Every book club has that one member (maybe more!) who is super busy and can’t squeeze in the time to read the book or never finishes a book they don’t like or who are really just joining so that they can converse with people on a zoom call and drink their wine out of a real wine glass and not a “coffee” mug! I kid, but for whatever reason, sometimes it’s hard to finish a book (even a great book) on a deadline, and that makes it doubly hard to discuss it at book club. Short stories to the rescue!
The recent rise in popularity of short stories across the board means that OPL has some great selections in “Always Available” format for you and your entire book club to borrow and read at the same time. And if one of your members doesn’t have the time to read an entire novel, at least they can talk about the one or two stories they did read. This month in eAudio try the short story collection The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente. Library Journal says these stories are “gripping, exciting, and (very, very) grim, and each is not merely a riff on famous comics figures but full of original, surprising, and humanizing color. If you liked or want to read Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots you’ll enjoy these short stories.
For crime lovers, or those who like to travel through fiction, the Manhattan Noir collection features stories that will show you the darker, grittier side of Manhattan.
Fatou Diome is our French author for the month of May with the eBook De quoi aimer vivre. This collection of short stories offers us glimpses of the love lives of their characters. You will find yourself in France and Senegal, where the author was born.
In audiobook Michel Bussi presents thrillers set in Normandy, one of the author’s favourite settings. In these four short stories, read by multiple narrators, we are promised as much passion and intrigue as found in his novels. Listening to these short stories gives a human dimension – happy listening!
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!
- Special Collection of Always Available eBooks and eAudio from Overdrive – a quality collection available until the end of 2021
- 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
Enjoy your Book Club – online or off!