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Caring Community Collection

About the Collection

The Caring Community Collection comprises a wide variety of print and audiovisual materials designed to raise awareness and provide information for you on topics related to child maltreatment, childhood trauma, sexual abuse survivor issues and provision of support for victims and survivors.

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Book Club in a Bag

What is Book Club in a Bag?
  • A bag with up to 10 softcover copies of a book suitable for book club discussion, as well as audiobook and large print versions where available
  • Bags include discussion guides
  • A selection of over 200 titles
How can I borrow a Book Club in a Bag?
  • Browse the selection of titles below and call 661-4600 to have the bag set aside at Central or sent to your neighbourhood branch for pick up
  • Come to Central and ask for assistance at the 2nd floor help desk
  • Bags can be reserved up to 6 months in advance by calling the library at 519-661-4600
Borrowing Details
  • 6 week loan period
  • Bags cannot be renewed
  • Sign out a bag with your London Public Library card
  • Limit of 2 bags per person can be checked out at once
  • All items must be borrowed and returned with the bag
  • Overdue fines, $1/day, maximum $10

Printable List of Titles (PDF)

Bags with Audiobooks Included

Bags with Large Print Books Included

Bags with Large Print and Audiobooks Included

Book Club in a Bag Collection

Choose from these discussion-worthy titles. Click on a cover to read a summary.

127 hours:
127 hours:
127 hours:
    by Ralston, Aron

The international bestseller Between a Rock and a Hard Place is now a major motion picture starring James Franco.

Hiking into the remote Utah canyonlands, Aron Ralston felt perfectly at home in the beauty of the natural world. Then, at 2:41 P.M., eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, an eight-hundred-pound boulder tumbled loose, pinning Aron's right hand and wrist against the canyon wall. Through six days of hell, with scant water, food, or warm clothing, and the terrible knowledge that no one knew where he was, Aron eliminated his escape option one by one. Then a moment of stark clarity helped him to solve the riddle of the boulder--and commit one of the most extreme and desperate acts imaginable.

Honest, inspiring, and undeniably astonishing , 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place has taken its place in the annals of classic adventure stories.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

419.
419.
419.
    by Ferguson, Will.

Step into the world's most insidious Internet scam that begins with a single email: "Dear Sir, I am the son of an exiled Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help...". When Laura's father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father's killer. A story of love in a time of darkness, of one woman's search for redemption, and of a young boy who will triumph above it all.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

A man called Ove.
A man called Ove.
A man called Ove.
    by Backman, Fredrik,

A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

A Prayer for Owen Meany.
A Prayer for Owen Meany.
A Prayer for Owen Meany.
    by Irving, John,

"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.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

A tale for the time being.
A tale for the time being.
A tale for the time being.
    by Ozeki, Ruth L.

"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be." In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace--and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox--possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki's signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home"--

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

A Train in winter :
A Train in winter :
A Train in winter :
    by Moorehead, Caroline.

On an icy morning in Paris in January 1943, 230 French women resisters were rounded up from the Gestapo detention camps and sent on a train to Auschwitz--the only train, in the four years of German occupation, to take women of the Resistance to a death camp. The youngest was a schoolgirl of 15, the eldest a farmer's wife of 68; among them were teachers, biochemists, salesgirls, secretaries, housewives and university lecturers. Six of the women were still alive in 2010 and able to tell their stories of the great affection and camaraderie that took hold among the group. They became friends, and it was precisely this friendship that kept so many of them alive.
Drawing on interviews with survivors and their families, on German, French and Polish archives, and on documents held by WW2 resistance organisations, A Train in Winter covers a harrowing part of history that is, ultimately, a portrait of ordinary people, of bravery and endurance, and of the particular qualities of female friendship.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

A Walk across the sun :
A Walk across the sun :
A Walk across the sun :
    by Addison, Corban,

An unforgettable journey into the underworld of modern-day slavery, A Walk Across the Sun begins on December 26, 2004, as seventeen-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her younger sister, Sita, are walking on the beach outside their home in Chennai, India. Suddenly, the unimaginable happens: a devastating tsunami hits the shore, tearing their family apart instantly and leaving them orphaned and alone. As they attempt to travel toward safety inland, they are kidnapped and delivered to a Mumbai brothel, to begin new lives as captive prostitutes.

In Washington, DC, a young lawyer, Thomas Clarke, is forced to take a sabbatical from his prestigious law firm. He chooses to serve his time with a non-profit group working in the red-light areas of Mumbai, where his wife, Priya, has returned to live with her family following the tragic loss of their child. Little does he know that his reluctant penance will soon turn into an international quest for the woman he has lost and a child he has never met.

Though separated by half a world, the destinies of Thomas and the Ghai sisters become intertwined as Sita is trafficked to Paris and then New York. Before long, Thomas is navigating the brutal system of international human trafficking in an effort to reunite the sisters and save Sita's life. Unflinchingly gritty yet ultimately hopeful, A Walk Across the Sun is an eye-opening tale of family and survival.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

All my puny sorrows.
All my puny sorrows.
All my puny sorrows.
    by Toews, Miriam,

Miriam Toews is beloved for her irresistible voice, for mingling laughter and heartwrenching poignancy like no other writer. In her most passionate novel yet, she brings us the riveting story of two sisters, and a love that illuminates life.
You won't forget Elf and Yoli, two smart and loving sisters. Elfrieda, a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, happily married: she wants to die. Yolandi, divorced, broke, sleeping with the wrong men as she tries to find true love: she desperately wants to keep her older sister alive. Yoli is a beguiling mess, wickedly funny even as she stumbles through life struggling to keep her teenage kids and mother happy, her exes from hating her, her sister from killing herself and her own heart from breaking.
But Elf's latest suicide attempt is a shock: she is three weeks away from the opening of her highly anticipated international tour. Can she be nursed back to "health" in time? Does it matter? As the situation becomes ever more complicated, Yoli faces the most terrifying decision of her life.
All My Puny Sorrows , at once tender and unquiet, offers a profound reflection on the limits of love, and the sometimes unimaginable challenges we experience when childhood becomes a new country of adult commitments and responsibilities. In her beautifully rendered new novel, Miriam Toews gives us a startling demonstration of how to carry on with hope and love and the business of living even when grief loads the heart.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Annabel.
Annabel.
Annabel.
    by Winter, Kathleen.

When Jacinta gives birth in the bathtub in the village, her friend Thomasina is the first to notice that the newborn possesses a combination of male and female parts. The child is christened Wayne and taken to Goose Bay General Hospital for an operation designed to render him more convincingly male. But the surgical alteration must be bolstered by expensive hormonal medications, the true purpose of which Wayne doesn’t learn until the onset of puberty. Experiencing a confusing identification with femininity, Wayne grows up an outsider, and eventually relocates to St. John’s, where he struggles to take greater control of his body and identity.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Beatrice and Virgil.
Beatrice and Virgil.
Beatrice and Virgil.
    by Martel, Yann.

A famous author receives a mysterious letter from a man who is a struggling writer but also turns out to be a taxidermist, an eccentric and fascinating character who does not kill animals but preserves them as they lived, with skill and dedication--among them a howler monkey named Virgil and a donkey named Beatrice.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Before the poison.
Before the poison.
Before the poison.
    by Robinson, Peter,

Hollywood composer Chris Lowe mourns the death of his wife by returning home to his native Yorkshire, where he buys the desolate Kilnsgate House. Soon Chris discovers Kilnsgate's past--a man murdered 60 years ago, his wife convicted of the crime--and becomes convinced that the woman was innocent. As Chris' investigation deepens, it becomes increasingly entwined with his own search for closure.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Behind closed doors.
Behind closed doors.
Behind closed doors.
    by Paris, B. A.

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn't work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Bossypants.
Bossypants.
Bossypants.
    by Fey, Tina,

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

( Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Bride of New France.
Bride of New France.
Bride of New France.
    by Desrochers, Suzanne,

In 1669, Laure Beausejour, an orphan imprisoned with prostitutes, the insane and other forgotten women in Paris' infamous Salpetriere, is sent across the Atlantic to New France as a Fille du roi . Laure once dreamed with her best friend Madeleine of using her needlework stills to become a seamstress on the Rue Saint-Honoré and to one day marry a gentleman. The King, however, needs French women in his new colony and he finds a fresh supply in the city's largest orphanage. Laure and Madeleine know little of the place called New France, except for stories of ferocious winters and men who eat the hearts of French priests. To be banished to Canada is a punishment worse than death.

Bride of New France explores the challenges of coming into womanhood in a brutal time and place. From the moment she arrives in Ville-Marie (Montreal), Laure is expected to marry and produce children with a French soldier who can himself barely survive the harsh conditions of his forest cabin. But Laure finds, through her clandestine relationship with Deskaheh, an allied Iroquois, a sense of the possibilities in this New World.

What happens to a woman who attempts to make her own life choices in such authoritative times?

 

Bride of New France is a beautiful debut novel that explores a fascinating chapter in Canadian history.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Bring up the bodies.
Bring up the bodies.
Bring up the bodies.
    by Mantel, Hilary,

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king's pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, and its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a "truth" that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Burial rites.
Burial rites.
Burial rites.
    by Kent, Hannah,

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensationalstory they've heard. . . . BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place --

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Cleopatra :
Cleopatra :
Cleopatra :
    by Schiff, Stacy

Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Cool water.
Cool water.
Cool water.
    by Warren, Dianne.

Juliet, Saskatchewan, is a blink-of-an-eye kind of town -- the welcome sign announces a population of 1,011 people -- and it's easy to imagine that nothing happens on its hot and dusty streets. Situated on the edge of the Little Snake sand hills, Juliet and its inhabitants are caught in limbo between a century -- old promise of prosperity and whatever lies ahead.

But the heart of the town beats in the rich and overlapping stories of its people: the foundling who now owns the farm his adoptive family left him; the pregnant teenager and her mother, planning a fairytale wedding; a shy couple, well beyond middle age, struggling with the recognition of their feelings for one another; a camel named Antoinette; and the ubiquitous wind and sand that forever shift the landscape. Their stories bring the prairie desert and the town of Juliet to vivid and enduring life.

This wonderfully entertaining, witty and deeply felt novel brims with forgiveness as its flawed people stumble towards the future.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James.
Etta and Otto and Russell and James.
Etta and Otto and Russell and James.
    by Hooper, Emma,

82-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometres from Saskatchewan to Halifax. Her husband Otto wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. I will try to remember to come back, Etta writes. Russell, raised as a brother to Otto, has loved Etta from afar for 60 years. He insists on finding Etta, wherever she's gone. Leaving his farm will be the first act of defiance in his whole life.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James. (Staff Copy)
Etta and Otto and Russell and James. (Staff Copy)
Etta and Otto and Russell and James. (Staff Copy)
    by Hooper, Emma.

