Writers Fest books that escaped my clutches in 2017

Some level of failure was inevitable. Failure to read every single book, that is. I had to set some limits or drive myself crazy with perfectionism. Rarely is perfectionism a healthy endeavour.

The ground rules: I had to be able to beg, borrow or steal (there was no stealing, I promise) a book. This was critical because although I love buying books, I also live in a tiny Vancouver apartment and strongly believe in minimalism as a lifestyle choice. If I don’t love it, I don’t buy it. This is a hard philosophy with books because you don’t always comprehend the depth of your love until after the fact of reading the book. There have been books I loved and didn’t realize it until years later.

If I couldn’t get the author’s most recent book , on a handful of occasions I picked up a reasonably recent alternative release.

So what books or authors did I miss (regretfully) and why?

Andy JonesJack and the Green Man
Andy had this book in the festival, as well as a play version of an earlier book, which I did manage to find at the library and read instead. I don’t have kids, so as a rule don’t buy children’s books unless I can pawn it off on someone’s kid. Check out The Queen of Paradise’s Garden.

Margriet RuursThe Elephant Keeper
The Elephant Keeper wasn’t available at the library, which is too bad because I really love elephants. But her book was also aimed at children and the aforementioned avoidance of children’s books applies here. I did request that the library purchase it though, so if it pops up, I’ll be happy to read it at a later date.

Ahmed Knowmadic
Although this poet was named Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, he doesn’t actually have a book, so I let myself off the hook.

Witi Ihimaera
Yes, I know. He wrote Whale Rider. I could have read that. But it’s been around for awhile and he was promoting a more recent book title, which I couldn’t find at the library. Also, I suspect I may have read Whale Rider during some long-ago childhood summer.

Jordan Mounteerliminal
I had to do some detective work to find this writer. I can only find his book on the Sono Nis Press website and rules about books purchases apply.

Sheniz Janmohamed
Her last book came out in 2014 and her latest book isn’t available yet, as far as I can tell.

Deanna RodgerI Did it Too
I wasn’t able to get my hands on her debut poetry collection via the library, but you can buy it here.

Diego Enrique Osorno
His book isn’t out in English, so I’m going to give myself a pass on this one. Having said that, his book sounds intriguing: it’s a biography Carlos Slim, the world’s second richest man.

Hera Lindsay Bird
I couldn’t track down her “raunchy” poetry debut. It was only available on Kindle, when I looked, and I don’t have one of those either. I am, after all, highly discriminatory against electronic books. Paper please. Her book sounds fun though.

Matthew Dickman
An American poet, I can’t track down his work via the local library. He appeared at Let’s Talk About Class with fiction writers David Chariandy and Kevin Hardcastle and I’m sad I missed that event, having read both their novels.

Sylvain PrudhommeThe Greats
The English translation of his book The Greats is only just available. My French is okay, but probably not good enough to get through a novel about dictatorship. Fingers crossed that the English translation makes its way to the library system.

Ali Cobby EckermannToo Afraid to Cry
The library just got this book in, and I’m drowning in my current reading list. I hope to circle back to it as soon as I can, but I suspect I’m going to run into the 2018 festival before that happens.

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