Bookish Ramblings: Fall Book Festivals 2022

Photo by Irina Zhur on Pexels.com

Bookmarks NC Festival of Books & Authors bannerGood day, book people. I missed this year’s regional book festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina because I was sick and I’m still feeling some kinda way about that, let me tell you. The Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors took place on September 24, 2022. My plans were to hear the following authors speak and/or obtain signed copies of their books: Samira Amed, Sandra Cisneros, P. Djèlí Clark, Tracy Deonn, Jamie Ford, Megan Giddings, Oscar Hokeah, Tiffany D. Jackson, Tracey Livesay, Kwame Mbalia, Sarah McCoy, Brendan Slocumb, Tia Williams, and Rita Woods. If you haven’t attended this festival and live close by, I strongly encourage you to visit Bookmarks and put the 2023 festival on your calendar. (Psst, it is possible to purchase copies of books from this year’s festival via the Bookmarks Bookstore, just sayin’.) ♦

West Virginia Book Festival banner, October 21 & 22, Charleston Coliseum & Convention CenterLater this month I’ll be attending a local book festival, the West Virginia Book Festival. This year’s festival will be in-person, YAY! The author lineup includes C.J. Box, Marc Brown, Elin Hilderbrand, Victoria V.E. Schwab, and West Virginia authors Charlie Ryan & Mitch Evans, and more. The WV Book Festival will be taking place on October 21st and 22nd at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center (aka the Charleston Civic Center). ♦

Kentucky Book Festival BannerI’m still trying to figure out how to fit this event into my schedule due to commitments for a virtual book festival occurring at the same time. The 41st annual Kentucky Book Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 29th at one of my favorite indie bookstores, Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky. The following authors are scheduled for this year’s event: Wendell Berry in conversation with Crystal Wilkinson (hey, I’d go for this event alone!), Barbara Kingsolver in conversation with Jan Isenhour (ticketed event, requires advance registration), David Bell, Silas House, Geraldine Brooks, Frank X. Walker, Tom Clavin, and many, many more. A book festival taking place IN a bookstore is probably the closest I’m ever going to get to a “dream environment.” And I haven’t even mentioned all of the wonderful menu items at the Bronte Bistro! ♦

AuthorFest graphic for John Irving and Jason Reynolds, virtual event via Simon & Schuster on October 13 at 7:00 PM ET

Black Readers Con is partnering with Simon & Schuster to host an upcoming event: AuthorFest Fall 2022 with John Irving & Jason Reynolds, on October 13, 2022 at 7:00 PM ET. Both legendary authors are famous for crafting thought-provoking stories about the expression of self-identity through explorations of race, class, and sexuality. The conversation will be moderated by Simon & Schuster’s CEO, Jonathan Karp. This event is free but advance registration is required. Register for this event here. ♦

Black Readers Con BannerThe second annual Black Readers Con will be taking place virtually on October 29-30. There are over 50 speakers/panelists lined up to appear including J.L. Seegars, Robert Jones Jr., Kwame Mbalia, Darby Baham, Alechia Dow, Shaunna J. Edwards, Laila Sabreen, Taj McCoy, Catherine Adel West, Chencia C. Higgins, Vincent Tirado, Kosoko Jackson, Vanessa Riley, Sadeqa Johnson, and more. The purpose of this event is “to enhance and amplify the voices of Black Readers and the Book Clubs they love.” This is a ticketed event, so please register early and purchase your tickets. Thank you to the sponsors: Mocha Girls Read, Black Men Read, Diverse Reading Book Club, and Rae Legacy Publishing, and all of the bloggers, podcasters, bookstagrammers, booktubers, and others that have worked ceaselessly to help organize and promote this event. ♦

Books By the Banks Cincinnati Regional Book Festival graphic

I’m excited that the Books by the Banks – Cincinnati Regional Book Festival is returning this year on Saturday, November 19th at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This festival hasn’t posted a schedule of events yet, but I’m still looking forward to attending. It is well worth the 8-hour round-trip drive. ♦

Will you be attending any bookish events over the next few months? Let us know, who knows your bookish event just might become an event I attend in 2023.


Happy Reading y’all!

Bookish Ramblings – Fall 2015

      I consider myself very fortunate to have good friends and family to support me throughout the year with my host of medical problems (chronic migraine headaches, fast-developing cataracts, and more). I treasure these people and thank them for all manner of things, especially for facilitating my continued attendance at various book festivals. Before having cataract surgery, it was close to impossible for me to drive great distances due to obvious vision issues. Add to that the fact that I have a migraine headache each and every day (yes, I do mean every day!), it becomes problematic to drive great distances simply because I have no way of knowing if the migraine headache will ratchet up from moderate to severe and thus interfere with my ability to safely travel home. As a result, I’m usually in need of a travel companion whenever I’m attempting to go more than an hour away from home.



