If you want to participate in the annual 12th annual Kootenay Book Weekend, there are four titles you should endeavour to read before September 18—Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharrat, The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King, Local Customs by Audrey Thomas and The Oil Man and the Sea by Arno Kopecky.
“I haven’t read them all yet, but I’m working on it,” said secretary Susan Faye, who said she’s thrilled that this year they’re introducing non-fiction to the lineup.
“That’s something we’ve never done before, but this year two of the titles are non-fiction,” she said, noting she’s partway through The Inconvenient Indian and she’s heard rave reviews of Kopecky, who will be the author in attendance.
Faye said he’s a perfect fit for a Kootenay audience, as he’s an activist journalist engaged in environmentalist issues, and on Sunday morning he will facilitate an hour-long talk about his experiences traveling up the coast with photojournalist Ilja Herb on a 41-foot sailboat from Sidney to Kitimat.
In the Oil Man and the Sea Kopecky explores the geography as well as the social and environmental concerns surrounding the Northern Gateway Project.
“This fragile, complex ecosystem is among the last great wilderness areas on earth, and as they discover, no place for oil tankers,” reads the press release.
The event begins on Friday at the Best Western Inn at 6 p.m., where there will be a discussion of King’s book as well as a social, cash bar, games and prizes.
It will be followed on Saturday by a 9:45 a.m. discussion of Sharratt’s work, followed by a lunch. Then it will pick up again for a discussion of Thomas’ book at 7 p.m.
On Sunday there will be an information meeting at 9 a.m., followed by Kopecky’s talk and a wind-up lunch.
“He’s a wonderful journalist and I think anyone interested in these issues will find his talk fascinating,” she said.
She said the weekend has been growing in popularity, something they’d like to see continue.
“Last year we had about 48 attendees, and we’ve had as many as 60 in the past,” said Faye, who urged participants to register early so they know how many to expect.
Attendees can also bring gently used books to donate to the townie table.
The cost for the weekend is $95
For more information visit kootenaybookweekend.ca.
This story will be published in the Friday issue of the West Kootenay Advertiser.