Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

Keeping Track and Reviews

Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good.” Plato   

Since November 2010, I have kept track of all the books I’ve read. As I write this, I know I am again sounding as though I have an obsessive-compulsive tendency. Okay, maybe a slight one.  Stop laughing.

It’s good to remember books I’ve read, what I liked about them, whether I’d recommend them to others, and what I learned from them. When I know the author, I also like to share my impressions with them. I think authors like to hear about how a book influenced or impacted the reader. Or at least that’s how I feel when readers find me and tell me how they felt about something I’ve written.

Here’s an example of a note I wrote to author, Steven Heighton. I finished reading The Nightingale late last night. Loved the characters (even Polat who we come to understand from the picture that Kaya finds on him – very nice!) and each of their struggles, the impact of this Turkish/Greek divide on each of them. I likely felt closest to Roland and oddly to Stratis, which is interesting to me. I liked the fact that he was always on guard and always felt the villagers would be betrayed in the end. He made me think about what I would do for my country, which is interesting because I’m a pacifist (a naïve one at that). In any event, Stratis and by contrast, Roland went down the way they wanted to which I couldn’t help but respect. Thanks for a great read.

Steven will be appearing at two events at the Whistler Writers Festival 2017.  The first event is the Literary Cabaret on Friday October 13th at 8 p.m. He will also be teaching a craft workshop on Saturday October 14th, entitled, Using the Reenaction Technique.

I’ve also just finished Doug Saunders’ book Maximum Canada. This historical account of immigration in Canada was a fascinating read and shed a great deal of light on how we became a multicultural nation. As an immigrant myself, I didn’t realize that Canada wasn’t always open to immigration and I concurred with the author’s conclusion, that Canada unlike others who are closing and tightening borders, should strive to attract more immigrants.

I plan to share my thoughts (of course I would. I’m nothing if not opinionated) with Doug when we host him in Whistler at three separate events, Saturday's Literary Salon, our Saturday night gala and our Sunday Brunch.

In the spirit of sharing, our local newsmagazine, The Pique has agreed to print a series of book reviews in the lead up to the festival. Local author, Katherine Fawcett reviews Barbara Gowdy's novel Little Sister. More local authors will be sharing their thoughts about our guest authors’ books in the weeks to come (four to be exact, but who is counting), so stay tuned here or at The Pique or on our website and get to know our guest authors and their books.

I look forward to seeing you all in four short weeks in Whistler.

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