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margaret stedman

Such festivals are wonderful aren't they? I always look forward to the Writers and Readers Festival in my city too. However unlike you I don't purchase the books and so have to go on the wait list at the library along with seemingly thousands of others:-(


I've never had the chance to get to one of these Litfests so enjoyed your account very much. Especially envious that you saw Rainbow Rowell as I read Fangirl a few weeks ago and loved it to bits.


Wonderful books. Sounds like a great evening. I second Cath - I'm envious you saw Rainbow Rowell.
I've got Eleanor and Park here as well. I'm looking forward to it. I think music is very important.

Liz F

The events sound really interesting and it's fascinating to listen to authors talking about how they go about writing.
I am going to the Harrogate History Festival next month and really looking forward to it. The first one was last year and proved very successful - so it is back with a brilliant line-up of writers.
I looked into it because I saw Elizabeth Chadwick's name on the poster and was thrilled to find that a lot of my other favourite authors are also taking part including Sarah Dunant, Karen Maitland and Elizabeth Fremantle whose book about Katherine Parr 'Queen's Gambit' has been one of my favourite reads of the year.
I ended up buying tickets to four sessions and would love to be able to attend more but I have an expensive few months coming up what with birthdays for three of my children (including a 21st for my youngest), a daughter-in-law, three of my grandchildren and my husband and that event beginning with a 'C' which I am trying not to think about too hard yet!

Still it is a while since I last did something purely for me so I plan to enjoy the experience!


I totally admire your ability to have patience for the books and not buy them--even as I was taking my pile to the cash box to pay I knew this would mean some serious planning and budgeting for the rest of the month--which I am still not sure how I will manage....It was a splurge on my part--one or two books is fine, but a whole stack.... But then I don't often get opportunities like this so I caved in. I love these author events and they are indeed fun!


I am not sure why I never went before--though maybe it is good for my wallet that I didn't?! It was fun hearing Rainbow speak--she is such an effervescent person and clearly loves what she does and if it comes out in her writing in the same way, and I suspect it will, I am sure I will love her book, too. She is a very approachable person and very articulate and down to earth--she was one of the big draws of the day and her session was packed!


From her talk music runs through the whole book and she really made it a focus of the story. Since it is set locally and I was a teenager at the time the story is set I think it will be a fun read--I am likely to recognize a lot of the references. I really enjoyed going and am glad I juggled my day around so I could go to all the sessions. I can only imagine what going to one of these in a really big city must be like!


I really think it is important to have little treats like these to look forward to! Now I have nothing in the works for the forseeable future, so I need to concentrate on my reading and trying (and this is the trick) to catch up with things! I love the sound of your History Festival---please do let me know how it goes--I would love to go to something like that. I am a great fan of Elizabeth Chadwick as well as Sarah Dunant (though I've not read as many of her historical/Italy novels as I should have by now!). I keep meanig to read Karen Maitland and now must go and check out the Freemantle since it is a favorite of yours. I am lucky as this event was free (though I obviously made up for it by buying books!!). Still, for something like that I would happily buy tickets, too. And, oh, I was just talking to a coworker yesterday about how quickly the holidays are going to be upon us and that I should really be thinking of planning now so I am not overwhelmed by the time they come. Budget, budget, budget.... The highlight of it is having time off from work! :)


I love attending these events vicariously through you, Danielle. I know we have author events in the Tampa Bay area, but the only one I've ever gone to was a Stephen King appearance (and well worth the trip that was). Every year there's a major reading festival in St. Petersburg just across the bay in October and I've never gone. Perhaps this is the year? (Lisa Unger will be there...hmmm). I'm just so lazy about going, even though I know I'll enjoy the experience.


Oops--I also meant to say that it's so cool you collected the books and had the authors sign them, too. Looks like you got some great stuff here. A friend of mine recently read The Aviator's Wife and really liked it.


Have never been to a literary festival, just plain lazy because Savannah has a good one every year and Stephan King was here last year.
I read the Aviator's Wife and enjoyed learning about her, but didn't care for the writing style.
Eleanor and Park is on my TBR list.


What a fantastic event and your library looks lovely! I really want to read The Aviator's Wife, being interested in Anne Morrow Lindbergh (as you know!). And I also have a copy of the Maud Casey which looks fascinating.

Erin O'Brien

Danielle, we're thrilled you came out Saturday! You offered a lovely summary of the main event. How special is it that you walked away with all those signed books? Hopefully, worth the investment. Thanks for supporting local authors and OPL's events.


This is awesome Danielle! I had come across some of these books on Amazon recommendations and on Goodreads but hadn't added them to my TBR due to the mixed reviews. Thanks to your post I have added them to my wish list and also bought the kindle version of Eleanor and Park.


What fun! Some good new books, all signed even! And I love the doodle in the Swan Gondola.


It's only in the last couple of years I have started taking advantage of these events, too. It's hard when you work or have other responsibilities to make time for them--especially when they are not quite local. I think it would be really cool to hear Stephen King speak--I bet he is really interesting to listen to. But they are fun if you get the chance and the inspiration--Lisa Unger would be fun to hear speak, too!


That was such a splurge--I still have not been able to face reconciling my check book, but I think I can't avoid it much longer. I do have a wonderful stack of books--I need to pick one and start reading but it's hard to choose. I though the book on AML looked really interesting, too. So glad you have heard good things about it--I know it is quite popular!


It's hard to make time for these things sometimes--especially when you work or study or have a family to take care of. I have still missed a few fun events--Louise Penny was in town a week or two ago, and I would have loved to hear her read, but I just couldn't manage it. I thought, too, of going to the opening night for the LitFest, but didn't manage that either. Of course when you go then you realize how fun these things are. Too bad The Aviator's Wife wasn't quite as you had hoped--I'm intrigued by the book since it sounds like it goes into some of the more personal things in AML's relationship with Charles. Eleanor and Park looks like great fun and I have heard good things about it, too.


I am so glad I made the effort to go. I tend to be busy with family stuff on Saturdays which is why I think I have never managed it before, but it was so well worth it. It is not often I get to see so many writers like that all at once. The Aviator's Wife looks like a really good vacation read (as in--I might save it for my winter break from work!). Maud Casey's book does sounds interesting and with the psychology angle I thought of you when she was talking about it--serendipity to see it on your blog that you have a copy in hand too! We're on the same reading wavelength!


I wish I could have managed Friday night, too. I wanted to go, but was too tired from work. Am I completely obsessive when it comes to buying books? I couldn't pass them up, though, and being able to have them signed. A serious treat for me. I am sure they will be good--they all sound interesting. OPL has had such a great lineup for author events this year--I look forward already to what's in the works next! :)


It is always hard to know whether a book will be the right one for you. Sometimes I like the sound of a book but then when I read a review I might just note it down and wait. Hearing the authors speak, however, they all sounded so tempting that I couldn't pass them up. They all have story appeal, that's for sure, so I hope they end up being good reads for me (and you, too!).


Isn't that doodle great? It makes it so memorable--now every time I open the book I'll remember how and where I bought it. Hopefully there will be more local events to go to! I know the professor who is teaching my class has a new book coming out this fall and I am pretty sure there will be a local event for it, so I do have that to look forward to.

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