Saturday, October 12, 2013

25th Annual Festival of Books

In June 1815, two adversaries Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were having a conversation.  Thomas Jefferson says to John Adams:  "I cannot live without books."  Oh Thomas you are a man after my heart, I so get this statement and feeling.  Thomas Jefferson is one of those people I have always wanted to interview.  My first question:  "What are your reading?"  

Just down the hill, from the Tennessee State Capital Building is an area known as Legislative Plaza.  Each October there is a wonderful festival known as the Southern Festival of Books.

The War Memorial Building also over looks Legislative Plaza.  Book Worms, Reading Nerds, and Authors come together to enjoy, discuss and celebrate the written word.

Book vendors set up their tents all along the plaza.  

"What are you reading?  Have you read his latest book?

For three wonderful days, authors talk about their books, their writing process and answer questions.

More than 100 authors were invited to speak.  Logistically it is impossible to listen to all of them and the most difficult decision is choosing authors.  There is Jon Meacham talking about Thomas Jefferson and the Art of Power.  A must on my list.  Robert Hicks and The Widow of the South--can't miss this either.  The Girls of Atomic City:  The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, the setting of the book is my home town!  

Congressman John Lewis spoke about March Book One, Nathalie Dupree taught me how to Master the Art of Southern Cooking and Ayana Mathis held me spellbound as she read to me from The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.

Children's books, cookbooks, independent publishers, Elder's Used Books, and food trucks to help fight off hunger.

Tomorrow I shall listen to Governor Haslam and Jon Meacham talk Presidential History.  Then Bill Bryson will reminisce about his hiking the Appalachian Trail.

One of my favorite authors, Jonathan Trooper (This is Where I Leave You) had to cancel.  (Hollywood called, the book will become a movie!  I forgive you for canceling.)

On Monday, Legislative Plaza will be empty:  no tents, no food trucks, no authors, no books  The BookWorms and Reading Nerds have begun reading their stacks of purchased books and the countdown to Southern Festival of Books 2014 has begun.


  1. I would love to attend a festival like that. Wow!

  2. How exciting that you were able to attend this! I have been reading about it for awhile, but wasn't able to even think about being in town for it.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time. I have never heard of anything like this. May have to see if there is one in my area...

  4. That looks like a great event! I would not be at all happy without books!