Kate Mahaits (left) and Natalie Appleton have created Read Local Okanagan, offering locally-written books through a pop-up book store at the Vernon Farmers Market and other events such as the recent Sunshine Festival. (Read Local Okanagan photo)

Read Local Okanagan helps readers discover the valley’s literature

Pop-up bookshop features titles by Okanagan writers

Farmers’ Market-goers can buy local merlot, baby carrots, sourdough bread, strawberries, Adirondack chairs, painted thank you cards, alpaca scarves and, now, books. A new pop-up bookshop featuring titles by Okanagan writers is creating a buzz as it helps readers discover the valley’s literature.

Read Local Okanagan’s stall features 52 titles by 24 writers from across the region—everything from vintage poetry collections by Sharon Thesen and the latest book of poems by John Lent to the bestselling new historical novels of Alix Hawley (All True Not A Lie) and Shelley Wood (The Quintland Sisters).

“People are always so surprised to see that all of these books are by Okanagan writers, and it is amazing to see them all together like this,” says Kate Mahaits, a Read Local Okanagan team member who runs the stall at the Vernon Farmers’ Market every Thursday.

Local writer and business owner Natalie Appleton came up with the idea of a pop-up bookshop featuring local literature after a trip to the Farmers’ Market last fall, not long after the launch of her first book, a literary travel memoir entitled I Have Something to Tell You.

See: Vernon author shares her story in literary memoir

“We have so many beautiful, beautiful books by writers in this region, and yet the people who love to read and want to support local arts didn’t have an easy way to find these books,” says Appleton. “The idea has been so well-received by both readers and writers. So many of the writers got back to us within minutes saying they’d love to be a part of Read Local and we had most of our books within a week, so I think the writers were really keen to have an opportunity like this to market their books.”

A strong and early supporter of Read Local Okanagan has been Vernon writer John Lent, also a former Okanagan College dean and creative writing professor. Many of the Read Local writers teach at Okanagan College or UBC Okanagan, have won awards and have national acclaim.

“Read Local gives us a way to have a stake in our own writers,” says Lent. “Back in 1991, there were around six writers living from Salmon Arm to Penticton who had published books. I now know of at least 35 professional writers who have moved here in the last 10 years. These are national writers who have a reputation outside of the Okanagan. All together, they have more than 100 merchandisable books.”

Some of the pop-up bookshop’s works also feature the Okanagan and the Interior, such as The Sudden Weight of Snow by Coldstream writer Laisha Rosnau (who recently won The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize) and the acclaimed Shelter by Penticton writer Frances Greenslade.

Other titles are more eclectic or experimental, such as Armstrong resident Kevin McPherson’s Circadia; Kelowna writer Sean Johnston’s Listen All You Bullets, a contemporary retelling of the western classic, Shane; or Adam Lewis Schroeder’s All-Day Breakfast, a witty literary novel about zombies. Read Local Okanagan is also featuring a single children’s book, Marshall Plays Hockey, gorgeously illustrated and written by two Vernon sisters to tell the story of an ambitious moose.

See: Morning Star photographer launches first children’s book

“Whatever age you are and whatever literary style you’re into—or want to try—we really do have a title you’ll love,” says Mahaits.


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton’s Dream Café hosting the Kliffs unique music blend

The Canadian, Berlin-based duo of Mark Bérubé and Kristina Koropecki, AKAthe Kliffs,… Continue reading

40th Annual Share-a-Smile Telethon this weekend

The OSNS’s annual fundraiser returns to Cherry Lane Nov. 17 from noon until 5 p.m.

Penticton’s OSNS benefits from $10,000 RBC grant

The OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre will use the money for tech upgrades

Penticton Vees lose a squeaker in Salmon Arm

The Penticton Vees got off to a rousing start but in the end fell 4-3 to Salmon Arm

Penticton woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and senior’s centre members presented 150-plus signature petition to local MLA

Gym enthusiasts invited to get in gear for kids

Spin4Kids Saturday at GoodLife Fitness

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Malakwa woman still in the running for winning American baking show

Janet Letendre is the only Canadian competing on the Holiday Baking Championship

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

New Okanagan resident building skills and community

The Respect Works Here November Multicultural Community Champion

Business savy volunteers sought in North Okanagan

Community Futures looking for members to join advisory panel, board and loans committee

SilverStar to open Nordic trails Saturday in North Okanagan

25 km of groomed trails are ready to explore by cross-country skiers

Most Read