Tuesday Series: 2020-21
January 26- Mike Barnes: Be With: Letters to a Caregiver
Drawing on the author’s seven years of caring for his mother through Alzheimer’s, Be With: Letters to a Caregiver is what its title promises: four dispatches to an anonymous long-term caregiver. In brief passages that cast fresh light on what it means to live with dementia, Barnes shares trials, insights, solace—and, ultimately, inspiration.
Mike Barnes writes with sensitivity and grace about fellowship, responsibility, and joyful relatedness—what it means to simply be with the people that we love.
Shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award
February 16 -Gil Adamson: The Ridgerunner
Part literary Western and part historical mystery, Ridgerunner is the sequel to Gil Adamson’s award-winning and critically acclaimed novel The Outlander.
November 1917. William Moreland is in mid-flight. After nearly twenty years, the notorious thief, known as the Ridgerunner, has returned. Moving through the Rocky Mountains and across the border to Montana, the solitary drifter, impoverished in means and aged beyond his years, is also a widower and a father. He is determined to steal enough money to secure the future of his son who has been left in the care of Sister Beatrice, a formidable nun, who keeps him in cloistered seclusion in her grand old house. Though he knows his father is coming for him, the boy runs away to the family’s cabin deep in the wood and takes with him something the nun is determined to get back — at any cost.
The novel is set against the backdrop of a distant war raging in Europe and a rapidly changing landscape in the West.
March 23- Karma Brown: Recipe For a Perfect Wife
In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband–and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.
When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home’s basement, she is captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner–1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages Nellie left clues about her life–including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother. Soon Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but.
April 13- Ben Lerner: The Topeka School with Sandra Martin
Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of 1997. His mother, Jane, is a famous feminist author; his father, Jonathan, is an expert at getting "lost boys" to open up. They both work at the Foundation, a well-known psychiatric clinic that has attracted staff and patients from around the world. Adam is also one of the seniors who brings the loner Darren Eberheart--who is, unbeknownst to Adam, his father's patient--into the social scene, with disastrous effects.
This is the story of a family's struggles and strengths: Jane's reckoning with the legacy of an abusive father, Jonathan's marital transgressions, the challenge of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a riveting prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the trolls and tyrants of the new right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.
A Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a Barack Obama’s Top Pick.
May 11- Jessica McDiarmid: Highway of Tears
For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. Highway 16 is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis.
Journalist Jessica McDiarmid, investigates the devastating effect these tragedies have had on the families of the victims and their communities, and how systemic racism and indifference have created a climate where Indigenous women and girls are over-policed, yet under-protected.
Through interviews with mothers and fathers, siblings and friends, McDiarmid offers an intimate, first-hand account of their loss and relentless fight for justice. Examining the historically fraught social and cultural tensions between settlers and Indigenous peoples in the region, McDiarmid links these cases to others across Canada - now estimated to number up to 4,000.
Finalist for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction
June 8- Helen Humphreys: Rabbit Foot Bill
Canwood, Saskatchewan, 1947. Leonard Flint, a lonely boy in a small farming town befriends the local tramp, a man known as Rabbit Foot Bill. Bill doesn’t talk much, but he allows Leonard to accompany him as he sets rabbit snares and to visit his small, secluded dwelling.
Being with Bill is everything to young Leonard—an escape from school, bullies and a hard father. So his shock is absolute when he witnesses Bill commit a sudden violent act and loses him to prison.
Fifteen years on, as a newly graduated doctor of psychiatry, Leonard arrives at the Weyburn Mental Hospital, both excited and intimidated by the massive institution known for its experimental LSD trials. To Leonard’s great surprise, at the Weyburn he is reunited with Bill and soon becomes fixated on discovering what happened on that fateful day in 1947.
Based on a true story, this page-turning novel from a master stylist examines the frailty and resilience of the human mind.