When the Second World War broke out, Ralph MacLean chose to escape his troubled life on the Magdalen Islands in eastern Canada and volunteer to serve his country overseas. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Mitsue Sakamoto saw her family and her stable community torn apart after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Like many young Canadian soldiers, Ralph was captured by the Japanese army. He would spend the war in prison camps, enduring pestilence, beatings and starvation, as well as a journey by hell ship to Japan to perform slave labour, while around him his friends and countrymen perished.
Back in Canada, Mitsue and her family were expelled from their home by the government and forced to spend years eking out an existence in rural Alberta, working other people’s land for a dollar a day.
By the end of the war, Ralph emerged broken but a survivor. Mitsue, worn down by years of back-breaking labour, had to start all over again in Medicine Hat, Alberta. A generation later, at a high school dance, Ralph’s daughter and Mitsue’s son fell in love.
Although the war toyed with Ralph’s and Mitsue’s lives and threatened to erase their humanity, these two brave individuals somehow surmounted enormous transgressions and learned to forgive. Without this forgiveness, their grandson Mark Sakamoto would never have come to be.
Meeting on January 9 at the home of Joan Higginson (86 Auburn St) and on January 23 at the home of Helen Griffin (1370 Armstrong Drive). Time for both: 2:00 – 4:00 pm.
Twenty-five years after the publication of the first edition of Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, Brian Swimme presents his revised edition. In this book he writes ”I offer some practices for integrating the counterintuitive nature of Science’s discoveries, including our relationship to the birthplace of the universe, to the omnicentric nature of the universe, and to the non-visible, generative ground of our existence. These personal transformations of consciousness find their fulfillment in the reshaping of our cultures and societal institutions.”
Meeting on Dec.12 at 2:00pm at the home of Jan Bowen, 730 Spillsbury Dr. 705 745 2990
Canada Reads 2019 contender
In 2010, the al Rabeeah family left their home in Iraq in hope of a safer life. They moved to Homs, in Syria – just before the Syrian civil war broke out.
Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtapositions of growing up in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy – soccer, cousins, video games, friends.
Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone – and found safety in Canada – with a passion for sharing his story and telling the world what is truly happening in Syria. As told to her by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, writer Winnie Yeung has crafted a heartbreaking, hopeful, and urgently necessary book that provides a window into understanding Syria.
Ed Adams will host November 14th & 28th book club meetings at his home 1042 Oriole Drive, Peterborough, from 2-4pm.
From beloved and bestselling author Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak, The Courage
to Teach, Healing the Heart of Democracy), comes a beautiful book of reflections on what
we can learn as we move closer to “the brink of everything.”
Drawing on eight decades of life — and his career as a writer, teacher, and activist — Palmer explores the questions age raises and the promises it holds. “Old,” he writes, “is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to dive deep into life, not withdraw to the shallows.”
But this book is not for elders only. It was written to encourage adults of all ages to explore
the way their lives are unfolding. It’s not a how-to-do-it book on aging, but a set of
meditations in prose and poetry that turn the prism on the meaning(s) of one’s life,
refracting new light at every turn.
From beginning to end, the book is laced with humor as well as gravitas — beautifully enhanced by three free downloadable songs from the gifted singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer, written in response to themes in the book.
Linda Palmason will host October 10th and October 24th (2-4pm) at her home at 3022 Westridge Boulevard.
The September monthly bookclub will meet on Thursdays, September 12 & 26 from 2-3:30pm at the home of Donna Flotron, 1850 Cherryhill Road #7.
……Dilettante’s Guide to What You DO and Do Not Need to Know to Become a Qabalist. A unique and humorous — and also practical — approach to the increasingly popular study of Qabalah. This is a seriously funny book! Traditional Qabalistic (or Cabalistic, or indeed, Kabbalistic — read this book to find out what the difference is…we know you’ve always wondered) sources tend to be a bit, er dry. DuQuette spices up the Qabalah and makes it come alive, restoring the joy of learning the fundamentals of this admittedly arcane system by using simple amusing anecdotes and metaphors. This account, written psuedepigraphically (fictitiously attributed to a supposed authority), allows DuQuette as Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford to soar to outrageous heights and, when necessary, stand apart from the silliness to highlight the golden eggs of Qabalistic wisdom nested therein.
Sure to be a revelation to those who think that learning about the Qabalah needs to be tedious and serious, DuQuette shows that great truths can be transmitted through the medium of laughter.