Friday, October 21, 2011

Boston Book Fest 2011

I know it's almost a week since this happened, but I've actually been really busy...anyway, this past Saturday (10/15) was the third annual Boston Book Fest, held in Copley Square. Thousands of people showed up, authors, readers, publishers, etc, and discussed books all day long. It was awesome.

My mother came down from Maine to join my sister Emily and me on the T ride to Copley to join in the festivities. We met my good friend Ezzy and began the morning by checking out the booths outside the Boston Public Library, then headed inside for our first session, "Steampunk"! I'm not really very knowledgeable about this genre, but the blurb in the program sounded interesting, so we grabbed 4 seats in the second row and got ready for some learnin'! The best quote from that panel of authors was that steampunk is "the future that never happened". I think that's the perfect way of describing it.

and so it begins...
We went from there to "Fiction: Time Is..." which had Jennifer Egan, author of "A Visit From the Goon Squad", which was the book we read for our book club in September (which I never posted about because I didn't want to give away my thoughts before our meeting...and then the meeting never happened. Short & sweet, I wasn't a fan. But I thought maybe it'd be interesting to hear her speak). She shed some light on her story, which helped a little, but still not my style. I honestly thought the other two authors, Peter Mountford and Lawrence Douglas, helped the session to be more entertaining.

After a quick lunch at Wendy's (we wanted something better, such as the bagel place down the street, but because of all the people it was too crowded), we ran back to the Library to make it to "Truth or Consequences"...but we were still too slow because we got stuck in the overflow room. Which was fine, except the camera was focused on the large BBF sign instead of the actual people who were speaking. And the moderator wasn't very good at tailoring her questions to cover the topic of truth and consequences. Suffice it to say, it wasn't my favorite part of the day. We actually left early, and went to stand in line for "Far Out Fiction" with Gregory Maguire.

the man himself
Gregory Maguire first charmed me with "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister", which I loved. So naturally I read "Wicked", "Son of a Witch", and "Mirror Mirror", all before the musical "Wicked" ever stepped ruby slipper on stage. Apparently, I wasn't the only one looking forward to listening to him. This session was one that you could pay to reserve seats, but for those of us who didn't, we had to stand outside Trinity Church in one of the longest lines I've ever seen. It turned out to be a good thing that we left the previous session before it was over.

This session was fabulous. Along with Gregory, Karen Russell, Chuck Klosterman, and Kate Beaton shared excerpts from their stories (or comics, in the case of Kate) and all four of them were great behind the mike. We spent most of that hour and a half laughing. Highlights from the panel were Gregory's story of taking "Wicked" to Broadway (my theatre self definitely perked up there) and Kate's fun historical comics (and hello, historical self!). We left that church grinning.

kneeler inside church
The Boston Book Fest has become one of the reasons why October is my favorite month. Not only is it my birthday, and the best month to see foliage, and the month of the best holiday ever (Halloween, of course), now I get to spend a whole Saturday with fellow readers and writers listening to great discussions and buying myself new books. What more could anyone want?!

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