Spring is coming – we all know it even if we find it hard to believe right now in what feels like the depths of winter. So why not use an “Always Available” book club pick this month to pre-emptively get you into a spring renewal mindset?
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is not a traditional tale of renewal but there definitely is renewal. In this critically acclaimed audiobook by Stuart Turton, a murder will be committed – and the protagonist has eight chances to solve it. He will relive the same day eight times, but each morning he’ll wake up in a different body, or “host”. He’ll remember his experiences in the previous hosts, but if he doesn’t know the name of the killer by day eight, he’ll be returned to day one, memory wiped, and he must start all over again. As indeed he already has done, hundreds, perhaps thousands of times before.
For a more traditional, classic read that will get you dreaming of spring and new beginnings, look no further than The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This story of a prickly, lonely child who finds healing and love through the magic of nature has a charming Yorkshire setting featuring an old manor house, the wild windswept moors and an overgrown garden full of promise.
In French this month, we recommend the book Quelque chose comme une odeur de printemps by Annie-Claude Thériault, born in Ottawa and a graduate of the University of Ottawa, l’Université de Caen, in France, and l’Université du Québec à Montréal. This Bildungsroman follows Béate as she navigates difficult family relationships. With time, and the help of new friends, Béate’s outlook on life starts to shift.
The French audiobook suggestion this month is Même les arbres s’en souviennent by the author Christian Signol. Lucas, a 30-year-old entrepreneur, explores his family’s roots by restoring the family home in a Limousin hamlet. Lucas asks his great-grandfather, Emilien, to tell him about what life was like for his ancestors.
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
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 lending model 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.
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!