Vol 1, Issue 1
Petticoat Creek Book Club
The book club has read another year’s worth of books, some lauded and applauded, some panned and canned.
We have read:
State of Wonder
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Escape from Camp 14
They left us everything
A Man Called Ove
Brain on Fire
Before the Fall
When Breath Becomes Air
The Elephant Whisperer
The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio
Tuesdays with Morrie
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
The Girl Before
Call the Midwife
From the secretary’s desk…
The book club is launching two new endeavours this year to help make the club’s meetings and readings more informative.
- Book suggestions
Richard regularly rejects bestseller lists as bald faced marketing strategies to increase sales of particular books. These lists are not lists of books which are necessarily good reads, but merely book publisher’s promotional ploys to develop sales.There’s a better way of finding good books: ask your friends, your family members, your relatives. Ask anyone who reads books what they have enjoyed reading, why they liked the read and you are likely to hear a better review, a more worthwhile one than any written in a newspaper or listed as a bestseller.
In light of the above, the club will be highlighting books recommended by its members, a group which has collectively demonstrated concise analytical skills and boundless intellectual capacities. In short, they have shown they can analyse a book and justify if it is a worthwhile read. The club has read some books which were not favourably reviewed but also some which were less than favourable. The club members have been clear and concise in analysing why the less than acceptable reads were such.
Over the years that the club has been meeting, many found many books which they saw as being highly recommended. A Canadian author who has received great reviews frequently is Terry Fallis and his debut novel, The Best Laid Plans.
- Moderator discussion suggestions
Each month the club members meet at the local public library to discuss the latest book. Often, the moderator of the meeting will find discussion questions either on line or via the library’s liaison person, Tracey Naish.However, the club feels they can improve their discussion with supplements or even replacement of some of their researched discussion guidelines. The idea is being put to the test. Club members will forward discussion suggestions for the current book to the club secretary. A compiled list will be submitted to the moderator of the book for consideration for incorporation into the next meeting’s discussion. The idea sounds may have merit and given how lively and wide-ranging past discussions have proven to be, future discussions may really take off.
Book suggestion of the month
Terry Fallis’ new book is about a man tormented by an event from his youth while in secondary school theatre and the journey he finds himself on to heal and to learn who he is.
Few people know the real Alex MacAskill. Most see him as a painfully and chronically shy software engineer in his mid-20s, soft-spoken, a bit of a loner, and someone easily escapes notice wherever possible — and Alex likes it that way. Because no matter how many years have passed, the incident which is labelled only as “Gabriel” in the MacAskill family is something that still haunts him.
But when his mother, one of the only people in the world who Alex felt comfortable as himself around, dies after a long illness, he suddenly has no choice but to face the very thing that he’s been avoiding since that night in high school. In an instant, Alex finds himself trying to piece together the mystery of his identity, and begins a search for the family he never knew existed — a search that takes him from Ottawa to London to Moscow, encountering along the way the KGB, painful memories from his past, and even the 1972 Russian hockey team — a search that ultimately helps Alex discover himself.
Once when I asked Terry Fallis how he writes a book, he replied that he sketches out chapters with sentence summaries and then fills in the sketches as he writes each chapter. I am sure there is more to it than that. His off-the-wall events and unexpected incidents in this book reinforce the fact that this writer has astounding imagination and amazing creativity. The event at the school play is a perfect example of his unbelievable imagination.
The story of Alex searching for his brother is truly engaging, even suspenseful. The reader will turn pages quickly, anxious to learn will occur next.
Fallis grabs his readers again! His trademark wit and engaging story telling style make the novel another great Fallis book. One Brother Shy is poignant and humorous, heartbreaking and heartwarming, and readers will soon cheer and encourage the book’s hero in his quest.
If you like reading humour without deep analysis and multiple-page ‘re-reading’ to understand what the author means, One Brother Shy is your book.
A thoroughly enjoyable summertime escape. Read it. Definitely a 4½ star book.