Inge Wilson (centre) has been coming to the Hope Book Club meetings for as long as its been running

Opening up to a good book

Hope Book Club meetings spur on healthy discussions on timely topics

The first thing that’s noticeable when sitting down with the Hope Book Club, is that not one person is alike.

Sure, they may all be book worms. The youngest of the group, teacher Kim Campbell, started reading the book Monday. By Tuesday night’s meeting at the Hope Library, she had read all 399 pages.

Well, almost all, she admits.

“I’ll have to go back for a second read,” she said.

The book on topic at this most recent meeting was The Bishop’s Man, a fiction novel by broadcast journalist Lynden MacIntyre. Written from the viewpoint of a Catholic priest entrenched in addictions and sexual scandal in Nova Scotia, the story is not a light read. Making the book, and the discussions surrounding it, more interesting is that the book was released at the same time a sex scandal surfaced in an Antigonish diocese.

Because of this, the discussion around the circle flows between the fictional story, and what the group knows to be true.

Many of the women had read MacIntyre’s before — some several times over — and agreed after an hour of discussion that maybe another read would be in order.

But there are just so many books, and such little time.

“I heard someone say ‘give a book 100 pages. If it doesn’t grab you, ditch it,'” Inge Wilson said. She’s been coming to the book club for as long as it’s been running, which is about eight years.

The Bishop’s Man is one that she “didn’t really want to read,” based in part on the subject matter.

“You know, I see the Giller Prize sticker and I think,” she said, taking a quick breath in, “okay, this is going to be good for me.”

She was pleasantly surprised to like the book, and during the meeting threw out questions to the 10 other women who showed up for this meeting. This is a larger sized group, which can range anywhere from three to a dozen.

Some, like Wilson, have been coming for years. Others were out for their first or second time. There is no requirement to join, no expectation that you will enjoy the book of the month.

But it is an opportunity to share thoughts and pose questions to others, after getting so deeply involved in a story. It’s also a chance to learn more about the authors, and many of the women have brought in other books to show the group, magazine cutouts, news items, and other literary tidbits to pass on.

And like Wilson, who would have never picked up The Bishop’s Man on her own, the club’s monthly meeting is a chance to learn about new writers, different genres and story lines not normally on your own bookshelf.

Next month’s book is Seven Sisters, by Margaret Drabble. To find out more about the Hope Book Club, phone Inge Wilson at 604-869-2021.

 

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs to consider single-use plastics ban

Village staff will come back to council with a report on what a possible ban could look like

Wonder Pup book series by Chilliwack author teaches kids self-regulation skills

Author Angela Murphy and illustrator Davis Graham release first book Speak Up, Wonder Pup

Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge construction could start in 2021, MLA says

The project is expected to cost substantially more than budgeted in 2017

Fraser Valley developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

EDITORIAL: Post-grad years are your time

Editor Grace Kennedy shares a few words for this year’s high school grads

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Mini-horse visits residents at Lower Mainland care home

Gunner turned a visit with grandpa into a major event for everyone at the residence

Women sue former Vancouver cop over alleged sexual abuse during pimp case

Two women claim James Fisher caused psychological trauma during the Reza Moazami investigation

First ever Indigenous person to join the RCMP to be honoured in B.C.

Hawk Kelly said becoming a Mountie was his dream job as a kid

Vancouver Canucks playing pre-season game in Abbotsford

Canucks hosting Ottawa Senators on Monday, Sept. 23

Mini pinscher at Maple Ridge SPCA needs spinal surgery

Bane has a painful condition known as Wobbler Syndrome

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of B.C. inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Most Read