“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”
- Logan Pearsall Smith
In recent weeks I’ve had the pleasure of being invited to a number of book clubs to talk about Harbour View. It’s been nearly nine months since my little book was published, but still I shake my head and pinch myself when I see it on the bookstore shelves. So Dear Reader can well imagine the thrill of being asked to join a room full of people who have actually READ it, and want to DISCUSS it.
I’ve met the loveliest people – all women, so far (any men’s book clubs out there??). A number of them are nurses, or retired nurses, who have a lot to say about their experiences working with older people. Other readers, from all walks of life, bring their own observations to the discussion. And there is always discussion; once I’ve read a passage or two from the book, we’re away to the races.
*To celebrate the noble book club, I am pleased to offer Harbour View at the Book Club Rate of $15 per copy for any book club readings (through 2011), six copies minimum. Enquiries can be made here.*
I’ve never belonged to a book club, but I do get on with my own reading as time allows. So at every book club I ask what they’re reading, and someone asks what I’m reading. I’ve amassed quite a list, some of which I’ll gladly post. It’s summer, which seems as good a time as any to read, so here goes, some books I’ve recently read, and some I plan to read:
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri. I read it in a big gulp.
Why Me? The Sammy Davis, Jr. Story, Sammy Davis, Jr. (memoir). I’ve always admired Sammy’s singing, and I learned quite a lot about the Civil Rights Movement from his book. In some ways it read like a big, outdated People Magazine.
Galore, Michael Crummey. Hmm, this one took me a while. Lots of characters, but great Newfoundland folklore and a distinctive writing style.
This Time Together, Carol Burnett (memoir). I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I was ten years old. Since reading it, I feel I’m her favourite niece.
The Mistress of Nothing, Kate Pullinger. A great escape down the Victorian-era Nile, based on a true story. Another gulp.
Burnt Shadows, Kamila Shamsie. I’ve just begun reading this novel, and consider it an act of supreme sacrifice that I’ve put it down long enough to tap out this list. Such beautiful writing.
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne. I hear it’s a great story.
Migration Songs, Anna Quon. I’m looking forward to reading this novel by my fellow Atlantic Book Awards finalist.
The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search for his Disabled Son, Ian Brown. My heart was shredded by Brown’s excerpts published in the Globe & Mail. I’m drawn to it.
The City Speaks in Drums, Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Susan Tooke. Not strictly for the young ‘uns. The second-to-last page features a local violist/writerposing as a busker outside a well-known Halifax restaurant.
Book Club To-Read List:
Annabel, Kathleen Winter
Catherine Snow, Nellie Strowbridge
Brooklyn, Colm Toibin
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Landvik
The Help, Katherine Stockel
February, Lisa Moore
May your reading take you to near and distant lands, lemonade by your side and a summer breeze nearby.