What a night it was! Waterloo Public Library hosted the 4th annual “Waterloo Reads! Battle of the Books”, on October 18 which saw 10 very competitive local “Champions” defend and debate the merits of the 10 books nominated for the 2016 Evergreen Award.
The Evergreen Award is presented annually in Ontario to the author of a work of Canadian fiction or non-fiction as voted by the general public.
It is safe to say that the 200 people who attended the event at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, totally enjoyed the enthusiastic debate and clever banter. “Waterloo Reads” truly is the liveliest book chat around.
From Chef D’s healthy bribes of fresh, Ontario-grown apples to researching connections between “champions” via Facebook, all of our panelists shared engaging details about the books they were defending, making it very difficult for attendees to decide just which to vote for.
At the end of the evening, with votes tallied, the win went to last year’s winner, Wendy Tutt, co-owner of the Princess Cinemas in UpTown Waterloo. Tutt was defending “They Left Us Everything” by Plum Johnson.
“Clearing out the family home after a death, and facing a lifetime of memories is difficult but something we all have done or will have to do.” said Tutt in her final turn on stage. “With elegance of style and quality of thought, Plum Johnson has written a book on this subject, one which we all can relate to.”
Author Plum Johnson spent almost twenty years of her life caring for her elderly parents, who did not have easy personalities. After the death of her parents, Johnson and her brothers are faced with an overwhelming task of emptying and selling the family home which “… hasn’t been de-cluttered in more than half a century. Twenty-three rooms bulge with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks.” She takes the reader with her as childhood memories are triggered and new facts about her parents are unearthed.
In 2nd place, by just 2 votes, was teacher Nan Forler with K.D. Miller’s “All Saints” and 3rd place went to Eric Drozd of 570News with Birdie” by Tracey Lindberg.
The general public is now encouraged to cast their vote for the 2016 Evergreen Award and help select the provincial winner. VOTE online until October 30.