Texas Lit Events

Literary happenings in Austin and ’round the State you won’t want to miss – author sightings, readings, panels,
parties . . . a variety of literary events you might enjoy.  

If you are an author, publisher, bookstore, literary organization and have an event happening in Texas that you would like listed to be considered, please send all the pertinent info to: bookfest@texasbookfestival.org

BookWoman BookGroup Discussion: Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chödrön @ BookWoman
Jul 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

“These are 108 essential teachings for developing compassion and clarity amid the anxieties and hardships of real life. Collecting some of the most powerful passages from Pema Chödrön’s many beloved books, this compact handbook for spiritual practice is rich with inspiration and insight. Here she explores life-changing concepts, themes, and practices from the Buddhist tradition, showing how anyone (not just Buddhists) can draw from them to become more courageous, aware, and kindhearted. It includes the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, letting go of the fixations that weigh us down, working directly with fear and other painful emotions, and much more. With these teachings, Pema lays the groundwork for how we can start to overcome the habitual patterns that so often hinder compassion for ourselves and others—and that hold us back from embracing our lives joyfully and fearlessly. To anyone who ever wanted to experience true freedom, these teachings are a shining light on the path.” -BookWoman

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Brian Adams- OBAMA: AN ORAL HISTORY @ Interabang Books
Jul 26 @ 7:00 pm

Brian will appear in conversation with Dallas Morning News Culture Critic Chris Vognar

The first ever comprehensive oral history of President Obama’s administration and the complex political machine that created and powered a landmark American presidency.

In this candid oral history of a presidential tenure, author Brian Abrams reveals the behind-the-scenes stories that illuminate the eight years of the Obama White House through more than one hundred exclusive interviews. Among those given a voice in this extraordinary account are Obama’s cabinet secretaries; his teams of speechwriters, legal advisers, and campaign strategists; as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who fought for or against his agenda. They recall the early struggles of an idealistic outsider candidate and speak openly about the exacting work that led to cornerstone legislation. They share the failures and dissent that met Obama’s efforts and revisit the paths to his accomplishments. As eyewitnesses to history, their accounts combine to deliver an unfiltered view of Obama’s battle to deliver on his promise of hope and change.

This provocative collage of anecdotes, personal reminiscences, and impressions from confidants and critics not only provides an authoritative window into the events that defined an era but also offers the first published account into the making of the forty-fourth president of the United States–one that history will soon not forget.” -Interabang Books

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RUBY MONTALVO- A Song for Jessica @ The Twig Book Shop
Jul 28 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

“When Allison Deleon’s younger brother was killed in a car accident fourteen years ago, her family was changed forever. Her parents dealt with their grief by cutting themselves off from each other and from her. As a young girl, Allison dreamed of singing onstage, but with little support from her parents and her own inability to fully embrace her musical gift, Allison eventually gave up on her dream.

Now, twenty-eight-year old Allison feels stuck.

Her best friend, Jessica – the only person who has always been there and still encourages her to pursue her music – will soon be married and moving across the country. Allison worries she’s losing her friend forever.

With Jessica urging her on, Allison sings live onstage and she falls in love with music all over again. Maybe it’s not too late to pursue the dream she abandoned long ago.

But when her estranged father files for divorce, her emotionally unstable mother needs her more than ever.

Allison wants to do the right thing, but she’s not sure what that is. Her sense of obligation to her family or her desire to forge her own uncertain path?” -The Twig Book Shop

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Jul 28 @ 1:00 pm


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SAMANTHA M. CLARK – The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast @ BookPeople
Jul 28 @ 2:00 pm

“The Graveyard Book meets Hatchet in this eerie novel about a boy who is stranded on a mysterious beach, from debut author Samantha M. Clark.

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home.” -BookPeople

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The Contemporary Austin Presents: Art Storytime @ APL- Hampton Branch at Oak Hill
Jul 30 @ 11:00 am

“Join The Contemporary Austin as we read Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler and do an art project based on the book!” -Austin Public Library

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The Austin Forum on Technology & Society Genes: The Practical Possibilities and Ethical Questions in Gene Editing & Manipulation @ APL- Central Library
Aug 7 @ 6:15 pm

“Connect. Collaborate. Contribute.

