Last weekend was the 15th Annual Texas Book Festival (held in Austin). The festival, founded in 1995 by former first lady Laura Bush, surrounded the Capital building with many of the authors conducting sessions inside the Capital. Over 220 authors attended the festival and the weather was perfect. The sun shone, accompanied by a slight breeze. We started off at the First United Methodist Church where P.J. O'Rourke entertained us with his views on politics - read his blog here. After wandering through the tents of book sellers we followed the path toward the Capital building, and with many bewildered book fans clutching the schedule and looking much like cruise passengers on their first day at sea, followed the sporadic signs toward the Capital Extension. The next session we attended was 110 in the Shade - Writing about the Southwest. This was a panel of authors, Carrie Fountain, Martha Egen, Tom Miller and Bryan Woolley who spoke of their experiences in the Southwest. Martha Egan entertained us with a reading from her delightful book La Ranfla and Other New Mexican Stories and Tom Miller shared with us a tale from Revenge of the Saguaro. After lunch at the Capital Grill, we walked outside for a glimpse of the sunshine in the Open Air Rotunda and were entertained with a Tango demonstration. Above us were what might have been a Santa Clause convention riding Segway Scooters - I wish I'd snapped a few pictures of the strange sight. The afternoon session began with Vintage-Anchor Books and interviews with J. Courtney Smith and Abraham Verghese (they also gave away tote bags with free books). Take a look at their web site for reading guides (great for book clubs) at their Reading Group Center.