Thursday, October 20, 2016

Twin Cities Book Festival

Twin Cities Book Festival

Saturday, Oct 15th was the annual Twin Cities Book Festival organized by Rain Taxi Review of Books. I went with a plan of action and my main goal was to meet and listen to A.S. King, who happens to be one of my favorite authors. Throughout the day I made a lot of author connections and added a bunch of titles to my TBR pile.

Here is an accounting of my day at the Twin Cities Book Fest.

10 am;  Arrival.  Filled out my contest form, got my schedule of events.

10:15 to 11:  Meet and mingle with Minnesota Authors.  I talked to Krista Tippett, Kelly Barnhill, Allen Eskins, Peter Geye, John Coy, Wing Young Huie and Su Smallen.  It was a busy and crowded space. It was nice to mingle and talk with these awesome Minnesota authors.

11 to 11:30:  Shop for books.  Went and bought books from several of the bookstores.  I bought 7 brand new graphic novels for 3-5 dollars each. A huge deal I couldn't pass up. Then I found 4 brand new children's books from 2-4 dollars each for my godson and nephews.  Then I bought two fiction books for my daughter and I to read. After I did this my bag was heavy so I had to walk a few blocks back to my car and drop them off.

Here is the list of titles.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

Children's Books:
Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins
I Love Hockey board book
Good Dog Carl and the Baby Elephant by Alexandra Day
Old MacDonald had a Truck by Steve Goetz

Graphic novels and Manga:
The Inflatable Woman by Rachel Ball
Red. A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Ghetto Brothers. Warrior to Peacemaker by Julian Voloj
Tonoharu. Part One by Lars Martinson
Time Killers. Short story collection by Kazue Kato
Gangsta by Kohske
Tokyo Ghost. The Atomic Garden by Rick Remender

11:45- 12:15:  Walked back to the festival and ran into my friend Pamela. She said I had to see the Midwestern Panel with Mary Mack, Stephanie Wilbur Ash and Geoff Herbach.  Each author read from their latest work. It was hilarious and the whole audience was laughing.

12:15:  I ran into my friend and fellow book blogger Linda White and her son.  Linda blogs at BookManiaLife.  We visited and then I was off to buy 3 new books and to get through all the displays on floor in an hour. This was super ambitious of me since there was over 100 exhibitors.

I bought a copy of The Association of Small Bombs by Karen Majajan, from Magers and Quinn and Then I bought a copy of Still Life with Tornados by A.S. King and Glory O'Brien's History of the Future from The Red Balloon bookstore.  Now I had to wait for their presentations and then I could get in line to meet them.

1:10-1:20:  I met Beth Dooley at the Milkweed Press booth and asked her to be my featured author for November.  I got a review copy of her book: In Winter's Garden.  Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland.

Then I ran into one of my favorite spoken word poets, Guante and he was there with his new book of poems, lyrics and essays and squee, I was super excited to meet him.  I am going to feature him on my blog in April, 2017.  His new book is called A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry.  You need to check this book out!!

At 1:30 I went to The Personal and Political author Panel.  This was a great panel, with National Book Award Finalist, Karan Majajan, and Lidija Dimkovska and Derek Palacio.  This panel was excellent. Each author read from their books and answered questions about the political nature of their books.  I was really impressed and learned a lot from Lidija Dimkovska who lives in Slovenia and is Macedonian. Her novel, A Spare Life chronicles conjoined twins who are separated as Yugoslavia goes through their bloody and difficult separation. I definitely want to read her book.  Derek and Karan were awesome too, talking about Cuba and India and the problems these countries are currently facing.

At 2:30 I got in line to meet and get Karan Mahajan to sign my book and to talk to Lidija and Derek.  I wanted a picture with all of them but the table didn't really make this possible so I left without a pic.

2:40:  I saw Mary Casanova at the University of Minnesota Press and talked to her about featuring her on my blog.  I have been wanting to read her books for a long time.  She gave me a review copy of her newest title, Ice Out. Looks super good.  Hoping to review the book in November/December.

2:50- I went in to the Teen area to wait for A.S. King and I pretty much thought it would be standing room only because the whole world should know how awesome her books are and want to meet her right?  Dang, I was wrong and this made me kinda sad but I took a front row seat next to a woman named Jolene Wilson whom I would later learn is a book blogger. She drove over 3 hours to get to the Twin Cities Book Festival and blogs at

3pm.  The Books for Thought Author Panel
This panel was lead by Shannon Gibney, author of the MN Book Award for her novel, See No Color.  Lara Avery (The Memory Book), Kathleen Glasgow (Girl in Pieces) and A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado) were all present on the panel.  I think this was the best author panel I have ever seen.  All of these woman authors are amazing and I wish it would have been standing room only because many of the points they made about young women and the problems that we are facing as a society were profound.  They discussed the lack of diversity in publishing, in author panels, the anxiety and sexism girls face on a daily basis, and so much more.  I decided I need to read all of their books.  I'm planning to feature Shannon Gibney on my blog in May and Kathleen'Glasgow's Girl in Pieces in June.  You all need to read a least one of the authors on this panel.  I'm serious.

4 pm:  I got my picture taken with A.S. King and all my books signed. Talked to all the authors and lined them up to be featured on my blog.

4:15pm  Decided it was time to go home. I had a horrible headache and was exhausted and hungry and my book bag was heavy with awesome books.  Lucky for me I ran into my friend Pamela Klinger-Horn who works the Festival and is a prolific reader.  She gave me a bag of books to take home for me or my high school students to read.  There were 5 books in the bag.

The Memory Book by Lara Avery  (Yes!)
The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens (another Yes!)
Children of the World by Alexander Weinstein.  (signed copy of short stories)
An ARC of History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Luck, Love & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert

Oh my gosh, I had a great, wonderful, busy day.  Thank you Rain Taxi.
Can't wait for next year.