| Jul 23, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - July 23, 2009 Rural libraries promote informal round the table book talkby Julie Druker

Avid readers gathered to talk books at the Sharbot Lake branch for the third meeting of the Summer Book Club. (l-r) Glenys Wright, Sara Carpenter, Karen Burke, Barb Jones, Diane Yerxa and Linda Gemeinhardt.

For many of us one of summer’s greatest pleasures is stretching out in a favorite outdoor spot with a good book and getting lost in another world.

This summer the Sharbot Lake and Arden Public Libraries introduced their Summer “Book Club with a Difference” program, which provides rural readers with an opportunity to share their experiences by participating in informal gatherings to discuss and share their summer book journeys.

The third of four planned get-togethers recently took place at the Sharbot Lake branch and was hosted by librarian Sara Carpenter, who served her home-made strawberry muffins, coffee and lemonade.

The theme for this gathering was fiction. A small but lively group gathered round a table at the Sharbot Lake branch and began a very informative and colourful discussion about their recent reads.

Sara began with The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, the story of a female African slave who ends up in the U.S. and then back in Africa. The book includes some Canadian black history as well and we learned from another reader that an actual Book of Negroes existed.

Karen Burke of Sharbot Lake loves books that send her to her dictionary. She spoke of one recent read, David Gilmour’s most recent work, The Film Club, about Gilmour’s agreement with his teenage son, who leaves school on the promise to his dad to watch and discuss three films a day. The book inspired Karen to look into renting some of the films mentioned in the book.

Glenys Wright, who works as a page at the library in Sharbot Lake, gave a detailed review of Falling Man by Don Delillo, a post 9/11 work. She read a chilling excerpt describing the devastation that occurred that fateful day but added that the book felt “John Wayne-like” in its portrayal of American attitudes and their general lack of perspective of the events of 9/11. A lively discussion ensued.

Barb Jones, who cottages in the area, is an avid reader with a great memory for facts; she gave at least four overviews of her forays into a number of books that are hovering on today’s best seller lists, one of which was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, a book written as letters about the German occupation of Guernsey Island. Barb also discussed the novel Coventry by local author Helen Humphreys, an in-depth description of the night that Coventry was bombed by the Germans in WW2.

Linda Gemeinhardt, the librarian at the Arden branch, confessed to being a lover of historical fiction of the English kind and she spoke about the book, The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir. She loved the way this novel “brought to life the English past but also included rumours and innuendos that we have often heard.”

Another best seller, The Shack by William P. Young was not enjoyed by Diane Yerxa for a number of reasons. She found many of the premises of the book too outlandish for her liking and did not have a problem putting it down.

Anyone looking to share book chat with others in the area is encouraged to attend the final Summer Book Club meeting that will be held in the Arden library on August 18 at 6:30PM. The theme for the evening will be Canadian authors. Everyone is welcome.

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