Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Highlights of Decatur Book Festival 2014

We had a wonderful time at the Decatur Book Festival! This was our third visit and each year we consistently discover interesting authors, book finds, and friendly volunteers. Although we'd love to go every year, sometimes school work demands attention over Labor Day, and let's face it, Atlanta traffic is stressful enough day to day without Dragon*Con and several sporting events happening all at once. This year was a last minute decision. With recent foot issues, I wasn't sure how well I'd hold up with a lot of walking. However, after checking the awesome DBF website, it was clear that the majority of the panels we wanted to see would be held inside the Marriott hotel.

In years past, we've had a lot of fun at DBF. Although I'm usually too impatient and broke to re-buy books I already own to get autographs (publisher policies...), we've seen awesome people like Meg Cabot, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl. Hearing their insight and sense of humor is worth the trip.

This year I was happy to see Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith, whose work I own, as well as, Adi Alsaid and Isabel Gillies who I was not familiar with at the time. It was a very upbeat and chatty panel. Even though the weather was significantly cooler this year, I gotta recommend that DBF consider air conditioned tents! So, so thankful for Emory University's free Carlos Museum fans.

Farm Fresh Georgia was a pleasant surprise. I added it to our list "only-if-we-had-time," but I'm so glad that we did. Growing up on a farm and now adjusting to apartment living, Oshie and I enjoy visiting farms in North Georgia to buy apples, pumpkins, honey, and Christmas gifts. Having bought and read the book since last weekend, I've discovered several interesting road trip stops for future reference.

My favorite panel and the one I was most excited about was "How to Be Graphic" with Liz Prince and Eleanor Davis. Although I wasn't familiar with either author, as a fan of graphic novels and manga in general, I had to check with out. Hands down, I couldn't miss it. As I sometimes dabble in drawing funny little inside jokes with my husband, it was so inspiring to hear the stories of two unique and extremely talented female author artists. Eleanor Davis referred to Virginia Woolf often, which has inspired me to add Woolf's work to my to-read list. Even though I never know what to say to authors in person, in the moment, both Liz and Eleanor had a great impact on me, and I will be following their careers in the future.

All in all, a great way to start our Labor Day weekend. I regret that I didn't get to see Ellen Hopkins, and other great panels that took place on Sunday...but maybe I'll have another opportunity someday. In the meantime, I'll check out their work and keep reading!

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