Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Rain Speeds the Train

Did last weekend’s rain put a damper on the festivities? Not really.

The National Book Festival, which usually boasts about 100,000 visitors, actually topped 120,000 despite the puddle-pocked walkways along the National Mall and the overcast skies that drizzled on readers and writers. Readers flocked to meet such authors as Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, Bob Schieffer, David Shannon, Dionne Warwick, Andrea Davis Pickney, Charles S. Smith Jr., Geraldine Brooks, Peter Robinson, Warren Brown, Cokie Roberts, Kimberly Dozier, Arthur & Pauline Frommer, Dan Chiasson and Jill Allyn Rosser.

Children enjoyed new books by authors like Laura and Jenna Bush, Tiki Barber, and R.L. Stein. Children also noticed special decorations along the walkways on all the lamp posts: free magnets announcing Flightless Goose and the book’s website, Flightless Goose, the new book for children by TRACKS author Eric D. Goodman, was also represented with fliers, magnets, and gift bags, at the big event in Baltimore. It's being released on November 1 by Writer's Lair Books.

And how about the Mid Atlantic regions most important celebration of the literary arts—the Baltimore Book Festival? The “typhoon” may have kept some of the fainter souls away, but it only whet the appetites of die-hard literary buffs. Thousands of people gathered around the original Washington Monument to celebrate books and all things literary.

Headliners included such authors as Walter Mosley, T.D. Jakes, Madison Smartt Bell, Rafael Alvarez, Michael Kimball, Jen Michalski, and even Mark Twain. (That last one may have been an imposter). Tim Wendell read from his novel Red Rain and conducted a writing workshop. As in past years, the CityLit tent was a hot spot. That’s where there was a reading of the Freshly Squeezed anthology on Saturday (which features Goodman's story “One Last Hit” from TRACKS) and a reading from New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers on Sunday (which features Goodman's story “Cicadas.”)

More readings and events featuring Eric D. Goodman -- for TRACKS and Flightless Goose -- are coming soon.


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