Islington Reads

Islington Reads book club is open to all ages, genders and identities and to members and non-members of Islington United Church. 

Islington Reads offers participants the opportunity to read some great books and connect with other readers in a meaningful way.

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upcoming meetings

Such Big Dreams by Reema Patel

September 20, 2022 at 7:00 pm

A savvy former street child working at a human rights law office in Mumbai fights for redemption and a chance to live life on her own terms in this fresh, propulsive debut novel about fortune and survival. Named a Loan Stars Top Ten Pick and a CBC Canadian Fiction title to watch.

Rakhi is a twenty-three-year-old former street child haunted by the grisly aftermath of an incident that led her to lose her best friend eleven years ago. Constantly reminded she doesn’t belong, Rakhi lives alone in a Mumbai slum, working as a lowly office assistant at Justice For All, a struggling human rights law office headed by the renowned lawyer who gave her a fresh start.

Fiercely intelligent and in possession of a sharp wit and an even sharper tongue, Rakhi is nobody’s fool, even if she is underestimated by everyone around her. Rakhi’s life isn’t much, but she’s managing. That is until a fading former Bollywood starlet tries to edge her way back into the spotlight by becoming a celebrity ambassador for Justice For All. Steering the organization into uncharted territories, she demands an internship for her young Canadian family friend, Alex, a Harvard-bound graduate student. Ambitious, persistent, and naive, Alex persuades Rakhi to show him “the real” India. In exchange, he’ll do something to further Rakhi’s dreams in a transaction that seems harmless, at first.  

As old guilt and new aspirations collide, everything Rakhi once knew to be true is set ablaze. And as the stakes mount, she will come face to face with the difficult choices and moral compromises that people are prepared to make in order to survive, no matter the costs. Reema Patel’s transportive debut novel offers a moving, smart, and arrestingly funny look at the cost of ambition and power in reclaiming one’s story.

Summer Book List 2022


Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Such Big Dreams by Reema Patel

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Nosy Parker by Lesley Crewe


Death in Brittany by Jean Luc Bannalec

Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray

Cover Art by Vanessa Westermann
The Island by Adrian McKinty


305 Lost Buildings of Canada by Raymon Biesinger and Alex Bozikovic

Forest Walking by Peter Wohlleben and Jane Billinghurst

Antarctic Pioneer by Joanna Kafarowski

Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley

My Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir of Struggle and Triumph by Perdita Felicien

Nowhere Girl by Cheryl Diamond

The Day the World Stops Shopping by J.B. MacKinnon

A World Without Email by Cal Newport

Questions are the Answer by Hal Gregersen

Please Note:

A Novel Spot will be taking a vacation starting July 10 but books can still be ordered by calling 416-233-2665 and leaving a message. The store will be open from 11 am to 5 pm on the following dates: July 14, July 23, July 28, August 6, August 11 and August 13 to pick up orders and buy books.

author visits

On June 7, 2022, Shelly Sanders joined Islington Reads to discuss her novel, Daughters of the Occupation.

On March 8, 2022, Marianne Cronin joined Islington Reads to discuss her first novel, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot.

On January 11, 2022, Uzma Jalaluddin joined Islington Reads to discuss her most recent book, Hana Khan Carries On.

On November 2, 2021, Cedar Bowers joined Islington Reads to discuss her debut novel, Astra.

On September 14, 2021, Michael Crummey visited Islington Reads to discuss his novel, The Innocents.

June 2021: An interview with Lesley Crewe, author of The Spoon Stealer

May 2021: An interview with Abi Daré, author of The Girl with the Louding Voice

January 2021: An interview with Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration

Previous books

October 2020: The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden

August 2020: Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

July 2020: Let Me Be Like Water by SK Perry

Where to find books

Books are available for purchase from A Novel Spot Bookshop located in the Humbertown Shopping Centre at 270 The Kingsway. You can order books by calling the store at 416-233-2665 or visiting their website at Curbside pickups are available, as are deliveries in the M8 and M9 postal code areas for orders over $50. Books may also be available from other booksellers.



There is no cost to participate. Books can be purchased at A Novel Spot Bookshop in Humbertown Plaza.

If you don’t wish to purchase the books, or aren’t in a financial position to do so, you can still participate. The church library has purchased a limited number of copies of the books and is making them available for lending. Please contact Anne Marriott, the church librarian, to reserve a copy  (; 416-234-0796).

These books may also be available as ebooks through your local library or a partner library. Check online to find out.

more information

If you want more information or have questions, we invite you to contact one of our committee members:

Anne Marriott: