Nov 30, 2020
Read my blog! Read my blog! Read my holiday blog!!! (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)
Go ahead – keep reading! This month’s blog has tons of “Always Available” content for you to enjoy this month. Whether you are super-busy getting ready for the holidays or you have a lot of time to relax at this time of year, OPL has you covered.
One eAudio title that will entertain and enlighten this season is The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud. Montreal poet Skibsrud's first novel and 2011 Giller Prize winner is an intricate story about the crushing power of experience. As elderly Napoleon is being moved from his home in Fargo, N.D., to that of widowed family friend Henry Carey in Casablanca, Ontario, one of Napoleon's daughters recalls time spent throughout her life in the Carey home and the strange story of her father. Try listening while you prepare for the festivities this year. You can have your Chocolate Babka/Christmas fruitcake/Sweet Potato Pie/Yule log and eat it too!
Two “partridges in a pear tree” with one stone, if you will.
If you do have time to read this season you could, instead, get cozy with an eBook. Whether you’ve read them before or are discovering them for the first time The Adventures of Sherlock Holmeswould make a great, cozy read for cold winter days. Set in Victorian London, these twelve mystery shorts even include a Christmas-themed entry: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, which involves, improbably, a missing jewel found inside a Christmas goose.
For French picks this month we suggest the novel Kukum by Innu author Michel Jean (available in Cantook Station). The story follows Almanda Siméon, an orphan who is accepted into the Innu community of Pekuakami. Michel Jean was recently awarded the Prix France-Québec for Kukum.
In audiobook format, why not try Voyage en Europe by François Reynaert (available in cloudLibrary). We can't travel in person at the moment, but this book invites us to explore cities, culture, and European history from the comfort of our own homes.
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
Finding eBooks and eAudiobooks for your Book Club
- Always Available eAudio from OverDrive – many great Book Club reads in this list
- Always Available ebook Classics from Duke Publishing
- OPL streaming eBook and eAudio collections
- 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.
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!