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Around The Web: Jane Austen, Virtual Book Clubs, Comics and Poetry Prize

Hello again, readers! As we head in to a long weekend (does it feel like a weekend anymore? What even is time?), I’m back to share some reading material with you.

This week, I have a look at why we turn to Jane Austen in times of trouble, an article on book clubs during Covid-19, some comics, and an update on the Griffin Poetry prize.

Reading Jane Austen In Troubled Times

Jane Austen's novels

Jane Austen has barely been out of print, and her books have seen folks through wars and now pandemic. Electric Lit asks why it seems we keep turning back to Austen in times of trouble and what it is that’s so enduring about her stories.

Book Clubs During Covid-19

open books

As isolation and physical distancing has ramped up, so too has reading. In fact, people have found more ways to connect with other book lovers through video conferencing and social media. The Guardian discusses this phenomenon and even has a few digital book clubs you can join.


I’ve been taking a lot of comfort in reading comics during my isolation, so maybe you will too. Long-running webcomic XKCD has had some excellent comics recently that comment on current events like this one on home-made masks (, or this one on pathogen resistance (, but if you’ve never read it before, there’s quite a backlog for you to check out.

The Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlists

Pile of books

And since it is National Poetry Month, I’ll leave you with some poetry news. The Griffin Poetry Prize shortlists have been announced. The Canadian list includes Chantal Gibson’s How She Read, Doyali Islam’s Helf, and Kaie Kellough’s Magnetic Equator. CBC has the full story.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the weekend!

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