The readers read, they considered—and they voted. Author Rita Moir’s The Third Crop: A personal and historical journey into the photo albums and shoeboxes of the Slocan Valley 1800s to early 1940s (Sono Nis Press 2011) is the book to read in 2012 according to Kootenay book-lovers who took part in the 2012 One Book, One Kootenay (OBOK) reader’s choice event. OBOK is an annual project of the Kootenay Library Federation.
It was close, says OBOK organizer Helen Graham.
“It was an exciting, neck and neck race. I couldn’t call it until the last of the nineteen participating libraries, in the Kootenay Library Federation, weighed in. All three books were popular choices, but in the end Rita’s really spoke to the majority of OBOK readers.”
Moir’s beautiful book of image and essay about the history of the Slocan Valley reflects sentiments both local and universal. In The Third Crop, Moir embarks on a personal journey through memorabilia found in private albums, dusty shoeboxes, and community archives, skillfully and passionately recounting the stories of an era. More than 180 historic photographs are beautifully juxtaposed with contemporary images of the valley. For anyone living rurally, or simply loving history, the stories resonate.
The Third Crop is Moir’s fourth book. Survival Gear (Polestar, 1994), Buffalo Jump: A Woman’s Travels (Coteau, 1999), The Windshift Line: A Father and Daughter’s Story (Greystone, 2005), have all been shortlisted for or have won awards, including BC’s Hubert Evans award.
Moir is delighted that The Third Crop got the nod.
“Hundreds of people contributed to this book during the years of research: Molly Hufty, whose recall was phenomenal, and who just died this summer; Ray Kosiancic, who inspired the book’s title when he spoke of bounty and hard work and luck; all the families and all the archivists, volunteer and professional, and the entire team at Sono Nis Press, that’s who made this book what it is,” says Moir. “I’m deeply gratified that people throughout our region look at The Third Crop and see the book for what it is: a story of the ancestry of place, the story of what makes a rural community.”
In October, Moir will embark on a multi-library tour sponsored by the Kootenay Library Federation, Columbia Basin Trust and the host libraries. To find out when she will be at a library near you go to obok.ca, ask at your library, or watch for an announcement in your local newspaper.
One Book, One Kootenay is a region-wide book club that celebrates the work of the talented writers living in the Kootenay Boundary. Tom Wayman’s collection of short stories, Boundary Country, and the memoir Yes Sister, No Sister by Jennifer Craig were also shortlisted this year. All three authors were celebrated at the OBOK launch in Nelson this spring, and appeared at solo readings across the Kootenays through the summer.