82-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometres from Saskatchewan to Halifax. Her husband Otto wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. I will try to remember to come back, Etta writes. Russell, raised as a brother to Otto, has loved Etta from afar for 60 years. He insists on finding Etta, wherever she's gone. Leaving his farm will be the first act of defiance in his whole life.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James. (Staff Copy)
Etta and Otto and Russell and James. (Staff Copy)
Etta and Otto and Russell and James. (Staff Copy)
    by Hooper, Emma.

82-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometres from Saskatchewan to Halifax. Her husband Otto wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. I will try to remember to come back, Etta writes. Russell, raised as a brother to Otto, has loved Etta from afar for 60 years. He insists on finding Etta, wherever she's gone. Leaving his farm will be the first act of defiance in his whole life.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Fifteen dogs.
Fifteen dogs.
Fifteen dogs.
    by Alexis, André,

An utterly convincing and moving look at the beauty and perils of consciousness. -- I wonder, said Hermes, what it would be like if animals had human intelligence. -- I'll wager a year's servitude, answered Apollo, that animals - any animal you like - would be even more unhappy than humans are, if they were given human intelligence. And so it begins: a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto vet­erinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old 'dog' ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles withnew thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks. Andre Alexis's contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness. By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange, Fifteen Dogs shows you can teach an old genre new tricks.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

For today I am a boy.
For today I am a boy.
For today I am a boy.
    by Fu, Kim,

Peter, the only boy among four siblings born to Chinese immigrants, is convinced he is a girl and must fight the confines of a small town as well as the expectations of his parents to forge his own path into adulthood.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Getting over Edgar.
Getting over Edgar.
Getting over Edgar.
    by Barfoot, Joan,

Gwen's husband, Edgar, walks out on their marriage in pursuit of excitement. The requisite red convertible, however, leads not to eternal youth but to a premature death by the 8.20 eastbound train. The story then follows Gwen and her uncharacteristic behaviour in the wake of Edgar's death.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Go set a watchman.
Go set a watchman.
Go set a watchman.
    by Lee, Harper

This book is an historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch -- Scout -- struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right. - Publisher.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Good to a fault.
Good to a fault.
Good to a fault.
    by Endicott, Marina,

In a moment of self-absorption, Clara Purdy's life takes a sharp left turn when she crashes into a beat-up car carrying an itinerant family of six. The Gage family had been travelling to a new life in Fort McMurray, but bruises on the mother, Lorraine, prove to be late-stage cancer rather than remnants of the accident. Recognizing their need as her responsibility, Clara tries to do the right thing and moves the children, husband and horrible grandmother into her own house--then has to cope with the consequences of practical goodness.

As Lorraine walks the borders of death, Clara expands into life, finding purpose, energy and unexpected love amidst the hard, unaccustomed work of sharing her days. But the burden is not Clara's alone: Lorraine's children must cope with divided loyalties and Lorraine must live with her growing, unpayable debt to Clara--and the feeling that Clara has taken her place.

What, exactly, does it mean to be good? When is sacrifice merely selfishness? What do we owe in this life and what do we deserve? Marina Endicott looks at life and death through the compassionate lens of a born novelist: being good, being at fault, and finding some balance on the precipice.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Half blood blues.
Half blood blues.
Half blood blues.
    by Edugyan, Esi

This is a new part of an old story: 1930s Berlin, the threat of imprisonment and the powerful desire to make something beautiful despite the horror. Ernst told them not to go out. Said don't you boys tempt the devil. But the cheap beer in his gut must have made Hieronymus think a glass of milk would be worth the risk. Of course Ernst was right, and the star player on the Berlin scene of the late 1930s, right before the war began for the second time, was taken away that night by the Boots. An easy target, being a mixed-race German. Not like the others, the Americans, Europeans, black, white and Jewish, who could hide a while longer. Fifty years later and Sidney's going back, to hear for the first time the unfinished recording the band was making, the obsession that kept them there long after it was safe. The thing that stopped them using those visas while they were still good.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Have a nice guilt trip.
Have a nice guilt trip.
Have a nice guilt trip.
    by Serritella, Francesca Scottoline

"Lisa and Francesca are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. This four book series is among the best reviewed humor books published today and has been compared to the late greats, Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron. --Provided by publisher.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Heart of the Matter.
Heart of the Matter.
Heart of the Matter.
    by Giffin, Emily

"Giffin excels at creating complex characters and stories that ask us to explore what we really want from our lives."-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie--a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance--and even to some degree, friendships--believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Hominids.
Hominids.
Hominids.
    by Sawyer, Robert J.

Hominids examines two unique species of people. We are one of those species; the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they became the dominant intelligence. The Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to our own, but with radically different history, society and philosophy.

Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe. Almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist, he is quarantined and studied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended--by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence, and especially by Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan, a woman with whom he develops a special rapport.

Ponter's partner, Adikor Huld, finds himself with a messy lab, a missing body, suspicious people all around and an explosive murder trial. How can he possibly prove his innocence when he has no idea what actually happened to Ponter?

Hominids is the winner of the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

I capture the castle.
I capture the castle.
I capture the castle.
    by Smith, Dodie,

One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts!

I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of thereader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met." -- J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

Bonus: Reading Group Discussion Guide included in this edition

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

I feel bad about my neck :
I feel bad about my neck :
I feel bad about my neck :
    by Ephron, Nora.

With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck , a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age. Utterly courageous, uproariously funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, I Feel Bad About My Neck is a scrumptious, irresistible treat of a book, full of truths, laugh out loud moments that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

I'd Know You Anywhere.
I'd Know You Anywhere.
I'd Know You Anywhere.
    by Lippman, Laura

"Laura Lippman is among the select group of novelists who have invigorated the crime fiction arena with smart, innovative, and exciting work."
--George Pelecanos

"Lippman's taut, mesmerizing, and exceptionally smart drama of predator and prey is at once unusually sensitive and utterly compelling.
--Booklist

Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of What the Dead Know, Life Sentences, and the acclaimed Tess Monaghan p.i. series, delivers a stunning stand-alone novel that explores the lasting effects on lives touched by crime. With I'd Know You Anywhere, Lippman--master of mystery and psychological suspense, winner of every major literary prize given for crime fiction, including the Edgar#65533;, Agatha, and Nero Wolfe Awards--tells a gripping and richly textured tale of a young woman whose life dangerously entwines once again with a man on Death Row who had kidnapped her when she was a teenager. This is superior mystery writing in the vein of Kate Atkinson.

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Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey.
Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey.
Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey.
    by Carnarvon, Fiona,

Lady Fiona Carnarvon became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle - the setting of the hit series Downton Abbey - eight years ago. In that time she's become fascinated by the rich history of Highclere, and by the extraordinary people who lived there over the centuries.

One person particularly captured Fiona's imagination - Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.

Almina was the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. She was his only daughter and he doted on her. She married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at 19, with an enormous dowry.

At first, life at Highclere was a dizzying mix of sumptuous banquets for 500 and even the occasional royal visitor. Almina oversaw 80 members of staff - many of whom came from families who had worked at Highclere for generations.

But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever.

History intervened and Almina and the staff of Highclere were thrown into one of the most turbulent times of the last century. Almina was forced to draw on her deepest reserves of courage in order to ensure her family, the staff and the castle survived.

This is the remarkable story of a lost time. But Highclere remains and in this book, Fiona weaves Almina's journey and those of her family into the heritage and history of one of England's most exquisite Victorian castles.

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Late nights on air.
Late nights on air.
Late nights on air.
    by Hay, Elizabeth,

The eagerly anticipated novel from the bestselling author of A Student of Weather and Garbo Laughs .

Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, has returned to a small radio station in the Canadian North. There, in Yellowknife, in the summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real woman, Dido Paris, is both a surprise and even more than he imagined.

Dido and Harry are part of the cast of eccentric, utterly loveable characters, all transplants from elsewhere, who form an unlikely group at the station. Their loves and longings, their rivalries and entanglements, the stories of their pasts and what brought each of them to the North, form the centre. One summer, on a canoe trip four of them make into the Arctic wilderness (following in the steps of the legendary Englishman John Hornby, who, along with his small party, starved to death in the barrens in 1927), they find the balance of love shifting, much as the balance of power in the North is being changed by the proposed Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which threatens to displace Native people from their land.

Elizabeth Hay has been compared to Annie Proulx, Alice Hoffman, and Isabel Allende, yet she is uniquely herself. With unforgettable characters, vividly evoked settings, in this new novel, Hay brings to bear her skewering intelligence into the frailties of the human heart and her ability to tell a spellbinding story. Written in gorgeous prose, laced with dark humour, Late Nights on Air is Hay's most seductive and accomplished novel yet.

On the shortest night of the year, a golden evening without end, Dido climbed the wooden steps to Pilot's Monument on top of the great Rock that formed the heart of old Yellowknife. In the Netherlands the light was long and gradual too, but more meadowy, more watery, or else hazier, depending on where you were. . . . Here, it was subarctic desert, virtually unpopulated, and the light was uniformly clear.

On the road below, a small man in a black beret was bending over his tripod just as her father used to bend over his tape recorder. Her father's voice had become the wallpaper inside her skull, he'd made a home for himself there as improvised and unexpected as these little houses on the side of the Rock -- houses with histories of instability, of changing from gambling den to barber shop to sheet metal shop to private home, and of being moved from one part of town to another since they had no foundations.
-- From Late Nights On Air


From the Hardcover edition.

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Leota's garden.
Leota's garden.
Leota's garden.
    by Rivers, Francine,

Award-winning author Francine Rivers opens a world full of vibrant characters with a powerful story of hope. In this stunning novel, Francine explores the new life that love can bring to a decaying garden of broken relationships. Through the lives of 84-year-old Leota, her granddaughter, and a college student with all the answers, Francine leads readers to ponder the value of life and truth in a way that only she can.

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Little bee.
Little bee.
Little bee.
    by Cleave, Chris.

Sarah Summers is enjoying a holiday on a Nigerian beach when a young girl named Little Bee crashes irrevocably into her life. All it takes is a brief and horrifying moment of crisis -- a terrifying scene that no reader will forget. Afterwards, Sarah and Little Bee might expect never to see each other again. But Little Bee finds Sarah's husband's wallet in the sand, and smuggles herself on board a cargo vessel with his address in mind. She spends two years in detention in England before making her way to Sarah's house, with what will prove to be devastating timing.

Chapter by chapter, alternating between Little Bee's voice and Sarah's, Chris Cleave wholly and caringly portrays two very different women trying to cope with events they'd never imagined. Little Bee is experiencing all the fullness and emptiness of the rich world for the first time, and her observations are hopeful, charming and piercing: "Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl," she says: "Everyone would be pleased to see me coming."

Sarah is more cynical and disheartened, a successful magazine editor trying to find meaning in the face of turmoil at home and work. As the story develops, however, we learn about what matters most to her, including her fierce, protective love for her funny little son ("From the Spring of 2007 until the end of that long summer when Little Bee came to live with us," Sarah says, "my son removed his Batman costume only at bathtimes."). Sarah is trying to find herself as much as Little Bee is -- and, unexpectedly, each character discovers a ray of hope in the other.

