Seaside Book Club –
It doesn’t always work out at Book Club! I had wondered if August would be a wash with members away or too busy to read, but in fact we had a good turnout.
What people came along to discuss though, was that they had not got on with Marina Endicott’s Close to Hugh. On the whole, our members did not, or could not, finish the book.
A gentle book about Hugh and all the people whose lives he involves himself in, there is little in the way of story, more gentle ruminations on the meaning of life and love, family and friends. Hugh and his new love Ivy are sympathetically drawn but the large supporting cast of characters are hard to get a handle on. They are actors and artists and our members thought them largely stereotypes or caricatures. The pun from the title – playing on Hugh and you – is extended right through the novel and drove some of our members to distraction as they felt the author laboured the idea well past the point of relevance. Clearly Endicott wanted readers to muse on the nature of “you,” i.e. what makes us the people we are, but for this audience the writing just wasn’t persuasive as a tool for self reflection.
Despite the response to the book (or perhaps because of it) we had a lively meeting. Things got especially interesting as we came to select our book for September. We are very grateful to present our Book Club along with Sidney/North Saanich library, and our books come from the library’s large selection of book club sets. Each month we vote from a choice of a couple of titles, and this time we had four to choose from! With the very best intent to read widely and with open minds, it was hard to make a selection. We decided to aim high and chose two books to read and discuss, with no expectation that all members will read both.
Book Club Q & A
Q How do you choose the books?
A The book selection is a little down to luck – each month the Sidney/North Saanich Library tries to get hold of a book club set for us to use. Availability is based on demand. So far we have had a choice between several titles each month, and have voted which one to use. Generally this will mean that people can leave the meeting with a copy of next month’s read. Book Club members can suggest titles they would be interested in reading from the VIRL book club sets list:
Q How do you structure the meeting?
A Members bring questions or discussion points with them, written down. These are put in a “hat” and drawn from to keep the discussion going. It leads to diverse questions and no need for anyone to feel self-conscious. The meeting is facilitated by Seaside Magazine’s Deborah and Sidney/North Saanich Library’s Virginia.
Q How do I stay up to date with Book Club happenings?
A Sign up for our mailing list and you’ll get meeting reminders by email. And follow us on Facebook to see everything that’s happening at Seaside Magazine!
In September we will be meeting upstairs at the Shoal Centre on Wednesday September 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. We will be discussing Next Year, For Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson and Slick Water by Andrew Nikiforuk. New faces are always welcome.