Number One Ladies' Book Club Picks
The Number One Ladies’ Book Club met for the first time in December of 1998. The club consisted of seven women from Calgary and High River who met monthly on a Saturday at a member’s home. We enjoyed lunch and a discussion of the book chosen by the host. The first book we discussed was “A Recipe for Bees” by Gail Anderson-Dargatz. We had lots of interesting meetings and outings. We dressed in black choir gowns and played quidditch when we read J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. We visited Tony Marshall’s organic farm when we read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. We met on a rural prairie porch to discuss Sharon Butala’s “The Perfection of the Morning” and had Shannon Ouwendyk present her one-woman play about Harriet Tubman when we read “Cane River” by Lalita Tademy. We did a few short road trips, attended an occasional movie and hosted a number of interesting guests when appropriate to the chosen book. Although attendance was excellent while we were all working, it became more difficult to meet regularly in retirement but we still occasionally share books on a casual basis.
A gentleman in Moscow
Towles, Amor, author
When, in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, he's sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
The glass castle : a memoir
Walls, Jeannette, author
Jeannette Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric and severely misguided family. The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.
Never let me go
Ishiguro, Kazuo, 1954-, author
Raised in the reclusive Hailsham boarding school, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy receive the finest education. After learning the finer points of art and literature, but nothing of the outside world, the trio long to venture away from the school. However, doing so will change the way they view life, their upbringing, and the future.
Hannah, Kristin, author
Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
The red tent
Diamant, Anita, author
The story of Dinah, a tragic character from the Bible whose great love, a prince, is killed by her brother, leaving her alone and pregnant. The novel traces her life from childhood to death, in the process examining sexual and religious practices of the day, and what it meant to be a woman.
Where the crawdads sing
Owens, Delia, author
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. Kya Clark is not what they say. Abandoned at ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh. With just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world -- until the unthinkable happens.