The covers of books by (from left) Jan Drabek

The covers of books by (from left) Jan Drabek

Authors will discuss war, hockey and roughing it at Creston library

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War, hockey and roughing it in the bush! Beginning Sept. 9, the Creston Valley Public Library’s Meet the Author series resumes with a decidedly macho lineup of award-winning writers and storytellers. What better way to get your man out of the den and into the library than terrifyingly up close and personal presentations by renowned authors and experts Jan Drabek (war), Grant Lawrence (hockey) and Jay Sherwood (bushwhacking)?

First up, on Sept. 9, is Jan Drabek, former Czech ambassador and author of more than 15 fiction and non-fiction works. For this presentation, Drabek will present photos and stories from his two best known works: Thirteen, a dramatic memoir of growing up in Czechoslovakia during the Second World War, and Vladimir Krajina: World War II Hero and Ecology Pioneer, the incredible story of a Czech resistance fighter who escaped the Gestapo on skis and was eventually awarded the Order of Canada for his work in preserving Canada’s natural heritage. The Globe and Mail has described Drabek as “humane and funny, with hair-trigger sensitivity.”

Next up is Jay Sherwood, author of Surveying Southern British Columbia, on Sept. 30. Having spent many years surveying in the wilds of Idaho and Montana, Sherwood immigrated to Canada and began a new teaching career while spending countless hours conducting firsthand research travelling up and down the paths and waterways of early explorers and surveyors. Much of his research has focussed on the surveying work of Frank Swannell (1880-1969), who travelled by raft, canoe, pack train and every other conceivable mode of transport across the mountains and valleys of British Columbia and back again. If you find enjoyment in spending your weekends out where the mosquitos grow bigger than horseflies, you’ll love this presentation.

Last but not least, author and CBC personality Grant Lawrence (Grant Lawrence Live, All Points West) will appear on Oct. 22. His second book, The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie, is a darkly hilarious memoir of his own conflicted relationship with the game of hockey and his position as goaltender on his beer league hockey team, the championship-winning Vancouver Flying Vees. This sophomore writing effort was an immediate bestseller, debuting at No. 3 on the national nonfiction paperback list and hitting No. 1 on the B.C. bestsellers list, and won the BC Book Prize for the 2014 book of the year —Lawrence is the only B.C. author to have won this award twice.

Vancouver Sun reviewer Joe Wiebe describes the book as a “rock ’em sock ’em examination of our country’s hockey culture [that] reminds me of a Tiger Williams brawl combined with a Wayne Gretzky goal. And in terms of literary prowess, Grant knocks the pads off another famous goalie who wrote some hockey books. What’s his name again? Oh yeah: Ken Dryden.”

All presentations will take place at 7 p.m. at Creston Valley Public Library, and will be followed by book signings and opportunities to chat with the author. Events are free and seating is limited.

—CRESTON VALLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY