April is National Poetry Month and while poetry is not a traditional genre for book clubs, we’re going to offer some up anyway. If there was ever a time to just start to do things differently, that time is now. So, OPLs digital book club is diverging away from prose this month and shaking things up with some amazing poetry picks.
This month in audiobook we’re going to suggest a book of poetry to 1. Celebrate National Poetry Month 2. Highlight Diverse Reads and Own Voices titles as another poignant anniversary looms and 3. to showcase OPLs collection of books with 100 checkouts. Homie by Danez Smith is described in the New York Times as “arriv[ing] like a shock, like found money, like a flower fighting through concrete”. Smith’s previous book, Don’t Call Us Dead was shortlisted for the National Book Award. You can read more about Smith and praise of their work in this Guardian article. Listening to these no holds barred poems read by the author will certainly give you something to talk about at book club but they are also incredible poems for solitary listening as well. If you were moved by Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman, but are ready for something edgier, then this book of poems may be for you.
Another great poetry pick to read alone or discuss with a group is An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo, the first Indigenous Poet Laureate of the United States. In this collection, available in eBook to unlimited readers, Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Creek nation, writes of her own life, tribal history and the natural world.
This month’s French eAudio title is Anthologie de la poésie française du XIème au XIXème siècle. Over the course of centuries, poetry evolved, and this book gives you a fascinating voyage to the heart of this world. Wonderful actors read the texts, such as Lambert Wilson.
For National Poetry Month, we suggest Premier quart by Véronique Sylvain. This book won the Trillium Book Award and the Ottawa Book Award in 2020. The author explores Northern Ontario, where she grew up.
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 librairesthat 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 – hereis 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
- Check it out--more great reads without the wait! -- Always Available eBooks and eAudio at OPL until December 2021
- Some French publishers OPL purchases from through Cantook Stationoffer 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 ClubEnjoy your Book Club – online or off!