Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Word on the Street

On Sunday, Kate and I attended Word on the Street in Kitchener. This festival occurs simultaneously in several other Canadian cities. The Kitchener festival is much smaller than some of the others, but there was a terrific line-up of authors, both for adult and children's literature.

I started the day volunteering at The Literacy Group's booth, where people who gave a donation of any amount could take away a bagful of books, chosen from the piles of used books we had scattered around the booth. There were some real gems there, including a dozen Dr. Who books that were snatched up fairly early in the day. We were located right across from the authors' tent, and I initially had some hope of hearing the readings from the booth, but we had so much traffic (a good thing, of course) that I didn't have a free moment the entire time.

Kate joined me in the afternoon and we went to hear Erin Bow (in the photo above) reading from her debut novel, Plain Kate. All the reviews of this book that I've seen so far have been very positive, and we were excited about getting a copy and having it signed by Erin. How cool would it have been to have a message addressed to Kate on a copy of Plain Kate, and from an author who had once studied particle physics! Alas, there were no more copies available for sale at the reading, so we'll have to pick up a copy from our local bookstore and track down Erin Bow another time.

I missed seeing Louise Penny because she was scheduled to read the same time as Erin Bow. I'm a big fan of her Inspector Armand Gamache series, and it seems that a great number of other people are fans too, as her tent was packed. I did catch the last five minutes of the Q&A session, and was amused to hear that she too was annoyed with the narrator's pronunciation of tuque as "toke" in the audiobook version of her books. I should add that this is the only complaint I had about the audiobooks. Ralph Cosham does a fine job otherwise.

There were several more authors I would have liked to see, including Claire Holden Rothman, author of The Heart Specialist, but we had to take off early because of another commitment for that afternoon. All in all, it was a good event and I look forward to going again next year.


  1. You get another chance at Words Worth on October 23rd. You can bet if Words Worth had been at Word on the Street there would have been copies of Erin's book. Chapters just doesn't support local authors all that well - they didn't bring any copies of Plain Kate. Read more about the event on the 23rd here:

  2. I did get to listen to Louise Penny and enjoyed every word she spoke. I posted a review of the day and will link with yours.