unexpected disasters and pitfalls of life.”

 

2016 Book Club

First 2016 Book club met on Wednesday February 17th to discuss All the Light We Cannot See, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Anthony Doer

Next meeting will be held in store/studio on March 16th. The book we will be reading is Ian McEwan’s The Children Act.
childrenactFiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child’s welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor
than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts.
But Fiona’s professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability; whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears. She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses. But Jack doesn’t leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case–as well as her crumbling marriage–tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page.

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