Bessie’s Books and Other Things
In November of 2012 the Haliburton County Public Library launched an online book club using the Goodreads platform. This book club operates a little differently than the traditional “meet once a month” book clubs. This one is available for discussion 24/7. Every month there is a theme and the choice of four books to read. The theme is accompanied by discussion questions and the opportunity to talk about books in general. This book club has given us at the library a chance to be really creative with our monthly choices. We started with Canadian humour writing in honour of our Friends Gala guest Terry Fallis. Based on the following four titles, I’m betting you can guess what these books have in common.
Saving June by Hannah Herrington features Harper Scott whose older sister has always been the perfect one — so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone is sorry, but no one can explain why. Harper goes on a personal pilgrimage to try to make sense of her sister’s untimely death.
The Summer after June by Ashley Warlick also has a sister named June and in this case June is murdered in the months before the narrator Lindy is to be married. For Lindy nothing can be made right again. In a desperate decision, Lindy abandons her hometown of Charlotte for the heat of the Texas coast and the chance to leave her grief behind. She has to learn along the way that nothing can be left behind and she must work through her grief.
Centuries of June by Keith Donohue is set in the bathroom of an old house just before dawn on a night in June. This book is a black comedy about a man who is attempting to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head.
Three Junes by Julia Glass tells three connected stories with a ten year span from the first to the last. The first story is about a newspaper publisher and a trip to Greece, the second is the publisher’s son Fenno at his funeral in the United Kingdom and the third is about Fenno and a woman his father had met in Greece that takes place in New York City.
In case it was too subtle, all the selections for June’s book club have the word “June” in the title. Two being about a person named June and two about events that happened in the month of June.
Not only has this book club given us an opportunity to offer something online that is always accessible; it has also given us the chance to highlight some hidden gems that make up our collection. Join us any time simply by visiting our website at www.haliburtonlibrary.ca . From there, click on Book Club Resources and follow the direct link to the HCPL’s online Book Club.
* Originally published on June 6th in Haliburton County Living