The IFOA, International Festival of Authors, is an annual event in Toronto for the bookish.
Warning: if you don’t live in Toronto, you might not want to check out their line-up unless you’re prepared to book transportation and purchase memberships and whole backlists to boot.
It’s not that much of a stretch to say that I moved to Toronto for the IFOA.
But surely I’m not the only person who answers “But why Toronto?” that way.
Okay, maybe I’m in the minority.
But, still, if you love books, you’ll quickly see why this event holds such considerable appeal for me.
And below are the authors whose backlists I’m perusing currently, with this line-up in mind.
Warning: this is a long list because making lists of books that might be read is nearly as much fun as actually reading the books on said lists of books.
But you already know that. And, frankly, some of you have no business even looking funny in the direction of my obsessiveness.
Come on, tell me which of these is a can’t-miss from your perspective:
Michael Cunningham’s backlist — I’ve only read The Hours.
Anchee Min’s backlist — I haven’t read a thing!
Adam Lewis Schroeder’s backlist — he’s new to me, and I’ve only read some stories so far.
Aryn Kyle’s two books — I meant to read God of Animals, but so far I’ve been dabbling in her new short fiction.
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall’s Ghosted — he’s new to me.
Giles Blunt’s Blackfly Season and onwards — I’m behind with my John Cardinal mystery reading, but want to catch up!
Andrea Levy’s backlist — I’ve only read The Long Song, but I’ve started Small Island.
Trevor Cole’s backlist — never read, but I’ve started The Fearsome Particles.
Louise Doughty’s backlist — she’s new to me (how did I miss THAT many books?!).
Joshua Ferris’ And Then We Came to the End — I’ve read The Unnamed.
Jonathan Franzen’s backlist — I’ve only read short pieces.
Myla Goldberg’s Wickett’s Remedy — it’s the only one of hers I haven’t read.
Sara Gruen’s Ape House — I’ve read the rest.
Paul Harding’s Tinkers — nuthin’.
Rebecca James’ Beautiful Malice — hadn’t heard of her.
M.T. Kelly’s A Dream Like Mine — meant to read!
Dany Laferrière’s How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired — ditto.
Emily St. John Mandel’s Last Night in Montreal and The Singer’s Gun — started LNIM and loved it but lost track of it.
David Mitchell’s Everything!
Alison Pick’s backlist including poetry — I’ve dabbled but never completed.
Anne Fortier’s Juliet — hadn’t heard of her.
Brando Skyhorse’s The Madonnas of Echo Park — had only seen the ads in TNY
Michael Winter’s backlist — never read.
Okay, I know that some of you are mathematically inclined, and some of you keep backlisted titles filed in your reader’s brain.
You, and you know who you are, will notice that, because a single line can equate to 7 or 8 books, there are 60 someodd titles here.
And a quick glance at the calendar suggests that would require 2 or 3 books a day for the next few weeks.
So, I have to admit that, even though I started reading for the IFOA earlier than ever, I might not be able to read all of these.
What would you start reading first? Or do you have time to tell us before you call your travel agent to book your tickets?