County Reads debate happens tonight

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

It’s here! This weekend is the online County Reads and Authors Festival. If you haven’t yet registered to join us, head to the website:

If you have any technology questions or are hesitant to try Zoom, please call David at the Picton Branch Library. He’s standing by to assist you with any questions you may have.

The County Reads debate will be Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m. By the time you’re reading this, there may still be time to catch the live debate.

If you missed the live event, you can find out whether Alexandra Seay, Sandra Barnes, Councillor John Hirsch, Kevin Scanlon or Anne Preston took the crown in the vote. I had the pleasure of chatting with the presenters in our tech rehearsal, and there is one thing I can tell you for sure– these are passionate readers who will surely convince you to read their picks if you haven’t already.

The books are all available at the library and at Books and Company. Our thanks to the presenters as well as Ken Murray who again takes on the difficult challenge of keeping the presentations to a strict time schedule! The Festival will take place Friday and Saturday, and include some really incredible Canadian writers. Samra Zafar will discuss her book” A Good Wife: Escaping the Life I Never Chose”.

Thanks to the financial support of the Canada Council through the Writers’ Union for making it possible for Karen McBride to join us. We will discuss her debut novel, Crow Winter. Robert Rotenberg will discuss his latest, Downfall, which explores the growing homelessness crisis in our cities. On Saturday, Bryn Turnbull will chat about her book, The Woman Before Wallis. That conversation will be followed by economist and best-selling author Jeff Rubin. The Festival will close with Iona Whishaw, whose Lane Winslow mysteries were inspired by Whishaw’s own mother who was a wartime spy like her father before her. Our thanks to the volunteers who made this year’s virtual Festival possible including moderators Ken Murray, Elizabeth Etue, Councillor Mike Harper, and Dr. Thomas Harrison. The Festival is organized by a committee whose work usually starts each year in January!

“The Authors Festival is always a terrific event thanks to the volunteers who make it possible – Marlene Fraser, Alexandra Bake and Janet Aston”, said library CEO Barbara Sweet.

We are already in conversation about next year’s event. If you have someone in mind who would be up for the challenge of participating in the County Reads debate or have read a book by a Canadian author and you would like us to consider booking them for the next Festival please share your thoughts with Barbara Sweet by email or by calling (613) 476-5962.

-Liz Zylstra