by Kit Darling

At the first meeting of the Bay Area Book Club, we discussed The Prison Book Club by Ann Walmsley. The author is persuaded by a friend to accompany her to her monthly book club meeting with inmates at Ontario’s Collins Bay Institution. The reaction of our members was unanimously positive. Several commented on the careful reading of the books and the depth of the discussion. There was also much discussion about the role that mental health issues play in incarceration and the lack of significant treatment.  Some members said that they had read the book twice and others were prompted to read books on similar topics.

And here are some recommended reads from our members, most of which are available from the Hamilton Public Library. Visit the Bookmobile at Bennetto Recreation Centre on Tuesday (2:30 to 4:30) and Thursday (6:00 to 8:00).

The Boys in the Bunkhouse by Dan Barry, non-fiction
This is the story of a group of “mentally retarded” men living in near servitude day after day, year after year, decade after decade. In 1966 they were young men when they were taken from the state school and sent to work for Henry’s Turkey Service. It was 2009 before they were “saved”.  How did this neglect, exploitation, and physical and emotional abuse happen at all and for so long?
New York Times journalist Dan Barry will keep you spellbound as he reveals this tragic tale. Paige Turner

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Set in Sweden and featuring a grumpy old man who feels that everyone should live by his set of rules, he patrols his housing estate as a self-appointed manager. After the death of his wife, Ove decides that he will end his own life, but life intervenes in the persons of his new neighbours and a cat. Both funny and sad, ultimately a charming tale that was made into a movie. Kit Darling


Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump & The Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green.
Something so unlikely & so extreme as Trump’s election happened without anyone’s really seeing it coming. How could that be?
National correspondent Joshua Green walks the reader through the story that will become a pivotal period in American history. Intelligent, insightful & fast-moving. Paige Turner

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