Book Clubs

Book Clubs

Five-Minute Book Club

TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID-19. Drop by and meet other people who love to talk about books on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:30pm. Bring a book to talk about for 5 minutes and then answer questions from the group. No spoilers allowed! This is a great way to learn about new books and authors without the pressure of having to read a specific book. Contact Paula at 403-938-2220 for more information.

Okotoks Evening Readers

A new evening book club is forming and looking for members. The group will meet in the library the first Thursday of each month at 7:00pm. Contact Annette at 403-995-9939 for more information.

Pages Book Club

This afternoon library book club meets the second Monday of each month at 1:00pm. For more information contact Andrea at 403-826-9069.

GETTING STARTED

Online Book Club Resources:

BOOK CLUB-IN-A-BOX!

The Okotoks Public Library has a great resource for local Book Clubs! Our Book Club-in-a-Box kits contain 6 copies (new kits contain 8 copies) of a title and a Reading Group Discussion Guide. These kits have a six week loan period.

Non-Fiction

*Updated December 16, 2021

THE POWER OF HABIT: WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO IN LIFE AND BUSINESS by Charles Duhigg

Identifies the neurological processes behind behaviors, explains how self-control and success are largely driven by habits, and shares scientifically-based guidelines for achieving personal goals and overall well-being by adjusting specific habits.

BEING MORTAL by Atul Gawande - 8 copies

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

THE  RADIUM GIRLS : the dark story of America's shining women by Kate Moore - 8 copies

The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

THE GIRL WHO SMILED BEADS by Clemantine Wamariya - 8 copies

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were "thunder." In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries, searching for safety--perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

EDUCATED: memoir by Tara Westover

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

RYKEN'S JOURNEY by Pamela Larocque 

Ryken’s Journey is the powerful true story of how much one baby was loved and how many lives he will continue to touch because of his own destiny.....a destiny designed by Ryken himself. 

INHERITANCE : A MEMOIR By Dani Shapiro

What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father.

FROM THE ASHES By Jesse Thistle

In this heart-warming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education - and newfound love - he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.

Fiction

*Updated December 16, 2021

THE DRESSMAKER by Kate Alcott

A spirited young maid on board the Titanic captures the attentions of two men including a kindhearted sailor and an enigmatic Chicago millionaire and barely escapes with her life before witnessing media scorn targeting her famous designer mistress.

THE SUGAR QUEEN by Sarah Addison Allen

Quiet, awkward Josey Cirrini's peaceful life--caring for her elderly mother, enjoying romance novels, and indulging in her secret passion for sweets--is turned upside down when Della Lee Baker, a sassy, confident, and bold waitress fleeing an abusive boyfriend, decides to hide out in Josey's home.

A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

LONGBOURN By Jo Baker

In this irresistibly imagined below stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

THE CARTOGRAPHER'S SECRET by Tea Cooper

A gripping historical mystery for fans of Kate Morton and Natasha Lester's The Paris Seamstress, The Cartographer's Secret follows a young woman's quest to heal a family rift as she becomes entangled in one of Australia's greatest historical puzzles.

THE SISTER BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt

Set against the backdrop of the great California Gold Rush, this darkly comic novel follows the misadventures of the fabled Sisters brothers, two hired guns, who, under the order of the mysterious Commodore, try to kill Hermann Kermit Warm, a man who gives them a run for their money.

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

EMPIRE OF WILD By Cherie Dimaline

Inspired by the Canadian Métis legend of the Rogarou, finds a woman reconnecting with her heritage when her missing husband reappears in the form of a charismatic preacher who does not recognize her.

WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES by Karen Joy Fowler

As a child, Rosemary used to talk all the time. So much so that her parents used to tell her to start in the middle if she wanted to tell a story. Now Rosemary has just started college and she barely talks at all. And she definitely doesn’t talk about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. But there's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. So now she's telling her story; a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.

STILL ALICE by Lisa Genova

Feeling at the top of her game when she is suddenly diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, Harvard psychologist Alice Howland struggles to find meaning and purpose in her life as her concept of self gradually slips away.

THE HOME FOR UNWANTED GIRLS by Joanna Goodman

Philomena meets Orphan Train in this suspenseful, proactive novel filled with love, secrets, and deceit - the story of a young unwed mother who is forcibly separated from her daughter at birth and the lengths to which they go to find each other.

