Book Chats

Our first Book Chat of 2023 will take place on February 8th at 7 pm. Our featured author will be Méira Cook. To receive the Zoom instructions to join us, email us at

Méira is the award-winning author of the novels ‘Once More With Feeling’; ‘The House on Sugarbush Road’, which won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award; and ‘Nightwatching’, which won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. She has also published five poetry collections, most recently ‘Monologue Dogs’, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry and for the 2016 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. She has won the CBC Poetry Prize and the inaugural Walrus Poetry Prize. She has served as Writer in Residence at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, and the Winnipeg Public Library. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, she now lives in Winnipeg.

Margaret Laurence Award winner, ‘The Full Catastrophe’ is a compassionate and funny novel about defining yourself, the communities that support us, and the journeys that secrets propel.

Charlie Minkoff, a thirteen-year-old boy born with intersex traits, would be happy to be left alone. Living with his artist mother in a derelict loft in downtown Winnipeg, perpetually wondering about the father who abandoned him, and tormented in school because of his differences, Charlie navigates the assorted catastrophes of his life. He’s helped along by the love of his beloved grandfather, Oscar, and the makeshift family who surround him: his mother’s best friend; a couple of elderly shut-in neighbours; a mysterious girl in his class who has secrets of her own; and his desperately needy and perpetually hungry dog, Gellman.

When a school project leads him to discover that Oscar never had a bar mitzvah, Charlie decides to right the historical wrong and arrange a belated ceremony. But this quest will be more than he bargained for, and meanwhile everyone from his doctor to his Ancestry Studies teacher keeps insisting that Charlie needs to learn to tell his own story. 

June Book Chat

Please join us for a chat with Harriet Zaidman, whose book, Second Chances, was just nominated for the 2023 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Northern Lights Award.
To attend this event, email to receive the Zoom instructions.
Harriet Zaidman is a 3rd generation Canadian, the descendant of Russian Jews who experienced all the hardship and discrimination society had to offer in the early 1900s. Her successes are a result of their hard work and sacrifice. She’s a retired K-Gr. 8 teacher librarian, a book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press and CM Canadian Review of Materials and a freelance writer. She’s written 3 picture books and two novels; her first novel – City on Strike (Red Deer Press, 2019), follows children whose family is caught up in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. It has many of her own family’s stories woven in. City on Strike received nominations for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young Children and the Diamond Foundation Prize.
Her latest novel, Second Chances (Red Deer, 2021), is based on real events. It recalls the tragic polio epidemics of the 1950s, just as the life-saving Salk vaccine was developed. A teenage hockey star paralyzed by the disease develops feelings for a girl in hospital. She’s worried about the fate of her family, which is facing eviction from the Metis community of Rooster Town because of the racist attitudes of the city and greedy developers, who want their land. He must deal not only with his physical challenges, but decide if he has the courage to face down societal prejudices so he can follow his heart.

Financial assistance provided by the Manitoba Arts Council

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