Friday, October 30, 2009

2009 Texas Book Festival

The rains have stopped, the temperature has dropped, and it looks it will be a nice weekend for Austin, Texas. I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for my three-hour drive to the capitol where I'll be enjoying Texas Book Festival XIV. I have all my battery chargers going right now so that I'll be able to record video, audio and still pictures when opportunities to do so present themselves.

I've penciled in the following sessions but I'm staying open to last minute changes of plan:
Saturday -

10:00 - 11:00
Are Books Dead?: The Digital Future of Reading, moderated by Bob Carlton


Richard Russo - a 45-minute presentation

11:30 - 12:30Writing about Writers: Blake Bailey (on Cheever), Tracy Daugherty (on Barthelme), Brad Gooch (on O'Connor) and Brenda Wineapple (on Hawthorne)

1:00 - 1:45
Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America
with Helen Thorpe

2:00 - 2:45
Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil with Peter Maass

3:30 - 4:15Margaret Atwood - 45-minute session

There are several conflicting sessions I would love to get to and that might result in a change of plans tomorrow. For instance, Joe Lansdale has a session at the same time as the one with Margaret Atwood - and Atwood's is a bit of a walk from where I will be for the previous session. It's the last presentation of the day, and I might decide based entirely on how up I am for a long walk in the opposite direction from where I will be parked. I would also like to make the 2:00 discussion between Elizabeth Berg and Amanda Eyre Ward but I'm reading the Peter Maass book right now and would love to challenge him on his extreme bias against the oil industry (any book of this type with book blurbs from Robert Redford and Robert Reich is a clear indicator of its point-of-view). What to do?

Sunday -

11:00 - 11:45
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle with David Wroblewski and Dick Donahue

12:00 - 12:45
Gerald Posner as presented by The Daily Beast and Texas Book Festival

1:30 - 2:30
Scene of the Crime: Two Texas Mystery Writers with Kathryn Casey and Jay Brandon, moderated by Steven Saylor

3:30 - 4:15
Barbara Ehrenreich on her book, "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America," introduced by Sarah Bird


Douglas Brinkley on his new book, "The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America," introduced by Evan Smith

4:00 - 5:00
A few minutes listening to the music of one of my favorite Austin singers, Jimmy Lafave

I made a few changes on the fly last year so this is not necessarily who I will see because I'm hoping to get in as much as possible over the two days. The amount of overlap is distressing because for some hours I want to be at three sessions at once and, for other hours, nothing much appeals to me. Oh, well; I suppose that's a nice problem to have.


  1. I am so jealous! Have a wonderful time!

  2. My friend Jeff from college: "11:30-12:15, with brilliant historical mystery author Steven Saylor interviewing me about 'The Art of the Thrill.'"

  3. It was great, Myza. I'm already looking forward to next year, in fact. I have quite a bit of material to go through and I hope to share some of it here on Book Chase. Stay tuned...

  4. Factotum, I wish I could have made that one...would have said hello for you. I did see Saylor at another session that he moderated - and did more speaking than the two guests he had. :-)