The Texas Book Festival descends on the Capital City this weekend. The Texas-sized celebration of books was first brought to life in large part by former First Lady Laura Bush.
Clay Smith, editor-in-chief of Austin-based Kirkus reviews and former literary director of the festival, is here to help us sort through the hundreds of author appearances, panels, and events.
He says other than the star power attending the festival – those like Don DeLillo, Ethan Hawk, Nick Offerman, Padma Lakshmi, and Diane Guerrero are just a few of the big names – but Smith has a few don’t-miss picks.
Fiction: “When the Political is Personal” featuring authors Carlos Fonseca Suárez, Ha Jin and Christopher Kelly.
“This year has made politics personal for just about all of us. … And novelists are very good at providing a bigger context and maybe sort of allaying all of our anxiety about this election.”
Non-fiction: “Seven Skeletons” with author Lydia Pyne.
“It seems like a narrow book that would only be for people who were interested in anthropology or some other scientific field, but it really tackles big questions about how we see our past and how we look at ourselves.”
Lit Crawl Event: “Band Books: Libraries Rock” with all-librarian band Echo and the Bats, Yuyi Morales and R.L. Stine.
“It’s a band of all youth librarians from here in Austin. … It’s an event for kids, but it’s also an event that parents would have a lot of fun at.”