Bookmarks 2016 Festival of Books and Authors

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:

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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. 🙂

Highlights:

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Jaqueline Woodson

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.

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Victoria Schwab

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!

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Colson Whitehead

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“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.

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Kate DiCamillo

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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.

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WWW Wednesday – 7 September 2016

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WWW is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over at Taking On a World of Words. You can join in by commenting on Sam’s post, and answering three questions.

Currently Reading:

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Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Holy Bagumba, this book is fantastic! Kate DiCamillo is one of the many authors who will be at this weekend’s Festival of Books and Authors, hosted by the non-profit Bookmarks organization in Winston-Salem, North Carolina this weekend. We are going to the festival, and the whole family is so excited to meet her! We hadn’t read Flora & Ulysses yet, so I picked it up on Amazon last week to read ahead of the festival. We will definitely be stopping by the Booksigning tent to get her books signed! We will likely also purchase a copy of her newest release, Raymie Nightingale, at the festival.

I am about 2/3 of the way through, and it is definitely jumping up to the top of my list of favorite Kate DiCamillo books.

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. Still plugging away at The New Jim Crow, but I hope to finish it up in the next day or so.

Just finished:

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. I probably won’t review this one, but would give it 3.5/5 stars. Might be the case of a book not living up to the high expectations I had set for it.

Reading Next:

Well, last week’s What am I reading next thoughts turned out to be completely inaccurate, lol. Here’s this week’s guess.

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Roots: The Saga of An American Family by Alex Haley – I participate in the TBR Challenge over on Librarything, and this is one of the books on my list (Rebecca was on the list as well). I have only read 12 of the 24 books on my challenge list; I really need to get back to it!

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Sailor Moon, Vol. 1 by Naoko Takeuchi – Back on my list again this week. I like to balance intense books (i.e. Roots)  with purely fun reads.

Read Watch Play #1

A round-up of both bookish and non-bookish entertainment going on in my home this week.

What I’m watching:

Outlander, Season 2

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I only have one episode left, and I will be fully caught up on Season 2 of Outlander. I have read all of the books, so I know what is coming, which makes it that much harder too watch the final episode of the season! The Outlander world is going to change forever with the next episode, and I feel that the last few previous episodes were a final goodbye to the 18th century Highlander world, and many of the men in it.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, Season 1

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This show is so much fun! We’re watching the English-dubbed version of this French cartoon that is currently airing on Nickelodeon. Miraculous is a new superhero cartoon that takes place in Paris, and contains a strong female heroine with a male sidekick. Sadly, that is something you still don’t see very often, so I give it a big thumbs up just for that! The animation is beautiful, and you can see an anime influence in some of the sequences. Before it’s launch as a CG-animated series, it was originally imagined as a 2D anime created by Toei Animation.

The villains, aside from Hawkmoth, are actually everyday people, and sometimes friends of Ladybug (Marinette) or cat Noir (Adrien). Hawkmoth sends out an akuma–in Japanese folklore an akuma is an evil spirit–to someone who is feeling depressed. The akuma penetrates something held by the person: an umbrella, bird whistle, roller blades, etc., and turns them into an evil villain with the goal of capturing Ladybug and Cat Noir’s “miraculous”, the power that allows them to transform into superheroes. It’s an interesting approach.

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One of the akuma villains, Stormy Weather.

 

What I’m playing:

No Stress Chess

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No Stress Chess has been a favorite game all summer long, as we teach M how to play chess.

Candy Crush Soda

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I never get tired of playing Candy Crush. It’s the perfect time waster when I have 5-10 minutes of downtime during the day. I am currently on Level 825.

 

What I’m eating:

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I found an excellent scallops recipe on Pinterest a few months ago, and we have been making it quite often ever since. I found the recipe, Pan Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Spinach, over at The Hungry Apple.

 

Currently Reading:

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Still plugging away at Rebecca.