Banff Book Club Discussion Weekend 2022

Welcome Back! 

This will be our 61st year and we are thrilled to be returning to book club discussion held in Banff. The book selections for 2022 have been chosen to stimulate thought and  discussion and to appeal to adults.  The atmosphere is friendly and  informal.  There are no prerequisites for this program other than reading  the books before attending the discussions!  Please join us for the 2022  book club discussion held at the Banff Centre.

Virtual Discussion on Brother –  January 22nd, 2022


January 22, 2022 – 10:30 MST

Owl’s Nest Books will be offering our members a 10% discount.  They will be stocking our four discussion books.  There will be a less expensive copy of The Company We Keep, coming out in March.

Our 2022 - Our Book Club Discussion Novels

Our 2022 - Discussion Authors

Book Club Discussion
The Library of Legends
The Library of Legends 

This will make for an interesting book club discussion.

China, 1937. When Japanese bombs begin falling on the city of Nanking, nineteen-year-old Hu Lian and her classmates at Minghua University are ordered to flee. Lian and a convoy of students, faculty and staff must walk 1,000 miles to the safety of China’s western provinces, a journey marred by the constant threat of aerial attack. And it is not just the refugees who are at risk; Lian and her classmates have been entrusted with a priceless treasure: a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends.

The students’ common duty

to safeguard the Library of Legends creates unexpected bonds. Lian becomes friends and forms a cautious romance with the handsome and wealthy Liu Shaoming. But after one classmate is arrested and another one is murdered, Lian realizes she must escape before a family secret puts her in danger too. Accompanied by Shao and his enigmatic maidservant, Sparrow, Lian makes her way to Shanghai in the hopes of reuniting with her mother.

During the journey,

 Lian learns of the connection between her two companions and a tale from the Library of Legends, The Willow Star and the Prince. This revelation comes with profound consequences, for as the ancient books travel across China, they awaken immortals and guardian spirits who embark on an exodus of their own, one that will change the country’s fate forever.


 I thought this was a new and exciting read for me and I definitely would recommend it to historical fiction fans who are looking for something different than the traditional European narratives. – Lit Bitch

Janie Chang

Janie Chang

Born in Taiwan,  has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, New Zealand and Canada. She writes historical fiction with a personal connection, drawing from family history and ancestral stories. Chang has a degree in computer science and is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Three Souls and Dragon Springs Road.  

Book Club Discussion
No Good Asking

No Good Asking

 Ellie and Eric Nyland have moved their two sons back to Eric’s childhood farmhouse, hoping for a fresh start. But there’s no denying it, their family is falling apart, each one of them isolated by private sorrows, stresses, and missed signals. With every passing day, Ellie’s hopes are buried deeper in the harsh winter snows.

When Eric finds Hannah Finch,

the girl across the road, wandering alone in the bitter cold, his rusty police instincts kick in and he soon discovers there are bad things happening in the girl’s house. With nowhere else to send her, the Nylands reluctantly agree to let Hannah stay with them until she can find a new home after the Christmas holidays. But Hannah proves to be more balm than burden, and the Nylands discover that the only thing harder than taking Hannah in may be letting her go.

A character driven story – a great book club discussion.

Fran Kimmel

Fran Kimmel

writes and teaches in Central Alberta. Her work has appeared in literary journals across Canada.

Fran’s debut novel, The Shore Girl, won the 2013 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award and was selected as a Canada Reads Top 40 book. Her second book, No Good Asking, has become a book club favourite and is published internationally. 

Book Club Discussion
The Company We Keep

The Company We Keep 

On Tuesday nights in the backroom of Cassie’s café, six strangers seek solace and find themselves part of a “Company of Good Cheer”

Hazzley is at loose ends, even three years after the death of her husband. When her longtime friend Cassandra, café owner and occasional dance-class partner, suggests that she start up a conversation group, Hazzley posts a notice on the community board at the local grocery store. Four people turn up for the first meeting: Gwen, a recently widowed retiree in her early sixties, who finds herself pet-sitting a cantankerous parrot; Chiyo, a forty-year-old fitness instructor who cared for her unyielding but gossip-loving mother through the final days of her life; Addie, a woman pre-emptively grieving a close friend who is seriously ill; and Tom, an antiques dealer and amateur poet who, deprived of home baking since becoming a widower, comes to the first meeting hoping cake will be served. Before long, they are joined by Allam, a Syrian refugee with his own story to tell.

