They came, they deliberated — and they deliberated some more.
The panel of learned librarians tasked with choosing the 2013 One Book, One Kootenay (OBOK) shortlist had a tough time, considering the wealth of talent throughout the Kootenays. But chose they did, and the Kootenay Library Federation, host of the annual OBOK reader’s choice celebration, is ready to announce the selected books.
On this year’s shortlist: Confined Space by Deryn Collier, The Dolphin’s Tooth: a Decade in Search of Adventure by Bruce Kirkby, and Never Going Back by Antonia Banyard.
“It’s a great shortlist,” says Kootenay Library Federation director Joanne Richards. “As always, I feel incredibly proud of the level of literary talent we enjoy in our region.”
Confined Space introduces small-town coroner Bern Fortin as he investigates a murder in a brewery. Author Deryn Collier grew up in Montreal and lived in Creston — where she worked for a time at Columbia Brewery — before settling in Nelson. Confined Space was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished first crime novel before it was snatched up by Simon & Schuster in 2012.
The Dolphin’s Tooth: a Decade in Search of Adventure (McLelland & Stewart) follows Kimberley author Bruce Kirkby through 15 years of high adventure in some of the world’s edgier places. From crocodile attacks while running Africa’s Blue Nile Gorge to rescuing a fallen Sherpa on Mount Everest, Kirkby, a Globe and Mail columnist and photographer, has travelled to 80 countries and embraced 18 guiding seasons with an uncommon passion for the wild.
Never Going Back (Thistledown Press) brings together a group of high school friends after 10 years of separation as they converge for a friend’s memorial, each of them with their own memories — and secrets — about a decade-old tragedy, and each having found their own ways to cope. Author Antonia Banyard has lived in South Africa, Zambia, Australia, and Nelson — where she now lives with her family.
The reading public is asked to vote for their favourite shortlisted book between April 15 and August 2. The 2013 selected OBOK author is celebrated in a tour of select Kootenay Libraries in the fall. The Kootenay Library Federation makes sure that all libraries in the Federation have copies of the shortlisted titles — so the reading can begin, and feisty conversations ensue.
This is the fifth anniversary of OBOK, a region-wide book club supported by public libraries in the East and West Kootenay, and the Columbia Basin Trust. Check out obok.ca for information about the books and interviews with the authors, as well as upcoming OBOK events at a library near you.