Sunday, October 17, 2010

Boston Book Fest fun times

So yesterday was pretty much the best day ever. I went the the Boston Book Festival, which is only in its second year (with many more to come, I hope!). I met a bunch of great people and got to spend a day with a friend from college who I don't get to see too often even though she lives right nearby! I suppose I should just start from the beginning, but first let me show you all of the day's players:

Ah yes, I can see you all being jealous already. But first: how the day began.

After a quick breakfast, my friend Sara and I headed to the Church of the Covenant near Copley Square (where the event was taking place) to see a talk called Border Crossing, a children's lit author (and one character!) panel talking about crossing borders, be they physical, racial or the like. The panel included Mitali Perkins, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Richard Michelson, and Lionel Vital, who was the inspiration of the character TiFre in the picture book Selavi by Youme Landowne. After a great presentation and discussion, I got to meet Christina Diaz Gonzalez and had her sign my copy of her book, The Red Umbrella.

And not only was she really nice and friendly and offered to do an interview for this here blog (keep an eye out folks), she loved my name and asked if she could use it in a book! My answer?

You betcha.

After that, we made our way to The Rattlesnake on Boylston for a delicious lunch (mmm grilled portobello salad), but you don't want to hear about that. Because my next tidbit was the BEST part of the day.

Bill Bryson, who is one of my personal heroes, was at the book fest, and he was slated to talk at 3 p.m. So of course, we made our way to the venue at 2. We snagged spots in line up near the front and managed to get somewhere around the 5th or 6th row on the right hand side of the auditorium—awesome! Bryson was hilarious, of course, and gave a great talk. But of course we also wanted him to sign our books, so as they were answering the last question, Sara and I booked it downstairs where they were going to have the signing. Again, we managed a FANTASTIC spot in line, and only waited for about 10 minutes to meet the man himself! He was super nice and generally a very happy and jolly person. I told him he was pretty much my hero, and how I usually listen to his books on CD and think he's a fantastic narrator (he totally is by the way, go out and get an audiobook by him NOW). He then said "Well, that's fantastic! Let me shake your hand!" And then HE SHOOK MY HAND. LIFE. MADE.


So that was pretty much the best thing ever. But that's not all! 

After that we booked it over to Trinity Church to see authors Kathryn Lasky, Kristin Cashore, Francisco Stork and Noni Carter (who is only 19—crazy). As many of you know from my frequent talk about the book, Kathryn Lasky's A Voice in the Wind is pretty much my favorite book from childhood and I've read it at least 10 times. And FINALLY, I got to meet Kathryn Lasky AND have her sign my copy!


That's pretty much it for my author meetings of the day, but a few more good things happened. I was walking around the booths set up, and found this one where they were selling tea. But not just ANY tea. It was Novel Teas! (Get it?)

Heh, look! The tags have quotes about books on them! Er... well, take my word for it. The bottom one says "My home is where my books are" ~Ellen Thompson, 1909. How cute is that?

And to put the icing on the cake, I got a free book for filling out a survey for Houghton Mifflin. "Pick out a book from the box," she said. Yes ma'am. And so I picked The Best American Travel Writing 2010.

And that's it for my fun-filled and book-filled day! Not sure if you all share my fervor, but trust me, it was awesome. I hope to go back next year, and maybe I'll see some of you there!


  1. That's really cool Tahleen. I'm so jealous, sounds like you had a blast. Wish they had these closer to my area of the states!

  2. Thanks, Kelly, I did! Where are you from?

  3. Indiana, Authors never come here or at least not that I've seen!

  4. I'm jealous! It sounds like you had a great time!

  5. Sounds like an awesome time! That tea is adorable. Super jealous of both.

  6. BAHH!!! I want to read At Home SOOO bad!!

  7. I can't believe you saw Kristin Cashore! I kind of blog about her incessantly... She's my favorite young adult author right now. Loved hearing about the book fest!

  8. SO JEALOUS RIGHT NOW! I wish I could have gone!!


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