What follows when Little Bee comes back into Sarah's life is a powerful story of reconciliation and healing, but it is mixed in with a generous helping of satire about the daily difficulties of modern life. This is a novel about important issues, from refugee policy to the devastating effects of violence, but more than that, it does something only great fiction can: Little Bee teaches us what it is like to live through experiences most of us think of only as far off disasters in the news.

As ever, the author says it best: "It's an uplifting, thrilling, universal human story, and I just worked to keep it simple. One brave African girl; one brave Western woman. What if one just turned up on the other's doorstep one misty morning and asked, Can you help? And what if that help wasn't just a one-way street?"

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Little princes :
Little princes :
Little princes :
    by Grennan, Conor.

Twenty-nine-year-old Conor Grennan traded his day job for a year-long trip around the globe, a journey that began with a three-month stint volunteering at the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. But the children were not orphans at all. Child traffickers were promising families in remote villages to protect their children from the civil war—for a fee—by taking them to safety. They would then abandon the children far from home, in the chaos of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. At turns tragic, joyful, and hilarious, Little Princes is a testament to the power of faith and the ability of love to carry us beyond our wildest expectations.

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Little stranger.
Little stranger.
Little stranger.
    by Waters, Sarah,

From the multi-award-winning and bestselling author of The Night Watch and Fingersmith comes an astonishing novel about love, loss, and the sometimes unbearable weight of the past.

In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to see a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the once grand house is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its garden choked with weeds. All around, the world is changing, and the family is struggling to adjust to a society with new values and rules.

Roddie Ayres, who returned from World War II physically and emotionally wounded, is desperate to keep the house and what remains of the estate together for the sake of his mother and his sister, Caroline. Mrs. Ayres is doing her best to hold on to the gracious habits of a gentler era and Caroline seems cheerfully prepared to continue doing the work a team of servants once handled, even if it means having little chance for a life of her own beyond Hundreds.

But as Dr. Faraday becomes increasingly entwined in the Ayreses' lives, signs of a more disturbing nature start to emerge, both within the family and in Hundreds Hall itself. And Faraday begins to wonder if they are all threatened by something more sinister than a dying way of life, something that could subsume them completely.

Both a nuanced evocation of 1940s England and the most chill-inducing novel of psychological suspense in years, The Little Stranger confirms Sarah Waters as one of the finest and most exciting novelists writing today.

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Love in the time of cholera.
Love in the time of cholera.
Love in the time of cholera.
    by García Márquez, Gabriel,

"A love story of astonishing power." - Newsweek
the International Bestseller and modern literary classic by Nobel Prize-Winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

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Luckiest girl alive.
Luckiest girl alive.
Luckiest girl alive.
    by Knoll, Jessica.

"This debut novel follows a young woman striving to create the perfect life--husband, home, career--until a violent incident from her past threatens to unravel everything and expose her most shocking secret of all"--Provided by publisher.

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Lyrics Alley :
Lyrics Alley :
Lyrics Alley :
    by Aboulela, Leila.

In 1950s Sudan, the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune through their trading firm with Mahmoud Bey at its helm. But when Mahmoud's son, Nur, suffers a debilitating accident, the family is suddenly divided in the face of an uncertain future. As British rule nears its end, Sudan is torn between modernizing influences and the call of traditions past -- a conflict reflected in Mahmoud's two very different wives. It is not until Nur begins to assert himself outside strict cultural limits that both his own spirit and the frayed bonds of his family can begin to mend.

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Maisie Dobbs :
Maisie Dobbs :
Maisie Dobbs :
    by Winspear, Jacqueline.

Hailed by NPR's Fresh Air as part Testament of Youth , part Dorothy Sayers, and part Upstairs, Downstairs , this astonishing debut has already won fans from coast to coast and is poised to add Maisie Dobbs to the ranks of literature's favorite sleuths.

Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence--and the patronage of her benevolent employers--she works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

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Major Pettigrew's last stand :
Major Pettigrew's last stand :
Major Pettigrew's last stand :
    by Simonson, Helen.

Written with a delightfully dry sense of humour and the wisdom of a born storyteller, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand explores the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of family obligation and tradition.

When retired Major Pettigrew strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani village shopkeeper, he is drawn out of his regimented world and forced to confront the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Brought together by a shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship on the cusp of blossoming into something more. But although the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs. Ali was born in Cambridge, village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as a permanent foreigner. The Major has always taken special pride in the village, but will he be forced to choose between the place he calls home and a future with Mrs. Ali?

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Man in the blue moon.
Man in the blue moon.
Man in the blue moon.
    by Morris, Michael,

"He's a gambler at best. A con artist at worst," her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace away from her dreams of studying art in France. Eighteen years later, that man has disappeared, leaving Ella alone and struggling to support her three sons. While the world is embroiled in World War I, Ella fights her own personal battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker. When a mysterious man arrives at Ella's door in an unconventional way, he convinces her he can help her avoid foreclosure, and a tenuous trust begins. But as the fight for Ella's land intensifies, it becomes evident that things are not as they appear. Hypocrisy and murder soon shake the coastal town of Apalachicola and jeopardize Ella's family.

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Me before you.
Me before you.
Me before you.
    by Moyes, Jojo,

Louisa Clark takes a job working for Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident. When she learns that Will has shocking plans, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

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Missing steps.
Missing steps.
Missing steps.
    by Cavanagh, Paul,

Dean Lajeunesse doesn't want to follow in his father's footsteps. He's not yet fifty, but his memory is starting to fail him. He vividly recalls how dementia whittled away at his dad and doesn't want his own teenaged son, Aidan, to see him suffer the same fate. Of course, he could just be overreacting. Maybe it's the stress of his on-again, off-again relationship with Valerie, his long-time live-in girlfriend, or the feeling that he's not measuring up as a father that's making him absent-minded. But before he can understand what's happening to him, he's dragged home to the sickbed of his estranged mother. There, he butts heads with his older brother, Perry, who's remained loyal to their mother and has succeeded in almost every way that Dean hasn't. As old family tensions bubble to the surface, Dean must try to hold on to Aidan's respect as he relives his difficult relationship with his own father.

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Mister Pip.
Mister Pip.
Mister Pip.
    by Jones, Lloyd,

The Booker finalist and beloved novel that has taken the world by storm is now a major motion picture starring Hugh Laurie.

Thirteen-year-old Matilda lives on a copper-rich tropical island that has been shattered by war, from which the teachers have fled along with everyone else. Only one white man chooses to stay behind, the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn. He sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and steps in to teach the children when there is no one else, and his only lessons consist of reading from his battered copy of Great Expectations, a book by his friend Mr. Dickens. First the children, and the entire village, are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip, their imaginations aflame with dreams of Dickens's London and the larger world. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination-- it turns out-- is a dangerous thing.

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Mistress of nothing.
Mistress of nothing.
Mistress of nothing.
    by Pullinger, Kate.

Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London society. But when her debilitating tuberculosis means exile, she and her devoted lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage (marshalled by the resourceful Omar) that travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her stays and takes to native dress, throwing herself into weekly salons, language lessons and excursions to the tombs, Sally too adapts to a new world, which affords her heady and heartfelt freedoms never known before. But freedom is a luxury that a maid can ill-afford, and when Sally grasps more than her status entitles her to, she is brutally reminded that she is mistress of nothing. **Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction

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Mostly happy.
Mostly happy.
Mostly happy.
    by Bustin, Pam,

Winner of White Pine Award, 2010. Bean’s story begins with an inventory of items, shiny bits of beauty that she has collected and tucked into a red Samsonite Saturn suitcase. This suitcase becomes Bean’s touchstone that keeps her from spiraling into the dark worlds of her beautiful, screwed up mother and all the stray men she brings home; her sad, exhausted father; and her magnetic stepfather as he transforms from family saviour into drunken dragon. As she migrates from schoolgirl to teen to young woman, and her dreams unfold from grill cheese sandwiches to self–sufficiency, she evolves into one of fiction’s most memorable characters.

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Mudbound.
Mudbound.
Mudbound.
    by Jordan, Hillary,

Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction. City-bred Laura gives up all hope of ever getting married, until forty-year-old, college-educated Henry enters her life. After a brief courtship they marry and start building a life together. They are blessed with two children and live a middle-class city life. But as the Second World War shudders to an end, Henry surprises Laura with the announcement that he has purchased a farm in rural Mississippi, to which they are moving along with Henry's detestable father. Laura finds the Delta foreign and frightening, but is willing to make the most of raising her children there

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My life in France.
My life in France.
My life in France.
    by Child, Julia.

Julia Child single handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn't know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.
Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia's unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Nineteen minutes.
Nineteen minutes.
Nineteen minutes.
    by Picoult, Jodi,

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and The Tenth Circle , pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy.

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by a school shooting. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes--or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show--destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

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Nomad.
Nomad.
Nomad.
    by Hirsi Ali, Ayaan

A celebration of free speech and democracy and a rousing call to action from the widely acclaimed author of Infidel , this #1 national bestseller is now available in trade paperback from Vintage Canada.

In Nomad , Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her story of her emotional journey to freedom to build a new life following her flight from a tribal world that limits women's every thought and action. After breaking with her family, she struggled to throw off restrictive superstitions and misconceptions--sometimes with very funny results--in order to assimilate into Western society. She has endured death threats and the horrendous murder of her collaborator and friend by an Islamic fanatic, but has not ceased to call on women and key institutions of the West to enact innovative remedies that could help Muslim immigrants everywhere overcome similar challenges--and resist the fatal allure of fundamentalism and terrorism.

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One last thing before I go.
One last thing before I go.
One last thing before I go.
    by Tropper, Jonathan

Silver has begun to accept that life isn't going to turn out as he expected. His ex-wife is about to marry a terrific guy Silver can't quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she's pregnant, because he's the one she cares least about letting down. With the wedding looming and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles, bonds, and comes together only to risk damaging each other even more. Lives begin anew, change radically, or in Silver's case-- as he discovers that he could die at any moment without an operation he refuses to have-- may be about to end in an instant.

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One true loves.
One true loves.
One true loves.
    by Reid, Taylor Jenkins.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They built a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest. On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever. Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma's second chance at happiness. That is, until Jesse is found. He's alive, and he's been trying all these years to come home to her.

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Operation Mincemeat.
Operation Mincemeat.
Operation Mincemeat.
    by Macintyre, Ben

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A SPY AMONG FRIENDS

In 1943, from a windowless basement office in London, two brilliant intelligence officers conceived a plan that was both simple and complicated-- Operation Mincemeat. The purpose? To deceive the Nazis into thinking that Allied forces were planning to attack southern Europe by way of Greece or Sardinia, rather than Sicily, as the Nazis had assumed, and the Allies ultimately chose.

Charles Cholmondeley of MI5 and the British naval intelligence officer Ewen Montagu could not have been more different. Cholmondeley was a dreamer seeking adventure. Montagu was an aristocratic, detail-oriented barrister. But together they were the perfect team. They created an ingenious plan: Get a corpse, equip it with secret (but false and misleading) papers concerning the invasion, then drop it off the coast of Spain where German spies would, they hoped, take the bait. The idea was approved by British intelligence officials, including Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond). Winston Churchill believed it might ring true to the Axis and help bring victory to the Allies.

Filled with spies, double agents, rogues, fearless heroes, and one very important corpse, the story of Operation Mincemeat reads like an international thriller.

Unveiling never-before-released material, Ben Macintyre brings the reader right into the minds of intelligence officers, their moles and spies, and the German Abwehr agents who suffered the "twin frailties of wishfulness and yesmanship." He weaves together the eccentric personalities of Cholmondeley and Montagu and their near-impossible feats into a riveting adventure that not only saved thousands of lives but paved the way for a pivotal battle in Sicily and, ultimately, Allied success in the war.

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Orphan train.
Orphan train.
Orphan train.
    by Kline, Christina Baker,

Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?

As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.

Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Predator.
Predator.
Predator.
    by Blackstock, Terri,

Bestselling author Terri Blackstock presents another stand-alone novel, Predator. The murder of Krista Carmichael's fourteen-year-old sister by an online predator has shaken her faith and made her question God's justice and protection. Desperate to find the killer, she creates an online persona to bait the predator. But when the stalker turns his sights on her, will Krista be able to control the outcome? Ryan Adkins started the social network GrapeVyne in his college dorm and has grown it into a billion-dollar corporation. But he never expected it to become a stalking ground for online Predators. One of them lives in his town and has killed two girls and attacked a third. When Ryan meets Krista, the murders become more than a news story to him, and everything is on the line. Joining forces, he and Krista set out to stop the killer. But when hunters pursue a hunter, the tables can easily turn. Only God can protect them now.

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Proof of heaven.
Proof of heaven.
Proof of heaven.
    by Alexander, Eben.

A highly trained neurosurgeon's case for the afterlife.

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Quiet :
Quiet :
Quiet :
    by Cain, Susan.

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts--Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak--that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader's guide and bonus content

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Rebecca.
Rebecca.
Rebecca.
    by Du Maurier, Daphne,

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

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Room.
Room.
Room.
    by Donoghue, Emma,

Winner of Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize; Commonwealth Writers' regional prize. To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It's where he was born and where he and his Ma eat and play and learn. At night, Ma puts him safely to sleep in the wardrobe, in case Old Nick comes. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it's the prison where Old Nick has kept her for seven years, since she was nineteen. Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's desperation -- and Room can't contain either of them for much longer.

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Ru.
Ru.
Ru.
    by Thúy, Kim

A runaway bestseller in Quebec, with foreign rights sold to 15 countries around the world, Kim Thuy's Governor General's Literary Award-winning RU is a lullaby for Vietnam and a love letter to a new homeland. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Rules of civility.
Rules of civility.
Rules of civility.
    by Towles, Amor.

A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

So you've been publicly shamed.
So you've been publicly shamed.
So you've been publicly shamed.
    by Ronson, Jon,

"From the author of The Psychopath Test and Lost at Sea, an exploration of shame, one of our world's most overlooked forces. Public shaming as a form of social control, such a big part of our lives it feels weird when there isn't anyone to be furious about. Whole careers are being ruined by one mistake. Our collective outrage at it has the force of a hurricane. Then we all quickly forget about it and move on to the next one, and it doesn't cross our minds to wonder if the shamed person is okay or in ruins. What's it doing to them? An examination of human nature and its flaws"--Provided by publisher.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Speaking my truth :
Speaking my truth :
Speaking my truth :
    by Dewar, Jonathan

Drawing from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation¿s three-volume series Truth and Reconciliation¿which comprises the titles From Truth to Reconciliation; Response, Responsibility, and Renewal; and Cultivating Canada¿acclaimed veteran broadcast-journalist and host of The Next Chapter on CBC Radio Shelagh Rogers joins series editors Mike DeGagné and Jonathan Dewar to present these selected reflections, in reader format, on the lived and living experiences and legacies of Residential Schools and, more broadly, reconciliation in Canada.

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State of wonder.
State of wonder.
State of wonder.
    by Patchett, Ann

"Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett's fiction."--New York Times Book Review

Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest. Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotional urgency that pervaded her acclaimed previous novels Bel Canto, Taft, Run, The Magician's Assistant, and The Patron Saint of Liars, Patchett delivers an enthrallingly innovative tale of aspiration, exploration, and attachment in State of Wonder--a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Station Eleven.
Station Eleven.
Station Eleven.
    by St. John Mandel, Emily,

A novel about art, fame and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies on-stage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time, this novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Travelling Symphony, caught in the cross-hairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Still Alice.
Still Alice.
Still Alice.
    by Genova, Lisa.

Reminiscent of "A Beautiful Mind" and "Ordinary People," this work is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman's sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease, written by a first-time author who holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Still mine.
Still mine.
Still mine.
    by Stuart, Amy,

Claire is on the run. From her past, from her husband, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she's hiding. As it turns out, she's hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place. But everyone in this place is hiding something--from Jared, Shayna's secretive ex-husband, to Charlie, the charming small-town drug pusher, to Derek, Shayna's overly involved family doctor, to Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents. As Clare uncovers the mysteries around Shayna's disappearance, she must confront her own demons, moving us deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of lies and making us question what it is she's really running from.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Stone mattress :
Stone mattress :
Stone mattress :
    by Atwood, Margaret,

In "Freeze-Dried Bridegroom," a man who bids on a storage locker has a surprise. In "Lusus Naturae," a woman with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In "I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth," we re-meet Tony, Charis, and Roz from The Robber Bride, but, years later.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Sweetland.
Sweetland.
Sweetland.
    by Crummey, Michael,

A deeply suspenseful story about one man's struggles against the forces of nature and the ruins of memory. For 12 generations, when the fish were plentiful and when they all-but disappeared, the inhabitants of this remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement, and each has been offered a generous compensation package to leave. But the money is offered with a proviso: everyone has to go; the government won't be responsible for one crazy coot who chooses to stay alone on an island.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Sweetness in the belly.
Sweetness in the belly.
Sweetness in the belly.
    by Gibb, Camilla.

Lilly, the main character of Camilla Gibb's stunning new novel, has anything but a stable childhood. The daughter of English/Irish hippies, she was "born in Yugoslavia, breast-fed in the Ukraine, weaned in Corsica, freed from nappies in Sicily and walking by the time [they] got to the Algarve..." The family's nomadic adventure ends in Tangier when Lilly's parents are killed in a drug deal gone awry. Orphaned at eight, Lilly is left in the care of a Sufi sheikh, who shows her the way of Islam through the Qur'an. When political turmoil erupts, Lilly, now sixteen, is sent to the ancient walled city of Harar, Ethiopia, where she stays in a dirt-floored compound with an impoverished widow named Nouria and her four children.

In Harar, Lilly earns her keep by helping with the household chores and teaching local children the Qur'an. Ignoring the cries of "farenji" (foreigner), she slowly begins to put down roots, learning the language and immersing herself in a culture rich in customs and rituals and lush with glittering bright headscarves, the chorus of muezzins and the scent of incense and coffee. She is drawn to an idealistic half-Sudanese doctor named Aziz, and the two begin to meet every Saturday at a social gathering. As they stay behind to talk, Lilly finds her faith tested for the first time in her life: "The desire to remain in his company overwhelmed common sense; I would pick up my good Muslim self on the way home." Just as their love begins to blossom, they are wrenched apart when the aging emperor Haile Selassie is deposed by the brutal Dergue regime. Lilly seeks exile in London, while Aziz stays to pursue his revolutionary passions.

In London, Lilly's life as a white Muslim is no less complicated. A hospital staff nurse, she befriends a refugee from Ethiopia named Amina, whose daughter she helped to deliver in a back alley. The two women set up a community association to re-unite refugees with lost family members. Their work, however, isn't entirely altruistic. Both women are looking for someone: Amina, her husband, Yusuf, and Lilly, Aziz, who remains firmly, painfully, implanted in her heart.

The first-person narrative alternates seamlessly between England (1981-91) and Ethiopia (1970-74), weaving a rich tapestry of one woman's quest to maintain faith and love through revolution, upheaval and the alienation of life in exile.

Sweetness in the Belly was universally praised for the tremendous empathy that Gibb brings to an ambitious story. Kirkus Reviews writes that the novel "reflect(s) the pain, cultural relocation and uncertainty of tribal, political and religious refugees the world over. Gibb's territory is urgently modern and controversial but she enters it softly, with grace, integrity and a lovely compassionate story. [It is a] poem to belief and to the displaced-humane, resonant, original, impressive." According to the Literary Review of Canada, Sweetness in the Belly is "...a novel that is culturally sensitive, consummately researched and deeply compassionate...richly imagined, full of sensuous detail and arresting imagery...Gibb has smuggled Western readers into the centre of lives they might never otherwise come into contact with, let alone understand."

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

That Old Cape Magic.
That Old Cape Magic.
That Old Cape Magic.
    by Russo, Richard

For Griffin, all paths, all memories, converge at Cape Cod.  The Cape is where he took his childhood summer vacations, where he and his wife, Joy, honeymooned, where they decided he'd leave his LA screenwriting job to become a college professor, and where they celebrated the marriage of their daughter Laura's best friend. But when their beloved Laura's wedding takes place a year later, Griffin is caught between chauffeuring his mother's and father's ashes in two urns and contending with Joy and her large, unruly family. Both he and she have also brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened?
 
By turns hilarious, rueful, and uplifting, That Old Cape Magic is a profoundly involving novel about marriage, family, and all the other ties that bind.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The age of miracles.
The age of miracles.
The age of miracles.
    by Walker, Karen Thompson.

Imagines the coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow, posing a catastrophic threat to all life.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Beauty of Humanity Movement.
The Beauty of Humanity Movement.
The Beauty of Humanity Movement.
    by Gibb, Camilla

Tu' is a young tour guide working in Hanoi for a company called New Dawn. While he leads tourists through the city, including American vets on "war tours," he starts to wonder what it is they are seeing of Vietnam--and what they miss
entirely. Maggie, who is Vietnamese by birth but has lived most her life in the U.S., has returned to her country of origin in search of clues to her dissident father's disappearance during the war. Holding the story together is Old Man Hung, who has lived through decades of political upheaval and has still found a way to feed hope to his community of pondside dwellers.

