OUR (Outstanding Unique Readers) Book Club Picks!
We started our book club in 1999. Most members have been in it from the beginning but there have been a few changes over the years. There are always 12 of us because we start the year with 12 books and pass the book at the end of each month. We meet almost every month for a meal together in each others' homes or in restaurants. It is unique because we can’t discuss the books until the end of the year when we get together to do our new exchange. We are a very supportive group through thick and thin over 24 years. We have a bookmark for each year so we know who we pass the book to and the event for the month.
These are some of our favourite reads from over the years--enjoy!
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Cummins, Jeanine, author
Lydia Quixano Perez runs a bookstore in Acapulco. When Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of Javier, the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city, is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia-trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier's reach doesn't extend.
August into winter : a novel
Vanderhaeghe, Guy, 1951- author
"It is 1939, with the world on the brink of global war, when Constable Hotchkiss confronts the spoiled, narcissistic man-child Ernie Sickert about a rash of disturbing pranks in their small prairie town. Outraged and cornered, Ernie commits an act of unspeakable violence, setting in motion a course of events that will change forever the lives of all in his wake. With Loretta Pipe—the scrappy twelve-year-old he idealizes as the love of his life—in tow, Ernie flees town. In close pursuit is Corporal Cooper, who enlists the aid of two brothers, veterans of World War One: Jack, a sensitive, spiritual man with a potential for brutal violence; and angry, impetuous Dill, still recovering from the premature death of his wife who, while on her deathbed, developed an inexplicable obsession with the then-teenaged Ernie Sickert. When a powerful storm floods the prairie roads, wreaking havoc, Ernie and Loretta take shelter in a one-room schoolhouse where they are discovered by the newly arrived teacher, Vidalia Taggart. Vidalia has her own haunted past, one that has driven her to this stark and isolated place with only the journals of her lover Dov, recently killed in the Spanish Civil War, for company. Dill, arriving at the schoolhouse on Ernie's trail, falls hard and fast for Vidalia—but questions whether he can compete with the impossible ideal of a dead man. Guy Vanderhaeghe, writing at the height of his celebrated powers, has crafted a tale of unrelenting suspense against a backdrop of great moral searching and depth. His is a canvas of lavish, indelible detail: of character, of landscape, of history—in all their searing beauty but all their ugliness, too. Vanderhaeghe does not shrink from the corruption, cruelty, and treachery that pervade the world. Yet even in his clear-eyed depiction of evil—a depiction that frequently and delightfully turns darkly comic—he will not deny the possibility of love, of light. With August Into Winter, Guy Vanderhaeghe has given us a masterfully told, masterfully timed story for our own troubled hearts."--
Educated : a memoir
Westover, Tara, author
An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one's closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
The invisible life of Addie LaRue
Schwab, Victoria, author
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever - and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
The juggler's children : a journey into family, legend and the genes that bind us
Abraham, Carolyn, author
Secrets of a Hutterite kitchen : unveiling the rituals, traditions, and food of the Hutterite culture
Kirkby, Mary-Ann, author