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County Reads kicks off with five favourite books

County Reads 2016 participants, from, from left, Dorothy Spiers, Charles Morris and Ken Murray and back, Hiliary Fennell and Melanie

County Reads 2016 participants, from, from left, Dorothy Speirs, Charles Morris and Ken Murray and back, Hiliary Fennell and Melanie Dugan.

Five County residents are preparing to champion their chosen Canadian books as participants in the seventh annual County Reads event.

“It’s much like the Canada Reads event, but, of course, is much better,” notes committee member Anne Preston.

The annual edition of CBC’s Canada Reads also got under way Monday with five prominent Canadians waging a vigorous literary debate to determine the one novel the entire country should read. The public is invited to borrow the chosen books from the County library branches to read on their own, or as part of a book club reading.

The County Reads Book of 2016 winner is to be announced at the 20th annual Prince Edward County Author’s Festival, during a free-of-charge event at Books & Company’s Lipson Room, Thursday, April 14, hosted by the CBC’s Bill Richardson.

The five County Reads books to be discussed are:

Three Day Road
by Joseph Boyden
presented by Ken Murray
Three Day Road is the first novel from Canadian writer Joseph Boyden.
Set in 1919, following the end of World War I, the Boyden’s novel takes
place both in the wilderness of Northern Ontario and on the battlefields of
France and Belgium.

A Complicated Kindness
by Miriam Toews
presented by Charles Morris
In this coming-of-age novel, award-winner Miriam Toews
balances grief and hope in the voice of a witty, beleaguered teenager
whose family is shattered by fundamentalist Christianity.

His Whole Life
by Elizabeth Hay
presented by Melanie Dugan
Set in the mid-1990s, when Quebec was on the verge of leaving Canada,
this is a coming-of-age story. Hay’s probes the mystery of how members of
a family can hurt each other deeply, and remember those hurts in such
detail, yet find openings that shock them with love and forgiveness.

Translation is a Love Affair
by Jacques Poulin
presented by Dorothy Speirs
True to its title, Translation Is a Love Affair is centered around language—
not only how writers and translators use it but also how it brings people
together. Author Jacques Poulin’s characters see language as something to
live, like a friendship, and translation is both a means of rendering one
language in another and closing the distance between people, and even
creatures. But that doesn’t mean Translation is a work of theory; it is a
quiet novel of companionship through language.

The Reason You Walk
by Wab Kinew
presented by Hilary Fennell
An autobiography — Kinew’s own story, but also that of countless other First Nations people in Canada. When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who’d raised him.

The 20th annual PEC Author’s Festival kicks off with a Celebration of Story-Telling Sunday, April 10, 1-3 p.m. at Mt. Tabor Playhouse, featuring the County’s own Janet Kellough and Suzanne Pasternak, with Brad Woods.

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