What Your Committee's Reading this Summer

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As a group of people who organize a festival for readers and writers, it should come as no surprise that we LOVE books! Here's a not-so-quick rundown of what your festival committee's been reading (or was excited to read) over the warm summer months! (please feel free to imagine us on patios, sipping tea, or more accurately, gin and tonics, in the breeze while we read)

Our fearless leader, Sandra Wickham, recommends The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst. "The blurb on this book jacket does not do it justice. I almost didn't read it, thinking it was a little cliche, but it is SO not. It's incredible, from the first page onward. I really loved this story." She's also reading Allaigna's Song: Overture by JM Landels. 

I got a whole list from Mel Dawn, our copy editor, that includes non-fiction, YA, fiction, and an indie magazine for cats along with her thoughts on each:

  • The Survival Handbook - Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure  by DK Publishing (multi-contributors) "This book could save your life! Could be handy for the road trips we'll be taking this summer. This book is so incredibly detailed that I'll have to stow it in the van as I'm simply can't remember all the advice."
  • The Maze Runner series by James Dashner. "I'm currently on Book 3: I've completed the first two books in the series. Next up will be The Death Cure. I find that so many bestselling books don't live up to the book and movie hype, but so far I've enjoyed both the film franchise and the book series. It's incredibly well-written and geared more to an adult audience, even though it's marketed as YA."
  • The Space Between by Dete Meserve. "Dete lost almost everything in a bad house fire recently so I didn't hesitate to buy a copy of her latest book release. This book looks good, about an astronomer and her missing husband."
  • Puss Week by Bexy McFly. "I was at Meowfest this weekend and the publisher had a booth at the table. I like to support indie publications as they're meowsome. These mini-mags are written for your cat, but you can read it to them. The photography is excellent and I couldn't find one typo in the whole series. Purrfessional and humourous!"

T.G. Shepherd, GoH liaison, is currently reading The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal and says that it's "excellent!" Before that she read Born A Crime by Trevor Noah and said that "it’s a fascinating look at life under Apartheid." She just picked up BraveTart Iconic American Desserts cookbook by Stella Parks and if you click on that link, you're going to want it too. Next up for T. G. will be Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Our chair hand-holder, Kindle giveaway organizer, and unofficial photographer, Kristene Perron, had this to say about the two of the books she's been reading this summer, Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory and Jade City by Fonda Lee

"Two VERY different books but both Nebula Award nominees as it turns out! Spoonbenders is a fast-paced SFF comedy about a disgraced family of con artists who purport to have psychic abilities. Or maybe they *do* have psychic abilities. Hmmm... Jade City is the perfect read for SFF fans who love gangster sagas and kung fu! This installment follows the Kaul family as the city is on the brink of a clan war. Amazing world building and a story that sucks you in and never lets you go."

Margaret Arsenault, our general festival magician (you want it, she'll help you make it happen), has been one of our most avid readers this summer as her list demonstrates

Kate Embree, who will be helping Sandra with programming for the 2019 Creative Ink Festival (did you know you can register for it now?!) has been making her way through The Asian Saga by James Clovell; Shogun, Tai-Pan, Noble House, King Ray, Gai-Jin, and Whirlwind.

Our community outreach and volunteer coordinator, Samantha Reeves, is working on some series as well, The Three Secret Cities by Matthew Reilly is the fifth book in the Jack West Jr series, and Tiamat's Wrath by James S. A. Corey is the eighth book in The Expanse series.

Social media coordinator, Alicen Ricard, is also reading Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne (he was one of our 2018 GoHs after all), as well as Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston, The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead, and To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Finally, I (Andrea Westaway, registration and writing contest coordinator) have been making my way through my interminable 'to-read' list. First crossing off Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith, the third book in JK Rowling's pseudonym's Cormoran Strike mystery series. This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by VE Schwab, a wonderful YA duology by an author that has quickly become one of my favourites. I'm currently about to finish The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan, the third installment in his Trials of Apollo series. I have a passion for Greek mythology and have gobbled up these middle grade books since he put out The Lightning Thief in 2005.