This is a keenly observed and skillfully wrought novel about the reverberation of conflict through generations, the enduring legacy of art, and the redemption and renewal of long-lost love.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The bees.
The bees.
The bees.
    by Paull, Laline

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as dangerous, but her courage and strength an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The birthday lunch.
The birthday lunch.
The birthday lunch.
    by Clark, Joan,

Free-spirited Lily has always played the peacemaker between her fierce, doting sister, Laverne, and her own loving, garrulous husband, Hal, as they competed for her attention. The competition has only grown worse since the three of them moved into a large house in the town of Sussex, New Brunswick. On Lily's 58th birthday, a steamy day in late June, Laverne feels she has bested Hal by winning her sister's company for a gourmet lunch, but it becomes a bitter and short-lived victory when the day's events take an unexpected and tragic turn.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Bishop's Man.
The Bishop's Man.
The Bishop's Man.
    by MacIntyre, Linden

Something about the boat, perhaps its name, and the posture of that boy caused me to defer my anxieties for the moment. It was so rare to see someone that age stationary, somber. I was more accustomed to a rowdy adolescent enthusiasm. This young man, I realized, was exceptional only because of time and place. Maybe any one of them in those circumstances would have been the same. Quiet. But he caught my attention nevertheless and linked the moment to tender places in the memory. Doomed boys and men: in retrospect they all have that stillness.
--from The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre

The year is 1993 and Father Duncan MacAskill stands at a small Cape Breton fishing harbour a few miles from where he grew up. Enjoying the timeless sight of a father and son piloting a boat, Duncan takes a moment's rest from his worries. But he does not yet know that his already strained faith is about to be tested by his interactions with a troubled boy, 18-year-old Danny MacKay.

Known to fellow priests as the "Exorcist" because of his special role as clean-up man for the Bishop of Antigonish, Duncan has a talent for coolly reassigning deviant priests while ensuring minimal fuss from victims and their families. It has been a lonely vocation, but Duncan is generally satisfied that his work is a necessary defense of the church. All this changes when lawyers and a policeman snoop too close for the bishop's comfort. Duncan is assigned a parish in the remote Cape Breton community of Creignish and told to wait it out.

This is not the first time Duncan has been sent away for knowing too much: decades ago, the displeased bishop sent a more idealistic Duncan to Honduras for voicing suspicions about a revered priest. It was there that Duncan first tasted forbidden love, with the beautiful Jacinta. It was also there that he met the courageous Father Alfonso, who taught him more about spiritual devotion than he had ever known back home. But when an act of violence in Honduras shook Duncan to his core, he returned home a changed man, willing to quietly execute the bishop's commands.

Now, decades later in Cape Breton, Duncan claims to his concerned sister Effie that isolation is his preference. But when several women seek to befriend him, along with some long-estranged friends, Duncan is alternately tempted and unnerved by their attentions. Drink becomes his only solace.

Attempting to distract himself with parish work, Duncan takes an interest in troubled young Danny, whose good-hearted father sells Duncan a boat he names The Jacinta . To Duncan's alarm, he discovers that the boy once spent time with an errant priest who had been dispatched by Duncan himself to Port Hood. Duncan begins to ask questions, dreading the answers. When tragedy strikes, he knows that he must act. But will his actions be those of a good priest, or an all too flawed man?

Winner of the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Linden MacIntyre's searing The Bishop's Man is an unforgettable and complex character study of a deeply conflicted man at the precipice of his life. Can we ever be certain of an individual's guilt or innocence? Is violence ever justified? Can any act of contrition redeem our own complicity?

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Book of negroes.
The Book of negroes.
The Book of negroes.
    by Hill, Lawrence,

Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle--a string of slaves-- Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic "Book of Negroes." This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.

Aminata's eventual return to Sierra Leone--passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America--is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Cat's table.
The Cat's table.
The Cat's table.
    by Ondaatje, Michael,

In the early 1950s in Ceylon an eleven-year-old boy is put alone aboard a ship bound for England. At mealtimes he is seated at the insignificant "cat's table"--as far from the Captain's table as can be--with two other lone boys and a small group of strange fellow passengers: one appears to be a shadowy figure from the British Secret Service; another a mysterious thief, another seems all too familiar with the dangerous ways of women and crime. On the long sea voyage across the Indian Ocean and through the Suez Canal, the three boys rush from one wild adventure and startling discovery to another: experiencing the first stirrings of desire, spying at night on a notorious shackled prisoner, moving easily between the decks and holds of the ship. As the secretive adult world is slowly revealed, they begin to realize that a drama is unfolding on board, and the prisoner's crime and fate will be a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them and link them forever.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The circle.
The circle.
The circle.
    by Eggers, Dave

"When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can't believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world--even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge."--Publisher.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The colony of unrequited dreams.
The colony of unrequited dreams.
The colony of unrequited dreams.
    by Johnston, Wayne,

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams , a Canadian bestseller, is a novel about Newfoundland that centres on the story of Joe Smallwood, the true-life controversial political figure who ushered the island through confederation with Canada and became its first premier. Narrated from Smallwood''s perspective, it voices a deep longing on the part of the Newfoundlander to do something significant, "commensurate with the greatness of the land itself". The New York Times said, "this prodigious, eventful, character-rich book is a noteworthy achievement: a biting, entertaining and inventive saga.... a brilliant and bravura literary performance".

Smallwood, born in 1900, is the first of thirteen children raised from the 'scruff' of Newfoundland, as opposed to the 'quality'. The colony is seen as an unworthy and negligible place: as his teacher from England says, "The worst of our lot comes over here, inbreeds for several hundred years and the end-product is a hundred thousand Newfoundlanders with Smallwood at the bottom of the barrel."

Smallwood, who still weighs only 75 pounds at the age of 20, seems an unlikely hero to fulfil what he sees as his mission: to transform the 'old lost land', with its lack of identity, into 'the new found land'; and meanwhile to rise "not from rags to riches, but from obscurity to world renown." With perseverance and determination, he sets about the task, becoming a journalist for a socialist newspaper in New York and then a union leader, at one point walking the 700-mile railway track across the island to sell memberships to the section-men living in shacks. He sees beyond his unpromising background, the cold and unrelenting hardship and isolation, envisioning a proud and great destiny. Eventually, a politician full of wild moneymaking schemes, he is swept into a world of intrigues and the machinations of the power elite, just as Newfoundland must decide whether to become an independent country or to join Canada.

In counterpoint to the earnest endeavours of Smallwood, champion of the poor and the workers, is the Dorothy Parker-like figure of his lifelong friend, Sheilagh Fielding. Their paths first cross at the private school from which Smallwood is expelled, falsely accused of writing a letter critical of the school, and thenceforth their lives are inextricably intertwined. Fielding becomes an acerbic newspaper columnist, a hard drinker with a sharp tongue who shares a strange love-hate relationship with Smallwood. Her cynical columns and personal journals are interspersed among Smallwood's account, along with her irreverent and satirical Condensed History of Newfoundland .

In writing a work of the imagination in part inspired by historical events, Johnston wanted "to fashion out of the formless infinitude of 'facts'…a work of art that would express a felt, emotional truth... Adherence to the 'facts' will not lead you safely through the labyrinthine pathways of the human heart." Johnston was 19 when he met the real Joe Smallwood; he was just starting out as a journalist, and Smallwood was less than complimentary about Johnston's reporting. Although the politician died only in 1991, little was written about his life before the age of fifty, allowing Johnston some license to imagine his formative influences.

"I wanted to write a big book about Newfoundland in scope and in vision. I couldn''t think of a bigger character whose life touched on more themes, involved the whole of Newfoundland more completely than Smallwood did." Smallwood saw Newfoundland in terms of "unrealized talent and unfulfilled ambition"; his life was somehow emblematic of the land. Moreover, says Johnston, "He was so prone to making mistakes and so fallible, and he combines so many contradictions in his personality. His quest, like that of many great literary figures of the past century, is to overcome these divisions." The completely invented character of Fielding, meanwhile, "is like me", says Johnston. "I share her view of Newfoundland."

The title of the book, Johnston says, evokes "the nostalgia Newfoundlanders have felt for the possibilities of the island, and that they still have for the future. Joe is always searching for something commensurate with the greatness of the land itself, but he can''t find it, and it''s driving him mad…Newfoundland is that kind of place. It makes you want to live up to the landscape, but on the other hand it offers you no resources to do so. There''s always this constant yearning that at least for my part helped me to start writing."

Smallwood's chronicle of his development from poor schoolboy to Father of the Confederation is a story full of epic journeys and thwarted loves, travelling from the ice floes of the seal hunt to New York City, in a style reminiscent at times of John Irving, Robertson Davies and Charles Dickens. Absorbing and entertaining, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams provides us with a deep perspective on the relationship between private lives and what comes to be understood as history and shows, as E. Annie Proulx commented, "Wayne Johnston is a brilliant and accomplished writer."

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The edible woman.
The edible woman.
The edible woman.
    by Atwood, Margaret,

Marian has a problem.
A willing member of the consumer society in which she lives, she suddenly finds herself identifying with the things being consumed. She can cope with her tidy-minded fianc#65533;, Peter, who likes shooting rabbits. She can cope with her job in market research, and the antics of her roommate. She can even cope with Duncan, a graduate student who seems to prefer laundromats to women. But not being able to eat is a different matter. Steak was the first to go. Then lamb, pork, and the rest. Next came her incapacity to face an egg. Vegetables were the final straw. But Marian has her reasons, and what happens next provides an unusual solution.
Witty, subversive, hilarious, The Edible Woman is dazzling and utterly original. It is Margaret Atwood's brilliant first novel, and the book that introduced her as a consummate observer of the ironies and absurdities of modern life.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The fault in our stars.
The fault in our stars.
The fault in our stars.
    by Green, John,

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten"--Jacket.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Finkler question.
The Finkler question.
The Finkler question.
    by Jacobson, Howard.

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment.

It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you had less to mourn? Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends' losses.

And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30pm, as Treslove hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country as he walks home, that he is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.

The Finkler Question is a scorching story of exclusion and belonging, justice and love, aging, wisdom and humanity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The girl on the train.
The girl on the train.
The girl on the train.
    by Hawkins, Paula

A nail-biting, stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession. Rachel takes the same commuter train every day, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses. The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess, as she calls them, seem so happy. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman she calls Jess on the news. Jess has disappeared. Through the ensuing police investigation, Rachel is drawn deeper into the lives of the couple.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Girls by Lori Lansens.
The Girls by Lori Lansens.
The Girls by Lori Lansens.
    by Lansens, Lori.

"We've been called many things: freaks, horrors, monsters, devils, witches, retards, wonders, marvels. To most, we're a curiosity. In small-town Leaford, where we live and work, we're just 'The Girls.'"

Rose and Ruby Darlen are closer than most twin sisters. Indeed, they have spent their twenty-nine years on earth joined at the head. Given that they share a web of essential veins, there is no possibility that they can be separated in their lifetime.

