July Book Clubs

Join us for book club conversation at any meeting. No need to sign up. No need to clean your house. The WPL Book Clubs have “open” membership, so you can drop in once in a while, or come faithfully every month.

Monday, July 8, 2019 at 7:00pm
Main Library, 35 Albert Street
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

Contemplate these discussion questions provided courtesy of LitLovers

Read The New York Times review of “The Light Between Oceans”.

Check out (or place a hold on) a WPL copy of the book or the movie.

Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 1:30pm
Main Library, 35 Albert Street
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice–not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he was the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.” In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys–best friends–are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn’t believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen, after that 1953 foul ball, is extraordinary and terrifying.

Contemplate these discussion questions provided courtesy of LitLovers here

Read the Kirkus review of “A Prayer for Owen Meany”.

Check out (or place a hold on) a WPL copy of the book.

For more information on WPL’s Book Clubs, contact Christine at cbrown@wpl.ca or 519-886-1310 ext. 146.

History’s People

I’ve always been interhstoryspeopleested in history although I am terrible for remembering dates and details. What I think I appreciate about history is the impact of people and events on situations.

Margaret MacMillan is a historian and professor of history at Oxford University.  In her book History’s People: Personalities and the PastMacMillan selects a number of figures from the past who stand out for her. The book is organized according to the attributes of those who have made and unmade our world looking specifically at qualities of leadership, hubris, persuasion, daring, curiosity and observation. MacMillan’s storytelling brings history to life and certainly helped me to realize the significance of the personalities of these historical figures and how, given another time or place or person, could have vastly impacted the world we live in today.  A few notable things I remember:

  • if Albert Einstein had not grasped the nature of the atom early in the 20th century could the Allies have developed the atomic bomb during WWII? CURIOSITY
  • if the Supreme Court decision on the 2000 vote count in Florida had gone differently George W. Bush would not have been president. As president, Al Gore would most certainly have resisted the temptation to invade Iraq. LEADERSHIP
  • Margaret Thatcher, Woodrow Wilson, Stalin and Hitler all had driving ambition and lived in times when changes were taking place that gave them opportunities. All four had a firm conviction that they were right in achieving the sort of society and world they wanted but were not prepared to compromise to achieve their ends. HUBRIS
  • William Lyon Mackenzie King exhibited a flair for conciliation and persuasion throughout the great depression and second world war to hold Canada together. PERSUASION

A thoroughly enjoyable and educational read!  I recommend it!

– Christine B.