Apr 01, 2022
This month’s book club picks take inspiration from One eRead Canada, the nation-wide digital book club that is making Katherena Vermette’s The Break available to more than a thousand participating libraries across Canada for the month of April. Accompanying this free unlimited access will be a chat with some book loving hosts from CBC and RadioCanada on April 20th and 21st. Plus you can join the Facebook group and follow One eRead Canada on Twitter @1eRead_unLivrel to chat about the book with other people across Canada who are also reading it.
In The Break, Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break -- a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house -- she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim -- police, family, and friends -- tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. It makes good sense to choose The Break for your April Book Club, it’s amazing and it will be available to everyone in your club at the same time for the whole month of April, but in case your book club has already read it, here are some other great options by Métis authors available from OPL.
In English eBook, the extremely popular YA crossover title The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline is a fantastic choice. This multiple award-winning book takes place in a future world ravaged by global warming where people go mad having lost the ability to dream. The only people still able to dream are North America's Indigenous population - and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow means death for the unwilling donors. The main character and his companions grow closer as they struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones, and take refuge from the "recruiters" who seek them out.
In eAudio why not try Stories of Métis Women: Tales My Kookum Told Me by Bailey Oster, Marilyn Lizee, Audrey Poitras, et al. This book is a collection of stories about culture, history, and nationhood as told by Métis women. The Métis are known by many names — Otipemisiwak, Bois Brules, Apeetogosan… They are also known as the "Forgotten People.” Few really know their story. They are a people with a unique and proud history and Nation. Stories of Métis Women explains the story of the Métis Nation from the women's own perspective.
This month in French try an eBook by Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau, an author of Métis and Cree origin. Her title L’amant du Lac follows the story and desires of lovers Wabougouni and Gabriel. In 2021, the English edition, The Lover, the Lake, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for translation.
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