Join us for our June meeting of the Online New West City Reads!

With a surge in eBook reading (for obvious reasons!), we recognized the need to keep up our monthly book club, and meet in a virtual space.

Each month, we make a selection from four possible books or pairs of books to read. Readers vote, and the winning title(s) is announced shortly after. We spend the month reading (in splendid isolation) and meet via Zoom.

Without further ado, here are the potential books for our June meeting. The focus is on books that had a strong link to Canadian stories. Click through the links to read more about each title. The secondary title is optional for readers.

  1. N’in D’la Owey Innklan by Bonita Lawrence

Celebrated Mi’kmaq author, Bonita Lawrence, uses five centuries of interconnected history between the Mi’kmaq people of Atlantic Canada and London, England. This is an historical novel in a series of vignettes, with some intellectual commentary.

French and Indian Wars in Maine by Michael Dekker

Sometime allies in the French and Indian wars, French settlers and Mi’kmaq communities shared a brutal history fighting against the British. This book tracks the time between 1675 and 1759, as all groups fought to defend their land claims.


  1. The Whale Chaser by Tony Ardizzone

A son of Italian immigrants flees his family and country’s expectations to end up in Tofino where he finds his calling as a whale guide in the company of an Ahousaht man.

The Whaling People of the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Cape Flattery by Eugene Arima and Alan Hoover

An intimate account of the traditional ways of the First Nations groups from the Pacific Northwest that hunt whales, drawn from the narratives of 12 First Nations elders.


  1. Little Fortress by Laisha Rosnau

This is a true story of Italian nobles exiled by the rise of fascism, as they resettle in the Okanagan Valley. The historical fiction part is investigating how the family draws into itself; a microcosm of friendship, trust, betrayal, and love.

In Search of Kings by Tony De Bolfo

The author searches for the truth in his family stories of immigration from Italy to Australia in 1927.


  1. Henry & Self by Kathryn Bridge

The story of a young English woman who settled with her young family in a far-flung corner of the British Empire on the West Coast of North America (ie: Victoria, BC). Through her long life, we learn a lot about the times and places she lived in and how her status as settler shaped her views of the world around her.

Britannia’s Navy on the West Coast of North America by Barry Gough

Rather than a focus on settlers, explorers, fur traders and railway builders, this history looks at the role of the British Navy in the 19th Century, and how the fleet based in Esquimalt was a vital force in shaping the region.

Click here to vote on June’s title!

Winner will be announced on June 4.
Zoom meeting will be on June 25 at 7:00 and June 26 at 10:30.

To take part in the meeting, you must register by emailing . Please indicate your name, and which session you would like to register for.

These eBook titles are available from our Freading database. We recognize that many readers prefer the interface provided by Overdrive. Unfortunately, Overdrive does not allow multiple users to access the books at the same time, but Freading does. If you need help accessing books on Freading, please let us know and we’d be happy to help. We made a video and one page Getting Started Guide – Freading to get you started.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The New Westminster Public Library is thrilled to announce the launch of its ‘Library Takeout’ service. Orders will begin being processed Wednesday, May 13th, with first pick-ups scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th.  As has been the case with a number of restaurants, library users will be able to submit an order for any combination of up to 10 books, DVD’s and CD’s, and arrange for a pre-scheduled, touchless pick-up at the library’s Main Branch.

“We’ve all missed the chance to access a number of services, but there is nothing like access to new reading, listening and viewing material from the library” says Naomi Perks, Chair of the New Westminster Library Board.  Now that Dr. Henry is guiding the province into Phase 2 of BC’s response to COVID-19, the library is ready to do its part to gradually introduce services as we continue to manage restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

‘We’re going to do this responsibly, first allowing customers to place orders for items already available and pick them up. We want to make sure our procedures are safe, for staff and the community” adds Perks. After the first couple of weeks, the library will then move to open its bookdrop so that materials can be returned, quarantined and then recirculated in as safe a manner as possible. Information and details about the service are available on the library’s website at

Since its closure most library staff have been redeployed to a number of the Emergency Pandemic Task Forces set up throughout the City of New Westminster. The Pandemic is still very much here and recalling staff for any new service is contingent on the City being able to ensure it is able to staff the Task Forces properly.

Library staff have also been working to initiate the transition of some programs online with an online book club, storytimes, and the upcoming Summer Reading program set to begin in June. “We are all on a learning curve, and the staff have quickly made the pivot to online platforms as a means of connecting with and providing library services to staff” notes Perks.

New Westminster Public Library will join other Lower Mainland libraries that have also recently announced a takeout service, including the Coquitlam and the North Shore libraries.

For more information about NWPL library Takeout or the New Westminster Public Library please contact Susan Buss at

Please join us in launching the inaugural New West City Reads Book Club online!

After our poll last week, we discovered two things: we have a clear book winner, and New West readers love the idea so much we will offer two meeting times to accommodate all participants. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far!

It’s obvious that New Westminster lives up to its Royal City moniker – our readers are most excited about reading about the British monarchy! The winning book was The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock which is paired with The Women of Windsor by Catherine Whitney. Both titles are available on Freading (just follow the links). The idea of this meeting is to read a historical fiction novel, paired with a non-fiction book covering the same topic or time. Feel free to read as much of the non-fiction book as you like. Mostly we will discuss the novel.

Our online platform, Freading, can be used to read the books on a handheld device or on a computer. If you’ve never used Freading before and don’t know where to start, we have prepared a helpful video and a brief Getting Started Guide. If you are still having problems, drop us a line at and we’ll be happy to help you one on one.

The meetings will take place on:

We will discuss the same books both days.

Meetings will take place online via Zoom Video Conferencing. Instructions and a link to join the meeting will be sent to registered participants ONLY, closer to the date. We welcome everyone, but you must register. All you need to join the meeting is a laptop or a device with an internet connection, camera, and microphone. You do not need a Zoom account.

If you’re ready to register, please send an email with New West City Reads in the subject line to and include the following information:

  • Which day you want to register for
  • Your name

Feel free to invite others to join us and register as well.

See you online!

New West City Reads is going online and we need your input!

For our first meeting at the end of May, we want to know what you want to read, and what time works best for you to attend a virtual meeting.

Choices for the books to read are paired; an historical fiction novel paired with a non-fiction title for more context.

The choices for book are:

  1. Russian Ballet: Last Days of the Romanov Dancers by Kerri Turner paired with Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
  2. Princess Margaret: The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock paired with The Women of Windsor by Catherine Whitney
  3. Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde: Seeking Hyde by Thomas Reed paired with The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  4. Legacy of Nazi Secrets: Inheritance of Secrets by Sonja Bates and The Real Odessa by Uki Goñi

Watch the video above for more information about the titles and how the book club will work.

Click HERE to Vote

Poll is open until May 8 only! Winner announced May 11.