Tonight is the first event of the 2019 Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. Which means I’ve come to the end of my Writers Fest Challenge for 2019, a self-imposed challenge of attempting to read at least one book from each author. (Here’s my original post about it.) So, how did I do?
I started the challenge at the beginning of May (when the line-up is finalized) and so ended up giving myself three and a half months. Out of 21 authors, I was able to read 17. Of the 4 left unread, I have read previous books from 2 of those authors. So there will only be 2 authors this weekend whose work I am completely unfamiliar with. Overall, I’m pleased with the result and next year I hope to continue the challenge. What I will do though is begin reading the authors as soon as they’re announced rather than waiting until the entire list is available. Hopefully this will give me some more time.
The other thing that limited me was that I borrowed all of these books from our local library. Since the Writers Fest is a popular event, I had at least a short wait (and sometimes a very long wait) for all of the books. At times, I had 5 or 6 titles to read and at other times nothing at all. Hopefully starting earlier next year will aid in this.
What I liked about doing this challenge was that I read a lot of books I wouldn’t have read otherwise. Usually, I read a few of the books that grab my attention and disregard the rest. Sometimes, if an author is particularly compelling in person I’ll read their book after the fact but more often I’ve found myself during an author reading wishing I knew their work better. This year I’m excited to go into the weekend having a greater familiarity with almost every writer. I’m also excited that I’ve read some books that I might not have read otherwise and have been able to read more Canadian authors.
The books I enjoyed most:
- A Mind Spread out on the Ground
- Chop Suey Nation
- Dissident Doctor
- Dear Current Occupant
- Moccasin Square Gardens
The authors I’m looking forward to hearing in person:
- Alicia Elliott
- Rachel Giese
- Elizabeth Hay
- Nazanine Hozar
- Michael Klein
- Lee Maracle
- Richard Van Camp
Reviews of some of the books are below:
Ian Williams – Reproduction
Rhea Tregebov – Rue des Rosiers
Randy Boyagoda – Original Prin
Michael Klein – Dissident Doctor
Richard van Camp – Moccasin Square Gardens
Adam Pottle – Voice
Alicia Elliott- A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
Chelene Knight – Dear Current Occupant
Ann Hui – Chop Suey Nation
Rachel Giese – Boys
Lindsay Wong – The Woo Woo