Once again I was lucky enough to attend Book Expo in Toronto. I usually only go to the Trade Show one out of the two days it is running -- this year I went on the Monday, which was apparently much quieter than Sunday. I enjoyed myself greatly, however, and was pleased with the chance that it gave me to talk to so many small publishers and to chat with authors. I don't like to hold up the line when there are people waiting behind, but lines were reasonable on Monday so I didn't feel so bad having a one minute chat here and there. And it was great fun. I got to start off the day by meeting Paul Gross! Lovely. He was signing movie stills from his new production, Passchendaele. There is to be a companion book but it was not ready by Book Expo time. Nobody in line seemed to move when told this, though; it was Paul Gross, after all, our own matinee idol! I even worked up the nerve to tell him how much I had enjoyed his Hamlet here in Stratford (I've mentioned this before) without sounding like a crazy fan girl. I hope.
I also talked to Mary-Ann Kirkby, the author of I am Hutterite, a fascinating look at a woman's childhood and development, both growing up within and leaving a Hutterite colony in Saskatchewan. This intrigues me because of the topic, but also because the author is from my own hometown. If you are interested in religious groups like the Amish or Mennonite or just in a great story of family and history you might enjoy this. I did! She has published and promoted this through her own press, Polka Dot Press, and it has become a regional bestseller in Western Canada.
I also had a lot of fun getting freebies, as you do at these events -- fun & silly things like a light-up pen and a flashing sticky frog ring -- but also lots of new books and, something I really value as a librarian, catalogues from small presses that often escape attention. I met a few authors I've long admired, like Claire Delacroix, Marsha Skrypuch, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee with her hilarious knitting books. I got signed books and chatted with a few authors whose work is perfect for the next Canadian Book Challenge! Yay! I now have a few great books as possibilities for the Challenge, for example:
Cockroach / Rawi Hage (Quebec)
AND - in upcoming book news - I nearly fainted when I saw the huge poster at the Oxford University Press booth for this book, Elizabeth Waterston's Magic Island: the fictions of L.M. Montgomery.
It's apparently a reader's guide to all of LMM's books. Squeeee! Can't wait until September when it is available. It's billed as a companion to Mary Rubio's much anticipated biography, A Gift of Wings. I can't breathe...