National Book Festival
Although somewhat chilly temperatures and light rain may have dampened attendance at this year’s National Book Festival, by mid-afternoon the rain was gone and the sun began peeking through. By the time I left, the Smithsonian Metro station was packed.
The festival is held on the National Mall between 7th Street and 14th. This was my first visit and I arrived just in time to catch George Palelcanos’ presentation at the Mysteries and Thrillers pavilion. Among other topics, he discussed some of his more famous characters including Derek Strange and Terry Quinn, how writing for TV and film differs from novels, and the recent upswing in violent crime in DC. Genres at other pavilions included Fiction and Fantasy, History and Biography, Home and Family, and Poetry.
Children and teens were well represented including the Let’s Read America pavilion, sponsored by PBS. On the 7th Street side of the event you could purchase books from any of the authors, and if you wanted your copy autographed, 16 Book Signing tents were located right next door.
I didn’t stick around for what I suspected would be the biggest draw of the day—Bob Woodward. A legendary Washington Post reporter and editor, co-author of All the President’s Men, and the author of the latest in a series of books about the Bush administration, State of Denial, which is stirring up plenty of reaction from the White House.
CSPAN and BookTV were on hand to provide live broadcasts of selected presentations. Check your local cable/satellite listings for rebroadcasts that begin this evening.