Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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National Book Festival

For the second year running, Jon and I attended the Library of Congress' National Book Festival, and we had a blast. It was a perfect day for it, partly sunny and cool, but the food prices were more outrageous than usual.

I bought only a couple of books-- Jon's Catherine Asaro book, while I nabbed Ted Kooser's final copy of his latest, complete with the "Poet Laureate" notation on the front (they managed that pretty quick). Jon also brought a book to be signed by Connie Willis, who turned out to be one of the best speakers we heard. Now I have to add her books to my long waitlist of books on deck.

And yes, I've got a new book for my minor collection of signed books. Waiting in line for poets, I realized there is an advantage to prefering so-called literary fiction and poetry to mysteries and Sci-Fi: the lines are way shorter.

Neil Gaimon's line was unbelievable. Round the block. I think he signed for 5 hours (authors are slated to sign for one hour). I'm guessing that lots and lots and lots of nerds wanted to talk to him. I'm going to have to borrow his book from West Coast Girl, who I am so glad came down from her new home to attend the Fest'. Competing for longest line were Heloise, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ben Bova, and (thankfully) Joyce Carol Oates.

Anyhow, I got my book signed, and then got a cool idea from Jon (who spied someone doing this) to grab as many signatures as possible on the poster they were handing out. I nabbed sigs by Babara Taylor Bradford, Ted Kooser (again), Tom Silva, Sci-Fi great Frederik Pohl, Connie Willis, Leigh and Leslie Keno of "Antiques Roadshow," and former White House chef Roland Mesnier, a charming man who answered my question "So, were there lots of late night snacks?" by replying "I can say nothing about that." He was a hoot.

I also got the signatures of poets Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, David Lehman, and Linda Pastan. I may have overlooked a couple. All those signatures on one framable poster for my office. If I ever finish my office, that is....

I was glad to run into one fellow Bread Loafer, Doreen, who will be reading this month. I promised her at least two butts in the seats for her. I've got one, and will draft my husband for another. Doreen and I caught up after Kooser's reading, walking the Mall back toward Voice of America, where she is gainfully employed as a newswriter.

I seriously hope the Library of Congress continues to host this one-day annual event next year, even when its originator is out of office, so to speak.

It took me long enough, but I finally got off my lazy bum and figured out my old blogger account. Darn you for not allowing anonymous comments!

I had a great time at the festival even if I did spend most of my time in line. :)
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