Inside The Library: Fallis, Humphreys to visit Picton branch

There are two events this month at the Picton library branch that you will not want to miss. The library will host Terry Fallis on May 23 at 7 and Helen Humphreys May 31 at 3.

Though, uncharacteristically we have been charging for events this year in order to raise funds for the Picton expansion, these events are not ticketed. We booked Fallis months ago, before we launched our campaign and Humphreys is actually coming to visit a local book club.

The book club, with Shelagh Mathers as a participant – you will remember that she was the winner of the County Reads this year, defending Humphrey’s The River – and Alexandra Bake, our fundraising chair, decided to share their good luck and issue a public invitation to meet this popular author. As Alexandra put it “this is by way of a thank you for the wonderful support we received for the County Reads.”

This is the third time that Fallis has visited the library system in Prince Edward County. This very busy, talented author has been more than in generous agreeing to repeat engagements in the county. Terry is the author of the hilarious The Best Laid Plans, Poles Apart and No Relation. Those are just three of his six national bestsellers. He is a two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for humour.

The first time Terry visited our library I had not read any of his books. I recommended them because people raved about them, but I wasn’t sure that the subject matter appealed to me. I was in for a treat. The books are a romp. They are funny, human, and idealistic. The charm and intelligence of the author shines through. When you meet Fallis on May 23 at the Picton library you will join the many others who anxiously await his next book and visit to your library.

Humphreys, too, is not a stranger to the area. She has been featured at past Authors Festivals and this year for not the first time that one of her works was the choice of a County Reads defender. Helen started out as a poet. She was born in Kingston-on–Thames in England and now lives in Kingston. Her first novel Leaving Earth, released in 1998 was a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the City of Toronto book award.

For those of you who have never read Humphreys you are in for a treat. Her novels read like poetry. They bring history to life in a way that the images she conjures never leave you. Everyone who has read Helen Humphreys has a favourite book that they read again and again. She speaks of her works as hybrids, part fiction and part non-fiction.

In this way, she explains she can “fully explore an idea without being bound by genre.” She goes on to say that “If you scratch under any surface there are histories for everything”. Helen has a talent for finding “rabbit holes” her term – of history that take you on a journey that is curious, whimsical and transporting. You will definitely not want to miss your second date at the library this May 31 at 3 when thanks to the “Pick of the Letter” book club Helen Humphreys, is visiting the Picton branch.

There is always a lot going on at the library, but this year, as we plan for our major expansion we seem to have gained in momentum. Thank you to everyone who has contributed time, money and ideas. Getting to our goal is turning out to be a lot of fun!

-Barbara Sweet