These six strangers

are learning that beginnings can be possible at any stage of life. But as they tell their stories, they must navigate what is shared and what is withheld. Which version of the truth will be revealed? Who is prepared to step up when help is needed? This moving, funny and deeply empathic new novel from acclaimed author Frances Itani reminds us that life, with all its twists and turns, never loses its capacity to surprise. 


If nothing else, Frances Itani’s latest novel shows the utter importance of community. Such a message is ironically timely, given the current need for physical distancing during a global pandemic. But Itani’s book is much more than this. The novel is so beautifully written and so full of wisdom that it’s likely readers will want to return to it numerous times.Quill and Quire

This moving, funny and deeply empathic new novel from acclaimed author Frances Itani reminds us that life, with all its twists and turns, never loses its capacity to surprise.Good Reads

This novel will make for an lively book club discussion.


Francis Itani

FRANCIS ITANI – Our Guest Author

 has written eighteen books. Her novels include That’s My Baby; Tell, shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; Requiem, chosen by the Washington Post as one of the top fiction titles of 2012; Remembering the Bones, published internationally and shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; and the #1 bestseller Deafening, which won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Published in seventeen territories, Deafening was also selected for CBC’s Canada Reads. A three-time winner of the CBC Literary Prize, Frances Itani is a Member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of a 2019 Library and Archives Canada Scholars Award. She lives in Ottawa.

She is thrilled to be joining us for our 61st year of the Banff Book Discussion Weekend.

Recent Award

Francis Itani 2021 recepient of the Matt Cohen Award is an award given annually by the Writers’ Trust of Canada to a Canadian writer, in honour of a distinguished lifetime contribution to Canadian literature. First presented in 2000, it was established in memory of Matt Cohen, a Canadian writer who died in 1999.


Library and Archives, Canada Scholars Award2019
Winner: Commonwealth Writer’s Prize (Best Book, Caribbean & Canada Region) for Deafening2005
Finalist/Shortlisted: Scotiabank Giller Prize for Tell2014
Finalist/Shortlisted: International IMPAC Dublin Literary AwardDeafening 2005
Winner: Canadian Authors Assoc. Jubilee Award for Best Story Collection for Poached Egg on Toast2005
Finalist/Shortlisted: William Saroyan International Literary Award for Deafening2005
Finalist/Shortlisted: Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Remembering the Bones2008
Winner: two Ottawa Book Awards (Fiction) for Man Without Face & Poached Egg on Toast 1995 & 2005
Winner: three CBC Literary Awards for Short StoriesFirst Prize 1995 and 1996; 3rd prize 1984
Book Club Discussion
Who Has Seen The Wind

Who Has Seen The Wind

As we enter the world of four-year-old Brian O’Connal, his father the druggist, his Uncle Sean, his mother, and his formidable Scotch grandmother (“she belshes … a lot”), it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary book. As we watch Brian grow up, the prairie and its surprising inhabitants like the Ben and Saint Sammy—and the rich variety of small-town characters—become unforgettable. This book will be a delightful surprise for all those who are aware of it, but have never quite got around to reading it, till now.

W. O. Mitchell

W. O. Mitchell

Over his sixty-year writing career W.O. Mitchell wrote short stories, novels, magazine articles, radio and television plays, stage plays (including a musical), and film scripts.  His work won numerous awards, including two Stephen Leacock awards, the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, and three ACTRA awards.  Through his reading performances, he became known as Canada’s Mark Twain. Perhaps no other Canadian writer has been so versatile, not only in art form, but in audience appeal. 

Jake and the Kid

He is best known for his “Jake and the Kid” stories, dramatized in CBC’s radio series in the 1950s, and for Who Has Seen the Wind, a Canadian classic that has sold over three-quarters of a million copies in Canada alone and is taught in schools and universities across Canada.

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