As many of my readers know, I have a soft spot in my heart for Wordfest, mainly because I worked there for five years and 100% support their festival’s mandate of bringing readers and writers together. So, not surprisingly when I received an invitation to the launch of their Book Rapport/Festival des mots program, I jumped at the chance to attend!
The event was held at Owl’s Nest Bookstore, who is also the bookseller for the kids program of Wordfest. As always, they put out a great spread, including wine, jellybeans, and cheese. Who could ask for anything else? Not surprisingly, I gorged myself on the jellybeans, and those who know me well would expect nothing less I’m sure.
The formal program started out with a great video that featured clips of previous Book Rapport events, and interviews with the students and teachers who have participated in the program. Then-the big reveal! A sheet was whipped off a table in the back where all the featured books of the youth program were displayed (picture below). Who am I excited about? Ruth Ohi is a great additional to the line-up, she’s written and illustrated adorable children’s books, and is a lovely woman to boot. Kenneth Oppel was another big name I recognized-he’ll be presenting at a few sold-out shows for sure. Ivan E. Coyote also stood out for me-I know she’s attended the festival a few times in the past, but I’ve been a fan of her genre-defying work for a long time now, and her writing explores gender in such interesting ways that her appearances will never get old. Her short story collection Missed Her is one of my favourite books of all time.
There’s also some great French authors coming, so if you speak the language of love, or if your kids do, make sure to check out that line-up here.
It was nice to catch up with old friends, and peruse the book shelves. Before I entered the store, I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything, but as all book-aholics know, it’s impossible to enter a book shop as lovely as Owl’s Nest and not come out with anything. So, at the recommendation of Jo Steffens, Executive Director of Wordfest, I picked up Big Brother by Lionel Shriver. At the recommendation of the internet and all women on it, I picked up Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. You can be sure that I will posting reviews on both of those books, so stay tuned! Oh, and I got a delicious-smelling tube of hand creme, which lord knows I didn’t need, but I’m so excited for.