Of Book Festivals & Recommended Reading

posted in: books, reading, writers | 0

It’s Labor Day weekend already!

Here in Atlanta, that means the AJC Decatur Book Festival is celebrating its NINTH YEAR, with authors, booksellers, aspiring writers, and a plethora of bibliophiles (as well as DBF 2012readers-in-training). Decatur was crawling with book-nerd people like me, laden with stacks of books, backpacks of books, totes full of books, and noses in books. (One really must expect to be bumped a number of times, as a brand-new book invites perusal – even while walking!)

I have attended the Festival every year, and am thrilled that it is now the Largest Independent Book Festival in the United States. Three years ago I attended as an author, and enjoyed the opportunity to read an excerpt from my first book in front of an audience… under a tent… in ninety-degree weather.

For the past two years, I have volunteered to work a venue where other authors read, speak, answer questions, and sign their books as they greet their fans. I enjoy this because it gives me the opportunity to hear authors speak who were not previously on my reading radar. I love to hear their stories – and about how they came to write them!

For people who like books, events like the Decatur Book Festival are but one way to learn about the next great read. I attend author events at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, read the selections for my book club, and enjoy recommendations from fellow writers and readers.

Perhaps you are looking for your next favorite. Here are a few of mine that you might want to try:

  • Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, and all of its sequels. (The most recent, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, was particularly enjoyable).
  • The Valley of Amazementby Amy Tan (one of my most-favorite authors, whom I had the thrill of meeting in Decatur last December).
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King (I highly recommend this one to anyone with even a smidgen of interest in writing).
  • The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin (for those interested in finding more happiness in our lives).
  • E-Squared. by Pam Grout (eye-opening experiments that change the way you look at everyday life).

Of course, I have a stack on my night stand that’s about thirty books deep, and another in a basket on the dresser that contains another twenty or so books, and a list in my purse of books I will purchase (from my local indie bookstore, of course!), when my budget allows.

(And if you want to read a really fun fantasy-fiction series, check out The Lightbearers Books… written by Beth Hermes! Yes… shameless plug, readers tell me they love reading them as much as I love writing them – so I hope you’ll agree!).

Labor Day marks the official End Of Summer – but that doesn’t mean we can’t slip a few more “beach reads” into our lives!



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