Events: National Book Festival and Baltimore Book Festival

23 Sep

Living in the mid-Atlantic region is awesome. One big reason: so many awesome book-related events (plus the huge number of fellow bloggers, obviously).

This weekend there are two very big events. In its 11th year, the National Book Festival takes place on the Mall in DC and is hosted by the Library of Congress. If you’re going to stage a book event what better group to do it, right?

I went every year for the first five or six years, but recently I haven’t been able to attend because of other commitments, usually weddings. But this year, I will actually be in town. And lucky for me, this year, they’ve expanded the Festival to two days, instead of the uber-packed one day event and I’ll be able to see more of the authors I’d like to. This is also the first time I’ll be attending since becoming a book blogger, so my focus is going to be completely different. I used to go to the Mall, intent on the signings, getting the signature of as many of my favorite authors as possible. This year, I’m a little less interested in standing in lines, and more intrigued by the panels and talks that will be happening under the tents. You can download the complete program with schedule and special events here.

Here’s my tentative Saturday plan:

10:55 – 11:40 Jennifer Egan in the Fiction & Mystery Pavilion

1:30 – 2:30 Laura Lippman signing, then 3:30 – 4:15 in the Fiction & Mystery Pavilion

1:40 – 2:25 Sarah Vowell in the Contemporary Life Pavilion (if I get done with Laura Lippman’s signing in time, I’ll sneak in the back of this)

3:30 – 4:15 Joshua Foer in the Contemporary Life Pavilion

4:25 – 5:10 Dave Eggers in the Poetry & Prose Pavilion


Then Sunday:

1:00 – 1:45 Poetry Out Loud in the Poetry & Prose Pavilion

2:30 – 3:30 Gary D. Schmidt signing

3:45 – 4:30 Siddhartha Mukherjee in the Contemporary Life Pavilion

4:40 – 5:25 David McCullough in the History & Biography Pavilion


Also happening this weekend is the Baltimore Book Festival.

Since I am now car-less, I can’t make it up to Charm City for this event, but I hear it’s wonderful! Take a look at the featured authors that will be there: Sherman Alexie, Pseudonymous Bosch, Libba Bray, Common, Kate and Jules Feiffer, Myla Goldberg, Gordon Korman, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Laura Lippman, Roland S. Martin, Daisy Martinez, Sam McBratney, Chef Aaron “Big Daddy” McCargo, Jr., Patrick McDonnell, Terry McMillan, Jacquelyn Mitchard,  Erin Morgenstern, Kadir Nelson, Fr. Leo Patalinghug, Rachel Renee Russell, Tavis Smiley, Shirley Strawberry, Lisa Unger, Marcela Valladolid and David Wiesner. (Matthew Norman, author of Domestic Violets, is also going to be there!!)

The schedule is extensive, and I highly recommend some of the panels that are going on, everything from Baltimore as a literary setting to a panel to help you decide which e-Reader is right for you. There are also walking tours of literary Baltimore, music, readings, food tastings and a lot more. I’m very disappointed that I can’t make it this year (as far as I know – I may just Amtrak my way there).

Do you plan on attending either of these events this weekend?


4 Responses to “Events: National Book Festival and Baltimore Book Festival”

  1. Kerry September 23, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    I am going to the National Book Festival on Saturday — my first time there! I’m hoping to make it to the Sarah Vowell event (I freaking love her). Maybe I’ll see you there??

    • Rachel September 23, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      Oh I hope so!!

  2. tnbbc September 24, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    This is when I hate living where I live! Every year I choose to go to The City Lit Book Festival because of the authors, and it’s location (right on the inner harbor, one of my favorite retreats!) Next year, I may skip that trip and hit up these. Are they ALWAYS on the same weekend?

  3. Melody Wilson September 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Yep, I went to the National Book Festival and had a ball – especially with Laura Lippmann and Dave Eggers! (I was bummed that the Baltimore Book Festival was the same day, though – I would’ve loved to see Matt Norman, Erin Morgenstern, and Libba Bray.)

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