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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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February, 2015

Even though this is an express newsletter (after all February is a short month), I wanted to make sure you did not miss our exciting book club line up for the spring. All the information you need is here. And last week I attended a Robbie Burns Day event hosted by Andrew O’Hagan, our guest author for Monday, March 30, 2015. I feel confident saying it will be a great book club even without the haggis and bagpipers!

If you wish to register for any of the book clubs, just call 416 484 4810 and leave a voice mail message with the best time to return your call. We will contact you as soon as possible.

Delicious Wishes,

Bonnie's Book Club
Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of the country's leading authors, discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!

*Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.


LINDEN MACINTYRE: PUNISHMENTIn February Bonnie is very pleased to welcome back legendary television journalist and Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Linden MacIntyre, as he presents his new novel, the national bestseller Punishment.

In Punishment, Linden MacIntyre explores justice and vengeance as a tight knit Maritime community grapples with the loss of one of its own. When Mary Alice Stewart, a teenage girl, is found dead at the home of a young ex-con and drug dealer, the tragedy draws together a disparate group of characters - each with their own history, desires, and secrets.

Tony Breau has returned to his hometown following an early retirement from years as a prison guard. Divorced and broken by his premature departure from a long career, Tony struggles to regain his bearings. But returning to St. Ninian brings Tony little peace. Rediscovering old relationships and sorting through feelings of guilt, betrayal, and regret, he finds a return to home and the past raises more questions than it answers - and the present is looking more complicated with each passing day.

Dwayne Strickland has a complex relationship with Tony, who knew the young ex-con as an inmate. Strangely, they bonded over the killing of another prisoner - a crime that incriminated both inmates and guards. When the two men each give testimony against their kind, they bear the label of "rat." But once Dwayne is accused in Mary Alice's death, all bets are off.

Linden MacIntyre has established himself as a writer of great skill and range and Punishment is a powerful book that examines the fierce and complicated emotions of revenge. As the novel hurtles towards its shocking conclusion, it builds into a page-turner that blindsides readers with its twists and betrayals.
Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Rodney's Oyster House
469 King Street West, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Punishment sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


ANDREW O'HAGAN: THE ILLUMINATIONSIn March, Bonnie once again highlights the very best in international fiction at the book club. Andrew O’Hagan caused a sensation with his debut novel Our Fathers. The book received rave reviews, was shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize and was nominated for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the IMPAC Literary Prize. O’Hagan’s follow-up novels, Personality (winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction) and Be Near Me (winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize) established him as on of the UK’s brightest literary stars.

Andrew O’Hagan will visit the book club to discuss his eagerly-awaited new novel The Illuminations.

How much do we keep from the people we love? Why is the truth so often buried in secrets? Can we learn from the past or must we forget it? The Illuminations, Andrew O'Hagan's fifth work of fiction, is a powerful, nuanced and deeply affecting novel about love and memory, about modern war and the complications of fact.

Standing one evening at the window of her house by the sea, Anne Quirk sees a rabbit disappearing in the snow. Nobody remembers her now, but this elderly woman was in her youth an artistic pioneer, a creator of ground-breaking documentary photographs. Her beloved grandson, Luke, now a captain in the British army is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. When his mission goes horribly wrong, he ultimately comes face to face with questions of loyalty and moral responsibility that will continue to haunt him. Once Luke returns home to Scotland, Anne's secret story begins to emerge, along with his, and they set out for an old guest house in Blackpool where she once kept a room. There they witness the annual illuminations--the dazzling artificial lights that brighten the seaside resort town as the season turns to winter. The Illuminations is a beautiful and highly charged novel that reveals, among other things, that no matter how we look at it, there is no such thing as an ordinary life.
Date: Monday, March 30, 2015
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Illuminations sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


LORI LANSENS: THE MOUNTAIN STORY Author Lori Lansens has become a book club favourite. Her novels, the bestselling Rush Home Road, The Girls and The Wife’s Tale, have earned Lori a devote readership across North America. This April, Bonnie is very excited to welcome Lori Lansens back to the Book Club as she launches her new novel, The Mountain Story, a gripping tale of sacrifice and survival in the unforgiving wilderness of a legendary mountain.

On his 18th birthday, Wolf Truly takes the tramway to the top of the mountain that looms over Palm Springs, intending to jump to his death. Instead he encounters strangers wandering in the mountain wilderness, three women who will change the course of his life. Through a series of missteps he and the women wind up stranded, in view of the city below, but without a way down. They endure five days in freezing temperatures without food or water or shelter, and somehow find the courage to carry on.

Wolf, now a grown man, has never told his son, or anyone, what happened on the mountain during those five days, but he can't put it off any longer. And in telling the story to his only child, Daniel, he at last explores the nature of the ties that bind and the sacrifices people will make for love. The mountain still has a hold on Wolf, composed of equal parts beauty and terror.
Date: Monday, April 20, 2015
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Mountain Story sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


JIM SHEPARD: THE BOOK OF ARONFor two decades Jim Shepard has been hailed as one of the most versatile writers in American letters. With a body of work that includes novels and short stories, and contributions to such publications as McSweeney’s, Granta, the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper’s, the New Yorker and the Paris Review, he has earned a reputation as a “writer’s writer.” Whether exploring a young boy’s awkward growing pains (Flights), chronicling the exploits of an inexperienced B-17 flight crew stationed in England during the Second World War (Paper Doll), documenting the profound impact that a split-second can have on the rest of our lives (Kiss of the Wolf) or lifting the curtain on a gallery of men trying to navigate a world of hope and heartbreak (the National Book Award-nominated story collection Like You’d Understand, Anyway), Shepard is a master of plot and character.

In May, Jim Shepard makes a very rare visit to Toronto for the Canadian launch of his brilliant new novel The Book of Aron. An incredible work of extraordinary power that charts a young boy’s harrowing coming-of-age in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War.

When we first meet Aron, he is a beguiling and perceptive and not always a happy young boy coming into awareness of himself and his family's struggles. When soon they are driven from the countryside into Warsaw, their lives are changed forever. Aron and a group of boys and girls take terrifying risks, scuttling around the ghetto, smuggling and trading things through the "quarantine walls" to keep their people alive. They are hunted by blackmailers and Jewish and Polish and German police. Gradually, people begin to disappear, and survival is threatened on all sides.

Eventually, Aron comes to know Janusz Korczak, a Jewish-Polish doctor famous for his advocacy of children's rights, whose orphanage was relocated to the ghetto once the Nazis swept in. In the end, Korczak and the children he takes care of, Aron among them, are brought to the station to be put on a train to Treblinka.

The Book of Aron is a breathtaking novel of extraordinary craft and humanity. It looks fearlessly into the face of unspeakable evil and suffering, revealing the persistence and strength of the human spirit and the redemptive power of love. It is a novel that readers will be talking about for years to come.
Date: Monday, May 25, 2015 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Book of Aron sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Book Club Location
Rodney's 5
Rodney's 4
Rodney's 1
Rodney's 3
Rodney's 2
Rodney's Oyster House

Rodney Clark brought oysters and fresh seafood to Toronto over 25 year ago and Rodney’s is just as popular today as it was when it opened. Maritime hospitality and the freshest seafood make this place a fixture on Toronto’s unique restaurant list.

469 King Street West
416 363 8105
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