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and life along the winding road

Monday, October 18, 2010

Austin Book Festival - Day 1

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.


The Shanty Girl said...

I bet you had a wonderful time. The event must have been very inspiring for a writer! Austin is such a beautiful town. I would love to meet one day!

Joanne said...

great time. This event was spectacular. Glad we could go and I'm ready for next year. Very cool. So, no tattoo on 6th street. But FREE BOOKS. Wow - sunshine and books - life is wonderful.

Helen Ginger said...

Did you stay for both days? I kept seeing the segway riders going by the Austin Museum of Art all day. I'd probably fall on my face if I rode one of those. Thank you for stopping by AMOA. It was great to see you in person. I wish we could have talked longer. Sorry I seemed so discombobulated. None of my volunteers showed up to help me set up chairs and tables, etc., so it was a crazy morning. But the AMOA speakers were great. Hope you had fun and will come to next year's!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

this looks like fun!! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)