If you're a booklover, there are few things that are more exciting than seeing a favorite author live and in person. If you live in or near Arkansas (my beloved home state), there are a ton of great author events coming to downtown Little Rock this very weekend—it's the Arkansas Literary Festival!
Sadly, I'm not attending the Festival this year, although I've been many times in the past and it's always well-organized, interesting and a ton of fun. (View the complete schedule here.)
A few highlights include:
Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., Daniel Black, Alice Randall and R.M. Johnson will participate in a Forum on African-American Fiction. Randall will speak the next morning at 10 a.m. about her novel, Rebel Yell. At the same time, R.M. Johnson will talk about Why Men Fear Marriage.
Marcus Sakey is a regular in Bruce Tierney's Whodunit column. On Saturday at 10 a.m., Sakey will talk about his thriller The Amateurs. Then at 1 p.m., he'll lead a session called "Secrets to Getting Published." He'll take you through the steps of completing a manuscript, drafting a query letter and more.
Malcolm Jones, Newsweek critic and author of Little Boy Blues, will talk about his memoir at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday, YA author Margaret McMullan will read from her latest book, Sources of Light, a story of a teen girl grappling with the racial divide in 1960s Mississippi.
Steve Yarbrough will talk about Safe from the Neighbors at 11:30 on Saturday. At 1 p.m., he'll sit on a panel with Adam Schwartzman and Qaisra Shahraz to talk about "the challenges and rewards of living and writing abroad."
While you're in town, make sure you stop by one of my favorite libraries in the world—the beautiful main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System (and pick up the April print edition of BookPage while you're there!).
Tell us in the comments: What's your favorite book festival? Are there great literary events in your hometown? In Nashville, we have the Southern Festival of Books, from which Trisha and I posted dispatches back in October.
Our top 50 books of 2009 list has been one of the most popular features on BookPage.com. With that in mind, we decided to compile a "Top 20 Books of 2010—so far" list, based on the most-viewed new reviews on BookPage.com, from January 1 until March 31.
In our recent reader survey, BookPage readers asserted their love for fiction, especially mysteries and thrillers. So I was surprised to see that several non-fiction titles, such as This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson and Crazy Like Us by Ethan Watters, have been incredibly popular this year.
View the complete list below and tell us: How many have you read? Come December, will any of these books make the year's "best of" list?
Happy Black Friday! If you’re like me you’re probably… still in bed on this lovely morning the day after Thanksgiving. If you’re like millions of other Americans, though, you’ve been out in the trenches for hours, shopping for a great deal. (Bonus points if you’re reading this very post on your cell phone, in line to check out at a store.)
In honor of the official start day of the holiday shopping season, we want to know: Will you be buying an e-reader this year? Which one? A Nook? Kindle? Sony Reader?
According to a report from iReaderReview.com, e-book sales have risen in a big way. Random House sold $22.6 million worth of e-books in September 2009 – up from $2.9 million a year ago. The website also reported that by the end of 2010, e-book sales should represent 10-20% of total book sales.
And if you're not interested in e-readers, you're you alone. Just listen to bookseller Patty Donovan from The Book Nook, who told us:
Before e-books, book ownership was a thing to be prized, a goal to be lauded and a visible symbol of success and intelligence. E-books have tarnished that gilded image, turning people who used to look for integrity in the printed word into those who think that Wikipedia is a far more accurate and dignified source than anything in print.