Yesterday started off with a road trip to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to visit the Bookmarks 2016 Festival of Books and Authors.
Winston-Salem, home for many years to the esteemed Maya Angelou, is only an hour’s drive from where we live in Charlotte, but I had only ever visited once before (it was another author event – Isabel Allende).
We arrived at the Festival around 10am, on a scorching hot day. Summer has continued unabated here in the South, and while I typically like the heat, it did make for an incredibly sweaty day!
I arrived at the festival with quite the book stash, and left with even more! By the end of the day, all of my books ended up personalized and signed!! This was our total haul by the end:
The number of authors present was very impressive, we will definitely be coming back again next year! I did not attend any of the ticketed events, most of which were held on Friday or Sunday, so everything that we did was free of charge. There were 6 stages, both inside and outside, so the day was filled with panel discussions, forums and presentations. The author with the longest line by far was Sarah J. Maas; we did not wait in that line. 🙂
One of the first events we went to was Jaqueline Woodson’s presentation. She had two forums that day, and her first one focused more on some of her earlier work, particularly Brown Girl Dreaming and Each Kindness. We love Brown Girl Dreaming, a Newbery Honor Book and winner of both the National Book Award and Coretta Scott King Award. I will definitely be reading her first adult novel in 20 years, that was just published, Another Brooklyn.
I have to admit, I haven’t read the Shades of Magic books yet. They have been on my TBR list for a while, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity get them personalized. I love that Victoria Schwab wrote in Stas Reskon in one book, and Travars in the other. I do wish I had already read these, so I had a deeper understanding of what that actually means!
“I’m not sticking to the facts, I’m sticking to the truth.” ~ Colson Whitehead
My hubby and M went out exploring the streets surrounding the Festival while I went to Colson Whitehead’s forum. His newest book, The Underground Railroad, is getting a lot of attention right now, it is currently at the top of the New York Times bestsellers list. It has also been picked as the next title for Oprah’s Book Club – a status that I originally held against it. I don’t usually like Oprah Book Club selections. I started the first chapter while waiting for the Colson’s presentation to begin, and I am hooked.
Kate DiCamillo is as enchanting as her books. She has long been a staple in our home, going back to her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie, published in 2000 when I was in college. More recently, M has enjoyed the Bink & Gollie series, Tale of Desperaux, and Flora & Ulysses. We were both thrilled to meet her! We ended up getting four books personalized by her. I can’t wait to read her newest novel, Raymie Nightingale.
We finished off the day by going to Kate DiCamillo’s kid-friendly forum and Q&A. It was a blast; she had a story for every question she received.