The Austin Forum explores the impact of technology on society and stimulates discussions, collaborations, and partnerships on new technology opportunities. Each month, our guest speakers address cutting edge technology topics in health & medicine, business & industry, science & research, education, government, entertainment, and ‘social good.'” -Austin Public Library

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Mimi Swartz at the Houston Public Library @ Houston Public Library
Aug 7 @ 6:30 pm

The Houston Public Library presents an event with Mimi Swartz discussing her latest book Ticker: The Quest to Create an Artificial Heart. She will be in conversation with Maggie Galehouse. This event will be held at the Julia Ideson Building.

It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. If America could send a man to the moon, shouldn’t the best surgeons in the world be able to build an artificial heart? In TickerTexas Monthly executive editor and two time National Magazine Award winner Mimi Swartz shows just how complex and difficult it can be to replicate one of nature’s greatest creations.

Part investigative journalism, part medical mystery, Ticker is a dazzling story of modern innovation, recounting fifty years of false starts, abysmal failures and miraculous triumphs, as experienced by one the world’s foremost heart surgeons, O.H. “Bud” Frazier, who has given his life to saving the un-savable.

His journey takes him from a small town in west Texas to one of the country’s most prestigious medical institutions, The Texas Heart Institute, from the halls of Congress to the animal laboratories where calves are fitted with new heart designs. The roadblocks to success —medical setbacks, technological shortcomings, government regulations – are immense. Still, Bud and his associates persist, finding inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. A field beside the Nile irrigated by an Archimedes screw. A hardware store in Brisbane, Australia. A seedy bar on the wrong side of Houston.

Until post WWII, heart surgery did not exist. Ticker provides a riveting history of the pioneers who gave their all to the courageous process of cutting into the only organ humans cannot live without. Heart surgeons Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley, whose feud dominated the dramatic beginnings of heart surgery. Christian Barnaard, who changed the world overnight by performing the first heart transplant. Inventor Robert Jarvik, whose artificial heart made patient Barney Clark a worldwide symbol of both the brilliant promise of technology and the devastating evils of experimentation run amuck.

Rich in supporting players, Ticker introduces us to Bud’s brilliant colleagues in his quixotic quest to develop an artificial heart: Billy Cohn, the heart surgeon and inventor who devotes his spare time to the pursuit of magic and music; Daniel Timms, the Brisbane biomedical engineer whose design of a lightweight, pulseless heart with but a single moving part offers a new way forward. And, as government money dries up, the unlikeliest of backers, Houston’s furniture king, Mattress Mack.

In a sweeping narrative of one man’s obsession, Swartz raises some of the hardest questions of the human condition. What are the tradeoffs of medical progress? What is the cost, in suffering and resources, of offering patients a few more months, or years of life? Must science do harm to do good? Ticker takes us on an unforgettable journey into the power and mystery of the human heart.

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Information courtesy of Brazos Bookstore

YA FOR ADULTS: Berserker by Emmy Laybourne @ APL- Manchaca Road Branch
Aug 8 @ 7:00 pm

“You’re never too old for YA! Stop being a secret reader of YA and join like-minded adults to discuss these fine specimens of Young Adult literature! We’ll have laughs, we’ll have tears, we’ll enjoy all the delicious angst without ever having to step inside a high school. Please join us for an excellent literary time!” -Austin Public Library

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**This event occurs every second Wednesday of the month.

ADULT STORY HOUR: Heroes and Villains @ APL- Pleasant Hill Branch
Aug 9 @ 7:00 pm


“Tell a five minute story. Truth, fiction, funny, serious – read, memorized, or remembered – listen to and share stories about life, fantasy or yourself. Enjoy a new theme at each event! This month’s theme is Heroes and Villains in partnership with PBS and The Great American Read television series.” -Austin Public Library

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