Sep 29, 2009

The 9th Annual National Book Festival

Thanks to one and all for the get well wishes and for indulging my fit of the poor me's. While my family went to services I went to the doctor and once I started my Z-pack I stayed home reading, sleeping and drinking tea through much of the holiday. By the end I was feeling a bit better and enjoyed a much quieter break the fast with my girls and DH. We ate bagels, and played Apples to Apples and chilled out. It wasn't what I planned but it was ok. Now I just need to work through the surplus food that was supposed to feed a crowd. Ugh.

Book Fest Crowd

Jodi PicoultMy weekend wasn't a total washout in part due to my stubbornness. On Saturday, before I finally admitted that I was sick, I attended the 9th Annual National Book Festival. Despite the nasty weather it was very well attended. People couldn't resist the opportunity to hear their favorite authors speak and in most cases it was well worth the effort.

Tents filled to capacity and beyond for authors like Jodi Picoult and John Irving. I didn't even stay for the latter because it was raining and there was absoultely no room at all anywhere near the tent. It was ok thought because I wandered into another tent and heard someone else speak.

Lois LowryAlthough I always go to the book festival with certain authors in mind I try to be open to new authors. You never know who will grab you and my family and I have found a few new favorites that way. One of this year's surprises was Lisa Scottoline. What a fun speaker! I could've listened to her for hours and I will certainly try her books - especially sine they're mysteries which are totally my thing.

One of the funny things about the festival is that, for me, it often turns into a trip down memory lane where I get to revisit old favorites and finally connect with the writers who rocked my world as a kid. Lowis Lowry was one of those authors for me. She was there talking about a new picture book she's written (you can see it in the picture). What a rich life she's led. It was wonderful to hear her speak about her childhood and the things that led her to write.

Judy BlumeAnother blast from the past was Judy Blume who is an icon to any girl who grew up in the 70's, 80's, 90's etc. Looking around the crowd that gathered to hear her it was amazing to see the diversity. Young and old and all ethnicities. One young African American girl asked if the author knew how much her books meant to girls like her. How her books speak to that population. Ms Blume seemed a little taken aback and said maybe it's because her books just describe basic experiences that all girls have. I think that's right. DQ was disappointed that she didn't get her copy of Here's To You Rachel Robinson signed but the line was just too long. I was just happy to hear her speak.

Jeff KinneyIn our original plan, Stinkerbelle was going to rush from her softball game to the city to see Jeff Kinney speak but the game was rained out and Stinkette felt that staying warm and dry was more important. DQ and I went to hear him speak for her. (OK, we just did it because we got really good seats and didn't want to give them up since JB was following him.)

Whatever our reason for being there, DQ and I really enjoyed hearing him speak. It was refreshing to hear an author speak to a standing room only crowd - some of whom were under umbrellas in the rain - and tell us how amazing this all was for him. He talked about book signings and events only 2 years ago where only one or two people showed up. He just seemed so humble and appreciative. His stories were great too and I'm sure that the kids in the audience got a huge kick out of getting a sneak peak at the artwork for the new Wimpy Kid book that's not even out yet.

Yes, I shouldn't have been out on a cold, wet, day when I was already starting to feel sniffly but it was so worth it. I can't wait 'till next year.


Carole Knits said...

I am so jealous that you get to go to this every year!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're feeling better!

Sounds like that was a wonderful day (even if not wonderful weather).

Cursing Mama said...

Judy Blume still rocks my world.

JessaLu said...

I love Lisa Scottoline! If you like Harry Bosch, you'll like her books. ;o)

btw, I've finished Angels Flight and jumped ahead to The Narrows since the library didn't have anything else available. I did read the book that came before The Narrows so I wasn't surprised by some of the stuff - uhm like, hello? daughter? weird.