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Texas Book Festival This Weekend

POSTED BY prbythebook ON October 23, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 11.21.56 PMby Brenda Thompson, Texas Book Festival

The Texas Book Festival is here! Saturday and Sunday are jam-packed with hundreds of author sessions and panels, children’s activities and cooking demonstrations, book signings and vendor displays.  This is a round-up of just a few of the new and noteworthy things happening at this year’s 18th annual Texas Book Festival.

Two new, unique and interactive events this year offer the opportunity to go on a kayak and/or bike tour with select Festival authors. These events are not author readings; they are hour-long mini-tours that allow a group of readers to engage with authors in real-life conversations on a more personal level. Both events are first come, first served.

Kayak Tour with Authors, meet at Congress Avenue Kayaks, 74 Trinity St., Saturday from 8- 9 a.m.
Authors Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile) and Brad Tyer (OpportunityMontana) aren’t afraid of getting their feet wet. In this unique twist on a Festival session, they invite readers to join them on a kayak adventure.

Bike Tour with Authors, Mellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces St., Sunday from 8- 9 a.m.
Literary stars turn cyclists at this Texas Book Festival event. Meet at Mellow Johnny’s for a city tour with Lawrence Wright (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief), Stephen Harrigan (The Eye of the Mammoth: Selected Essays), H.W. Brands (The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace), and Rob Spillman (editor of Tin House magazine). Bring your own bike or get a discounted Texas Book Festival rental on one of Mellow Johnny’s bikes.

Literary Death Match is must-see literary and comedic hijinks at its Lone Star State best. The session, 10 a.m. Saturday at the Paramount Theatre, will feature four writers reading their own wonderful tales for seven minutes or less, judged by three all-star judges. Two finalists will be chosen to compete in the Literary Death Match finale, a vaguely-literary game that will steal your affection and make your heart pound.   Full schedule available here.

This year’s Saturday night Lit Crawl Austin event is packed with headlining authors at even more venues than before. Play Nerd Jeopardy with Reza Aslan and Kevin Smokler, hear authors Cathy Chung, Fiona Maazel, and Teddy Wayne get personal, and play Literary Taboo with the editors of popular literary magazines Electric Literature and The Rumpus. Look at the whole 2013 Lit Crawl Austin schedule and choose your own adventure!

In addition to new food vendors this year, the Festival will for the first time feature the TMBBQ ’Cue Court, brought to you by Texas Monthly, which will feature three barbecue joints from Texas Monthly’s popular and impeccably curated top 50 list. Sample barbecue from Two Bros. BBQ Market, Blue Ox BBQ, and a unique mash-up of Miller’s Smokehouse and the Peached Tortilla.

The Texas Book Festival unveiled a brand-new website, with responsive design and increased functionality including the ability to sort authors and panels by genre, this year; and a brand-new and improved free mobile app for both iPhones and Android phones.

An exciting announcement of a new partnership that will help the Texas Book Festival expand its programming and reach new audiences in a big way next year will be made by Executive Director Lois Kim at 1 p.m. Saturday, in the House Chamber, just before the session with R.L. Stine (author of A Midsummer Night’s Scream).

For more information about any and all Festival happenings, go to www.texasbookfestival.org. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #txbookfest. See you at the Festival this weekend!

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