Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vancouver International Writer's Festival

The VIWF has, sadly, just come to a close for another year. I never seem to have enough time to get to all the events I would ideally like to but this year I was fortunate enough to see quite a few nonetheless.

Here are my personal 'notable mentions' from the writer's I went to see:

Sarah Waters - The author of Tipping the Velvet, among others, spoke about her new book, The Little Stranger. I've been trying to finish this book for a while now, not because it isn't a great read - it is - but because it keeps me up at night. Very spooky book. Perfect for this time of year. The Little Stranger was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year.

Michael Crummey - Canadian author of River Thieves and The Wreckage. His new book, Galore, is completely different from anything I've read before. Incredibly entertaining book full of fascinating Newfoundland folklore. Galore has been nominated for the 2009 Governor General's Literary Award.

Audrey Niffenegger - The author of the bestseller The Time Traveler's Wife was promoting her new book, Her Fearful Symmetry. Very interesting woman and equally interesting and original new book.

Colin McAdam - A favorite new author...and also a Canadian. His first book, Some Great Thing, was nominated for a number of awards. He was at the Festival promoting his new book, Fall, which has just been nominated for the Giller Prize. If you ever have an opportunity to see McAdam read live, just go. He's as entertaining as they come.

Daria Salamon - I am so glad I had the chance to see her read from her book The Prairie Bridesmaid. Daria, a Winnipeg native, is fresh and funny and raw, both in person and in her writing. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting her and am laughing a lot through her first novel.

Talented writer's with fabulous new books, each one worth reading.

And now I am off to read my very first advanced copy of a book: Marian Keyes' latest, not yet released, The Brightest Star in the Sky. Can't tell you how excited I was to come home from the Writer's Festival to this in the mail (indeed, I lead a sheltered little life...and I'm ok with that).

Marian Keyes' books are very much my guilty pleasure. Her writing is witty, intelligent and wonderfully entertaining. She has an ability to take a serious topic, make it accessible and palpable so it resonates in some way to just about any reader, while, at the same time, making it laugh out loud funny. A definite crowd pleaser, especially if that crowd happens to be primarily female.

If nothing else, having this blog (a.k.a. a vehicle to promote the books and authors I enjoy) is allowing me to get my hands on a few advanced copies of future bestsellers. Nice. I'll take that. Thank you very much Penguin Group (Canada)!

Ciao for now,


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