Have You Read...?
Texas Book Festival drops ticketed sessions with Stacey Abrams and others, plus 27 book recs
Reading is free, if you do it right at the library. So is the Texas Book Festival, but something needs to keep its gears turning, and one of those income sources is ticketed sessions, which are well worth the cost for book lovers who want the scoop from super popular authors.
There will be plenty to see at the festival from November 11-12, including panel discussions, author readings, book signings, and of course, browsing stacks upon stacks of sweet printed words. Of the more than 300 authors, there are a few that are in extra high demand, whose presence can be basked in for a ticket price that wraps up some of the above perks in a little take-home package.
Each ticketed session, for $36 plus fees ($41.99), will include the book being discussed, admission to a talk with the popular author, and admission to a book-signing line. Each author's name links to Eventbrite for ticket purchases. Sales will also benefit local bookseller BookPeople.
Three authors will participate:
- Michael Cunningham talks about his novel, Day. The story set annually on one day over three years follows a family with complicated interpersonal dynamics through the 2020 pandemic, focusing on love and loss. According to Penguin Random House, Day officially debuts on November 14, so these copies are an early surprise.
- Roxane Gaydiscusses her essay collection Opinions : A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People's Business. Topics will include "culture, politics, and everything in between," according to the description by Harper Collins, and it seems that topics will range from very heavy to on-the-surface silly. According to Amazon, this book comes out on October 10.
- Stacey Abrams examines her thriller Rogue Justice. In it, a Supreme Court clerk from Abrams' previous triumph, While Justice Sleeps, returns to try and solve an apparently politically-motivated case with lives on the line. Abrams is the person to tell the tale, as both an accomplished author and an elected politician. Rogue Justice was released on May 23, 2023.
In addition to announcing the sought-after sessions, the Texas Book Festival also dropped some more themed recommendations for visitors to beef up their reading lists, sent from the festival's literary director, Hannah Gabe via a publicist. Here are two of our favorite groups.
The following authors are also well-established in Texas:
- Justin Cronin, The Ferryman (sci-fi)
- Elizabeth Crook, The Madstone
- Ben Fountain, Devil Makes Three (historical fiction)
- Paulette Jiles, Chenneville: A Novel of Murder, Loss and Vengeance (historical fiction)
- Tim O'Brien, America Fantastica (literary fiction / satire)
- Lawrence Wright, Mr. Texas (literary fiction / satire)
- Edward Cary, Edith Holler (literary fiction)
- Roger Reeves, Dark Days (nonfiction, essays)
- H.W. Brands, Founding Partisans (nonfiction / history)
- Jeff Goodell, The Heat Will Kill You First (nonfiction / environment)
- Huda Fahmy, Huda F Cares (Young Adult, Fiction, graphic novel, shortlisted for the 2023 National Book Award)
- Mark K. Updegrove & Mark Atwood Lawrence (Editors), LBJ’S America: The Life and Legacies of Lyndon Baines Johnson (nonfiction / anthology)
Readers may learn something true from these non-fiction books about or set in Texas:
- George Bristol, Texas State Parks, The First 100 Years, 1923-2023
- Andrew Sansom, The Art of Texas State, A Centennial Celebration 1923-2023
- J Muzacz, ATX Urban Art (art book of Austin graffiti)
- Greg Beets & Richard Whymark, A Curious Mix of People (about the music / pop culture scene in Austin in 90s)
- Sarafina El-Badry Nance, Starstruck (memoir by someone who grew up in Austin and went on to become an astronaut)
- Alicia Roth Weigel, Inverse Cowgirl (memoir in support of intersex rights)
- Michael Granberry & Burk Murchison, Hole In The Roof (about the Dallas Cowboys)
- Jonathan Silverman, Astros and Asterisks (about Houston's sign-stealing scandal)
- Tori Pool, Burgin Streetman & Paul Flahive, Worth Repeating: San Antonio Stories (short stories about San Antonio)
- Mark K. Updegrove & Mark Atwood Lawrence (Editors), LBJ’s America: The Life and Legacies of Lyndon Baines Johnson (nonfiction / anthology)
- Asher Elbein & Cindi Collins, Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Animals of Big Bend (science)
- Gilberto Rojas, Unsettling: The El Paso Massacre, Resurgent White Nationalism, and the US-Mexico Border (analysis of mass shooting)
- Vievee Frances, The Shared World (poetry / history / memoir)
- Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Crimes of the Tongue: Essays and Stories (essays, history, politics)
- Ricardo Nuila, The People's Hospital (journalism, healthcare)
- Loren Grush, The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts (history, NASA)
Readers can also browse the author-speakers by type, genre, and audience age at texasbookfestival.org.