May 10 Event: Spring Book Club

For its thirteenth edition, the JETAA QA Book Club turns to (slightly?) lighter fare after its previous trip to the world of the dead!

Here are the details for the spring meeting:

  • Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: free (free snacks too!)
  • Location: The lounge of Argo Bookshop (1915, Sainte-Catherine St. West)

Argo Bookshop (est. 1966), the oldest independent English-language bookstore in Montreal, is now owned by two fellow JET alumni, and long-time book club participants, who have generously invited us to use their lounge to host these events!

The Housekeeper and the Professor

This Hon’ya Taisho Award winner by Yôko Ogawa will be the object of our interest this time around. I invite you to see this glowing New York Times Book Review for additional validation that this is worth reading (spoiler warning as with any review).

Synopsis (192 pages)

He is a brilliant math Professor with a peculiar problem-ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eighty minutes of short-term memory.

She is an astute young Housekeeper-with a ten-year-old son-who is hired to care for the Professor.

And every morning, as the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to each other anew, a strange and beautiful relationship blossoms between them. Though he cannot hold memories for long (his brain is like a tape that begins to erase itself every eighty minutes), the Professor’s mind is still alive with elegant equations from the past. And the numbers, in all of their articulate order, reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her young son. The Professor is capable of discovering connections between the simplest of quantities-like the Housekeeper’s shoe size-and the universe at large, drawing their lives ever closer and more profoundly together, even as his memory slips away.

Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor is an enchanting story about what it means to live in the present, and about the curious equations that can create a family.

(Synopsis and book cover from

Here are handy links to purchase or borrow the book!

If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please contact us!

The book is short enough that reading it should not take much time at all, and, even if you are not completely finished, your presence will always be welcome!

Books Read So Far