Decatur Book Festival 2015

It’s that time of year again: book festival season!

I’m actually pumped because after the Decatur Book Festival, there’s going to be a month full of author talks at the Little Shop of Stories in October, and then we have the YALL Fest in November.0905151447Snapchat-1046671805592967025

This year we decided to go both Saturday and Sunday because you can never have too much book festival. On Saturday we walked around the different tents and got books signed and watched author panels, and Sunday we volunteered from around 12-3. I realized this is my fifth year going to the 10th annual festival, and every year I adore Decatur more and more.

Saturday we listened to Sarah Dessen, a panel with Andrew Smith, Becky Albertalli, David Arnold and Adam Silvera, and David Levithan. Sarah Dessen talked mostly about manuscript failures and her contemporary world-building techniques. Despite her 12 books, she’s had just as many failed attempts at books, and I feel like her talk was a good encouragement to young writers. She also discussed her characters and techniques she uses for creating them, and her Easter egg cameos of different characters into different books. 0905151306a

The panel with the four authors discussed pretty much everything from representation of diversity and their lives in their books to the 0905151405adifferent voices they take on and the labels of their books. This panel reminded the audience that young adult literature is just a box, and teen voices aren’t much different than adult ones. I also now really want to read Happier than Not by Adam Silvera, and I will continue my quest to finish all the Andrew Smith books. He said he’s working on another one that’s full of crazy perspectives, and I can’t wait!

I was low-key extremely excited because both David Arnold and Becky Albertalli remembered me from the Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda launch party, so I guess I’m kind of a big deal now.

We scoured the tents for bookmarks and searched for the most interesting book-related shirts/ skirts/ jewelry. I think we acquired 30-40 bookmarks and spotted a lot of cute bookish clothing, along with some DragonCon goers mixed in between the reader totes.

0906151444On Sunday we weren’t able to hear all of Libba Bray’s talk or see the other panels, but I did get to talk to the authors a little bit. Libba Bray was such a sweetie and spent so much time talking to each person that her line lasted forever and a day– but it was definitely worth it to meet her and have an actual conversation instead of being whisked away as soon as she swirls her name. We did another once-over of the festival tents and grabbed some books for being volunteers and ended our bookish weekend on a high note.

It was another wonderful year at the festival, and I’m starting to run out of authors to meet! I’ve already seen/ met Sarah Dessen, David Levithan, Andrew Smith, David Arnold, Becky Albertalli and Libba Bray. But I adore seeing them again because each panel brings something different, and I’ll always have more books to get signed!

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Crabby Conversations: Make Time

I’ve come to the realization that I have a lot of pet peeves. And I rant quite often about these pet peeves.

I thought of another one the other day that goes along with my whole, you know, book blog. I kind of feel like I’ve already talked about this before, but I couldn’t find anything like it in my posts, so maybe I’ve just complained about it to my friends. So now I can complain about it to you guys!

I think an example best explains it:

Person: Wow, you read? That’s so cool! I love reading. I read all the time.

Me: Really? What’s your favorite book?

Person: Oh, you know, [insert middle-grade staple book here].

Me: Yeah I liked that a lot in elementary school too….

Person: I haven’t read a book in so long…. I can’t actually remember the last time I read a book not for school. I just don’t have time to read anymore.

Me: …but… you said you liked reading…

Please refrain from having any conversations similar to this with me. I will pull my hair out.

If you loved reading or wanted to read or even liked reading, you would make time for it. Do not tell me you don’t have time! I take 4 AP classes and journalism and creative writing and write a column for a magazine and have a part-time job and go out with friends and run a blog… But I still make time to read. Because I love reading.  So if you “love” reading, you can make time. 

But I get it if reading is not a priority. That’s fine. That’s your prerogative. But please do not tell me that you love reading when you don’t read. The fact that you enjoyed reading when you were a child and teachers forced you to is completely different from enjoying reading now. If you’re busy doing other things and would rather do something else like play sports or watch TV, then go ahead. But that means reading is not on your radar, so you must not love it as much as you supposedly do. You do not read all the time if you can’t remember the last book you read for leisure. And your favorite book still has pictures in it. disney animated GIF

If you liked reading so much, you would make it a priority. I understand that not everyone wants to do this, but do not tell me you love something that you never do.

Alright, my rant is over. I feel like this post has a lot of anger in it. Whoops?

Is this a pet peeve for any of you guys? Or is it just me being unnecessarily hostile?

 

Monthly Wrap Ups: Summer

Alright, so I slacked on my wrap-ups. Conveniently, it was all the summer months that I missed, so here goes an all-in-one finishing post to summarize my summer. I definitely didn’t read as many books as I should have, and I’m way behind on my books to review and Goodreads challenge, but oh well.

Read: 14 novels

  1. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  2. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  3. The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
  4. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer
  6. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  7. The Future of Us by Jay Asher
  8. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  9. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M. T. Anderson
  10. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  11. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  12. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  13. The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior by Stephanie Barbe Hammer
  14. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Reviewed: 5 novels

  1. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
  2. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer
  4. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  5. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Mini Reviews: 3 novels

  1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  3. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Discussed:

Book Haul: 17 novels

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • The Underdogs by Markus Zusak
  • 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
  • Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes
  • The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  • Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton

jodiBookish Excitement: 

  • YALL Festival and Decatur Book Festival released their author line-ups.
  • Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer held a signing sponsored by The Little Shop of Stories for their new book Off the Page.
  • 995 Bookmarks
  • Little Shop is hosting a good many author events coming in October and I’m super pumped!

Non-Bookish Excitement: 

I, surprisingly, had a very eventful summer without doing much… pier

  • Tybee Island and Orange Beach trip
  • Nashville trip to visit Vanderbilt (the campus and the school are both perfect, by the way)
  • It’s been the summer of concerts: Dave Matthews Band, Train, Fall Out Boy
  • Zoo Atlanta… twice

Guys, the summer has been beautiful and full of everything and I’m ready for it to be over but I’m also not ready to go back to school. Just think about it. I’m a senior now. This is it. You spend three years getting comfortable, one year to enjoy the glory, and the process begins again. Scary, right? I guess that’s just how it will always be. Cyclical to a fault. Anyway. Let’s see if I can even begin to pick the best parts out of the summer… since you've been gone

Summer Favorites:

  • Read: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson– How can I not pick this one? It’s a summer anthem book.
  • Reviewed: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer
  • Mini Review: Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Discussed: The Bookish Patriarchy
  • Haul: 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
  • Bookish: Guys. I’m five bookmarks away from reaching 1,000. Five.
  • Non-Bookish: The concert string– specifically Dave Matthews and Train.