Manager of youth services Candice Putnam and manager of adult services Briana Ehnes at Red Deer Public Library encourage people to read the books chosen as the finalists in 2019 Red Deer Reads and vote for their favourite by Aug. 1. (Photo contributed)

Public library brings back Red Deer Reads

Vote for your favourite book

Grab a couple of bookmarks — the Red Deer Public Library’s community book club has returned.

People have until Aug. 1 to vote for their favourite book from among the three finalists — Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin, A Good Wife by Samra Zafar and Life on the Ground Floor by James Maskalyk.

Red Deer Reads has returned after a one-year break.

“After running the program for three years in succession, we needed to take a break and re-evaluate how we were offering the program and find a way that was a little more sustainable,” said Briana Ehnes, manager of adult services at the downtown branch.

She said the library wanted to bring it back in a refreshed format “that stayed true to the original intent to encourage our community members to all read the same book at the same time, and have a conversation which we hope builds a shared reading experience and community.”

Red Deer Reads has been condensed into a tighter timeline. The shortlist of books was cut down to three from five. The number of book-related events were reduced, and the voting period was trimmed to two from four months.

People can vote either online or at one of the branches.

A Winning Title Party will be held Aug. 22 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Timberlands branch. Free pizza will be provided by Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria.

Ehnes said the 2019 titles offer some variety. Both A Good Wife and Life on the Ground Floor are nonfiction.

Ayesha at Last is our fiction pick this year. It’s a little more lighthearted and it’s a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

“It certainly seems that people are reading. People are enthusiastic that Red Deer reads has returned. People have been chiming in on Twitter as well.”

The books are available at all the branches through a one-week or the regular three-week loan program. Some are available in e-book or e-audio formats.

“Hopefully, as many people as possible can read the top three,” said Ehnes.

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