I have nothing but praise for Chris Cleave and Priscila Uppal, who I saw last night at the Ottawa Writers Festival. They both read amazing sections of their novels, engaged in a witty, intelligent, fascinating and mutually-respectful conversation about their work, and (here's the best part) I got to go out for a drink with them afterwards.
Long story short. Chris Cleave went to university with my cousin, Sim, so we were catching up on the bizarreness of this, and my husband and I got caught up in the right crowd and were invited out with Chris, Priscila and Sean Wilson from the Festival. It was amazing: it was so inspiring to sit down and have a drink with people who are truly passionate about their work, about literature, about literacy, about politics.... It was a totally rejuvenating experience for me as a librarian, and also just as a person who loves books (can't turn that off when I leave work...). It's also just great to meet truly kind, lovely, funny, real people. There aren't enough out there.
As a sidebar, I would strongly urge you to watch Chris talk about his new book (did I mention it blew me away? Because it BLEW ME AWAY) on YouTube. I can't say it any better.