Born in a small town in the midst of a tornado, the sisters are abandoned by their frightened teenaged mother and create a circus-like stir in the medical community. The attending nurse, however, sees their true beauty and decides to adopt them. Aunt Lovey is a warm-hearted, no-nonsense woman married to a gentle immigrant butcher, Uncle Stash. The middle-aged couple moves to a farm where the girls -- "not hidden but unseen" -- can live as normal a life as possible.

For identical twins, Rose and Ruby are remarkably different both on the inside and out. Ruby has a beautiful face whereas Rose's features are, in her own words, "misshapen and frankly grotesque." And whereas Rose's body is fully formed, Ruby's bottom half is dwarfish -- with her tiny thighs resting on Rose's hip, she must be carried around like a small child or doll. The differences in their tastes are no less distinct. A poet and avid reader, Rose is also huge sports fan. Ruby, on the other hand, would sooner watch television than crack open a book -- that is, anything but sports. They are rarely ready for bed at the same time and whereas Rose loves spicy food, Ruby has a "disturbing fondness for eggs."

On the eve of their thirtieth birthday, Rose sets out to write her autobiography. But because their lives have been so closely shared, Ruby insists on contributing the occasional chapter. And so, as Rose types away on her laptop, the technophobic Ruby scribbles longhand on a yellow legal pad. They've established one rule for their co-writing venture: neither is allowed to see what the other has written. Together, they tell the story of their lives as the world's oldest surviving craniopagus twins -- the literary Rose and straight-talking Ruby often seeing the same event in wildly different ways. Despite their extreme medical condition, the sisters express emotional truths that every reader will identify with: on losing a loved one, the hard lessons of compromise, the first stirrings of sexual desire, the pain of abandonment, and the transcendent power of love.

Rose and Ruby Darlen of Baldoon County, Ontario, are two of the most extraordinary and unforgettable characters to spring into our literature. As Kirkus Reviews puts it, "The novel's power lies in the wonderful narrative voices of Rose and Ruby. Lansens has created a richly nuanced, totally believable sibling relationship... An unsentimental, heartwarming page-turner." The National Post writes: "Lansens's beautiful writing is so detailed that it is often easy to forget that the material is not based on a true story. She captures what it would be like never to sleep, bathe, go for a walk, or meet friends on your own."

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The great Gatsby.
The great Gatsby.
The great Gatsby.
    by Fitzgerald, F. Scott

A beautiful new edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby to coincide with the release of Baz Luhrmann's film. 'There was music from my neighbour's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.' Everybody who is anybody is seen at the glittering parties held in millionaire Jay Gatsby's mansion in West Egg, east of New York. The riotous throng congregates in his sumptuous garden, coolly debating Gatsby's origins and mysterious past. None of the frivolous socialites understands him and among various rumours is the conviction that 'he killed a man'. A detached onlooker, Gatsby is oblivious to the speculation he creates, but always seems to be watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. As writer Nick Carraway is drawn into this decadent orbit, Gatsby's destructive dreams and passions are revealed, leading to disturbing and tragic consequences. 'Not only a page turner and heartbreaker, it's one of the most quintessentially American novels ever written' Time F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St Paul, Minnesota in 1896. He studied at Princeton University before joining the army in 1917. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre. Their traumatic relationship and subsequent breakdowns became a major influence on his writing. Among his publications were five novels, This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon (his last and unfinished work); six volumes of short stories and The Crack-Up, a selection of autobiographical pieces. F. Scott Fitzgerald died suddenly in 1940.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
    by Shaffer, Mary Ann.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb....

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends--and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island--boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The Help.
The Help.
The Help.
    by Stockett, Kathryn

The #1 New York Times bestselling novel and basis for the Academy Award-winning film.

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...

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The History of love.
The History of love.
The History of love.
    by Krauss, Nicole.

Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive. But it wasn't always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book...Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of "extraordinary depth and beauty" (Newsday).

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The house girl.
The house girl.
The house girl.
    by Conklin, Tara.

A novel of love, family, and justice follows Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in a Manhattan law firm, as she searches for the "perfect plaintiff" to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.

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The Hunger games.
The Hunger games.
The Hunger games.
    by Collins, Suzanne.

Now in paperback, the book no one can stop talking about . . .

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV.

One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play. The winner brings riches and favor tohis or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games.

But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

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The Imperfectionists.
The Imperfectionists.
The Imperfectionists.
    by Rachman, Tom

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachman's wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep it - and themselves - afloat.

Fifty years and many changes have ensued since the paper was founded by an enigmatic millionaire, and now, amid the stained carpeting and dingy office furniture, the staff's personal dramas seem far more important than the daily headlines. Kathleen, the imperious editor in chief, is smarting from a betrayal in her open marriage; Arthur, the lazy obituary writer, is transformed by a personal tragedy; Abby, the embattled financial officer, discovers that her job cuts and her love life are intertwined in a most unexpected way. Out in the field, a veteran Paris freelancer goes to desperate lengths for his next byline, while the new Cairo stringer is mercilessly manipulated by an outrageous war correspondent with an outsize ego. And in the shadows is the isolated young publisher who pays more attention to his prized basset hound, Schopenhauer, than to the fate of his family's quirky newspaper.

As the era of print news gives way to the Internet age and this imperfect crew stumbles toward an uncertain future, the paper's rich history is revealed, including the surprising truth about its founder's intentions.

Spirited, moving, and highly original, The Imperfectionists will establish Tom Rachman as one of our most perceptive, assured literary talents.

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The invention of wings.
The invention of wings.
The invention of wings.
    by Kidd, Sue Monk

The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. On Sarah's eleventh birthday she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives, and is inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimké (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist).

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The jaguar's children.
The jaguar's children.
The jaguar's children.
    by Vaillant, John

Hector, a young Zapotec fleeing Mexico for a better life in the US with his friend Cesar, a biotech researcher, pays to be smuggled across the border by unscrupulous "coyotes," concealed in the tightly sealed, empty tank of a water truck packed with illegal migrants. Abandoned by the smugglers in the desert, they are left to die, their only lifeline Cesar's phone. As legends fuse with the terrifying present, the dangers Cesar is fleeing become grippingly apparent.

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The little Paris Bookshop.
The little Paris Bookshop.
The little Paris Bookshop.
    by George, Nina,

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story.

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The Martian.
The Martian.
The Martian.
    by Weir, Andy.

"Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive -- and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills -- and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit -- he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?" --

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The Midwife of Venice.
The Midwife of Venice.
The Midwife of Venice.
    by Rich, Roberta.

At midnight, the dogs, cats, and rats rule Venice. The Ponte di Ghetto Nuovo, the bridge that leads to the ghetto, trembles under the weight of sacks of rotting vegetables, rancid fat, and vermin. Shapeless matter, perhaps animal, floats to the surface of Rio di San Girolamo and hovers on its greasy waters. Through the mist rising from the canal the cries and grunts of foraging pigs echo. Seeping refuse on the streets renders the pavement slick and the walking treacherous. 

It was on such a night that the men came for Hannah.

--

Hannah Levi is known throughout sixteenth-century Venice for her skill in midwifery. When a Christian count appears at Hannah's door in the Jewish ghetto imploring her to attend his labouring wife, who is nearing death, Hannah is forced to make a dangerous decision. Not only is it illegal for Jews to render medical treatment to Christians, it's also punishable by torture and death. Moreover, as her Rabbi angrily points out, if the mother or child should die, the entire ghetto population will be in peril.

But Hannah's compassion for another woman's misery overrides her concern for self-preservation. The Rabbi once forced her to withhold care from her shunned sister, Jessica, with terrible consequences. Hannah cannot turn away from a labouring woman again. Moreover, she cannot turn down the enormous fee offered by the Conte. Despite the Rabbi's protests, she knows that this money can release her husband, Isaac, a merchant who was recently taken captive on Malta as a slave. There is nothing Hannah wants more than to see the handsome face of the loving man who married her despite her lack of dowry, and who continues to love her despite her barrenness. She must save Isaac.

Meanwhile, far away in Malta, Isaac is worried about Hannah's safety, having heard tales of the terrifying plague ravaging Venice. But his own life is in terrible danger. He is auctioned as a slave to the head of the local convent, Sister Assunta, who is bent on converting him to Christianity. When he won't give up his faith, he's traded to the brutish lout Joseph, who is renowned for working his slaves to death. Isaac soon learns that Joseph is heartsick over a local beauty who won't give him the time of day. Isaac uses his gifts of literacy and a poetic imagination--not to mention long-pent-up desire--to earn his day-to-day survival by penning love letters on behalf of his captor and a paying illiterate public.

Back in Venice, Hannah packs her ""birthing spoons"--secret rudimentary forceps she invented to help with difficult births--and sets off with the Conte and his treacherous brother. Can she save the mother? Can she save the baby, on whose tiny shoulders the Conte's legacy rests? And can she also save herself, and Isaac, and their own hopes for a future, without endangering the lives of everyone in the ghetto?

The Midwife of Venice is a gripping historical page-turner, enthralling readers with its suspenseful action and vivid depiction of life in sixteenth-century Venice. Roberta Rich has created a wonderful heroine in Hannah Levi, a lioness who will fight for the survival of the man she loves, and the women and babies she is duty-bound to protect, carrying with her the best of humanity's compassion and courage.

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The narrow road to the deep north.
The narrow road to the deep north.
The narrow road to the deep north.
    by Flanagan, Richard,

"A novel of love and war that traces the life of one man--an Australian surgeon--from a prisoner-of-war camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway during World War II, up to the present"--

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Night circus :
The Night circus :
The Night circus :
    by Morgenstern, Erin.

In this mesmerizing debut, a competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story.

The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic.

Welcome to Le Cirque des R#65533;ves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway - a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The orenda.
The orenda.
The orenda.
    by Boyden, Joseph,

A visceral portrait of life at a crossroads, the Orenda opens with a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of the young Iroquois Snow Falls, a spirited girl with a special gift. Her captor, Bird, is an elder and one of the Huron Nation's great warriors and statesmen. It has been years since the murder of his family, and yet they are never far from his mind. In Snow Falls, Bird recognizes the ghost of his lost daughter and sees that the girl possesses powerful magic that will be useful to him on the troubled road ahead.

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The painted girls.
The painted girls.
The painted girls.
    by Buchanan, Cathy Marie

Paris, 1878. 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 from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opera, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of #65533;mile Zola's naturalist masterpiece L'Assommoir. Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged 14. Meanwhile, Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous #65533;mile Abadie, must choose between honest labour and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde. 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." In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation--her survival, even--lies with the other.

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The Paris wife.
The Paris wife.
The Paris wife.
    by McLain, Paula

"An evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable time and place - the 1920's in Chicago, Toronto, and most of all Paris - and an extraordinary love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley."--Back cover

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The rainbow troops.
The rainbow troops.
The rainbow troops.
    by Hirata, Andrea.

Originally written in Bahasa, The Rainbow Troops was first published in 2005 and sold a record-breaking five million copies in Indonesia. The novel tells the inspiring and closely autobiographical tale of the trials and tribulations that the ten motley students (nicknamed the Rainbow Troops) and two teachers from Muhammadiyah Elementary School on Belitong Island, Indonesia, undergo to ensure the continuation of the children's education. The poverty-stricken school suffers the constant threat of closure by government officials, greedy corporations, natural disasters and the students' own lack of self-confidence. The story is written from the perspective of Ikal, who is six years old when the novel opens. Just as the author himself did as a young man, Ikal goes to college and eventually wins a scholarship to go abroad, beating incredible odds to become a writer.

This delightful, inspiring book has a fable-like quality that reminds us why we love stories--heartwarming stories, funny stories, stories that remind us of the precious things in life. Ikal and his band of plucky cohorts face obstacles large and small, and the reader can't help but root for them to beat the odds and get the education--and life--they deserve. The setting is as compelling and memorable as the characters, and a rare window into a world we know little about.

The Rainbow Troops is the first of a tetralogy of novels that have all become bestsellers in Indonesia. It was adapted for the screen and shown at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2009.

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The Sea Captain's Wife.
The Sea Captain's Wife.
The Sea Captain's Wife.
    by Powning, Beth

Growing up on the Bay of Fundy, Azuba Galloway dreams of going to sea. She watches magnificent ships slowly making their way into Whelan's Cove, the sense of exoticism bursting from their holds along with foreign goods.
 
As a young woman, Azuba marries a seasoned merchant sea captain, Nathaniel Bradstock. Unwilling to have him away at sea for most of their married life, and anxious to see far shores, she extracts a promise that he will take her with him. But Azuba becomes pregnant soon after they marry and Nathaniel knows too well the perils of life on a ship. He reneges on his promise and refuses to allow Azuba to join him.
 
When Nathaniel leaves on his journey, Azuba desperately misses her husband. Days turn into weeks and months - voyages can take two, three years before the ship and crew return home. Despite her loneliness, Azuba becomes a strong, independent woman, caring for her child and her home. With her parents and beloved grandmother nearby, she settles into a life of quietude and predictability, all the while yearning to be by her husband's side aboard his ship.
 
Her loneliness eventually propels her into a friendship with the local vicar, Reverend Simon Walton. He is a quiet, kind and contemplative man, and Azuba takes comfort and enjoyment in their increasingly intimate friendship. One afternoon, despite her misgivings, Azuba goes on a picnic with the vicar and becomes trapped by the tide. When they return home the next morning, Azuba and Reverend Walton have become a topic of gossip.
 
When Nathaniel returns home he is enraged by her impropriety. Reluctantly he decides to take Azuba and their young daughter, Carrie, with him on his next voyage. Mother and child are loaded from a rowboat and hauled onto the weather deck along with barrels of coal and crates of chickens. Nathaniel has drawn a line across the deck. "You'll never again cross that line," he instructs Azuba.

It is October 1862. It will be three years before Azuba sees the shores of Whelan's Cove again. Aboard Traveller , the small family visits places Azuba dreamed she would one day see: London, San Francisco and exotic countries in Europe.
 
But she also experiences the terror that can come during a life at sea: a harrowing passage around Cape Horn, half-starvation while listlessly floating in the doldrums, and a stop at the Chincha Islands to pick up a load of guano, where she witnesses a mass suicide by slaves. She begins to question her decision to join her husband, particularly when she realizes there is "no way to erase horror from a child's memory."

Misery follows misfortune and Azuba feels alone in a male world, surrounded by the splendour and the terror of the open sea. The voyage tests not only her already precarious marriage, but everything Azuba believes in.
 
With a sure hand, Beth Powning captures life aboard a sailing ship - ferocious storms, the impossibly isolated ports of call, the gruelling daily routine - and shows how love evolves even in the most extreme circumstances.
 
The Sea Captain's Wife is an awe-inspiring tour that captures the vigour of life in the last days of the Age of Sail and gives us an unforgettable young heroine who shows compassion, courage and love while under incredible duress.




From the Hardcover edition.

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The Sense of an ending.
The Sense of an ending.
The Sense of an ending.
    by Barnes, Julian.

Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize and #1 international bestseller, The Sense of an Ending is a masterpiece.

The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes's new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian's life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget.

Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths?

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Sentimentalists.
The Sentimentalists.
The Sentimentalists.
    by Skibsrud, Johanna,

THE GILLER PRIZE-WINNING NOVEL BY JOHANNA SKIBSRUD.

Haunted by the vivid horrors of the Vietnam War, exhausted from years spent battling his memories, Napoleon Haskell leaves his North Dakota trailer and moves to Canada.

He retreats to a small Ontario town where Henry, the father of his fallen Vietnam comrade, has a home on the shore of a man-made lake. Under the water is the wreckage of what was once the town -- and the home where Henry was raised.

When Napoleon's daughter arrives, fleeing troubles of her own, she finds her father in the dark twilight of his life, and rapidly slipping into senility. With love and insatiable curiosity, she devotes herself to learning the truth about his life; and through the fog, Napoleon's past begins to emerge.

Lyrical and riveting, The Sentimentalists is a story of what lies beneath the surface of everyday life, and of the commanding power of the past. Johanna Skibsrud's first novel marks the debut of a powerful new voice in Canadian fiction.

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The Shadow of the wind.
The Shadow of the wind.
The Shadow of the wind.
    by Ruiz Zafón, Carlos,

"Gabriel Garc#65533;a M#65533;rquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." -- The New York Times Book Review

A New York Times Bestseller

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer's son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Juli#65533;n Carax. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax's books in existence. Soon Daniel's seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

" Anyone who enjoys novels that are scary, erotic, touching, tragic and thrilling should rush right out to the nearest bookstore and pick up The Shadow of the Wind. Really, you should." -- Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

" Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature , intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." -- Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King

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The silver linings playbook.
The silver linings playbook.
The silver linings playbook.
    by Quick, Matthew,

A heartwarming New York Times bestselling novel, now a major movie by David O. Russell--nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four Golden Globes, and four Screen Actors Guild Awards!

"Aawww shucks!" NPR's Nancy Pearl said. "I know that's hardly a usual way to begin a book review, but it was my immediate response to finishing Matthew Quick's heartwarming, humorous and soul-satisfying first novel . . . This book makes me smile."

Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending--the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat's now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he's beingpursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he's being haunted by Kenny G!

David O. Russell's adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook features Bradley Cooper ( People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive) in the role of Pat, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, and Jacki Weaver. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: "Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut."

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Sisters brothers.
The Sisters brothers.
The Sisters brothers.
    by DeWitt, Patrick,

Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Prix des libraires du Quebec and the Stephen Leacock Medal. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Walter Scott Prize.

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die: Eli and Charlie Sisters can be counted on for that. Though Eli has never shared his brother's penchant for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. On the road to Warm's gold-mining claim outside San Francisco -- and from the back of his long-suffering one-eyed horse -- Eli struggles to make sense of his life without abandoning the job he's sworn to do.

Patrick DeWitt, acclaimed author of Ablutions, doffs his hat to the classic Western, and then transforms it into a comic tour-de-force with an unforgettable narrative voice that captures all the absurdity, melancholy, and grit of the West -- and of these two brothers, bound to each other by blood and scars and love.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The sixth extinction.
The sixth extinction.
The sixth extinction.
    by Kolbert, Elizabeth

Provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

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The Slap.
The Slap.
The Slap.
    by Tsiolkas, Christos,

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2009. The reverberations from the slap are far-reaching, affecting the marriages and friendships of all those who witness it. What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex, marriage, and the fury and intensity that family can arouse. Told through the eyes of eight different characters, the slap and the ensuing emotional maelstrom become catalysts for an unflinching and all-seeing journey into the modern family and domestic life. Children come of age, marriages teeter on the brink and midlife crises erupt against a backdrop of lust, jealousy, deception and inadequacy.

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The Sweetness at the bottom of the pie.
The Sweetness at the bottom of the pie.
The Sweetness at the bottom of the pie.
    by Bradley, Alan,

Winner of the 2007 Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger

A delightfully dark English mystery, featuring precocious young sleuth Flavia de Luce and her eccentric family.

The summer of 1950 hasn't offered up anything out of the ordinary for eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce: bicycle explorations around the village, keeping tabs on her neighbours, relentless battles with her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and brewing up poisonous concoctions while plotting revenge in their home's abandoned Victorian chemistry lab, which Flavia has claimed for her own.

But then a series of mysterious events gets Flavia's attention: A dead bird is found on the doormat, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. A mysterious late-night visitor argues with her aloof father, Colonel de Luce, behind closed doors. And in the early morning Flavia finds a red-headed stranger lying in the cucumber patch and watches him take his dying breath. For Flavia, the summer begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw: " I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life."

Did the stranger die of poisoning? There was a piece missing from Mrs. Mullet's custard pie, and none of the de Luces would have dared to eat the awful thing. Or could he have been killed by the family's loyal handyman, Dogger... or by the Colonel himself! At that moment, Flavia commits herself to solving the crime -- even if it means keeping information from the village police, in order to protect her family. But then her father confesses to the crime, for the same reason, and it's up to Flavia to free him of suspicion. Only she has the ingenuity to follow the clues that reveal the victim's identity, and a conspiracy that reaches back into the de Luces' murky past.

A thoroughly entertaining romp of a novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is inventive and quick-witted, with tongue-in-cheek humour that transcends the macabre seriousness of its subject.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The sympathizer.
The sympathizer.
The sympathizer.
    by Nguyen, Viet Thanh,

Follows a Viet Cong agent as he spies on a South Vietnamese army general and his compatriots as they start a new life in 1975 Los Angeles.

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The Ten-year nap.
The Ten-year nap.
The Ten-year nap.
    by Wolitzer, Meg.

The New York Times bestselling novel by the author of The Interestings that woke up critics, book clubs, and women everywhere.

For a group of four New York friends the past decade has been defined largely by marriage and motherhood, but it wasn't always that way. Growing up, they had been told that their generation would be different. And for a while this was true. They went to good colleges and began high-powered careers. But after marriage and babies, for a variety of reasons, they decided to stay home, temporarily, to raise their children. Now, ten years later, they are still at home, unsure how they came to inhabit lives so different from the ones they expected--until a new series of events begins to change the landscape of their lives yet again, in ways they couldn't have predicted.

Written in Meg Wolitzer's inimitable, glittering style, The Ten-Year Nap is wickedly observant, knowing, provocative, surprising, and always entertaining, as it explores the lives of its women with candor, wit, and generosity.

Meg Wolitzers's newest book, The Interestings , is now available from Riverhead Books.

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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
    by Mitchell, David

The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the "high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island" that is the Japanese Empire's single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fianc#65533;e back in Holland.

But Jacob's original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city's powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob's worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, "Who ain't a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?"

A magnificent mix of luminous writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author.

