Thursday, October 20, 2011

You peers, continue this united league:

It's been quite some time since my last post, and for that I must apologize.  For the past two weeks I've been quite busy with WordFest, Calgary's literary festival.  My job with WordFest, was as festival blogger, writing about my experiences attending the events.  It was a great experience that I enjoyed very much.

The great part of being involved with WordFest was the exposure I received to others who, like me, love to read, love books, and love to discuss both.  Being the festival blogger allowed me great access, not only to every event I could squeeze in, but also to the authors.  During my week, I was able to hear so many authors read and discuss their latest work, as well as get an interesting take on writing and the publishing world.

Of interest to this blog, I was able to talk to Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians as well as Time magazine literary critic, and co-author of this list I've been reading for almost two years now.  At an event called, 'Writers and Their Collections', Lev mentioned his 'go to book' would be Brideshead Revisited, my second read, as well as one of my favorites.  It seems we both like it for the same reason; the vivid descriptions and character development Evelyn Waugh writes so well.

When I spoke to Lev following that event, mentioning I was reading the list, he said what he doesn't like about book lists, which I think is true of everybody, is that there will always be so many books left off, and so many that perhaps should have been.  But him and I were also in agreement about the positives of reading a book list; it exposes you to so many new things you might not have otherwise read.  This was the case for me with Brideshead Revisited.  He also left me with a parting note, saying I could have a 'free pass' on The Man Who Loved Children. Tempting, but I think I'll read it anyway.

I guess if I was to come up with a negative aspect of being involved with WordFest, it would be the incredible growth my 'to read' list has gone through in the past week.  There were several times where meeting an author made me interested in their books, where I might not have otherwise been.  One author I spent quite a bit of time with, was the Scottish writer Stuart MacBride.  His books could best be described as gritty crime novels, yet he's one of the funniest and most entertaining people I've ever met.  It really took me by surprise!  Now I'm interested in reading his books, to see if his humor does come out, even in the darkest of novels.  I'll also always have his heavy Scottish accent narrating for me.

But back to the reading of these 100 Novels, my progress came to a complete halt the past fortnight.  While I did manage to finish the non-fiction read, Stalingrad, I did not read page one of my 46th book, Go Tell it On the Mountain.  However, I'm happy to report I was reading it today, and have fully resumed reading the list.  It isn't a long read, so I hope to finish it quite quickly.

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