Mar 01, 2022
This month’s book club picks focus on characters. It’s endlessly entertaining to discuss why interesting, flawed, courageous, inspiring people do the things they do, whether you identify with them or not.
Enjoy and discuss some of the most fascinating and memorable characters in literature with this month’s OPL digital book club picks. The English picks have enough copies for your book club to borrow all at once!
In eBook read about Yoli and Elf, the two smart, funny and tender sisters at the center of All My Puny Sorrows who will each leave a deep impression on readers. This is a deeply sad story that you can’t help but keep reading, driven by the unique, compelling voices of these two women—Elfrieda, a gifted musician in the hospital after surviving the latest of many suicide attempts, and Yoli, a bit of a mess, who cares for everyone and desperately wishes to keep her sister alive. These characters are written with deep compassion, love and, improbably, a great deal of humour—they are unforgettable.
In eAudio try The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. Still popular after almost 20 years in print this book tells the story of Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old boy with autism, a passion for primary numbers and a paralyzing fear of anything that happens outside of his daily routine. When a neighbor's dog is mysteriously killed, Christopher decides to solve the crime in the calculating spirit of his hero, Sherlock Holmes. This is a compelling mystery, but the main attraction of this story is Christopher – a protagonist like no other.
In French eAudio, Métaphysique des tubes by Amélie Nothomb is a charming story about the author’s first three years of life. With hilarity, Nothomb describes herself as a divine digestive tube. The stories are at once funny and profound, and profoundly unique.
Finally, readers have long been moved by the heroine Maria Chapdelaine, who must choose the course of her life via the choice of her suitor. The eponymous novel, written by Louis Hémon, is one of the most popular French books in Canada. This book, written in 1913 and based at the turn of the 20th century, was made into a popular film in 2021 that you can now borrow from the library.
More exciting book club news!
Coming up this April, OPL will offer free, unlimited access to The Break by Katherena Vermette in eBook and eAudiobook formats across different platforms for One eRead Canada the month-long digital book club. The Break will be available in English and French without holds or waitlists for cardholders throughout April 2022.
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