Nov 03, 2022
“I Read Canadian Day” is on November 2nd but let’s make it the whole month of November for our digital book clubs. This day of celebrating Canadian books is to encourage young people to read Canadian but there is such a wealth of incredible books by and about Canadians out there for adults why not extend the scope for book club?
In eAudio this month Indians on Vacation by Thomas King is the pick. Bird and Mimi attempt to trace Mimi's long-lost uncle and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe. "I'm sweaty and sticky. My ears are still popping from the descent into Vaclav Havel. My sinuses ache. My stomach is upset. My mouth is a sewer. I roll over and bury my face in a pillow. Mimi snuggles down beside me with no regard for my distress. 'My god,' she whispers, 'can it get any better?” By turns witty, sly and poignant, this is the unforgettable tale of one couple's holiday trip to Europe, where their wanderings through its famous capitals reveal a complicated history, both personal and political. We have a lot of copies of this excellent book so some members of your club could borrow from Overdrive/Libby and we also have 5 Digital Express copies in our cloudLibrary collection.
The eBook pick for this month is Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. This book takes the reader back in time and into the life and mind of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century. In 1843, at the age of sixteen, servant girl Grace Marks was convicted for her part in the vicious murders of her employer and his mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Grace herself claims to have no memory of the murders. As Dr. Simon Jordan – an expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness – tries to unlock her memory, what will he find? Some copies are available in Overdrive/Libby and there are many to borrow from cloudLibrary. This book was also made into a mini-series that OPL has in the DVD collection. Sarah Polley is the screenwriter for this excellent television adaptation.
For book clubs in French, here are some titles that are sure to inspire great discussions!
In the autobiography Ninanimishken : je marche contre le vent, Innu singer-songwriter Florent Vollant retraces his life path, offering an important and essential look at the effects of residential schools and reserves. He discusses three aspects of his life: being forced to leave his family at 5 years old to go to a residential school, prison at age 18, and hospitalisation at 61. Readers could also listen to CDs held by the library, such as Mishta meshkenu, for an auditory experience to complement the reading of Ninanimishken.
Not Canadian but in anticipation of the Goncourt announcement in November, why not listen to the audiobook of last year’s winner, La plus secrète mémoire des hommes, by acclaimed author Mohamed Mbougar Sarr? The novel follows a Senegalese writer, Diégane Latyr Faye, as he navigates life, the devastation of colonialism, love, and especially, humanity and literature.
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 Le Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens is offering a monthly book club called D’un océan à l’autre – here is more information (in French only), and the books available at OPL!
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.
- D'un océan à l'autre | club de lecture 2021
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