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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.

 

January 2018 Selection

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (Moth from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and gardien de sorts (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment.

Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force. 

As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

 
December 2017 Selection
 

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.... Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, andliterary tour de force.

 
November 2017 Selection
 

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant 

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis. In The Red Tent , Anita Diamant brings this fascinating biblical character to vivid life.

Told in Dinah's voice, the novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood-the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of Dinah's mothers-Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah-the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

With over 3.3 million copies sold, The Red Tent is a modern classic loved throughout the world, and now on screen as an A&E/Lifetime mini-series.

 
October 2017 Selection
 

Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh  

“A page-turner with an indelible heroine.” —Ann-Marie MacDonald 

Canadian actor, comedian and social activist Mary Walsh explodes onto the literary scene with this unforgettable story of a young woman coming of age in late 1960s Newfoundland


Raised on tough love in St. John’s, Maureen is the second-youngest daughter of a bitter and angry mother and a beaten-down father who tells the best stories (but only when he’s drunk). If life at home is difficult, then school is torture, with the nuns watching every move she makes. But Maureen wants a bigger life. She wants to go to sexy, exciting Montreal and be part of Expo 67, even if it means faking her way into the school choir.

Finally achieving her goal of reaching Montreal, Maureen escapes the vigilant eye of Sister Imobilis and sneaks away, and over the course of a few hours, one humiliating encounter with a young Leonard Cohen and a series of breathtakingly bad decisions change the course of her life forever.

A riotous and heart-rending journey from St. John’s to Montreal and back, Mary Walsh’s dazzling debut novel is darkly hilarious but also paints a very real portrait of the challenges of being young and female and poor in 1960s Newfoundland. Crying for the Moon explores the many ways in which one day can reverberate through a lifetime.
September 2017 Selection
 

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn  

USA TODAY BESTSELLER
#1 GLOBE AND MAIL HISTORICAL FICTION BESTSELLER
Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading Pick!
A Summer Book Pick from Good Housekeeping, Parade, Library Journal, Goodreads, Liz and Lisa, and BookBub


In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption. 

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose. 

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.

 
June 2017 Selection
 

Swing Time by Zadie Smith  

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 2017 Selection
 

Today I Learned It Was You by Edward Riche  

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 2017 Selection
 

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

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 2017 Selection
 

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 2017 Selection
 

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.