Festival #1: 
      This year, one of my friends from a local book group, Shelley, was gracious enough to travel with me to a regional book festival in August, the Lewisburg Literary Festival. (Also met up with another book group friend, Veronica, and her husband.) I’m the type of person that’s willing to drive up to four hours just to meet one of my favorite authors, so the day-trip to Lewisburg was nothing more than a scenic drive to me. Of course, getting to hear both Wiley Cash and Kathryn Stockett, as well as getting books signed by both authors was the highpoint of the day. Spending the day with two of my bookish friends, Shelley and Veronica were additional bonuses. An extra bonus was not having that day’s migraine interfere with driving to and from Lewisburg or being able to enjoy the presentations by Mr. Cash and Ms. Stockett. BTW, if you ever get the opportunity to hear either of these authors speak, go!

Festival #2:

     I’ve spent the past few years raving about the BookMarks festival in Winston-Salem, NC to friends and family. I’ve had the pleasure of taking my nieces to this festival and they’ve enjoyed it as well. This year, one of my bookish friends from North Carolina (a fantastic romance author and former local librarian) decided to attend the festival and we talked another local librarian into attending. My youngest brother, twin diva 8-year-old nieces, and I drove down to spend the weekend in Winston-Salem and attend this year’s festival. The author lineup was amazing: Garth Stein, R.L. Stine, Sandra Brown, Diane Ackerman, Pat Conroy, Cassandra King, Ron Rash, Candace Bushnell, Damon Tweedy, Elizabeth Berg, Patricia Park, Kwame Alexander, Aisha Saeed, and many more. For me, the hardest decisions were which presentation to attend (I wanted to hear everyone) and which books to buy (I wanted them all). My nieces were excited to get books and have them signed by the authors. One of the twins deliberated for close to 10 minutes over what should be signed in her book (told you they were divas). This one-day festival is well worth the trip in my not-so-humble-opinion. Of course, since I didn’t have to drive, I spent the trip down and back reading.

Festival #3:

     The West Virginia Book Festival returns this year, YAY! Due to budget cuts and funding issues, this festival has been on hiatus for the past two years. However, the WV Book Festival returns this weekend with a bang. Friday evening features Neil Gaiman. Yes, Neil Gaiman will be at the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston, WV on Friday, October 23rd at 7:00 PM at the Charleston Civic Center. Saturday, October 24th will feature Homer Hickam, Jacqueline Woodson, Jeff Shaara, and Jodi Picoult. To say that I’m excited about this festival is a major understatement. This year’s book festival is part of FestivALL Fall, so there are plenty of events happening around town for everyone. I’ll be with the books and book people!


Do you attend any local or regional book festivals? 

Bookish Ramblings

I’m sorry to say I missed both the Books by the Banks festival in Cincinnati, Ohio AND the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston WV last weekend. Yes it was another series of migraine headaches, and yes I’m pretty bummed about missing both events. I’m especially disappointed in missing the West Virginia Book Festival after reading the following blog entry about Lee Child and his Jack Reacher novels: 
Thanks to Ms. Maguire I’ll be adding the Jack Reacher series to my mountainous TBR list. (BTW, Ms. Maguire is one of the leaders of the CTC Mall Book Group with Ms. Blessing. Both are employees of the Kanawha County Public Library and have done a wonderful job at the last two book club meetings.) Have you read any Jack Reacher novels? If so, what are your thoughts?


Today was the second meeting of the Charleston Town Center (CTC) Mall Book Group. This group meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 11:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. in the Community Room at Panera in the mall. We just discussed Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (an excellent book; if you haven’t read it then get it, read it or at least add it to your TBR list). Although the book deals with some harrowing and distressing historical events, it is done so in a respectful manner that ends with a sense of hopefulness despite our history of cruelty and intolerance toward one another. Of course I’ve had to also add all of Ms. de Rosnay’s books (or at least those books available in English) to my TBR list . . . I think the online list is over 300 books long. I’m sad to say that not all of Ms. de Rosnay’s books are available in English. (I knew I should have worked harder at studying French in high school and college all those years ago.)


Next month’s CTC Mall Book Group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 23rd. The book we’ll be discussing is A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House. If you’re interested and work in or near Charleston WV, please join us.

Since the migraine headaches appear to have eased a bit (diminished but not gone), I’ve got to get back to reading.