King's Summer Book Club

Announcing the 2021 King’s Summer Book Club

Is your summer reading picked out yet? Ever wondered what King’s faculty read on the beach? During the months of June, July and August we’re inviting the King’s community to read along with us as we host the first King’s Summer Book Club!

Each month we’ll read a different book as selected by participating members of faculty—Dr. Simon Kow, Dr. Sarah Clift, and Professor Stephen Kimber. Throughout the month you can follow along with us on social media to learn why each faculty member chose their respective book and read some of their favourite passages. At the end of the month, you’ll be invited to join us online for a book club discussion with the book’s faculty champion. This will be an opportunity to share your thoughts about the book with fellow readers, ask questions and exchange insights.

Details on how to register for the online book club discussion will be shared on social media and through an event page on in the month leading up to the event, so be sure to follow along! You can find each of these books available for order on the website of the King’s Co-op Bookstore.



The Wind in the Willows

Our June book club selection comes to us from Dr. Simon Kow, director of the Early Modern Studies Program, and the “voice” behind the Early Modern Times blog on

For his book club selection, Kow has chosen The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame (n.b. the 1989 Aladdin edition is recommended).

Describing why The Wind in the Willows is his summer reading of choice, Kow explains “Like the best books … it is both timely and timeless as well as beautifully written. The characters live in the idyllic setting of the river bank, which borders the Wild Wood and the Wide World. Like students at King’s and the English middle-classes in the years leading up to the Great War, they live in a seemingly tranquil bubble but are inevitably affected by the outside world, whether it be the threat of social and political revolution, or the rapid changes brought about by technology…”

Follow along on social media throughout the month of June to read more about why Kow chose The Wind in the Willows.

Join us on June 23 at 12 p.m. AT for an online book club discussion with Dr. Simon Kow!



Incoming Vice-President and Associate Professor in the Contemporary Studies Program Dr. Sarah Clift brings us our book club reading for the month of July—Sheila Heti’s 2018 novel Motherhood.

“The book I’ve chosen for the King’s Book Club is Sheila Heti’s 2018 novel Motherhood. I was stunned by this work when it first came out and am really excited to introduce folks who might be newcomers to Heti’s work.

“In an interview Heti gave with the LA Review of Books around the time Motherhood came out, she mentions something a friend of hers once said: ‘If men gave birth, the question of whether or not to have children would have been the central question of philosophy from the beginning of time… I am disgusted with how the dilemma has been flattened and presented as a frivolous and vain ‘lifestyle choice.’’

Motherhood is a breath of fresh air, in so many ways: inventively crafted, wry, and beautiful. But if I had to sum it up, I would say that I was mostly exhilarated by how artfully her protagonist confronts the question that is manifestly not the ‘central question of philosophy,’ that most boring and charged question a woman can ask herself: whether or not she wants to have children.”

Keep an eye on King’s social media throughout the month of July to read Clift’s full thoughts on why Motherhood is her book of choice. Join us on July 28 at 12 p.m. AT for an online book club discussion with Dr. Clift!

Register to attend


The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

We’ll conclude the summer with a true crime thriller that comes to us from Professor Stephen Kimber, who is a supervisor in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program and past-director of the School of Journalism. For the month of August, Kimber has selected the latest nonfiction book by his fellow faculty member, Dean Jobb, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer.

Asked why he chose this book, Kimber says, “The easy answer is that this is the latest work of historical nonfiction by my colleague, Dean Jobb, a faculty member in our MFA in Creative Nonfiction Program. If you need more, consider these endorsements: ‘a tour de force of storytelling… one of the best books I’ve read this year’ (Louise Penny, author of the Inspector Gamache novels); ‘a fine piece of social history… it engrossed me right up to its deeply satisfying conclusion’ (Charlotte Gray, bestselling Canadian nonfiction writer) …”

Dean Jobb
The August 24 online book club discussion is not to be missed! Dean Jobb will join as a special guest in conversation with host Stephen Kimber! Let us know you’re interested by registering through the form below and we’ll send you the Zoom link before the event. Meanwhile, follow along on King’s social media accounts to read more about the book throughout the month of August.

Register to attend