Canadian Unitarian Book Clubs on Zoom

Starting in January, 2019, there will be one or more cross-country book groups meeting using Zoom technology.

This idea was initiated by Mary Maler of the Montreal congregation. Email Mary Maler to learn more, make suggestions or read further for other ways to share your ideas.

Mary Maler was looking for online book clubs and noticed that the European Unitarian Universalists have a book club.  Because of time zone differences, they met at a time that was inconvenient for her. She proposed through the CUC e-news that we start one in Canada. 

You can vote on which books will be discussed here. until Dec. 28, 2018.

For now we’re sticking to the winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards for the past ten years. CUC will provide a Zoom link for the groups. 

We suggest each group have a maximum of 8 people, possibly starting with five or six and then adding people once the group has worked out their guidelines. 

To be on the call you should have read the book, be prepared to participate and have registered in advance. Confirmation of participants, book title and date/time will be sent out on the googlegroup.

From the response so far it looks like there may be three different popular time slots: Sunday 4:30pm Eastern; Saturday 1pm Eastern and a weekday at 4pm Eastern. 

Keith Wilkinson will share a format for the one-hour conference including a 15-minute period before the start of the book discussion for anyone who is unfamiliar with zoom to get online and some tech support.

Over time, each group will develop their own time frame, guidelines and likely rotate responsibility for facilitating the book discussion as well as someone else who will handle the technical part of setting up the zoom conference and assisting people with the technology.  

Here’s what went out in the CUC e-news in early December.

Canadian Unitarian Online Book Club

Winter has arrived in Canada, and wouldn’t it be nice just to curl up at home and discuss a good book with like-minded folks, without having to brave the weather? Mary Maler from the Unitarian Church of Montreal is proposing an online book club that could meet every month or so via Zoom at a time convenient to those interested, possibly Sunday at 4:00 ET, to discuss some of the classics of Canadian literature. Please contact Mary Maler if you’re interested.

Mary Bennett from UCVancouver has helped to set up a survey to help  choose the initial books to be discussed and polling people as to their preferred time. 

We’ve narrowed the choices to the winners of the Governor General’s Literary awards for fiction in English over the past ten years.  If this idea proves as popular as we think it will be, specific groups may form for discussion of YA fiction; non-fiction or other genres. 

We’ve put several possible times (each session will be an hour or more if the group wants) as well. That will help us narrow it down.

Decisions for the January book and date/time will be made by Dec. 28 and announced by Jan. 3. 

We’ve also set up a googlegroup for book discussion and recommendations. You can join by sending an email to

Google Group Welcome message:

Welcome to the Canadian Unitarian Book Group. Our intention is to meet monthly online using zoom for an hour each time. We will choose a time and date as well as selected books for discussion by voting online. We hope you will introduce yourself and contribute to the discussion here. The intention is that this email group/forum supplements the online zoom discussion so is primarily for people who intend to be online for the monthly discussions.

Here’s a link to past winners and finalists of the Governor General’s Literary Awards. To browse through the lists, you can choose various options, such as fiction only, English only, winners only .


Books Theatre Writing • UU Connections