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!

Regional Book Fests Coming Soon

For book lovers that reside in the West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio tri-state areas the next two weekends will provide two great book festivals. The first is the West Virginia Book Festival. This two-day event is scheduled for October 13th & 14th at the Charleston Civic Center, in Charleston, West Virginia. 




This year’s West Virginia Book Festival will once again provide a variety of authors, including Charlaine Harris, Craig Johnson, Tamora Pierce, Marilyn Sue Shank, Tamera Alexander, Lynn Austen, Julia Klassen, and more. The West Virginia Book Festival will be held Oct. 13 and 14. The event is presented annually by Kanawha County Public Library, the West Virginia Humanities Council, The Library Foundation of Kanawha County, The Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail. The festival offers something for all age groups. A variety of authors will attend, participating in book signings, readings, workshops and panel discussions. Activities for children include special programs and a section of the Marketplace filled with children’s activities. Admission to the festival is free. 




The second festival is the Books by the Banks festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. This one-day event is scheduled for Saturday, October 20th. Some of the authors featured this year include: David Bell, Duffy Brown, Gillian Flynn, Katherine Howe, Nancy Jensen, Karen Robards, and a host of children’s, teen, and non-fiction authors. For information on author panels, please click HERE. Admission is free. There will be books available for purchase and special programs for children.

I know how I’ll be spending the next two weekends. What are your plans?

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.



Weekend Ramblings 6

This week has been marred by another series of severe migraine headaches. The biggest inconvenience to having a migraine is not being able to read. (Okay, one of the biggest inconveniences next to an increased sensitivity to light, noise, scent and sound and extreme nausea.) Fortunately, I was able to get in some reading over the course of the week. Reviews will be posting soon for Defensive Wounds by Lisa Black, The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman, and Lucidity by C. J. Lyons. 

This is the weekend I’ve been waiting for…book festival weekend. As many of you may recall I had a dilemma choosing which festival to attend: Books By The Banks in Cincinnati Ohio for the day or the West Virginia Book Festival here in Charleston WV for the weekend. Sadly this decision has become moot as a severe migraine currently has me grounded (nothing quite like typing in the dark). At the moment there is no way I can handle a 7-hour round-trip drive to Ohio nor I can tolerate the lights and noise at the local book festival here in Charleston. I remain hopeful that I’ll have the current migraine knocked into submission and downgraded from severe to moderate or mild within the next 2-4 hours. If this happens, then I’ll be off to the WV Book Festival for the remainder of the day.

If you’re in the southern Ohio area, stop by the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati for the Books by the Banks Book Festival. This festival will be playing host to a number of authors, including Dennis Lehane, Chris Bohjalian, J. T. Ellison and Judy Clemens. Presenters include Martha Southgate – A Taste of Salt and Paula McLain – The Paris Wife.



For those of you in West Virginia, head down to the Charleston Civic Center for the two day West Virginia Book Festival. This year’s WV Book Festival will feature: Lee Child, Jerry West, Jaimy Gordon and Dave Pelzer; and don’t forget the library’s used book sale and marketplace. I hope that when I get back up this migraine will be bearable and if so, I’m off to the WV Book Festival. Hope to see you there!