25th Trillium Award

The War Series: Writers As Readers, with Janet Kellough

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Janet Kellough

Open Book: Ontario is thrilled to have spent the month of April in Prince Edward County, a region that daily inspires its writers, readers and curious passers-by. Janet Kellough launched us into Focus On: Prince Edward County with her wonderful article, "How I Discovered Prince Edward County Literature." Now she's back to close the month with her contribution to our WAR (Writers As Readers) Series.

The WAR Series is our newest interview series at Open Book, and gives writers an opportunity to talk about the books that shaped them, from first loves to new favourites. Janet shares with us the books that have made an impression on her, from her childhood with A.A. Milne to a recent encounter with Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra?s 24-hour Bookstore.

The WAR Series, Writers as Readers

The first book I remember reading on my own:
A.A. Milne?s Now We Are Six. Alexander is a family name so I was thrilled to find ?Alexander Beetle? (?Forgiven?). It was an immediate, personal connection with the written word.

A book that made me cry:
A Sunday at the Pool in Kilgali by Gil Courtemanche. This book haunted me for a long time. In fact, it still does.

The first adult book I read:
The Black Rose by Thomas B. Costain. A real historical potboiler, but it made me realize how much fun history is in the hands of storytellers.

A book that made me laugh out loud:
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. I know those guys.

The book I have re-read many times:
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. And I ended up married to a guy who did zoo training at Durrell?s zoo in Jersey!

A book I feel like I should have read, but haven't:
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust.

The book I would give my seventeen year old self, if I could:
The complete Oxford English Dictionary. I only had a Webster?s desk version. I didn?t know then that there were so many wonderful words.

The best book I read in the past six months:
Mr. Penumbra?s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I picked it on the basis of the title alone and really enjoyed it.

The book I plan on reading next:
Probably The Water Rat of Wanchai. I had the pleasure of doing a mystery night panel with Ian Hamilton a few months ago and was embarrassed that I hadn?t actually read his stuff.

A possible title for my autobiography:
You?re Just Jealous That the Voices Talk to Me.

Janet Kellough is a storyteller and author whose family has been a fixture in Prince Edward County for well over 200 years. She is the author of The Thaddeus Lewis Mysteries On the Head of a Pin, Sowing Poison and the soon-to-be-released 47 Sorrows (Dundurn Press), as well as the novels The Palace of the Moon and The Pear Shaped Woman. She has also published the semi-non-fictional collection of stories The Legendary Guide to Prince Edward County. She lives in The County?s North Marysburgh township, near where the dump used to be.

For more information about 47 Sorrows and the other Thaddeus Lewis Mysteries, please visit the Dundurn Press website.

Buy these books at your local independent bookstore or online from the publisher or at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Visit our Prince Edward County page to find out more about this lively literary community.

1 comment

Dictionaries are wonderful things! And, you are absolutely right! The possible title of your autobiography says it all. lol

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