Mar 06, 2023
March Break is a traditional hiatus for schoolchildren and often their families will take the opportunity to escape to a sunny vacation spot. Other people seek the sun in March to escape the messy weather conditions as winter turns to spring. If you are getting away this year, then OPL has some great “beach reads” to enjoy on your trip. If a staycation is more your speed, then we suggest signing the kids up for an OPL March Break program and taking some time to escape with a good book. Whether you’re travelling or not this March, OPL has some great digital reads to augment whichever March escape you choose.
In eBook try Nine Lives by Peter Swanson. In this reimagining of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. None of the people know each other or have ever even met. They all dismiss the list as junk mail and then very bad things start to happen. FBI agent Jessica Winslow tries to find out what’s going on as each person on the list tries to escape their fate. Enjoy this well-crafted, page turner.
If you’d rather listen, then try The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante. This book (and Netflix film) is the story of Leda, a 47-year-old academic who escapes on a solo vacation to the Ionian coast. She becomes engrossed in watching the daily drama of a young mother, Nina, and her daughter at the beach. The two women become acquainted and a disturbing confession sets a series of events in motion that may wreck or save the integrity of Nina’s family. A powerful tale of motherhood, hope and regret.
These English titles are also perfect for book club as they are either from the always available digital collection or we’ve purchased enough digital copies for your whole book club to read at once!
For book clubs in French, here are some titles that are sure to inspire great discussions!
Franco-Ontarian author and University of Ottawa graduate David Ménard offers a novel based on the life of Marie-Anne Houde, who murdered her ten-year-old stepdaughter Aurore Gagnon in 1920. The story of Aurore was highly publicised and to this day, is referenced in Quebec and was the subject of numerous films and plays. David Ménard won the Trillium Prize in 2016 for his poetry book Neuvaines.
Many titles from the popular “Les contes interdits” series have now been produced as downloadable audiobooks. The stories, such as Barbe bleue, take on new perspectives of familiar classic stories. In this version, the author Steve Laflamme modernizes the French fairy tale by placing the characters in Quebec and his protagonist, Iris Tellier, works as a journalist who becomes obsessed with the subject of the story that is to turn her career around.
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