Summer Season

Reading Circle

Whether you're an avid reader or just enjoy good conversation, Muskoka Chautauqua Reads is part of our Summer Season Program. In some cases, the authors themselves may show up to read from their books.

Chautauqua Reads

Chautauqua Reads 2017




This years booklist is inspired by books for Children and Youth, and of course, by Muskoka!

ABC Muskoka by Nola McConnan

Dani by Shailie Dubois

The Adventures of the Dwarfgiants by Steven Jacklin

Origami Peace Cranes by Sue DiCiccio

Martha the Mouse by Karen Lang


Chautauqua Reads – 2016 Reading List and Book Discussion Times

Chautauqua Reads Book clubMonday, July 11, 1pm. Book: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Monday, July 18, 1pm. Book: Room by Emma Donoghue

Monday, July 25, 1pm. Book: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

Monday, August 1 – HOLIDAY – Library Closed.

Monday, August 8. Book: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

FEATURED BOOK EVENT Monday, August 15. Book: The Lost Chord. **Author Ian Thomas was at the library to read from his book and sign copies.** Be sure to save the date for this lively discussion.

Monday, August 22: The Year of The Flood by Margaret Atwood.






2015 Chautauqua Reading Circle Weekend: “The Music of Words”

This Chautauquafest event was held Friday, August 21 to Sunday, August 23, 2015 at Clevelands House Resort. It included a concert with the Toronto All-Star Big Band at the Sagamo Centre, a panel discussion with musicians, authors and songwriters Marc Jordan, Murray McLauchlan, Beverlie Robertson, and poet Margot Lettner about the interaction between words and music, and the diversity of creativity, and A Symphony of Ghosts, a musical interpretation of novelist David Adams Richards’ writings by songwriter Dan MacCormack and more. To learn more about the 2015 Reading Circle, download the 2015 Reading Circle Flyer and see the Chautauqua Reads 2015 Reading List.

Reading Lists of the Past

Chautauqua Reading ListThe original Reading Circle was established in 1922. The intention of the Reading Circle was to introduce and advance the works of Canadian authors. It is interesting to note that the study of Canadian literature was not considered credit-worthy at the University of Toronto until after World War II, and then only as a subject of graduate study.

Chautauqua weeks hosted famous authors of the day such as Bliss Carman, G. D. Roberts, E. J. Pratt, and Dorothy Livesay reading from their works, accessible to their readers and discussing issues of the day. Chautauqua provided inspiration and intellectual challenge for its members.

The Reading Circle was organized into 4-year cycles where suggested lists of books were given to participants, and lectures and readings would be given to enhance the assigned books. There were formal graduation ceremonies for those who read all the assigned books.


  • In the Morning of Times,Charles G.D.Roberts
  • Lords of the North,Agnes Laut
  • Canadian Portraits,Adrian Macdonald
  • William Henry Drummond,John F. McDonald
  • One Act Plays, Second Series,J.W. Marriott


  • The Golden Dog,William Kirby
  • Little Hearts,Majorie Pickthall
  • Poems,Archilbald Lampman
  • The Sweet of the Year,Charles G. D.Roberts
  • Familiar Fields,Peter McArthur

2015 Reading List

  • Talking Through Pictures: My Life in Songwriting,Marc Jordan
  • The Thief's Journal,Jean Genet
  • The Beauty of the Husband, A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos,Anne Carson
  • The Ballad of Murray McLauchlan: Getting Out of Here Alive,Murray McLauchlan
  • The Orenda,Joseph Boyden
  • With Knowing Eyes: Canadian Women in Song,Beverlie Robertson
  • The Mayor of MacDougal Street: a Memoir,Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald

2013 Reading List

  • Up and Down,Terry Fallis
  • Navigating Canada’s Health Care: A User Guide,Francesca Grosso
  • Literary Lapses,Stephen Leacock
  • The Power of More,Marnie McBean
  • Healthy Starts Here,Mairlyn Smith
  • Phoenix: The Life of Norman Bethune,Roderick and Sharon Stewart
  • Little Ship of Fools,Charlie Wilkins

2012 Reading List

  • Room for All of Us,Adrienne Clarkson
  • John A, The Man Who Made Us,Richard Gwyn
  • Jereymy’s War 1812,John Ibbitson
  • Whispering Pines: the Northern Roots of American Music,Jason Schneider
  • Keeper’n Me,Richard Wagamese
  • The Hidden World of Huckleberry Rock,Andrew Wagner-Chazalon and Bev McMullen

2011 Reading List

  • Hana’s Suitcase,Karen Levine
  • The Way the Crow Flies,Ann-Marie MacDonald
  • Northern Lights,Roy MacGregor
  • The Bishop’s Man,Linden MacIntyre
  • Merchants of Doubt,Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway
  • A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book,Frank Warren

2010 Reading List

  • Out of Muskoka,James Bartleman
  • Local Library: Global Passport,Patrick Boyer
  • The Wabeno Feast,Wayland Drew
  • Canoe Lake,Roy MacGregor
  • Unlocking the Doors: A Woman’s Struggle against Intolerance,Eva Olsson
  • The Summer before the Storm,Gabriele Wills
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