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The Three Weissmanns of Westport.
The Three Weissmanns of Westport.
The Three Weissmanns of Westport.
    by Schine, Cathleen

A New York Times Best Seller
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

Betty Weissmann has just been dumped by her husband of forty-eight years. Exiled from her elegant New York apartment by her husband's mistress, she and her two middle-aged daughters, Miranda and Annie, regroup in a run-down Westport, Connecticut, beach cottage. In Schine's playful and devoted homage to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility , the impulsive sister is Miranda, a literary agent entangled in a series of scandals, and the more pragmatic sister is Annie, a library director, who feels compelled to move in and watch over her capricious mother and sister. Schine's witty, wonderful novel " is simply full of pleasure : the pleasure of reading, the pleasure of Austen, and the pleasure that the characters so rightly and humorously pursue....An absolute triumph" ( The Cleveland Plain Dealer ).

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The Tiger's wife :
The Tiger's wife :
The Tiger's wife :
    by Obreht, Téa.

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST *nbsp; NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal * O: The Oprah Magazine * The Economist * Vogue * Slate * Chicago Tribune * The Seattle Times * Dayton Daily News * Publishers Weekly * Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered
nbsp;
SELECTED ONE OF THE TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times * Entertainment Weekly * The Christian Science Monitor * The Kansas City Star * Library Journal

In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather's recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with "the deathless man." But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her--the legend of the tiger's wife.

Look for special features inside.nbsp;Join the Circle for author chats and more.

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The Virgin cure.
The Virgin cure.
The Virgin cure.
    by McKay, Ami,

The much-anticipated follow-up to The Birth House , The Virgin Cure secures Ami McKay's place as one of our most powerful storytellers.
 
"I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart."
 
The Virgin Cure begins in the tenements of lower Manhattan in the year 1871. A series of betrayals lead Moth, at only twelve years old, to the wild, murky world of the Bowery, where eventually she meets Miss Everett, the owner of a brothel simply known as "The Infant School." Miss Everett caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for companions who are "willing and clean," and the most desirable of them all are young virgins like Moth.
 
While Moth's housemates risk falling prey to the myth of the "virgin cure"--the belief that deflowering a girl can heal the incurable and tainted--her new friend Dr. Sadie warns Moth to question and observe the world around her so she won't share the same fate. Still, Moth dreams of answering to no one but herself. There's a high price for such independence, though, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The weight of blood.
The weight of blood.
The weight of blood.
    by McHugh, Laura

"The Dane family's roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn't keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy's few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls--the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri's necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri's death could be linked to her mother's disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie"--Provided by publisher.

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The widow.
The widow.
The widow.
    by Barton, Fiona.

Jean Taylor is the wife of a man labeled a monster. Glen Taylor was accused of heinous crimes, implicated in the disappearance of two-year-old Bella Elliot, snatched from her front garden four years ago. But now he's dead and Jean Taylor is finally ready to tell her story. For the reporter who has secured the exclusive interview, this is the scoop of a lifetime. For the detective who has lived a half-life since he failed to get justice for the lost little girl, it is a chance to uncover the truth that has eluded him for so long. It's time. Jean Taylor is going to tell what she knows.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Wife's tale .
The Wife's tale .
The Wife's tale .
    by Lansens, Lori

It's the eve of her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and Mary Gooch is waiting for her husband, Jimmy, to come home. But Mary isn't just waiting for Jimmy. She is waiting for a mother who accepts her, children she is unable to have, a life beyond the well-worn path from her bedroom to the refrigerator. Mary is waiting for her life to start.
 
As she waits for Jimmy, the night passes into day and it becomes clear that he isn't coming home. A letter left in the mailbox confirms her worst fears and Mary is left alone to make a difficult decision. Should she break free from her inertia and salvage her marriage? Or is the pull of the familiarity of her home, the predictability of her daily routines, too strong to resist?
 
For the first time in her life, Mary decides to leave and boards a plane to California. She flies across the country in a desperate attempt to find her husband. The clothes, the marriage, the home that had given her a place to hide for so long are all gone. Mary soon finds that the bright sun and broad vistas of California force her to look up from the pavement, stop waiting and start living. What she finds when she does is an inner strength she's never felt before. Through it all, Mary not only finds kindred spirits, but reunites with a more intimate stranger no longer sequestered by fear and habit: herself.


From the Hardcover edition.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

The Year of living biblically :
The Year of living biblically :
The Year of living biblically :
    by Jacobs, A. J.,

From the bestselling author of The Know-It-All comes a fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible. A.J. Jacobs chronicles his hilarious and thoughtful year spent obeying―as literally as possible―the tenets of the Bible.

Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.

The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes.

Jacobs's quest transforms his life even more radically than the year spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica for The Know-It-All . His beard grows so unruly that he is regularly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. He immerses himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry, and tells the absolute truth in all situations--much to his wife's chagrin.

Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does Scripture study with Jehovah's Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that baffle the twenty-first-century brain.

Jacobs's extraordinary undertaking yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm readers both secular and religious, The Year of Living Biblically is part Cliff Notes to the Bible , part memoir, and part look into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

This changes everything :
This changes everything :
This changes everything :
    by Klein, Naomi,

"The really inconvenient truth about global warming is that it's not about carbon -- it's about capitalism. We can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed system and build something radically better. Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth. Klein exposes the myths that are clouding the climate debate. Our addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. We have been told it's impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it -- it just requires breaking every rule in the 'free-market' playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding local economies and reclaiming our democracies. Are we too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge? In fact, the fight back is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring. Climate change, Klein argues, is a civilizational wake-up call, a powerful message delivered in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts. Confronting it is no longer about changing the light bulbs. It's about changing the world -- before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe. Naomi Klein writes books that redefine an era. No Logo did so for globalization. The Shock Doctrine changed the way we think about austerity. 'This Changes Everything' upends the debate about the stormy era already upon us. Born in Montreal, Naomi Klein is a contributing editor for Harper's, a reporter for Rolling Stone, and a syndicated columnist for The Nation and the Guardian"--Provided by publisher.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Too Much Happiness.
Too Much Happiness.
Too Much Happiness.
    by Munro, Alice

Brilliantly paced, lit with sparks of danger and underlying menace, these are dazzling, provocative stories about Svengali men and the radical women who outmanoeuvre them, about destructive marriages and curdled friendships, about mothers and sons, about moments that change or haunt a life. Alice Munro takes on complex, even harrowing emotions and events, and renders them into stories that surprise, amaze, and shed light on the unpredictable ways we accommodate what happens in our lives.

Munro's unsettling stories turn lives into art, and expand our world and our understanding of the strange workings of the human heart.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

We're all in this together.
We're all in this together.
We're all in this together.
    by Jones, Amy,

Like all families, the Parkers of Thunder Bay have had their share of complications. But when matriarch Kate Parker miraculously survives plummeting over a waterfall in a barrel -- a feat captured on a video that goes viral -- it's Kate's family who tumbles into chaos under the spotlight. Her prodigal daughter returns to town. Her 16-year-old granddaughter gets caught up in an online relationship with a man she has never met. Her husband sifts through their marriage to search for what sent his wife over the falls. Her adopted son fears losing the only family he's ever known. Then there is Kate, who once made a life-changing choice and now fears her advancing dementia will rob her of memories from when she was most herself. Set over the course of four calamitous days, Amy Jones's big-hearted first novel follows the Parkers' misadventures as catastrophe forces them to do something they never thought possible -- act like a family.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

What Alice forgot.
What Alice forgot.
What Alice forgot.
    by Moriarty, Liane

Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. After a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce. A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

What the psychic told the pilgrim.
What the psychic told the pilgrim.
What the psychic told the pilgrim.
    by Christmas, Jane.

To celebrate her 50th birthday and face the challenges of mid-life, Jane Christmas joins 14 women to hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Despite a psychic's warning of catfights, death, and a sexy, fair-haired man, Christmas soldiers on. After a week of squabbles, the group splinters and the real adventure begins. In vivid, witty style, she recounts her battles with loneliness, hallucinations of being joined by Steve Martin, as well as picturesque villages and even the fair-haired man. What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim is one trip neither the author nor the reader will forget.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

When we were strangers.
When we were strangers.
When we were strangers.
    by Schoenewaldt, Pamela.

"The people as real as your own family, and the tale realistic enough to be any American's."
--Nancy E. Turner, author of These is My Words

A moving, powerful, and evocative debut novel, When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt heralds the arrival of superb new voice in American fiction. A tale rich in color, character, and vivid historical detail, it chronicles the tumultuous life journey of a young immigrant seamstress, as she travels from her isolated Italian mountain village through the dark corners of late nineteenth century America. A historical novel that readers of Geraldine Brooks, Nancy Turner, Frances de Pontes Peebles, and Debra Dean will most certainly cherish, When We Were Strangers will live in the mind and the heart long after its last page is turned.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Why be happy when you could be normal?.
Why be happy when you could be normal?.
Why be happy when you could be normal?.
    by Winterson, Jeanette,

In 1985, at twenty-five, Jeanette published Oranges, the story of a girl adopted by Pentecostal parents, supposed to grow up to be a missionary. Instead, she falls in love with a woman. Disaster.nbsp;

Oranges became an international bestseller, inspired an award-winning BBC adaptation, and was semi-autobiographical. Mrs. Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over the novel and the author's life. When Jeanette left home at sixteen because she was in love with a woman, Mrs. Winterson asked her: Why be happy when you could be normal? This is Jeanette's story--acute, fierce, celebratory--of a life's work to find happiness: a search for belonging, love, identity, a home. About a young girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night, and a mother waiting for Armageddon with two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the duster drawer; about growing up in a northern industrial town; about the Universe as a Cosmic Dustbin. It is also about other people's stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft that supports us when we are sinking.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Wife 22.
Wife 22.
Wife 22.
    by Gideon, Melanie,

Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say. But when the online study called "Marriage in the 21st Century" showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Wild :
Wild :
Wild :
    by Strayed, Cheryl,

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Wolf Hall.
Wolf Hall.
Wolf Hall.
    by Mantel, Hilary,

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

You should have known.
You should have known.
You should have known.
    by Korelitz, Jean Hanff,

Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things. Grace is also the author of a book You Already Know. But weeks before the book is published a chasm opens in her own life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only an ongoing chain of terrible revelations.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.

Zeitoun.
Zeitoun.
Zeitoun.
    by Eggers, Dave

A riveting account of Hurricane Katrina and a shocking tale of wrongful arrest and racism, Zeitoun is the true story of one Syrian-American, plucked from his home and accused of terrorism, written by one of America's most high-profile literary writers, now available for the first time in paperback from Vintage Canada.

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the days after the storm, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. A week later Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. Eggers's riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun's roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy -- an American who converted to Islam -- and their children, and the surreal atmosphere in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun was possible. Like What Is the What , Zeitoun was written in close collaboration with its subjects and involved vast research -- in this case, in the United States, Spain, and Syria.

Book Club in a Bag: Contact your local branch or call 519-661-4600 for more information.