After a hiatus from 2013, Rossland Reads is back for 2014. The debates have been booked and are being held at a new location this year: the Rossland Art Gallery. Mark your calendars for October 22, October 29 and November 5 with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the debate starting at 7 p.m..
If listening to debaters Aerin Guy, Mark Jeffery, Kate Harrison-Whiteside, and Liz Anderson duke it out to have their chosen book crowned Rossland Reads 2014 Champion isn’t enough to entice you, as usual, the Rossland Public Library has sponsored the event and will have door prizes for those in attendance.
As moderator, Jennifer may have the toughest position of all participants. In her second year in this role, the pressure is high to do well as she must create thoughtful questions that engage both debaters and audience. Jennifer says, “I like creating questions that spur people to think about books differently.” Further on why she enjoys moderating, which also includes the tough role of cutting debaters off if they go over their time, it “helps me with my own writing to be forced to explore books in more depth and think about the components that make specific books great.” When asked about her favourite book for this year, Jennifer remains elusive and would not reveal it.
Whether it is literal or metaphorical, the theme this year is about travel. Left open to interpretation, the debaters were told to choose a book simply about travelling and anything that it could entail: going somewhere physical or a personal journey from within. In no particular order, the books that have been chosen (and their respective debaters) are:
• The Alchemist, written by Paul Coelho and defended by Aerin Guy, follows the trek of Andalusian shepherd Santiago as he seeks to fulfill his Personal Legend, which is to be found in Egypt.
• Endurance, written by Alfred Lansing and defended by Mark Jeffery, chronicles the survival story of Ernest Shackleton’s ice-bound, Antarctic polar exploration.
• Out of Africa, written by Isak Dinesen and defended by Kate Harrison-Whiteside, was selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction book of all time and gives the true account of Dinesen’s life on her Kenyan plantation.
• Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey, written by Rachel Simon and defended by Liz Anderson, follows sisters Rachel, a writer and college teacher, and Beth, who has an intellectual disability, through a year of riding the bus allowing Rachel to see the world through Beth’s eyes.
For more information on Rossland Reads, please visit www.rossland.bclibrary.ca/services-programs/rossland-reads.