Humour, Irony and Satire: Add it to your summer reading!

Photo of lady reading while sitting on a stack of books

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the face.”
– Victor Hugo

Summer Reading Ideas from Next Season’s Program

Humor has the ability to provoke delight and influence our thoughts and emotions, as well as stimulate our imagination and foster new insights. Humor also has physiological and psychological benefits.

One literature analyst (Michael Cart) said, “Humor is the Rodney Dangerfield of literary forms. It gets no respect!” But humor plays many functions in a literary work. Whether you fancy satire, irony, wordplay, incongruity, or any other form of humor, you will find it in the authors that will be presented in our upcoming season.

“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”
― George Gordon Byron

Mary Carwardine, CWLC Program Chair

Our secret

As I am in the throes of finishing my presentation for this Tuesday, I am truly experiencing our “Book Club with a Difference!” That is, I have 8 books which have now been on my kitchen table for weeks, along with the computer. These books are marked up with stickies (Library books) or marked excessively with a yellow highlighter (my collection). I’m lucky it’s only 8:  Flora recently presented Orson Scott Card with a body of work of over 70 books. She had personally read over 40 and brought them to her presentation! [Rest assured: 4 to 5 books suffice for a presentation to the Club.] In spite of the hours spent reading, researching, re-reading and composing my talk, I know I have gained hugely by the effort. My knowledge of an author, normally based on what the cover states, is now in-depth. I have found out fascinating things about Italy in modern times. I have looked at these books to try to understand the craft of writing. Had I not been presenting this author, I would have still loved reading the books, but now the experience is in technicolor, not in black & white.

Click here for Janet’s Presentation Summary

Rich presentations are what this Club is all about, and both presenters and audience are the winners. You will gain a broader reading list, guaranteed!

The 2018-19 season beginning October will open up literature’s treasure trove of “Humour, Irony, and Satire”. Mary has collected a surprising list of the most diverse authors imaginable, for us all, and particularly as a guide to those to be presenting. How lucky you will be to pick “your own” author (from Mary’s list or your own choice) and share your insights with those of us who are lucky enough to be in the audience!  And as for stage fright? Of course, we all have it! But a kinder more receptive audience one cannot find. In other words, please sign up for next season’s slate, especially if you haven’t presented within the last two years!

2018_humor_irony_satire_reading_list WEB


Can Icelandic survive?

Photo of lone house in Iceland

Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash

You might ask why the Calgary Women’s Literary Club would be interested! However, a surprising number of our club members have inherited our forebears’ genes that place literacy and education above pretty much everything.

That includes me, CWLC webmaster! So how could I resist not sharing a fascinating National Post article, forwarded by Flora, on how the supremacy of English in all things digital is undermining the Icelandic language. And, of course, I must include a breathtaking photo! (How did people survive?)

Happy reading, happy August!

Janet Halls

Can the Icelandic language survive?

Jane Austen and Harper Lee


Photo by Sam Wheeler on Unsplash

Having enjoyed two incredible presentations on these authors last year by Margaret and Cecilia, it was interesting to read two newspaper articles:

Unique Glimpse of Harper Lee by Will Lester, Calgary Herald, July 15, 2017, describes a new book called Mockingbird Songs, by Wayne Flynt (Harper Collins).

Today (July 18, 2017) in the National Post there’s an interesting article, A roof of one’s own: The Residences and Nascent Feminism of Jane Austen by Sharon Lindores. It is based on speakers taking part in a bicentenary celebration of Jane Austen.

If you haven’t, remember to check out our own experts:

Jane Austen

Nelle Harper Lee

Happy summer reading!



Fishbowl by Bradley Somer

As we are just leaving last season’s theme of Calgary writers, here is Anne Logan’s  Review of Fishbowl by Calgarian Bradley Somer.

Anne’s always fun-to-read book reviews are a click away, in CWLC’s Blogroll (bottom right of our Website)

and one last, important thing… Share your own reading finds with other members online, by clicking on Leave a Reply (on any post) or send a note to cwlc

I’m going to find Fishbowl a.s.a.p.!

A romantic book… Silk

I don’t tend to read romance novels, so I had to think a bit about whether I even knew of a book to recommend for a Valentine’s read. After all, if I ask others to suggest books, shouldn’t I make an effort too?

What came to mind is an exquisite small novel, Alessandro Baricco’s Silk. The review, below, captures the spirit of the book well.

Silk Literary review

Happy Valentine’s

Janet Halls

Valentine’s Day — favorite reads?

Embed from Getty Images


WordFest will be posting recommendations for books on the theme of love, romance and relationships for Valentine’s Day. WordFest’s Jacquie Moore (who wrote the fabulous Swerve article on our club) wondered if any of us have some great reads to share for the occasion.

“Leave a Reply” (below) to make a recommendation. I’ll share them with our members and send them to WordFest. I’ll watch for their list and share the link in a future post.

Happy Valentine’s Day!






Don’t get me started… Your WebNovice is up to new tricks. 

I have just added a section called Blogroll. It lists websites or blogs that might interest our Calgary Women’s Literary Club members in specific and literature readers in general. I’ve begun with just two (for now…) and I look forward to our members adding other favorites. All you need to do is click on any item under Blogroll and you will be taken to the site. Don’t worry: After perusing you can always return to our trusty CWLC site, which remains open!

“I’ve read this” is by Anne Logan, who has a wealth of experience as a critical reader in publishing and at WordFest. No longer in the publishing world, she is connecting to readers and publishing professionals through this blog. She is an avid reader and does NOT like to keep her opinions to herself.

“Longreads” is a new find for me, so this is on our blogroll on a trial basis. This site is dedicated to storytelling, whether fiction or non-fiction.

If you have a favorite website or blog that suits our literary club, please let me know so I can add it to our Blogroll.

Don’t forget — you can always weigh in on the Blogroll list. Sites are easy to include or (hopefully very rarely) exclude from our site.