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Joanne Kelly's Book Club

Hosted by Joanne Kelly, formerly of SHAW TV and currently teacher of Journalism in the Creative Communications Program at Red River College.

Want to talk books with other book lovers – but without the commitment of a regular book club? Joanne Kelly and McNally Robinson Booksellers have created a new kind of book club open to everyone in Winnipeg.

We will announce a new book at the beginning of each month through McNally Robinson's The Bookseller newsletter. You simply read the book and show up at McNally the last Tuesday of the month to talk about the book. You can pick and choose the books you want to read – and the book clubs you want to attend.

The choice for March 2020 is  Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes (Scribner), a moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next 40 years. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story, while haunted by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She has been named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35,” and was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing. She currently lives in Pearl River, New York with her husband and their two sons. She is the author of The Walking People, Fever, and Ask Again, Yes. Regrettably, the March 31 meeting of the book club has been CANCELLED. We hope to discuss both this book, and the April choice, on Tuesday April 28, (COVID-19 permitting).

Get in touch with Joanne through e-mail at jmkelly (at) or with John at McNally Robinson at events (at) or by calling 204-453-0424, ex 227 if you have any questions.

The Book Club's past and future choices include:

August 2020: Robert Macfarlane's Underland: A Deep Time Journey (W.W. Norton & Company)
June 2020:
Madeline Miller's Circe (Little, Brown & Company)
May 2020: 
Owen Egerton's Hollow (Counterpoint)
April 2020:
 Hallie Rubenhold  The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
March 2020: 
Mary Beth Keane's Ask Again, Yes (Scribner)
February 2020:
 Kristin Hannah's The Great Alone (St. Martin's Publishing Group)
January 2020:
Jennifer Haupt's In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills (Central Avenue Publishing)
November 2019:
Joan Thomas' Five Wives (HarperCollins Canada)
October 2019:
Casey Plett's Little Fish (Arsenal Pulp Press)
September 2019: Richard Powers' The Overstory (WW Norton)
August 2019: Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers (Penguin Canada)
June 2019: Hannah Tinti's The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley (Random House of Canada)
May 2019: Fatima Farheen Mirza's A Place for Us (Hogarth)
April 2019: Louise Erdrich's LaRose (HarperCollins Canada)
March 2019: Kate Moore's The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Sourcebooks)
February 2019: Daryl Gregory's Spoonbenders: A Novel (Doubleday Canada)
January 2019: Tara Westover's Educated: A Memoir (HarperCollins Canada)
November 2018: Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (Milkweed Editions)
October 2018: John Boyne's The Heart's Invisible Furies (Doubleday Canada)
September 2018: Joanna Goodman's The Home for Unwanted Girls (HarperCollins Canada)
August 2018: Deborah Campbell's A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War (Vintage Canada)
June 2018: Jesmyn Ward Sing, Unburied, Sing (Scribner)
May 2018: Min Jin Lee Pachinko (Grand Central Publishing)
April 2018: Emily Ruskovich Idaho (Random House)
March 2018: Tanya Talaga's Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City (House of Anansi Press)
February 2018: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Atria Books)
January 2018: Joyce Carol Oates' A Book of American Martyrs (HarperCollins)
November 2017: Shanthi Sekaran’s Lucky Boy (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
October 2017: Nora McInerny Purmort’s It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) (HarperCollins Canada)
September 2017: Adam Haslett's Imagine Me Gone (Little, Brown and Company)
August 2017: Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Penguin Canada)
June 2017: Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing (Random House of Canada)
May 2017: Karan Mahajan's The Association of Small Bombs (Penguin Books)
April 2017: Janice Nimura's Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back (WW Norton)
March 2017: James Hannaham's Delicious Foods (Little, Brown & Company)
February 2017: Maggie Nelson's The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial (Graywolf Press)
January 2017: Katherena Vermette's The Break (House of Anansi Press)
November 2016: Lori Ostlund's After the Parade (Scribner)
October 2016: Helen Oyeyemi's Boy Snow Bird (Penguin Canada)
September 2016: Bill Clegg's Did You Ever Have a Family? (Gallery/Scout Press)
August 2016: Eli Gottleib's Best Boy (WW Norton)
June 2016: Susan Barker's The Incarnations (Touchstone)
May 2016: Sara Novic's Girl at War (Random House)
April 2016: Akhil Sharma's Family Life (WW Norton)
March 2016: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's Dust (Vintage)
February 2016: Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau)
January 2016: Lissa Evans' Crooked Heart (HarperCollins)
November 2015: Elizabeth Crook's Monday, Monday (Picador)
October 2015: Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You: A Novel (Penguin Canada)
September 2015: Kimberly Elkins' What is Visible: A Novel (Grand Central Publishing)
August 2015: James McBride's The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead)
June 2015: Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage)
May 2015: Lily King's Euphoria (HarperCollins Publishers)
April 2015: Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams: Essays (Graywolf)
March 2015: Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner)
February 2015: Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven (HarperCollins Publishers)
January 2015: William Kamkwamba's The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (HarperCollins Canada)
November 2014: Caitlin Horrocks' This is Not Your City: Stories (Sarabande Books)
October 2014: William Kuhn's Mrs Queen Take the Train (HarperCollins Canada)
September 2014: Francisco Goldman's Say Her Name (Grove/Atlantic)
August 2014: Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Random House of Canada)
June 2014: Katherine Boo's Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Random House of Canada)
May 2014: Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse (Douglas & McIntyre)
April 2014: Helene Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni (HarperCollins Publishers)
March 2014: Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist (HarperCollins Publishers)
February 2014: David R. Gillham's City of Women (Berkley Books)
January 2014: Liz Moore's Heft (WW Norton & Company)
November 2013: Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Basic Books)
October 2013: Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds: A Novel (Little, Brown, and Company)
September 2013: Andrew Kaufman's Born Weird (Random House of Canada)
August 2013: Benjamin Hale's The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore (Grand Central Publishing)
June 2013: Octavia E. Butler's Kindred (Beacon Press)
May 2013: Yannick Murphy's The Call (HarperCollins Canada)
April 2013: Cheryl Strayed's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
March 2013: Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now (Random House of Canada)
February 2013: Shalom Auslander's Hope: A Tragedy (Penguin Group Canada)
January 2013: Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers (Random House of Canada)
November 2012: Jonas Jonasson's The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
October 2012: Christopher Wakling's What I Did (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
September 2012: Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge (Random House Publishing Group)
June 2012: Carol Birch's Jamrach's Menagerie (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
May 2012: Bobbie Anne Mason's Feather Crowns (HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd)
April 2012: Alan Weisman's The World Without Us (HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd)
March 2012: David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Doubleday Canada)
February 2012: Austin Wright's Tony and Susan (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
January 2012: David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (Knopf Canada)
November 2011: Dave Eggers' Zeitoun (Knopf Canada)
October 2011: Jessica Grant's Come Thou Tortoise (Knopf Canada)
September 2011: Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
July 2011: Kate Grenville's The Secret River (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
June 2011: Chang Rae-Lee's The Surrendered (Berkley Publishing)
May 2011: Chris Cleave's Little Bee (Doubleday Canada)
April 2011: Lauren Grodstein's A Friend of the Family (Algonquin Books)
March 2011: Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)
February 2011: Colm Toibin's Brooklyn (McClelland & Stewart)
January 2011: Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd)