“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Even if you’ve not experienced that feeling yet – you can still find it in a book! This February why not imagine what’s in store for you someday or relive the magic moments of falling in love with one of OPLs “Always Available” books of love? There’ll be plenty to discuss with any of this month’s selections – isn’t there always when love is involved?
This February why not listen to a Mary Balogh’s engaging characters, clever dialogue, and sweet romance in the first Westcotts romance, Someone to Love. It is set in Regency-era London (did someone say Bridgerton?) and involves a delicious scandal -- a young woman named Anna Snow turns out to be Anastasia Westcott, the oldest daughter of the late Earl of Riverdale. Anna’s new extended family and the handsome Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, help Anna make the transition from orphan to heiress without losing her soul in the process.
If you prefer reading to listening, this month would be a great time to revisit some of the nineteenth century classics that are still influencing romance writers today. Beloved the world over for their restrained love stories, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are also astute observations of character and class tensions. And, as quoted above, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, while not exactly a romance, is a dark exploration of destructive passions that has provided generations of romance writers with the model for a certain type of stormy and brooding hero.
Being a writer in Paris has long been considered romantic and bohemian. How would you like to explore literary Paris with Dany Laferrière, and his feline companion? Autoportrait de Paris avec chat will take you on a journey through the cafés, streets, and bars of Paris. Santé!
Your French audiobook suggestion this month is Les sept mariages d’Edgar et Ludmilla by the author Jean-Christophe Rufin. Readers need look no further to find a passionate and beautifully written love story that spans decades. Small biographical insight: the author himself married the same woman three times.
Suggestions and Resources for a successful online Book Club
In order to have your Book Club take place online you can try creating Facebook groups, or using various social media channels to discuss books. Or you could try meeting live via online video conferencing tools. The following tools are free:
- Google Hangouts provides free video/chat/voice conferencing and does not have a time limit
- Jitsi is a free open source video conferencing tool
- In French, there is a platform built by Les libraires that allows book clubs to meet online! You can request to create your own club, or there are groups that are already running that you can join. All book clubs, including the current book club picks and comments, are visible to anyone accessing the site
Finding eBooks and eAudiobooks for your Book Club
- Always Available eAudio from OverDrive – many great Book Club reads in this list
- Books with 100 simultaneous checkouts -- this new format offered by publishers to libraries lets your whole book club borrow a book at once!
- Always Available ebook Classics from Duke Publishing
- OPL streaming eBook and eAudio collections
- Some French publishers OPL purchases from through Cantook Station offer many loans of the same title at once. You can search the Cantook platform for these publishers and make your choice. Participating publishers include Gallimard, Actes Sud, Rivages, POL, Flammarion, and Payot.
- Radio-Canada offers free “Always Available” French eAudio - stream from the ICI Première website or download the Radio-Canada OHdio app.
Contact OPLs InfoService 613-580-2940 if you need help accessing these titles and resources
Hosting and Discussions
If you would like discussion questions for your book, here is a list of 40 Great Book Club Discussion Questions from Book Riot. They work for any book.
Here are some great tips about how to host an online book club from Bustle Magazine: 10 Tips For Hosting A Digital Book Club
Enjoy your Book Club – online or off!