The Book Club Hub – Lighthearted Reads

Book clubs offer a great opportunity for friends and book lovers to gather (whether virtually or in person) to catch up and discuss a good book. There’s only two problems with this activity and they seem to come up at every meeting: what book should the group read next and how do you find enough copies for everyone?

TBPL is here to help with our Book Club in a Bag service. Each bag includes 10 paperback copies of the same book, discussion questions for your group to ponder, author information, and book reviews. With almost 200 different titles available, there is bound to be one that is the perfect next read for your group.

Visit our online catalogue to place holds on book club bags as well as individual copies of any of the books mentioned below. If you’re looking to view all of the book club bags available, simply click the link and search “book club bag”. Any Library patron can place a hold on a bag for pick up at any of our open branches. These bags are loaned out for 8 weeks, which gives you and your book club plenty of time to read and discuss.

Every month, a new set of book club titles will be highlighted in The Book Club Hub post. This month features lighthearted reads. There are times when we’re looking for a serious, dramatic book to make us think, cry, or more, and then there are times when all we are looking for is something lighthearted, fun and cheerful. These books fall into the latter category, giving readers something fun and easy to enjoy, with or without a book club. Here are this month’s selections:

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion – Fanny Flagg

Poland, 1909

Stanislaw is determined to escape the Russians and follow his brother to America, a land where anything seems possible.

Wisconsin, 1941

With all the men off to war, Fritzi and her sisters must learn men’s work — from fixing flats to driving the tow truck. They add their own touches, too: neat little caps, short skirts and roller skates, and the All-Girl Filling Station is born. Their peace doesn’t last long though: skilled women are needed to fly planes for the war effort.

Alabama, 2005

Mrs Sookie Earle has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to putting her feet up. But then one day a package arrives. Its contents knock Sookie sideways, propelling her back to the 1940s, and four irrepressible sisters whose wartime adventures force them to reimagine who they are, and what they are capable of. 

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss – Rajeev Balasubramanyam

Professor Chandra is an expert at complex problems. There’s just one he can’t crack: the secret of happiness.

In the moments after the bicycle accident, Professor Chandra doesn’t see his life flash before his eyes, but his life’s work.

He’s just narrowly missed out on the Nobel Prize (again) and even though he knows he should get straight back to his pie charts, his doctor has other ideas.

All this work. All this success. All this stress. It’s killing him. He needs to take a break, start enjoying himself. In short, says his doctor (who is from California), Professor Chandra should just follow his bliss.

He doesn’t know it yet, but Professor Chandra is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

Be Frank With Me – Julia Claiborne Johnson

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years, but now she’s writing her first book in decades and to ensure timely completion her publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noël Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth graders.

As she gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who his father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Full of heart and countless only-in-Hollywood moments, Be Frank With Me is a captivating and heartwarming story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

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. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

If you’re looking for something lighthearted and enjoyable for your next book club to read, consider one of these fantastic options at TBPL. Even though these books are less serious in subject matter, there will still be plenty of discussion for your group to have.

Not in a book club? No problem! These books are also available as single copies in our online catalogue.

Book descriptions via GoodReads

Lindsay – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.

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