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig

Between life and death there is a library. When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren't always what she imagined they'd be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

THE GREAT ALONE By Kristin Hannah

When her volatile, former POW father impulsively moves the family to Alaska to live off the land, young Leni and her mother are forced to confront the dangers of their lack of preparedness in the wake of a dangerous winter season.

THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah
Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they  never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness

Discovering a magical manuscript in Oxford's library, scholar Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches who has rejected her heritage, inadvertently unleashes a fantastical underworld of daemons, witches and vampires whose activities center around an enchanted treasure.

THE OTHER BLACK GIRL by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. But she's thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. Then a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust followed by notes on Nella's desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW. As Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there's a lot more at stake than just her career.

THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS by Ruth Hogan

A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled existence. Except, sometimes, everything...

THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED by Jonas Jonasson 

On his 100th birthday, reluctant centenarian Allan Karlsson climbs out the window of his nursing home and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey.

THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE By Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Told through the intimate lens of a mother and daughter who have struggled all their lives to understand each other, The Last Story of Mina Lee is a powerful and exquisitely woven debut novel that explores identity, family, secrets, and what it truly means to belong.

ORPHAN TRAIN By Christine Baker Kline

Seventeen-year-old Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer has spent most of her life in foster care. When she ends up cleaning out elderly Vivian Daly’s attic, Molly learns that Vivian was herself an orphan, put on the Orphan Train in the late 1920s and tossed from home to home in Minnesota. The growing connection leads Molly to dig deeper into Vivian’s life, which allows Molly to discover her own potential and helps Vivian rediscover someone she believed had been lost to her forever.

THE GLASS HOTEL By Emily St John Mandel

From the author of 'Station Eleven' comes a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it.

CROW WINTER By Karen McBride

Crow Winter tells the story of Hazel Ellis, reconciling her grief after the death of her father. She returns home to Spirit Bear Point First Nation, and starts to have visions of an old crow, who says he's there to save her.

THE HUSBAND'S SECRET By Liane Moriarty

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . . Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER By Kate Morton

More than 150 years after an artist's retreat on the banks of the Upper Thames ends in murder, theft and ruin, a London archivist is drawn by a striking photograph and a sketchbook to discover a manor's secrets.

THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB By Richard Osman

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club.

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING By Delia Owens

Viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a tragedy, a beautiful hermit who has survived for years in a marsh becomes targeted by unthinkable forces.

THE LOST APOTHECARY by Sarah Penner

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary's fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary's in a stunning twist of fate--and not everyone will survive.

THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK By Kim Michele Richardson

Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Packhorse Librarians in literary novels—a story of fierce strength and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion                                                                                                                                                                

Don Tillman a professor of genetics, sets up a project designed to find him the perfect wife, starting with a questionnaire that has to be adjusted a little as he goes along. Then he meets Rosie, who is everything he's not looking for in a wife, but she ends up his friend as he helps her try and find her biological father.

THE MISEDUCATION OF EVIE EPWORTH by Matson Taylor

July, 1962. 16-year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become? The fastest milk bottle-delivery girl in East Yorkshire, Evie is tall as a tree and hot as the desert sand. She dreams of an independent life lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). The two posters of Adam Faith on her bedroom wall ('brooding Adam' and 'sophisticated Adam') offer wise counsel about a future beyond rural East Yorkshire. Her role models are Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and the Queen. But, before she can decide on a career, she must first deal with the malign presence of her future step-mother, the manipulative and money-grubbing Christine.

A COMPLICATED KINDNESS by Miriam Toews

Nomi longs to escape the confines of her strict religious life just like her mom and older sister have. She's stuck in their backward Mennonite town, ruled by an over zealous pastor, AKA “The Mouth,” who dictates their every move. Rebelling seems to be her only option and she does this to the extreme; experimenting with everything from sex to drugs.

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN by Ellen Marie Wiseman 

From acclaimed author Ellen Marie Wiseman comes a vivid, daring novel about the devastating power of family secrets - beginning in the poignant, lurid world of a Depression-era traveling circus and coming full circle in the transformative 1050's.

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