by Deborah Rogers

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 if they choose. We aim for a loose, free-flowing discussion where everyone has a chance to share their thoughts. The meeting is facilitated by Seaside Magazine’s Deborah and Sidney/North Saanich Library’s Virginia. Meetings take place on a Tuesday evening at the Sidney/North Saanich library.

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!

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Book Reviews

Seaside Book Club – January Meeting

by Deborah Rogers -  We kicked off a new year of Book Club discussing Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. It is the ninth novel from this well-loved American author, but the first that we have discussed, and for some of our group the first book of hers they had read. The story is Lara's; a [...]

Seaside Magazine Book Club – August Meeting

by Deborah Rogers -  Monica Ali gave us lots to talk about with her novel Love Marriage. Set in contemporary, multi-cultural Britian, the story introduces us to Yasmin, a junior doctor, newly engaged and struggling to reconcile the worlds of her family and her fiancée. This compelling novel examines aspects of modern identity such as [...]

Seaside Book Club – February Meeting

by Deborah Rogers -  Cho Nam-Joo's slim 2016 novel, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, sold over a million copies upon release in South Korea before being translated and published globally. It created a wave of discussion in that country and beyond about women's rights, and coincided with the #metoo movement that was gaining momentum elsewhere. We [...]

Book Club – January Meeting

by Deborah Rogers -  We started our reading year off strong with a beautifully written tale about family secrets and personal identity. In The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett takes us into the lives of twins, Stella and Desiree. They grow up in the American South, in a town that's been built for fair-skinned black people. [...]

Book Club – November Meeting

by Deborah Rogers -  Permanent Astonishment is Tomson Highway's first installment of a planned five-volume memoir series. It covers his early years, from birth in sub-Artic Canada to age 15. Highway is a concert pianist, a playwright and a novelist; he's the speaker of many languages, and today splits his life between Canada and Italy, [...]

Book Club – October Meeting

by Deborah Rogers -  Sometimes when you reach for a book what you're reaching for is comfort and entertainment, something that will sweep you away and let you forget about the world outside. Many of our book club readers found this month's selection was just that. In Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting, Clare Pooley provided [...]

September Book Club

by Deborah Rogers -  A world of extreme wealth and inflexible social rules was the setting of our September read. In her historical fiction The Social Graces, Renée Rosen explores the "Gilded Age" in a New York awash with money, and the developing conflict between the "Knickerbockers" with their family wealth, and the new money [...]

August Book Club

by Deborah Rogers -  Imagine spending months alone, with only musk ox, elk and wolves for company. Imagine paddling, poling and towing a canoe upriver and through ice floes! Imagine covering nearly 4,000km of Canadian wilderness all under your own power. After reading this month's selection, Adam Shoalts' Beyond the Trees – A Journey Alone [...]

July Book Club

by Deborah Rogers -  We held our July meeting outdoors and a larger group meant lots of insights into our selection, Emily St John Mandel's Sea of Tranquility. It's a book that defies easy categorization, but our starting point of agreement was that Mandel's writing is beautiful. Sea of Tranquility spans hundreds of years and [...]

June Book Club

by Deborah Rogers -  What a pleasure to be able to hold our book club at the library again and talk together in person. Dave Eggers certainly gave us lots to discuss with The Every, a terrifying vision of a near future where the world is in the grip of a large tech company. The [...]

May Book Club

by Deborah Rogers -  Lorna Crozier’s Through the Garden - A Love Story (with cats) was a beautiful read, appreciated by our group for its openness and honesty. This memoir, published in 2020, tells the story of Crozier’s life with poet Patrick Lane. She started writing it in 2017 when Lane became seriously ill. It’s [...]

April Book Club

by Deborah Rogers -  We had selected Liz Levine's Nobody Ever Talks About Anything But the End to discuss at our March meeting. Unfortunately due to job action at the library, we have not held meetings in March or April, but I didn't want this exquisite little book to go undiscussed. The book is a [...]

February Book Club

by Deborah Rogers - Our February meeting saw some new faces to the group, and a weird and wonderful book to discuss. Susanna Clarke's Piranesi has critical acclaim and awards, but our past experience as a group is that award-winning doesn't always translate into readable or enjoyable books! On first approach Piranesi could seem similarly [...]

January Book Club

by Deborah Rogers - We are back for our sixth year of the Seaside Magazine book club! At our January meeting we didn't discuss a specific book; instead we had a "book chat" introducing each other to the titles we've been enjoying since we last met. There were 22 of us at the meeting so [...]

Seaside Book Club – December Meeting AND End of the Year!

by Deborah Rogers -  In a wonderful act of symmetry, our Book Club finished the year as we started: with an author Q&A. In January we welcomed Jennifer Manuel to our meeting. In November we were very grateful to have Tricia Dower join us to answer our questions about her novel, Becoming Lin. Tricia is [...]

