Books N’ Banter Book Club 2024

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Cost: Free
Location:
Canmore Public Library meeting room, or join us via Zoom.

Books N' Banter is a monthly book club hosted by the Canmore Library.

Meetings will be held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm in the Friends Program Room. Scroll down to see upcoming meetings and books.

Registration is currently closed as this program is full.

2024 Books and Dates:

May is Wild Card month! Bring your most recent or a favourite read to share.

Such a Fun Age
by Kiley Reid

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Ageexplores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.

No Meetings July - August

Raven's End
by Ben Gadd

Spiritual, philosophical, political, and beautifully written, Raven’s End is an exciting novel about the lives of ravens. Over the course of four seasons in the spectacular Rocky Mountains, Raven’s End follows the adventures of Colin, a young raven who arrives unexpectedly to join the Raven’s End flock. His newfound friends include Greta, the wise elder; lifelong nestmates Molly and Zack; spunky teenagers, Sarah and Brendan; and the two scoundrels, Dolus and Garth. Among them, Colin learns what it takes to survive: how to fight cold, evade hunters’ guns, fly in hailstorms, and scavenge from wolf kills. Colin participates in the daily ritual of morning Flaps, in which the flock, led by Main Raven, exchanges news about food sources, weather, births, and deaths. After supper the ravens all join in the evening Flight, honing their flying skills with daredevil spins and dives and revelling in the sheer joy of performing their graceful aerial ballet. In between they have adventures involving mountain animals, like bears, wolves, and lynx – including the two-legged upright creatures who always leave them tasty morsels.

In the course of the novel we find out that Colin is a raven of exceptional talents and intelligence, who contemplates his mortality, and has the gift of second sight. When he finds himself in a life-or-death struggle against evil, his bravery and leadership save the day. But will he, in his spiritual quest, learn the truth about his origins? Only the spirit of the Great Raven, who visits Colin in disguise, can answer these questions…

Written with graceful prose and a passion for the natural world, Raven’s End will delight readers from ages 9 to 95.

The Library Book
by Susan Orlean

A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries—from the bestselling author hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post.

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.

Fire Weather
by John Valiant

A stunning account of the colossal wildfire at Fort McMurray, and a panoramic exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between fire and humankind from the award-winning, best-selling author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce.

In May 2016, Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada's petroleum industry and America's biggest foreign supplier, was overrun by wildfire. The multi-billion-dollar disaster melted vehicles, turned entire neighborhoods into firebombs, and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. Through the lens of this apocalyptic conflagration—the wildfire equivalent of Hurricane Katrina—John Vaillant warns that this was not a unique event but a shocking preview of what we must prepare for in a hotter, more flammable world.

For hundreds of millennia, fire has been a partner in our evolution, shaping culture, civilization, and, very likely, our brains. Fire has enabled us to cook our food, defend and heat our homes, and power the machines that drive our titanic economy. Yet this volatile energy source has always threatened to elude our control, and in our new age of intensifying climate change, we are seeing its destructive power unleashed in previously unimaginable ways.

With masterly prose and a cinematic eye, Vaillant takes us on a riveting journey through the intertwined histories of North America's oil industry and the birth of climate science, to the unprecedented devastation wrought by modern forest fires, and into lives forever changed by these disasters. John Vaillant's urgent work is a book for—and from—our new century of fire, which has only just begun.

Books n' Banter

See All Books n' Banter

Event dates

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2024 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2024 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2024 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 22, 2024 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 26, 2024 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.