Tea Time :: Paper Ornament Workshop

Paper snowflakes hang from the branches of a Christmas tree.

We had a wonderful turnout for our December Tea Time event making a lovely paper snowflake! This was one of those projects that look very complicated until you read the instructions, and you think, ‘Hey, that’s not so difficult.”

And then you dive in, measuring, cutting and measuring and cutting… Measuring and cutting. Measuring. Cutting. And, you’re like, ‘Oh.’ At this point, our workshop participants changed their plans from making a bunch of these beauties to just getting this one finished. 

Workshop participants sit around a table in the community centre working on paper ornaments.

Lorinda led the workshop, assisting participants with their Christmas creations. We used old books off the sale shelf for an antique look which also provided the bonus of being free and eco-friendly.

Feeling adventurous and crafty? 

Click here for the instructions!

Measuring and cutting all the strips of paper.
These snowflakes are loopy!
Patricia Lake showing off her work with some skepticism.
Sally Norman is pleased as punch with her creation.
Kerri Sohm is working hard on hers while her daughter looks on.
Elinor Raaflaub came back in the evening to finish up her snowflake.
Book cover for The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

Book Club Review :: The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

Book cover for The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna GoodmanThe Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman is not an easy read; nor should it be, considering the subject matter. Quebec of the 1940s and 50s, staunchly Catholic, was no welcoming place for unwed mothers and their so-called “illegitimate” children. Commonly, girls who found themselves pregnant and unmarried were heartlessly forced to either give up their babies or be put out in the street by their families. This is the choice facing 15-year-old Maggie Hughes. The terror of losing her family makes her hand over her daughter Elodie to an orphanage, a decision that haunts her, especially when she learns that Quebec’s orphanages are being converted into mental institutions.

This historical fiction explores the plight of the “Duplessis Orphans”, a shameful chapter in Quebec history through the eyes of Maggie and her daughter Elodie. Orphanages were poorly funded by the federal government, whereas mental institutions received almost double the funding, and the government made the decision to convert and reclassify institutions to receive more money. Thousands of children were commodified; wrongfully labelled mentally deficient, their childhoods spent in asylums, suffering physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Our book club was split in reviews of Goodman’s book, though unanimous in the heartbreak that came with this disturbing read and the sad reality of these children, now aged adults, forsaken by a callous government and church. Only one member awarded the novel a 5 out of 5 and another gave it a mere 2. Most would read other books by the same author.

To learn more about the author and her book, click here for an interview with the Montreal Gazette.

Get it on Overdrive.

a pile of books

Book Donations

Please be advised that we will not be accepting book donations from now until April. Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful patrons and neighbours, we are full for the time being! We certainly appreciate the gifts.

Book Review :: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Book cover for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon.”

Thus begins the book jacket blurb for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Published in Sweden in 2012 and translated into English in 2013, Backman’s book originated on his blog. Readers loved the character so much that over 1,000 fans petitioned writer Fredrik Backman to write a book about the cranky old man with a big heart. He agreed and the resulting book is a worldwide success translated into 38 languages, adapted as a stage play as well as an award-winning film.

The ladies in our book club loved the quirky story about the cranky old man next door. Every member reported being pulled right into the story from the first paragraph and the book earned an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5. They compared Fredrik Backman’s writing to Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg and Jonas Jonasson.

You are bound to know a man like Ove. It is touching and funny. A heartwarming story. A story about a grumpy old man with a big heart.”

A likable old curmudgeon in spite of himself.”

Very lighthearted story! Humourous and touching at the same time.”

Though it is a funny book, as is often the case with humour, the story touches on some dark themes. When the novel opens, Ove is lonely and planning his own suicide. He is ultimately unsuccessful, however, because the new family next door keep interrupting him. They develop an unlikely friendship, and the boisterous family unwittingly coax Ove back from the edge.

The book club was unanimous that they would read other books by Mr. Backman. Thank goodness he’s a prolific writer.

Other books by Fredrik Backman:
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Britt-Marie was Here
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
The Deal of a Lifetime
Us Against You

Have you read A Man Called Ove? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!