On Sunday September 26th a festival aimed at celebrating literacy was held in provinces all over Canada. The festival brings together many authors from all over Canada and is free to the public. I have always wanted to attend however I have never been able to until this year. My sister Stephanie made the trip up to Toronto to spend the day with other book lovers and authors alike. Before we left for the event we had a schedule in mind of all the events that we really wanted to attend. With so many events occurring at the same time it was difficult to make the choice but somehow we managed. I'm going to take you through our day and highlight a few books that I was really excited about.
12:00pm - 1:00pm: We attended the Youth Hour at The Remarkable Reads Tent during this time frame. The three authors who read and signed were Natale Ghent, Rebecca Eckler and Kelley Armstrong. The first up was Natalie Ghent who read from her young adult book Gravity Brings Me Down. The reading she did from this book was quite funny and seemed to capture the high school experience quite well. The story follows Sioux Sharp who is a very unique girl making her way through her adolescent years. Her character seems quite quirky and lovable which always makes for a good read. I picked up a copy of this book at the tent and had Natale sign it for me. She told me not to let "gravity bring me down". I am very excited to read this book and to review it for all of you.
After Natale read, it was Rebecca's turn to take the stage and then Kelley. Before Rececca started her reading the always fabulous Kelley Armstrong sat smack dab in front of me and my sister. Rebecca read from her book Apple's Angst and then it was Kelley's turn. The program for the festival said that Kelley would read an excerpt from the third book in her Darkest Powers series, The Reckoning. Well unpredictable Kelley decided to mix it up and read the prologue from her upcoming book, The Gathering. I had not read the prologue yet so it was great to hear it especially since Kelley was reading. After the reading we stood in line and I got my stepmom a signed copy of Kelley's Exit Strategy. :)
1:30pm -2:00pm: We scooted down to the Digital Drive stage during this time to listen to The Book of Awesome author Neil Parischa discuss how he went from blog to book. I am so glad that we made it to this event because it was great! Neil is hilarious, and his advice was really wonderful. For those of you, (living under a rock perhaps), who have not heard about the blog, or the book that emerged from it, then I will fill you in. Neil's blog, 1000awesomethings.com , is exactly that. He started at 1000 and is counting down everyday with one new awesome thing. Examples of these include: snow days, the smell of gasoline, and BookJunkies favourite- staying up so late that everything becomes funny. The book is a mixture of old content from the blog with about 25% new content which can not be found there. When it comes to this blog and the accompanying book I highly recommend them both. If you're ever feeling sad or run down just read a couple awesome things and you will feel better!
Neil's main reason for being at the Digital Drive stage was to let you know that ANYONE can make a blog. He talked about a few tips on how to do it, but most importantly he said one incredible thing that stuck with me. "Your blog shouldn't be about you." He's so right. Your blog needs to make those who visit it feel that it is all there for them. So we will strive to do that for you guys here.
2:00pm - 2:40pm: My sister Steph and I are foodies in that we think about dinner at breakfast time. It only made sense then that we would stop at the Cooks'n'Books stage. We went to the stage at this time because we wanted to catch Three Sisters Around the Greek Table authors Betty, Eleni, and Samantha Bakopoulos. The recipes in this book sound really fantastic and healthy too. The sisters actually made a bean soup during their event and it took all of our strength not to run up and eat it!
2:40pm - 3:00pm: We hit up the Children's Reading Tent during this time slot specifically so that we could hear Susin Nielson read from her book Dear George Clooney: Please Marry my Mom. Susin did a great job when reading from this book and it is absolutely hilarious! The book follows Violet who is stuck getting used to her mom's new boyfriend, Dudley Wiener. Violet really does not care for Dudley and is determined that she knows what is best for her mother. In an effort to protect her mother's happiness she sends a letter to George Clooney asking him to marry her mom. The writing in this book is truly unique and is incredibly funny, and Violet's character is easy to like. I am beyond excited about reading this book and I hope that you will consider reading it too. Susin mentioned during the event that she sent a copy to George Clooney through his publicist. I wonder what he would think of it? ;)
Stargazer and Francesca Lia Block's Pretty Dead. After this stop my sister and I walked past the tent for Mabel's Fables bookstore in Toronto. There we spotted Jeri Smith-Ready kindly signing books for the stores stock and for waiting fans. :)
Overall the entire day was absolutely wonderful. It was a great opportunity to learn about Canadian authors and their incredible books. I can't wait to go again next year!