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Connect – Your OPL Digital Book Club Picks for May

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Mon, May 02, 2022

Making meaningful connections continues to be difficult with all the precautions we have to take to stay healthy and protect the most vulnerable in our community.  How can we counter the feeling of isolation and disconnect that may come with wearing a mask, physically distancing and reducing the number of higher risk outings we go on like concerts or movies?  Well, we have the weather on our side these days – we can finally meet up outside!  But we can also take comfort and explore relationships and human interaction through books.  Reading about experiences is practically like living them to our brains so while we’re here at this particular moment in time, why not view the library and the books it has to offer as an opportunity safely interact -- even if they are just characters in a novel, it is the next best thing to being there. 

This month in eAudio, try Tell the Wolves I'm Home.  In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don't know you've lost someone until you've found them.

An eBook to explore relationships and experiences might be In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. This book is a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed by unexpected events.  In this novel, young and old alike must learn to come to terms with technological disaster and social change. Blume’s novel is characteristically accessible, frequently charming and always deeply human.

In French eBook there are the autobiographical stories of Sylvie Drapeau in Fleuve. These stories are moving and the images will stay with the reader for years to come. This tetralogy follows the author through different phases of life as she explores her relationships with her family. The fourth novel in this collection, La Terre, was nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 2019.

In the French eAudiobook, En Voiture! All Aboard!, Arlette Cousture shares ten short stories, each based in a different province, that she wrote while on a train trip across Canada. She enjoyed meeting with interesting people and transforming interactions into this collection. Whether you are looking forward to travel or dreaming of travel, this book will help you prepare for or live vicariously through other people’s lives and voyages.

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 

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

If you’ve used our suggestions in your book club, tell us about it!