uO BookIn - Alumni & Friends Book Club

Alumni and friends of the University of Ottawa are invited to join a new online book club hosted by the Alumni Relations Office and the University of Ottawa Press. Each book club meeting will shine a spotlight on one book in English and one in French.
 
Beverly Marchand, an alumna and a uOttawa doctoral candidate in languages and literature, will facilitate these 45-minute online meetings, which will take place on Zoom.
 
The meetings will feature extracts from pre-recorded video interviews of the authors, along with discussions on the topics covered in the books.
 
This online book club is meant to be a friendly forum through which you can ask questions and discuss the selected book with the group, whether you’ve read the book entirely, partially, or not yet. Everyone is welcome to join.
 
Join the uO BookIn Facebook group to stay informed and share your impressions using the hashtag #uObouquine

This fall, our theme is memoirs/autobiographies. Here are the books that will be discussed:
 

The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

 
Monday, October 26 at 7 p.m.

Longtime Jeopardy! host and television icon Alex Trebek reflects on his life and career.
 
Since debuting as the host of Jeopardy! in 1984, Alex Trebek has been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. Social media was flooded with messages of support, and the Jeopardy! studio received boxes of cards and letters offering guidance, encouragement, and prayers.
 
For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. “I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year,” he writes in The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life.
 
The book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek’s thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, and his opinion of Will Ferrell’s Saturday Night Live impersonation. The book uses a novel structure inspired by Jeopardy!, with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years.
 

This wise, charming, and inspiring book is further evidence why Trebek has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment.

 


Ce que je voudrais dire à mes enfants par Me Michel Bastarache et Antoine Trépanier (Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, 2019)

Wednesday, October 28 at 7 p.m. (session in French)

In this intimate volume, Michel Bastarache reveals details of his youth in Acadia and his multiple professional roles before becoming the first Acadian justice to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada. In a letter addressed to his two children who died from an incurable disease, Me. Bastarache recounts his constant fight for equality between francophone and anglophone communities. He reminisces on his commitment among groups protecting francophones outside Québec, then on his careers as teacher, civil servant, lawyer, and judge.
 
In this story he takes the reader backstage to his most important causes and he reveals some of the secrets of the highest court in Canada. Me. Bastarache weighs in on the controversy surrounding the Inquiry Commission on the process for appointing judges of the Court of Québec, as well as his mediator work for reconciliation and compensation of alleged victims of sexual abuse by ex-priests in New Brunswick.
 

 

 

Thursday, October 29 at 7 p.m.
 
Her goal: to become a world-renowned biomedical engineer working with scientific societies to improve the role of women in scientific fields and the way scientists and engineers integrate people and society into their work. By 1979, this goal had become a reality.
 
In her memoirs, acclaimed biomedical engineer Monique Frize recalls the events in her life that taught her to overcome obstacles, become more resilient, recognize the importance of mentors and role models, and remain focused on the future. She also speaks of her appreciation of the critical role played by family and friends in maintaining the strength and determination required to succeed. And, above all, to succeed in a man’s world.
 
Frize fondly remembers her youth in Montreal and in Ottawa, and her marked interest for math and science. Her entry into the world of engineering was both romantic—she met her husband—and tragic. She faced prejudice and stereotypes, which she ultimately overcame. She reconciled family and work life, pursuing a challenging and rewarding international career in a very specialized field at a time when this was still very uncommon for a woman. And she relives the tragic Polytechnique massacre.
 
These memoirs are sure to inspire young women who have a dream, and more specifically those who wish to enter sciences and engineering. 
 

 

 

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