Join a Book Club!
The Welland Public Library sponsors an evening and an afternoon book club. New members are welcome to any book discussion. Book clubs meet once a month, from September to May, excluding December. Books are available at the main desk one month before each meeting.
The evening book club meets on the last Monday of the month from 7:30 to 8:30 pm and the afternoon book club meets on the third Wednesday of the month from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.
Afternoon Book Club: Now being held at The Black Sheep Lounge (64 Niagara St. Welland)
Wednesday, January 18: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Wednesday, February 15: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall.Hard times come upon Wang Lung and his family when flood and drought force them to seek work in the city. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.
Wednesday, March 15: The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje
In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly “Cat’s Table” with an eccentric and unforgettable group of grownups and two other boys. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys find themselves immersed in the worlds and stories of the adults around them. At night they spy on a shackled prisoner — his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. Looking back from deep within adulthood, and gradually moving back and forth from the decks and holds of the ship to the years that follow the narrator unfolds a spellbinding and layered tale about the magical, often forbidden discoveries of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding, about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a sea voyage.
Wednesday, April 19: Unsaid: A Novel by Neil Abramson
Unsaid is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer. Helena is forced to witness the rapid emotional deterioration of her husband, David. With Helena’s passing, David, a successful Manhattan attorney, loses the only connection that made his life full. He tries to carry on the life that Helena had created for them, but he is too grief-stricken, too angry, and too quickly reabsorbed into the demands of his career. Helena’s animals likewise struggle with the loss of their understanding and compassionate human companion. Because of Helena, David becomes involved in a court case to save the life of a chimpanzee that may hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of animals’ consciousness. Through this case all the threads of Helena’s life entwine and explodeâ€”unexpectedly, painfully, beautifully.
Wednesday, May 17: Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre
This dramatic, darkly funny narrative, which covers the decade from 1979 to 1989, takes the reader inside war-ridden Peru, dictatorship-run Bolivia, post-Malvinas Argentina and Pinochet’s Chile. Writing with passion and deep personal insight, Carmen Aguirre captures her constant struggle to reconcile her commitment to the resistance movement with the desires of her youth and her budding sexuality. Something Fierce is a gripping story of love, war and resistance and a rare first-hand account of revolutionary life.
Evening Book Club: Main Branch
Monday, January 30: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday morning, Julia and her family wake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. Set against this threat to normal life, The Age of Miracles maps the effects of catastrophes big and small on the lives of ordinary people, and in particular, one young girl. Extraordinary for its original concept, unforgettable characters, and the grace, elegance and beauty of Karen Thompson Walker’s prose, The Age of Miracles is a mesmerizing story of family turmoil, young love, and coming-of-age set against an upending of life as we know it.
Monday, February 27: The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
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. Bird’s people have battled the Iroquois for as long as he can remember, but both tribes now face a new, more dangerous threat from afar.
Christophe, a charismatic Jesuit missionary, has found his calling among the Huron, and devotes himself to learning and understanding their customs and language in order to lead them to Christ. An emissary from distant lands, he brings much more than his faith to the new world.
As these three souls dance with each other through intricately woven acts of duplicity, small battles erupt into bigger wars and a nation emerges from worlds in flux.
Monday, MarchÂ 27: The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsawâ€”and the city’s zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen â€śguestsâ€ť hid inside the Zabinskis’ villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.
Monday, April 24: They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson
After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parentsâ€”first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year-old motherâ€”author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers experience conflicted feelings of grief and relief when their mother, the surviving parent, dies. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, which hasn’t been de-cluttered in more than half a century. Twenty-three rooms bulge with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum remembers her loving but difficult parents who could not have been more different: the British father, a handsome, disciplined patriarch who nonetheless could not control his opinionated, extroverted Southern-belle wife who loved tennis and gin gimlets. The task consumes her, becoming more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger memories of her eccentric family growing up in a small town on the shores of Lake Ontario in the 1950s and 60s. But unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued. They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.
Monday, May 29: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
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 â€” an American who converted to Islam â€” 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 â€” in this case, in the United States, Spain, and Syria.