Burnhamthorpe Library
Burnhamthorpe Library
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Burnhamthorpe Book Club

Burnhamthorpe Library Book Club
Meets the third Monday of each month from 10:00-11:30a.m.
For more information call: 905-615-4635

2018 Titles

January 15, 2018

Terry Fallis: One Brother Shy

From the two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour comes a new story about a man tormented by an event from his youth, and the journey he finds himself on to heal and to learn who he is. One Brother Shy is at once poignant and humorous, heartbreaking and heartwarming, and readers will not soon forget Alex MacAskill.

February 12, 2018

Christina Baker Kline: Orphan Train

Orphan Train is about the relationship between Molly Ayer and Vivian Daly. Brought together by Molly's community service sentence, 17-year-old Molly learns that she has much more in common with 91-year-old Vivian than she first thought. Both women were orphaned as children and share a similar story. However, Vivian was an orphan during the Great Depression and Molly is an orphan today. Kline tells this enlightening and emotionally engaging story based on true accounts of the Orphan Train Movement in early 20th century America.

March 19, 2018

Kurt Palka: Piano Maker

Set in a Canadian town in the 1930s, it follows Helene Giroux, a mysterious French woman with a troubled past. When she arrives in town, she joins the church as a choirmaster and pianist, dazzling the small community with her talent, and stories of the piano factory her family owned in prewar France. Slowly, pieces of her previous life,: the death of her soldier husband, the destitution she and her daughter faced and the dark past she’s tried to conceal and now she is forced to confront it once and for all.

April 16, 2018

Steven Johnson: The Ghost Map: the story of London’s most terrifying epidemic – and how it changed science, cities and the modern world

Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero Dr. John Snow. It’s the summer of 1854 and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure - garbage removal, clean water, sewers - necessary to support its rapidly expanding population the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure As the cholera outbreak takes hold a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and the nature of scientific inquiry offering powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.

May 14, 2018

Madeleine Thien: Do not say we have nothing

Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations—those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story.
June 18, 2018

Cathy Marie Buchanan: The Painted Girls

A heartrending, gripping novel set in belle époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged 14 and by the era's most famous criminal trials. Following their father’s sudden death, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet and meet Edgar Degas. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds employment—and the love of a dangerous young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s Naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural, and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.”
July 16, 2018

Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised to learn that Nick's family is extremely wealthy and he's considered one of the country's most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse -- Nick's disapproving mother.

2017 Titles

June 19, 2017

Rainbow Rowell: Attachments: a novel

Beth and Jennifer know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail, it's a company policy. But they can't bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other  hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. He pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke. When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained by their stories. By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
July 17, 2017

Sunshine Sketches is one of Canada’s classic works of literature, and perhaps its most complex work of satire. A series of linked stories chronicling life in the fictional community of Mariposa--modelled on Orillia, Ontario—the book gently mocks Canadian small-town life in a manner that is as dead-on as it is humorous. But Sunshine Sketches is also a highly political book, one that demonstrates Leacock's background as an economist and embodies many social and cultural anxieties still felt in Canada today. The stories reveal an unease about everything from the excesses of capitalism to Canada's identity, and a dark note of pessimism underlies much of the book's humour.
August 21, 2017

Judy Dong Bates: Midnight at the Dragon Café

Set in the 1960s, Judy Fong Bates’s debut novel is the story of a young girl, the daughter of a small Ontario town’s solitary Chinese family, whose life is changed over the course of one summer when she learns the burden of secrets. Through Su-Jen’s eyes, the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Café unfolds. As her father works for a better future, her mother settles uneasily into their new life. Su-Jen feels the weight of her mother’s unhappiness. When her half-brother arrives, smouldering under the responsibilities he must bear as the dutiful Chinese son, he forms an alliance with Su-Jen’s mother, one that will have devastating consequences.
September 18, 2017

Elena Ferrante: My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.
October 16, 2017

Paolo Coelho: Alchemist

Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
November 20, 2017

Frances Itani: Requiem

Bin Okuma, a celebrated visual artist, has recently lost his wife, Lena. His son Greg has returned to his studies on the East Coast, and Bin finds himself alone and pulled into memories he has avoided for much of his life. In 1942, after Pearl Harbor, his Japanese Canadian family was displaced from the West Coast. Now, he sets out to drive across the country: to complete the last works needed for an upcoming exhibition; to revisit the places that have shaped him. With the persuasive voice of his wife in his head, he embarks on an unforgettable journey that encompasses art and music, love and hope.

December 18, 2017

Saroo Brierley: Lion

Saroo Brierley had become lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Calcutta, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia. Despite being happy in his new family, he always wondered about his origins. When he was a young man the advent of Google Earth led him to pore over satellite images of the country for landmarks he recognised. And one day he miraculously found what he was looking for. Then he set off on a journey to find his mother.