Seaside Book Club – October

by Deborah Rogers The life and politics of Petra Kelly, German Green Party pioneer, seem to have been forgotten in the years since her murder in 1992. One of the aspects of this month's read that our group enjoyed so much was being immersed into the past and learning about this charismatic, passionate young activist. [...]

September 2021 Book Club

by Deborah Rogers In 2015 Sylvia Olsen and her partner (now husband) Tex McLeod embarked on a cross-Canada road trip to conduct a series of knitting workshops. Along the way they met knitters from all backgrounds and exchanged knitting stories and experiences. The trip also turned into an opportunity to explore Canada: physically as they [...]

Seaside Book Club – August Meeting

by Deborah Rogers From the outset it seemed likely that Alyssa Cole's When No One is Watching would be divisive. Billed as a psychological thriller, the story is set in a traditional Brooklyn "brownstone" neighbourhood undergoing rapid gentrification. The main character, Sydney, is disturbed by the way that the black neighbours she has grown up [...]

Seaside Book Club – July Meeting

by Deborah Rogers Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe, was a chilling read, depicting the mystery surrounding a murder in Northern Ireland, whilst also illuminating the time period of The Troubles. A journalist and writer for The New Yorker, Radden Keefe dug deep in his mission to uncover secrets and truth. The title is well [...]

SEASIDE BOOK CLUB – June Book Club Meeting: Q & A with Author Kathy Page

by Deborah Rogers – “Dear Evelyn” is a beautifully written novel, set in England, that takes us from birth to (almost) death in the life of Harry Miles. There’s literature and poetry woven throughout the novel as we follow Harry’s life: meeting Evelyn before the second world war; their relationship during the war; marriage, children, […]

Seaside Book Club – May 2021

by Deborah Rogers – We started our May meeting with a little slide show; making the most of our online capabilities! For a book that is as colourful and evocative as Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites, it was an extra gift to be able to look at the paintings of Camille Pissarro whose life […]

April Book Club Meeting

by Deborah Rogers – Richard Wagamese was an incredible writer and speaker, and our book club thoroughly appreciated getting to know some of his words this month. Our book for discussion, Medicine Walk, was published in 2014, and was his last novel. Several of those who joined our meeting had had the good fortune to […]


by Deborah Rogers – I came away from our March online meeting feeling a little giddy! It was a huge turnout to discuss Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, and gave us the opportunity to experiment with meeting “breakout rooms” where small groups could chat more easily. It was a high-energy experience and as I jumped […]

SEASIDE BOOK CLUB – February Book Club

by Deborah Rogers – When we proposed to the group that we would look at Podcasts – instead of a book – this month, I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. It was a suggestion from one of our long-time members, but because I had never had much inclination to listen to a podcast, […]

January 2021 Meeting

by Deborah Rogers – Welcome to another year of Seaside Book Club! We started our fifth year off with a bang, combining a stunning Canadian read with a discussion with its Vancouver Island writer. The Heaviness of Things That Float was the debut novel by Jennifer Manuel and is wholly influenced by the years she […]

SEASIDE BOOKCLUB – November 2020 Meeting

by Deborah Rogers – Thirteen people “tuned in” to our final book club meeting of the year, held via Zoom. It was the largest turnout we’ve had since in-person meetings had to be put on hold. It felt so good to reconnect with some members we hadn’t seen for many months, and to know that […]

October 2020 Meeting

by Deborah Rogers – Instead of just one book, we tackled an author at our October meeting, encouraging members to read any of the works of Lisa See. She’s an American writer with Chinese heritage and has published 11 books so far in her career: a memoir, three books in a mystery series, and seven […]

September Book Club

by Deborah Rogers – The selection discussed at our September meeting is a bit of a sleeper success. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass was originally published in 2013 by an independent publisher; this year it hit the New York Times bestseller list and has seen a surge of interest, reviews and book sales. It seems […]

SEASIDE BOOK CLUB – July 2020 Meeting

by Deborah Rogers – Book club online is definitely better than no book club and I was really pleased to see so many friendly faces again this month for our Zoom meeting. We had chosen Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles as our book for discussion – in part because it is out of […]

Seaside Book Club – July Book Chat, August Selection, 2020 Dates

by Deborah Rogers – Our first online Book Club went really well – thank you to everyone who ‘tuned in’. Everyone shared the title and a few thoughts about a book they’ve read recently and I thought I would share that list with you all. As always it’s a varied group of readers which means […]

Seaside Book Club: January 2017 Meeting

by Deborah Rogers –  It was cold and dark outside but inside the Nell Horth room coffee and treats from Quince Café warmed everyone up, ready to tackle the serious issues of January’s Book Club picks. Jumping in with both feet, we kicked off the Book Club year with two books: Persepolis, a graphic novel […]

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