The Blue Heron is a one-of-a-kind bookstore where you are welcomed in by brilliant, warm-hearted, knowledgeable staff. You’ll leave with the exact book your mind and spirit seeks and return again and again. —
October 19th, 11am Wooden Sticks Golf Club – Books and Brunch with Plum Johnson and Marissa Stapley — $25 (includes full brunch)
November 8th, 7pm Uxbridge Music Hall — Ann-Marie Macdonald, author of Fall on Your Knees, As the Crow Flies and Adult Onset — $25
November 9th, 11am Wooden Sticks Golf Club – Frances Itani, author of Deafening and Tell and Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner – $25 (includes full brunch)
November 17th, 7pm Wooden Sticks Golf Club — An evening with Meg Tilly, Meg Wolitzer and Lev Grossman – $25 (includes a glass of wine and nibblies)
Call Blue Heron Books for Tickets 905-852-4282
Join us for Brunch on October 19th at 11am at Wooden Sticks Golf Club.
Plum Johnson – After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents—first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year-old mother—author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers experience conflicted feelings of grief and relief when their mother, the surviving parent, dies. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, which hasn’t been de-cluttered in more than half a century. Twenty-three rooms bulge with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum remembers her loving but difficult parents who could not have been more different: the British father, a handsome, disciplined patriarch who nonetheless could not control his opinionated, extroverted Southern-belle wife who loved tennis and gin gimlets. The task consumes her, becoming more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger memories of her eccentric family growing up in a small town on the shores of Lake Ontario in the 1950s and 60s. But unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued.
They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.
Marissa Stapley: With pitch-perfect honesty and heartwarming humor, this captivating debut explores marriage, motherhood, identity, and what it takes to love someone—family members, friends, or spouses—for life.
Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child who proudly disdained monogamy, raising three daughters—each by a different father—largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her. And while she fears losing him, she’s equally afraid of abandoning everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it.
Interweaving the alternating perspectives of Helen, her daughters, and the women surrounding them, “each new chapter brings a wise and tender look at single life, dating rituals, and marital unease” (New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Close). In this “absolute feat of storytelling” (bestselling author Grace O’Connell), Marissa Stapley celebrates the many roles modern women play, and shows that even though happy endings aren’t one-size-fits-all, some loves really can last for life.
Tickets are $25 and includes full brunch.
On Sunday November 9th at 11:00am, join us for the November edition of our Books and Brunch series. This month’s guest authors are Frances Itani, the bestselling author of the award-winning international sensation Deafening, and Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner and The Juliet Stories which was shortlisted for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction
In her new release, Tell, Itani returns to the period following the First World War with a tour de force-an extraordinary novel of secrets withheld and secrets revealed.
In 1919, only months after the end of the Great War, the men and women of Deseronto struggle to recover from wounds of the past, both visible and hidden. Kenan, a young soldier who has returned from the war damaged and disfigured, confines himself to his small house on the Bay of Quinte, wandering outside only under the cover of night. His wife, Tress, attempting to adjust to the trauma that overwhelms her husband and which has changed their marriage, seeks advice from her Aunt Maggie. Maggie, along with her husband, Am, who cares for the town clock tower, have their own sorrows, which lie unacknowledged between them. Maggie finds joy in her friendship with a local widow and in the Choral Society started by Lukas, a Music Director who has moved to the town from an unknown place in war-torn Europe. While rehearsing and performing, Maggie rediscovers a part of herself that she had long set aside. As the decade draws to a close and the lives of these beautifully-drawn characters become more entwined, each of them must decide what to share and what to hide, and how their actions will lead them into the future.
Girl Runner is the story of Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920′s, but now, at age 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten by history. For Aganetha, a competitive, and ambitious woman, her life remains present and unfinished in her mind.When her quiet life is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of two young strangers, Aganetha begins to reflect on her childhood in rural Ontario and her struggles to make an independent life for herself in the city.Without revealing who they are, or what they may want from her, the visitors take Aganetha on an outing from the nursing home.
Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner is an engaging and endearing story about family, ambition, athletics and the dedicated pursuit of one’s passions. It is also, ultimately, about a woman who follows the singular, heart-breaking and inspiring course of her life until the very end.
Tickets are $25 and include full brunch.
