The Texas Book Festival was held on November 5—6, in Austin, TX. The annual festival is one of the largest and most prestigious in the country and boasts over 250 authors, over 20 venues including the State Capitol, and more than 80 exhibitors --- not to mention live music, local food trucks and plenty of family activities. We were not fortunate enough to make it out there this year, but two fabulous readers, Anne Glasgow and Kathy Bigelow, were kind enough to share their experience with us. Below, they talk about their favorite panels, unexpected author encounters, and which books they are most looking forward to reading.
The Book Report Network: Who did you attend the Festival with?
Anne Glasgow: It is always a treat to attend the book festival with my best reading buddy, Kathy, from Houston.
Kathy Bigelow: Anne Glasgow.
TBRN: How many years have you attended it?
Anne: Every one of the 21 years it has been happening.
Kathy: I think this is my 12th year.
TBRN: What panels did you go to?
Anne: “On the Razor's Edge” with Carl Hiaasen; “Vintage Writers on Reading” with Helen Ellis and Chris Bohjalian; “Not So Well Behaved Women” with Amy Stewart and Allison Amend; “Outside of Society” with Marisa Silver and Stephen Graham Jones; “We're Gonna Make It After All” with Eimear McBride and Stephanie Danler; and “The Tight Quarters of Time and Space” with Maria Semple and Amor Towles.
Kathy: Carl Hiaasen, Helen Ellis and Chris Bohjalian, Amy Stewart and Allison Amend, Maria Semple and Amor Towles, Marisa Silvera and Stephen Graham Jones, Eimar McBride and Stephanie Danler.
TBRN: Which was your favorite(s)?
Anne: “Not So Well Behaved Women” with Amy Stewart and Allison Amend and “The Tight Quarters of Time and Space” with Maria Semple and Amor Towles.
Kathy: Carl Hiaasen, Allison Amend and Stephanie Danler.
TBRN: Were there any authors who surprised you or shared something unexpected?
Anne: Amor Towles outlines for over a year before he begins writing, and an outline can run upwards of 40 pages. He usually has four or more projects in the works at any point in time.
Kathy: Allison Amend had a wonderful and very quick sense of humor. Carl Hiaasen had great stories about how he comes up with his ideas. Stephanie Danler is very intelligent, thoughtful and well spoken. Amor Towles’ book writing process is very interesting. He writes a very long outline and generally has five books going at one time! He does a ton of research.
TBRN: Were there other panels that you wish you could have attended?
Anne: Yes, there were many great panels that we couldn't get to because of schedule conflicts. We had to prioritize those we most wanted to see.
Kathy: Beverly Lowry and Skip Hollandsworth (too crowded), Padma Lakshmi, Emma Cline, T.C. Boyle, Kelly Luce, Jung Lun, Jade Chang, Yaa Gyasi and Adam Haslett --- all time conflicts.
TBRN: Which books did you most look forward to reading after the Festival?
Anne: I read many of the books prior to the Festival. My top two favorites were ENCHANTED ISLANDS by Allison Amend and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles.
Kathy: ENCHANTED ISLANDS by Allison Amend, SWEETBITTER by Stephanie Danler, RAZOR GIRL by Carl Hiaasen and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles.
TBRN: What book would you encourage your friends to read after your hearing from the author?
Anne: ENCHANTED ISLANDS by Allison Amend!
Kathy: ENCHANTED ISLANDS --- Allison Amend is funny, and the story sounds fascinating --- and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW.
Photo Above: Kathy (right) at the signing with Yaa Gyasi (left) and Jade Chang (middle).