Book Club



Words and Actions

There’s a woman I know who is always the first to volunteer when help is needed or opportunities arise. She chimes in with gusto and positivity. When I first met her, I was in awe of her energy and delighted that she’d expressed an interest in being part of my project. A week before she was to deliver on her promise, she backed out. She felt awful of course, but there’d been a personal emergency.

The next time something came up, she jumped in again as full of smiles and happiness as ever. About a week before she had to deliver, she backed out. Another personal emergency. And so began a pattern of behaviour.

I’ve lost count of the number of times she’s enthusiastically agreed to chip in. I can tell you though, that 99% of the time she’s backed out (I remember her showing up only once, and even then she didn’t put in a great effort). After her third cancellation, I simply began to smile and nod at her. Her words suggest that she’s a team player, her actions prove that she’s unreliable.

Character is revealed through action under pressure. This is as true in life as it is in fiction. When your character’s back is against the wall, how she behaves is who she is.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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