Fall for the Book

This is certainly the weekend for exciting local book events – not one, not two, but three book festivals! The 2009 Fall for the Book festival is a week-long event held at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia: What began as a two-day literary event in 1999, organized by George Mason University and the City of Fairfax, has expanded into a week-long, multiple-venue, regional festival that brings together people of all ages and interests, thanks to growing community interest and generous supporting []

Book Nerds Unite!

As if my own encouragement to attend the 9th annual National Book Festival on the Mall were not enough, Washingtonian also recommends the event. The magazine lists several headliners: novelists John Grisham, John Irving, and Jodi Picoult; children and tween favorites Sharon Creech, Judy Blume, Jeff Kinney, and Jon Scieszka (currently the Library of Congress’s national ambassador for young people’s literature); nonfiction authors Ken Burns, Gwen Ifill, and Jon Meacham. Others to look for include Paula Deen, Lois Lowry, Jerry Pinkney, David []

Small Press Expo Next Weekend!

The 15th Annual Small Press Expo will take place on Saturday, September 26, from 11 am-7 pm, and Sunday, Sunday, September 27, from noon-6 pm, at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

“The Turnaround” by George Pelecanos

The Turnaround is a solid read that offers a valuable glimpse into the lives of members of different communities, even if those characters seems forced or stereotypical at times. It seems as though Pelecanos has produced another solid, if predictable, book—one that will appease his current fans with an entertaining, thrilling story while reaching out to readers and residents, like myself, interested in the ever-vibrant communities of D.C.

A View of Haleh Esfandiari’s Book Launch

“Esfandiari recounts her harrowing experience in a newly released book called My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran (HarperCollins).The story began in Tehran when, while visiting her 93-year-old mother, Esfandiari was stopped by knife wielding intelligence officials who accused her of plotting to overthrow the government. This incident, which occurred December 30, 2006, led to four months of house arrest and intense interrogation, followed by another four months in Evin Prison. She was released in August 2007, following a robust diplomatic effort that involved her colleagues at the Wilson Center and members of the U.S. Congress.”

“The Lost Symbol” Descends upon D.C.

Today’s the big day. After months of rumors, ruminations, and really excited Tweets, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol has appeared in stores. This follow-up to the best-selling Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons is set in Washington, D.C. – though Brown’s version of D.C. promises to be more thrilling and fantastical than Georgetown University’s annual tuition and expenses. Louis Bayard reviewed an advance copy for the Washington Post, and finds that the book will please readers who enjoyed the Da Vinci []

The Value of Mystery

Laura Streib, of Forbes.com, writes today about the literary empire of James Patterson, best-selling author of the DC-based Alex Cross mysteries. Streib explains, Patterson’s not a writer. He’s a fiction (and non-fiction) factory. In 2008 he authored or co-authored seven books and in his 33-year career as a published author he’s written 57. He sells an average of 20 million books per year. An estimated 170 million copies of his novels are in print worldwide. Most important: During the last two years []

2009 National Book Festival in DC

The 2009 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2009, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The festival is free and open to the public.

BookCrossing Convention to Come to DC

The BC in DC chapter of BookCrossing, always a good source for events, literary discussions, and local book news, will be sponsoring the 10th anniversary convention. The bad news? The convention won’t happen until April 15-17, 2011. Guess it gives me something to look forward to!

Denis Lipman to Publish “A Yank Back to England”

Denis Lipman, former resident of London’s East End and current resident of Washington, DC, will be publishing A Yank Back to England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns in January 2010. The premise of the novel came about through Lipman’s many journeys back home, both solo and accompanied by his wife. I’m eager to review it, especially after this comment by Michael York: “A perceptive, engaging and informative take on contemporary England as seen through the eyes of a fellow expatriate who writes with []

Sybil Steinberg Reviews Eugenia Kim’s “The Calligrapher’s Daughter”

Sybil Steinberg reviews DC resident Eugenia Kim’s new novel, The Calligrapher’s Daughter, in Washington Post‘s Book World. Steinberg praises the sensitivity of the novel, commenting that “Kim’s account acquires depth and immediacy as she draws vivid pictures of wartime poverty and hardship.” Steinberg closes by writing, In quietly recording the arc of a woman’s experience from idyllic childhood through harrowing adulthood, Kim mirrors the changing nation. The ending of the book is somewhat rushed, as Kim tries to encapsulate events in the []

Review of Eugenia Kim’s “The Calligrapher’s Daughter” in the Christian Science Monitor

Yvonne Zip reviews Eugenia Kim’s The Calligrapher’s Daughter in the Christian Science Monitor. Zip notes, “Kim builds a patient spell, carefully orienting American readers who probably know little of this chapter of history. . . Fans of Lisa See’s or Amy Tan’s novels should eagerly embrace [the main character] Najin, and The Calligrapher’s Daughter bids fair to become a staple of book clubs. While the story is Najin’s, its true subject is Korea’s occupation by Japan.”