Book Clubs can be wonderful and book clubs can be tricky … Recently, Stuart McLean of The Vinyl Cafe (CBC Radio) told a story about “Morley” and her experience joining a book club.

Stuart recites: ” … the books she will read will take her to worlds beyond her own, and it’s always more fun to travel with friends.”

In the end, Morley sets some book club reading guidelines of her own:

Read …

1. A book about a man I could marry.

2. A book I read in Grade school.

3. A book that mentions chocolate favourably.

4. A book I haven’t read but have seen the movie.

5. A book my husband would quit after the first chapter.

Sounds like a fun book club to me!

So, set up the computer (or ipad or whatever you tune in on!) within earshot as you’re making dinner and enjoy the hilarity and the poignancy in this clip from the podcast. Just click on the link and Stuart will be chatting with you in no time.

Stuart McLean Vinyl Cafe podcast – April 1- 2012

The Gift of an Ordinary Day

October 24, 2010

Not long ago a lovely friend and reader of this blog forwarded me a book trailer video I’ve since been eager to share with you all.  As the book in question has just been released in paperback, now seemed a good time.  The Gift of an Ordinary Day – A Mother’s Memoir by Katrina Kenison has been described by Family Circle magazine in the following way:

“This eloquent book is subtitled “A Mother’s Memoir” but that’s not giving Kenison’s chronicle of her sons’ increasing independence its full due. It’s also about longing and fulfillment, taking stock of failures and achievements, a search for the elusive “something more” of one’s existence—and a reminder that life’s seemingly mundane moments are often where we find beauty, grace and transformation.”

The promotional video of Katrina Kenison reading aloud from her book reminds me a great deal of  Kelly Corrigan’s videos for her books, The Middle Place and Lift.  That’s a good thing.  I suggest you pop out for a minute if you have to stock up on tissues and then settle in for a moving and poignant glimpse into The Gift of an Ordinary Day. If you’re seeking a trigger for good discussion and conversation at your book club I am certain any of these three titles will do the trick.

The Book Club

August 17, 2010



I have been in a book club for many years and have always found it one of my most enjoyable social activities.  Some of my fondest memories are of friends made and books read together in book clubs I belonged to while living in Santiago, Chile and London, England. I still try to keep in touch with some of those gals and inevitably we share titles we’ve been reading in our “clubs”.  Locally, many of us have fun cross-referencing our reading lists with friends within other book clubs. 

My most recent Book Club meeting with the current crew (see above) was the best ever – a sunny beach locale (hosted by a member at her summer getaway), a great book (The Disappeared by Kim Echlin) and a small but devoted, cheery, and engaged group of clubbers.  We were delivered by boat to our floating yellow platform with lawn chairs, books, and “provisions” in hand.  We chatted about the book, positively pleased to have had the opportunity to read it, and shared comments and observations with one another. We really could have chatted all night about the book itself but became distracted by the sheer glory of our surroundings and the fish leaping all around. Our chatter roamed off in philosophical directions … “If you could be anywhere else in the world right now … where would you be?”  Hard pressed to find anywhere better but a great conversation resulted just the same. As the sun set we were retrieved by our trusty captain and, after a brief detour for crab-trap hunting, were delivered back to the beach.   Heavenly!

So many people I know belong to book clubs and it seems these associations share similar successes and challenges.

Do you grapple with poor attendance?          

Can you still attend if you’ve not read the book?

Do you eat and drink? (Who just snickered?!  … Silly question)     

Do you stick with a theme or do you try something new every month?

Our club began with some guidelines:  must read book, must attend meetings regularly, paperback preferred, food and drink to be simple, hosting duties shared through the year, meetings at our homes (except when they are on the high seas!)  …

Lately we have been struggling with books getting read and meetings being poorly attended by about half our group. It is frustrating for the rest of us and I wonder if our book club needs a break – a fresh start?  Should we be more understanding about the busy-ness and the varying priorities?

What do you think? Is Book Club about the books or just the socializing? Tell us about yours! Describe your favourite book club meeting!

April Book Club Update

April 27, 2010


A few weeks ago I posted about making my selection for Book Club last month. Well, my choice was Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin and while I really enjoyed it, I was awaiting the response from my book club with a little angst.  The pressure of putting a book out there and then waiting for the group to approve or disapprove can be uncomfortable!  Well, the verdict is in and it was a unanimous “thumbs up”!  You can now feel confident enough to read it and share.

Our next choice is The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens and it looks great. Here is the snippet (technical term I’m sure) from the back cover: “Driven from the only home he has known during Ireland’s Great Hunger of 1847, Fergus O’Brien makes the harrowing journey from county Clare to Canada, travelling with bold girls, pearl boys, navvies, and highwaymen. Full of vivid, unforgettable characters, The Law of Dreams is lyrical, emotional, and thoroughly extraordinary.”

Why don’t you let us know what you alone or you and your bookclub are reading? Post a comment by clicking on “Comments” at the bottom of the post.  Remember too if you are interested in having new posts sent directly to you, you can hit the “Sign Me Up” button .

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