It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Forget those overblown winter holidays. If you're any kind of book lover, fall is the season that we dream about, thanks to new books, fab festivals, and lots of prizes and awards.
This Saturday, I'll be heading to one of my favorite book festivals, BookMarks, held in nearby Winston-Salem. Last year, I had a blast meeting authors like Michael Malone and Gillian Flynn. Gillian even signed my book with an nod to our weird names and the constant mispronunciations we both endure (hers is pronounced like Gilligan, not like Jillian).
This year's line-up is just as promising, and includes Jill McCorkle, Debbie Macomber, Carl Weber, Ann B. Ross, and Craig Johnson. I will also be volunteering at a table for the Bienenstock Furniture Library, the largest furniture specialty library in the world. That library is based in High Point, NC, and has over 5,000 furniture and design books in its collection. I've had a sneak peek at what they will sell at the festival, and let me just say that I already know I'll be dropping some serious dollars at that table.
It isn't just the one-day festival that I love, though. BookMarks hosts Lit/Flix, a showcase of movies made from novels, and Eat & Greet events that showcase why food and books make such a delicious combination. If you're going to be in the area this weekend, be sure you head to their website to see what's coming up (
In just a few days, the Man Booker Prize will announce its short list of finalists. I've been plowing through the long list, and I'm not sure I'll make it through all of them before the short list comes out on Sept. 10, but I do have some favorites already. We Need New Names had better be on that short list.
On Sept. 12, the National Book Award announces its long list - which means it's time to add to my ever-growing list of books I must read immediately. The new long lists for the NBA will include 10 titles now, in the same four categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. That is 40 books, in case you don't want to do the math. While I appreciate that the National Book Award execs believe this will allow them to recognize more fantastic books, I'm not sure they realize what they are doing to me.
Look for a post from me about Bookmarks next Monday, and the short list from Man Booker Prize on Tuesday, and the National Book Award long lists on Thursday. And then don't look for me anywhere else; I'll be cocooned in my house with thousands of books.

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