Red Deer Reads is back to push residents to read something that they may not normally take off the book shelf.
The three 2021 books include: By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz, by Max Eisen; The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power, by Desmond Cole; and Why Birds Sing by Nina Berkhout.
Readers have until Aug. 31 to vote for their favourite Canadian book.
Tatiana Tilly, program and community engagement manager with Red Deer Public Library, said the winning book often indicates what people are feeling strongest about at the moment, and the community book club encourages discussion.
“It really helps to bring community together on some important issues that are troubling the community,” Tilly said.
She said in the past year people have expressed some very strong opinions one way or another, and encouraging conversation is healthy.
Red Deer Reads is held on a two-year cycle, and the 2021 books were announced at the end of May.
So far 40 votes have been cast and Why Birds Sing has a narrow lead, she said.
Tilly said she usually doesn’t read non-fiction, but was glad she read the 2019 Red Deer Reads winner Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine by Dr. James Maskalyk.
“It was really transformative. It was really an eye-opener,” Tilly said.
Copies of the 2021 titles are available in three formats — book, e-book and audio book.
New this year are Facebook live events featuring someone from the community who champions the books. Mayor Tara Veer recently spoke about why people should read Max Eisen’s book, and also spoke to the author. That conversation is available on YouTube (search Red Deer Reads 2021 Book Champions: By Chance Alone).
On Tuesday, Red Deer Reads community champion Dieulita Datus was scheduled to speak with author Desmond Cole. On Aug. 5, Suzanne Hermary will speak with author Nina Berkhout.
The winner will be announced in September and extra copies of that book will be made available for people to read before the author arrives in October.
For more information visit rdpl.org/reddeerreads.