Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Decatur Book Festival 2012 Report

     Well, I have returned home safely from Atlanta where I attended the Decatur Book Festival!  The DBF is the largest independent book festival in the country, by the way, and it gets better and better every year.  This year featured over 300 authors, including Erin Morgenstern, Chelsea Cain, and Julie Otsuka.  The majority of the events were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, and unfortunately, there was a great deal of schedule overlapping so I wasn't able to see everyone.

     Highlights from this trip include meeting Lauren Groff, author of Arcadia and The Monsters of Templeton, and Sheila Turnage, who wrote the charming new children's novel, Three Times Lucky.  Turnage read a few chapters from her novel and answered some adorable children's questions.  She also mentioned that there will be a sequel to Three Times Lucky, which I am already anxiously awaiting.  Lauren Groff's presentation was much more intimate and conversational, and while I have not read any of her novels or her short story collection, I am now the proud owner of both her novels, which I am looking forward to reading...eventually!

     I was also able to attend a reading/book discussion by Gail Tsukiyama, which was incredibly fascinating.  I really enjoyed reading The Samurai's Garden, and now I'm looking forward to Tsukiyama's newest novel, A Hundred Flowers.  And I have to say, while I wouldn't really consider myself a huge Meg Cabot fan (I've only read one of her novels), her presentation was probably the most entertaining of all.  She is absolutely hilarious, down-to-earth, and extremely personable.  Seriously, you should have seen the line of folks lined up to get their copies of The Princess Diaries signed.  It was nuts!  But it was a small line compared to that of Captain Underpants series author Dav Pilkey.  He must have signed over 1000 books!  The line wrapped around a city block and Mr. Pilkey was at the signing table for hours.  I must applaud that level of commitment to his fan base, because those kids were hopped up on popsicles and funnel cakes, screaming, and climbing trees while he patiently signed books in the 95 degree heat and humidity. What a stand-up guy!

     I was also able to see Michael Connelly and Michael Kortya, but I've never read any of their books, so it wasn't quite as exciting as the others.  It's impossible to see everyone, and I regret the fact that I was unable to meet Erin Morgenstern, Amber Dermont, Julie Otsuka, and Rob Reid.  My husband just finished (and highly enjoyed) Reid's new book, Year Zero, by the way.  Plus, it's just so easy to get distracted by the tents and vendor tables.  Literally, y'all, tents FILLED with books that are irresistably cheap, not to mention the book-related crafts, such as handmade journals and bookmarks, the amazing food, and free stuff.  So much free stuff!  One of the reasons why this post is a day late is because it took me forever to unpack everything I accumulated in Atlanta.  And of course, I managed a quick trip to H&M, but I'm so proud of myself because I only bought 2 things! 

     And just so y'all know, the DBF is completely free (unless you buy a ton of stuff), kid-friendly, family-friendly, and oh so fun.  For a bibliophile like myself, it's like a little corner of heaven, except that heaven is probably not as hot and humid as Georgia.  But such is the nature of summertime in the south!