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Archer Book Club: May 2021

Welcome to the Archer Book Club, or the ABC!

Selection of the Month

From Penguin Random House:

"One of Newfoundland's funniest and most beloved storytellers offers his cure for the Covid blues.

Is there a more sociable province than Newfoundland and Labrador? Or anywhere in Canada with a greater reputation for coming to the rescue of those in need?

At this time of Covid, singer, songwriter and bestselling author Alan Doyle is feeling everyone's pain. Off the road and spending more days at home than he has since he was a child hawking cod tongues on the wharfs of Petty Harbour, he misses the crowds and companionship of performing across the country and beyond. But most of all he misses the cheery clamour of pubs in his hometown, where one yarn follows another so quickly "you have to be as ready as an Olympian at the start line to get your tale in before someone is well into theirs already." We're all experiencing our own version of that deprivation, and Alan, one of Newfoundland's finest storytellers, wants to offer a little balm.

All Together Now is a gathering in book form--a virtual Newfoundland pub. There are adventures in foreign lands, including an apparently filthy singalong in Polish (well, he would have sung along if he'd understood the language), a real-life ghost story involving an elderly neighbour, a red convertible and a clown horn, a potted history of his social drinking, and heartwarming reminiscences from another past world, childhood--all designed to put a smile on the faces of the isolated-addled.

Alan Doyle has never been in better form--nor more welcome. As he says about this troubling time: "We get through it. We do what has to be done. Then, we celebrate. With the best of them."

Zoom Meeting Information

Zoom information will be provided closer to the planned meeting: 12:00pm-1:00pm, May 19, 2021.

Discussion Points

Questions will be selected from or be similar to the following:

1) What are your initial thoughts on the book?  What was your favourite short story?

2) Doyle shares a great deal about Newfoundland culture, and Maritime history.  Was there anything you learned or found really interesting?

3) There is significant discussion about the effects on musicians and artists through the pandemic.  Has the book increased your awareness about these struggles?  Do you think Doyle's frankness will help arts and culture groups make a comeback after the pandemic?

4) Doyle showcases an interesting balance of a humble life experience interspersed with a star-studded career. Who was your favourite (or the most interesting) "celebrity name drop"? What experience was most relatable?

5) Most poignantly, Doyle shares with us what he misses about pre-pandemic life, and what he's looking forward to in the future.  What do you miss, and what are you most looking forward to?