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.
Here are two documentary films that I’m excited about and I am guessing, if you’re reading this blog, you’ll probably be interested too.
The first film is called The Bookmakersand runs about an hour. It features all kinds of folks that are working to keep books viable in this day and age. There are interviews with type setters and old world book artists as well as digital librarians and font folks. The trailer hooks me early! I hear that The Bookmakers documentary has been delayed due to all of the “stay home” stuff going on these days. I’m excited for this one to be out – eventually. Here’s the trailer:
A co-worker mentionedThe Booksellers documentary to me the other day and I just love the visuals in the trailer. It was released back on April 17th via special streaming screenings online. Which is all very cool and handy these days. You can scroll through the film’s twitter feed and find a place to watch it. It looks like it’s running about $10 to stream it. This film has to be good. There are some pretty big names from both the bookstore and book trade worlds in The Booksellers. I’m hoping to find some time this weekend to watch.
It doesn’t hurt to mix in a little screen time with reading, does it? I hope you all are tucked away, feeling well and have plenty of books surrounding you. And I hope you get a chance to see these two films too!
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.
They are going to feature one fiction author, on the first Sunday of each month, all year long. These segments will be conducted as all In Depth shows are, allowing viewers to watch live and call or send in questions via social media.
They haven’t shared the whole line up for the year, but there are some big fiction authors slated to be on the show:
January 7th: David Ignatius
February 4th: Colson Whitehead
March 4th: Jeff Shaara
April 1st: Walter Mosley
May 6th: TBD
June 3rd: Gish Jen
July 1st: Brad Thor
August 5th: Cory Doctorow
September 2nd: TBD
October 7th: Geraldine Brooks
November 4th: TBD
December 2nd: Brad Meltzer
What a great lineup! Those are some smart folks who are writing about big and small topics all over the place. BookTV has chatted with fiction authors before during their coverage of literary festivals or industry events like Book Expo of America. In fact they’re airing a conversation with George Saunders about his book Lincoln in the Bardo, which is a segment I plan on watching.