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abstract:Horse racing is often qualified as "the sport of Kings." It's popularity is on the rise again, (the previous zenith occurring circa Seabiscuit) if you take into account trendy Vancouver party promoters who are jumping into the saddle and organizing "a day at the races" complete with broad-brimed hats for the ladies, pale suits for the lads, mint julips and of course, the alure of racetrack betting. A friend of mine grew up in Richmond behind the old Landsdown Racetrack and her father raised ponies for a trainer. I remember watching my first colt born in their barn, and have since held a fascination bordering on awe for this majestic animal.

Our next Whistler Reads event on September 22nd, 4pm-6pm at Whistler's Armchair Books | Gone hosts local Vancouver writer, Kevin Chong to Whistler to discuss his latest book, My Year Of The Racehorse (Greystone Books, a D&M Publisher 2012). Kevin has a wonderful sense of humor and is no stranger to live performance—he's also a jazz artist with the stage name "Butterscotch Panda". Kevin bought a race horse and spent the year infused in the culture. "My Year of the Racehorse just made the Top 10 Books of Amazon so far", he announces on his Facebook page. I look forward to a lively discussion, readings by Kevin, audience input and some musical interludes. Come discover the inside machinations of the horse racing industry.

Kevin Chong is the author of four books, including Neil Young Nation—honoured as a book of the year by the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Ottawa Citizen and aired as a documentary on CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera—and the novels Baroque-a-Nova and Beauty Plus Pity. He's an avid freelance journalist, a regular contributor to Quill & Quire and prestigious literary mags. He is an editor at and teaches creative writing at UBC.

"I can't think of a better way to spend 2 hrs on a Saturday afternoon in Whistler," says Whistler Reads Founder, Paula Shackleton. Armchair Books | Gone joint establishments are in the heart of Whistler village (across from Araxi's) Whistler Reads members receive a 10% discount off the current book selection - become a member - over 620 of us and counting.


July 20, 2012

About The Book

Kevin Chong has grand plans. He draws up a to-do list of major milestones that will give him the life he always wanted—and the life that will inspire awe and envy in his friends. Then Chong makes an unconventional decision: he buys a racehorse. He becomes part-owner. Just don’t ask him which part. Thus Chong meets Blackie, the horse that will win his heart, even if she doesn’t always win the race. He meets Randi, the cantankerous trainer with a heart of gold. He meets assorted characters who work, live, and drink at the track. And, one by one, the items on his to-do list are replaced with horse-related ambitions.

Written with keen observational humour, the story is strewn with fascinating tidbits and infused with the excitement and faded glamour of the horseracing world. Ultimately, it is the moving tale of a young man’s discovery that a meaningful life can arise from the most unexpected of circumstances.—Publisher's Synopsis

Interesting Links

Interview with author, D&M
Kevin's Facebook Page
Book review in The Province Book review in The Globe & Mail

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