The Book Drunkard Literary Festival

Join us for dessert and coffee with award winning author and broadcast journalist, Carol Off and astronaut and politician, Marc Garneau. On October 9 at Wooden Sticks Golf Club, join us on a journey through politics, space, and the pursuit of truth in journalism. Tickets include dessert and coffee and a $25 gift voucher towards a book purchase that evening. 

In At A Loss For Words, award-winning author and broadcast journalist Carol Off digs deep into six words whose meanings have been distorted and weaponized in recent years—including democracy, freedom and truth—and asks whether we can reclaim their value. 

In six, wide-ranging chapters, Off explores the mutating meanings and the changing political impact of her six chosen words—freedom, democracy, truth, woke, choice and taxes—unpacking the forces, from right and left, that have altered them beyond recognition. She also shows what happens when we lose our shared political vocabulary: we stop being able to hear each other, let alone speak with each other in meaningful ways. This means we stop being able to reckon with the complexity of the crises we face, leaving us prey to conspiracy theories, autocrats and the machinations of greed. At a Loss for Words is both an elegy and a call to arms. 

In A Most Extraordinary Ride: Space, Politics, and the Pursuit of a Canadian Dream, Garneau chronicles his once-improbable ascent from a mischievous teenager and rebellious naval midshipman to a decorated astronaut and statesman who represented Canada on the world stage – both on and off the planet. With candour and humour, Garneau describes the highs and lows of his life and career, including the awe he experienced first seeing the earth from space, the tragic loss of his first wife to mental illness and suicide, sailing across the Atlantic and back in a sailboat called “the Pickle,” and witnessing the tragedy of the doomed shuttle Challenger. 

Carol Off spent almost sixteen years co-hosting the multi-award-winning CBC radio program, As It Happens. Before that, she covered news and current affairs in Canada and around the world. As a radio correspondent, she reported on politics in Ottawa and Quebec. As a television journalist, she covered the break-up of Yugoslavia; the 9/11 attack on the United States; the election of Vladimir Putin; and politics, conflicts and culture throughout Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Africa. Her first bestselling book, The Lion, The Fox and the Eagle: A Story of Generals and Justice in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, was published in 2000. Since then, she’s written three more award-winning works of narrative non-fiction, including, most recently, All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others, winner of the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. 

Marc Garneau has distinguished himself in three distinct fields. As a naval officer with the Canadian Armed Forces, he spent 10 years as a combat systems engineer. In 1984, Garneau became the first Canadian astronaut to go to space and, from 2001 to 2005, was president of the Canadian Space Agency. As a federal politician, he has served as Liberal house leader, Minister of Transport and Minister of Foreign affairs. He lives in Montreal with his wife, and has four children. 

About the Venue

Wooden Sticks Golf Club

Wooden Sticks is located in the town of Uxbridge, Ontario. Featuring holes inspired by some of the most famous golf holes from around the world, Wooden Sticks is a tribute to the rich history and grand traditions of the great game of golf.

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