The Sunday Salon – The National Book Festival

The National Book Festival was this weekend in Washington, DC and I braved the still 90 degree weather to see two authors — Diana Gabaldon who wrote The Outlander series and Elizabeth Kostova who wrote The Historian and The Swan Thieves.  Gabaldon was very funny especially when she started describing how and why she decided on a Scotsman for the male character.  She drew a huge crowd, and as always, a lot of questions about her next book since she left everyone hanging in An Echo in the Bone.  Two years at least.  Yep, another two years or so before I find out what happened.  She does have a graphic novel coming out that does feature Outlander characters so I guess that will have to do for the moment.  Kostova was good as well and spoke about her writing process which I found interesting.  For whatever reason, I’m always fascinated to hear about authors’ writing processes; when they write, how they put the story together, and where they find inspiration.  This week I’ve been reading The Historian for the read along and hearing Kostova speak about the book provided a lot of insight on why and how she ended up writing about Dracula.  I’m surprised to see how much I’m enjoying it the second time around too.  I always worry that when I pick up a book to re-read that I’m not going to enjoy it as much as I did the first time and that my experience and memories will be ruined somehow.  That doesn’t seem to be happening with this book.

Because of the heat, I ended up spending time in the National Gallery looking at Edvard Munch prints instead of listening to more authors and by 2PM I decided that I had lost enough fluid thanks to the heat and left so not much else to report.  C-SPAN’s Book TV will have coverage up soon if you’re interested in seeing any of the authors at this year’s festival.  I’ll probably end up watching a few that I missed this way.  If you want to see the list of authors, the Library of Congress which sponsors the festival has a complete list.

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire was my other re-read this week.  I hate to admit this but I remember more from the movies than I do the books, but thanks to cable, I have seen the movies more than I have read the books so it does make sense.  It’s nice to be surprised by a book on a re-read though.  While I knew the ending, there were details I had forgotten which make the story much different to read than to watch.

I started The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin this weekend.  He’s an Australian author and this is his first book.  It’s dark, disturbing, and sad and I have decided that I will probably be finishing this one while the sun is shining today.  Come to think of it, it would have been perfect for the Readers Imbibing Peril Challenge which I meant to enter and then didn’t.  Maybe next year.

I was planning to include a few pics from the book festival but I can’t figure out how to get them off my phone and hubby is working.  Since I want to be able to spend some time with him today, away from the computer and the blackberry, I’m not going to ask him how to figure it out.  Besides, they aren’t all that good so you’re not really missing anything.  The woman in front of me kept moving and her head appears in every single one of my photos.  Oh well.

That’s it for me this week.  Happy Sunday!

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6 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon – The National Book Festival

  1. I had forgotten that the festival was going to be on c-span this weekend. I’ll have to see if they re-run some of it next weekend. I love the Outlander books and would have been so excited to see Diana Gabaldon. I understand about the heat though – I was there this summer and spent a lot of time in the galleries to avoid overheating.

    We listen to a lot of Harry Potter audio books in the car – my oldest son and I are completely addicted to them, and are on our second run through them now.

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