Back in March 2020 when the world changed forever, “The Phoenix Book Club” was born. 

It started as an open invitation to all MOVE members to simply talk or listen about anything even remotely related to the written or spoken word.  A weekly 30 minute call happened during those new months of lockdown and typically each call would begin with the question “So, what’s everyone reading or listening to?” Of course we were all so deeply entrenched in the uncertainty with covid that topics would often focus around themes of concern, resilience and support.

My own deep love for reading shifted during the first few months and I wondered if I would ever be able to read anything that wasn’t about escaping from reality.  I eagerly awaited my monthly subscription to Toronto Life Magazine because the features on kindness and strength during covid were inspiring and the time I formerly spent with my nose in a novel was transferred into committing myself to Netflix for the first time ever.

And then, in December of 2020, the club members collectively agreed we were ready to commit to all reading a book together and shift to a monthly one hour virtual meeting, agreeing to begin with reads focused on topics other than pandemics.

The Phoenix Book Club nowadays begins with an author review and then naturally moves into a journey of questions and discussions with a member who comes prepared to moderate.  What’s special about it?  Well, the fact that out of an open invitation to all MOVE members, this collection of people naturally fell into a rhythm during an unprecedented time in world history.  And also, that the book selections have bravely shifted into many genres of reading, some non-fiction based and heavy, and all the while the conversations have been balanced, respectful and open.

What We’ve Read and Reviewed and What’s Coming Up!

February 2022 – Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (“This is a memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity”)

January 2022 –Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (“a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: What does it mean to love?”)

December 2021 – Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy (“Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands”)

November 2021 – Better Luck Next Time by Kate Hilton (“Over the course of an eventful year, the Hennessey children contend with the big struggles of midlife: aging parents, raging teens, crumbling marriages and bodies, new loves and the choice between playing it safe or taking life-altering risks”) 

October 2021 –The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller (“The Paper Palace is a story of summer, secrets, love and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision”)

September 2021 – The Last Thing You Told Me by Laura Dave (“We all have stories we never tell. Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her”)

August 2021 – The Island of Sea Women

July 2021 – The Secret Keeper of Jaipur

June 2021 – Five Little Indians

May 2021 – The Four Winds

April 2021 – The Fire Next Time

March 2021 – Migrations

February 2021 – The Night Portrait

January 2021 – The Midnight Library

December 2020 – The Invisible Life Of Addie Larue