Book Club Corner by Kit Darling
At our January meeting, we discussed The Queen of Katwe: The Story of Life, Chess and One Girl’s Rise from an African Slum by Tim Crothers. Phiona Mutesi is a young girl living with her mother and siblings in Katwe, a slum in Kampala, Uganda. This is the inspiring story of a young girl who had all the strikes against her – she was a girl, living in a slum, in Uganda, in Africa – and she could neither read nor write since her mother could never make enough money to consistently keep her in school. Then she met Robert Katende, a missionary working with the slum kids to help them gain life skills through sport. As well as soccer, he initiated a chess club. He also fed the children a bowl of porridge which was often their only meal of the day. Phiona soon showed promise and eventually advanced to winning tournaments in Kampala, nationally and some international tournaments. She became the subject of a Disney movie and was given a scholarship to Northwest University. While she no longer played competitive chess, it was the vehicle for her to find a new future.

And here are some recommended reads available from the Hamilton Public Library. Visit the Bookmobile at Bennetto Recreation Centre on Tuesday (2:30 to 4:00) and Thursday (6:30 to 8:00) or go online at to reserve a copy.

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames
This novel begins in Calabria, Italy and ends in Hartford, Connecticut. But it is more than a story about Italians emigrating to America on the cusp of WWII. This is the tale of family transgressions and Death that stalks Stella Fortuna like a curse for all her life. Memorable characters and fascinating bits of history add to the cachet of this author’s debut novel. Paige Turner

This Little Light by Lori Lansens. Following in the footsteps of Atwood’s Handmaids Tale, Lansen’s latest novel details a dysfunctional America that builds on current tensions in the United States. Rory Miller lives in a wealthy gated community, something of an outsider. Her parents are non-practising Jews and social activist lawyers. Their comfortable existence is disrupted by the arrival of new neighbours, members and proselytizers for a fundamentalist Christian movement. A bomb goes off at the high school “American Virtue Ball” and Rory and her best friend run for the hills. They are suspected of being the bombers and are pursued by armed drones, social media trolls and attack helicopters. A dystopia that seems almost possible. Kit Darling

Have you read any of our recommendations? Liked any of the same books we talked about or disagreed totally? Let us know at .

We have been asked whether anyone can join the book club. Our books are supplied by the Hamilton Public Library and come in a bag of 12. This obviously limits us to 12 members at a time. We currently have 12 members, but if you wish to be put on a waiting list, email us at the above address. Alternatively, check out the many book clubs run by the Hamilton Public Library