Summer is here and nothing can stop the book people! At least that’s how I am choosing to see this period of “safe at home” while all of the annual in-person book festivals and events go online.
And I have to admit that I am kind of enjoying the chance to lurk and click and enjoy some spaces and places that I don’t normally go to. This coming week is a BIG one for book festivals. Here is a quick rundown:
This one runs May 26-29 and features more education and librarian support than I remember. Which I take to be a good thing as sometimes the marketing and fluff of BookExpo can be tough to push through and get to the meaty parts.
It looks like all of the author talks and panel discussions will be held on their Facebook page. So keep an eye on that. Here’s the rundown for Day One of the book festival:
Hay Festival 2020
The Hay Festival, runs May 22-31, and remains one of the best book festivals in the world. This year’s main program has a wonderful outlook and the quality of presentations are amazing. The event is held every year in Hay on Wye in Wales. Hay one Wye is a small town put is brimming with around 25 bookstores, which are packed during the event. I have never been, but I follow it every year and this year seems to be a great year to armchair-travel to Wales for the event as the Hay Festival has a great line up of folks. I’m most interested in the authors speaking under the Philosophy banner and I really enjoyed what Tori Amos had to say. It’s free, but you do have to register, as you can watch things that you have missed.
TorCon is new to book festival circuit. It will run June 11-14 and will feature 8 panels, 20+ authors across Facebook, instagram, etc. They have some pretty recognizable names: Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, V.E. Schwab, and so on. Here’s the schedule so far. If science fiction is your jam, I’d recommend signing up so you can get a final copy of the schedule sent to you.
Hope you’re doing well and are safe and surrounded by some good books.
The video series discusses, “…how popular science fiction shows have tackled profound issues such as autonomy, sentience, pacifism, colonialism, racism, grief, morality, and much more.”
Which sounds pretty dang cool and everything that good speculative fiction works with. It has all the makings of a fun and informative online conversation. This new Sci-Phi Fridays series by the Avondale Library branch is based on The Great Courses materials.
The Great Courses has lots of videos and classes diving deep into topics like publishing, writing, genres, etc. It’s worth scanning their catalog to see if there is anything you’d enjoy. The post a lot of content on their YouTube channel. Most of it is medical and viral-related these days and some 5-minute teasers. But they have longer 30-minute videos (like this science vs. science fiction one on Doctor Who and Time Travel Paradoxes) as well as sharing the first video in a series they sell.
You can get more information in the BPL Online post and do know that registration is required. It’s free, but I’m sure they have to be able to send out all of the zoom invites, etc. to facilitate the online video feeds and discussions.
With all that is going on in the world, I hope you are well and reading this post some place safe and able to stay isolated.
This year’s National Book Awards will be broadcast live over Facebook (as well as on their website) on Wednesday, November 15th, starting at 6:20pm CST. But then they’ll roll pre-recorded videos of the finalists reading, during the dinner portion of the gala, and then pick up the live broadcast when they’re done eating to begin handing out the actual awards.
Last year’s awards were fun to watch, with Colson Whitehead winning the 2016 fiction prize for The Underground Railroad, and this year’s evening looks to be brimming with more bookish greatness.
Hopefully it’ll work. It’d be fun if people outside of the industry started tuning in and looking forward to these awards.
There are four awards being handed out, one for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young adult literature. I’m anxious to see this year’s winners as out of all 20 books nominated – I have only read Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing. And if one of the other fiction finalists is deemed better than that one (which was a great read, though I appreciated her Men We Reaped more.) I certainly want to read it!
Hope you get to tune in next Wednesday night, starting at 6:20pm CST, for the 68th year of the National Book Awards. Here is the slate of finalists for this year’s awards:
The gift giving season is just about here and I’m ready for all of the book signings and author events to kick into high gear. If you’re in the Birmingham, AL vicinity here are three upcoming book related events that may interest you.
Tuesday, November 7th, starting at 6 pm
Authors Hank Early (Heaven’s Crooked Finger) & Carrie Smith (Unholy City) will be signing their books at the Little Professor Book Center in Homewood.