Part of our Series of Fortunate (literary) Events Passport
On November 17th at 7pm at Wooden Sticks Golf Club, we will be joined by a trio of fabulous authors. Meg Wolitzer, author of The Ten Year Nap and The Interestings, Meg Tilly, movie and television actress and author of A Taste of Heaven, and Lev Grossman, author of the bestselling Magicians series.
The stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy
Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.
BFFs Madison and Alyssa have the summer planned out—long days at the beach, hanging out, baking cookies—but all that changes when Alyssa’s mother and the film crew have
to head back to Hollywood. Which means Alyssa is moving, just when Madison finally has a best friend. But there’s a silver lining: Madison is invited to spend some time over the summer in Los Angeles!
Thursday, September 25th at 7:30pm Miriam Toews (author of A Complicated Kindness) and Kim Thuy (author of Ru) and Elyse Friedman (author of The Answer to Everything) Tickets are $25 and are available in store or by calling 905-852-4282.
Miriam Toews is beloved for her irresistible voice, for mingling laughter and heartwrenching poignancy like no other writer. In her most passionate novel yet, she brings us the riveting story of two sisters, and a love that illuminates life.
You won’t forget Elf and Yoli, two smart and loving sisters. Elfrieda, a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yolandi, divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men as she tries to find true love: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. Yoli is a beguiling mess, wickedly funny even as she stumbles through life struggling to keep her teenage kids and mother happy, her exes from hating her, her sister from killing herself and her own heart from breaking.
But Elf’s latest suicide attempt is a shock: she is three weeks away from the opening of her highly anticipated international tour. Her long-time agent has been calling and neither Yoli nor Elf’s loving husband knows what to tell him. Can she be nursed back to “health” in time? Does it matter? As the situation becomes ever more complicated, Yoli faces the most terrifying decision of her life.
All My Puny Sorrows, at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities. In her beautifully rendered new novel, Miriam Toews gives us a startling demonstration of how to carry on with hope and love and the business of living even when grief loads the heart.
Following on the Giller Prize-nominated and Governor General’s Literary Award-winning success of Ru, Kim Thúy’s latest novel is a triumph of poetic beauty and a moving meditation on how love and food are inextricably entwined.
Mãn has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Mãn a husband–a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal.
Thrown into a new world, Mãn discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears.
Mãn is a mystery–her name means “perfect fulfillment,” yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Mãn discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair.
Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Mãn is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.
“The Answer to Everything is compelling proof that Elyse Friedman is one of Canada’s best and most crucial writers. Both cynical and searching, it’s a hilarious yet deeply moving portrait of an upstart cult gone wrong-it drew me in from page one but never let me settle, continually surprising me and challenging my take on things. It puts its players through the same paces, and the result is a cast of some of the most memorable characters I’ve met in a long time. It feels urgently timely, too-a book that I’ll be recommending far and wide.” -Melanie Little, author of Confidence
John Aarons, a brilliant but perpetually broke artist, knows how to cadge a meal or seize an opportunity when he spies one. Turned out on the street by his fully employed, entirely fed up girlfriend, he goes on the hunt for cheap shared accommodation and stumbles upon the ideal set-up-a bedroom in the home of Amy, an attractive psychology student who has been abandoned by her condo-buying roommate. Not only does Amy have a surprisingly affordable penthouse apartment with rooftop patio and a fridge full of high-quality comestibles, but she also has a mysterious across-the-hall neighbour, Eldrich, who appears to be home all day, smoking weed and receiving an odd assortment of visitors.
Before long, John is availing himself of Eldrich’s pot, food and wine. He notices that these staples are provided gratis to Eldrich by friends and acquaintances who rely on him for spiritual guidance. That’s when John, atheist and misanthrope, decides to start a New Age cult with Eldrich as guru. And so, as half art project, half money-making scheme, the Answer Institute is born.
Once again, we count ourselves lucky to have Ted Barris serve as host for the evening.
Breaking news….Amanda Lindhout will be joining Miriam Toews, Kim Thuy and Elyse Friedman for Books and Authors Night.
September 25th, 7:30pm
Tickets $25 (call store for tickets)
The dramatic and redemptive memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity—an exquisitely written story of courage, resilience, and grace
As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, Alberta, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.
Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured.
Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.
October Book Club
Book Club Favourite…