Announcing our 2018 Festival Poster Artist!

 

We are thrilled to announce we have selected our 2018 Festival poster artist, Austin-based painter Valerie Fowler! Fowler’s oil painting, Spring, Everything Changes, will be featured on this year’s Festival poster and will represent our annual Festival Weekend.

Fowler’s career has spanned more than thirty years and includes a wide variety of works, from oil on canvas paintings to commissioned murals, CD art for local musicians, and even a fully illustrated 64 page book called “Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase,” to accompany a musical project written, recorded, and produced by her husband Brian Beattie. Fowler’s work most often explores the wildly diverse natural world of Texas and describes “a natural world of extreme beauty and vigor while also conveying nature’s sensitive vulnerability.”

“The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to feature Valerie Fowler’s work this year,” says Lois Kim, executive director of Texas Book Festival. “Her beautifully alive paintings convey the fantasy in our imaginations and the energy of what lies just beneath the surface. They perfectly capture the creative spirit of our Festival.”

The painting selected for our 2018 Festival poster features a gorgeous, surrealistic interpretation of Fredericksburg peach trees in bloom, evoking a sense of storybook wonder and the unique possibility of the Texas landscape.

“I hope my paintings bring recurring pleasure,” Fowler says. “Having a work of art you come back to is much like reading a favorite novel—every time you return to it, it takes you back to moments from earlier in your life: who you were before, who you’ve been since, and also gives you something new. When a painting keeps giving each time you come back to it, that’s part of what really makes it a successful painting.”

Our tradition of choosing a representative work by a Texas artist began in 1998, and the honor has been shared by acclaimed artists and photographers such as Lance Letscher, Julie Speed, Randal Ford, Dan Winters, Kate Breakey, and Jack Unruh.

“The Texas art community, I would say, is wide open, just like our skies, and we’re lucky to see so many diverse genres and types of art. The uniqueness is that there’s so much variety in Texas. Beyond even the differences in styles and influences between regions, you find a wide variety inside those regions—each city and area holds as much variety as the state itself, and the vastness of our state really lends itself to growing that variety.”

Join us this year on October 27 and 28 in downtown Austin for the 2018 Texas Book Festival!

 

Announcing the Recipients of our Harvey Relief Fund!

 

Last November over the 2017 Texas Book Festival Weekend, Festival-goers from all across the state helped us raise money to provide relief for school libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey. With matching grants from The Tocker Foundation and the Texas Book Festival, we were able to raise $10,000 to help five school libraries in Houston and the Gulf Coast area recover.

“These rebuilding grants are a wonderful example of the local community joining two Texas nonprofit literacy organizations to support Texas libraries in need. We are looking forward to seeing the new books on the shelves of these worthy schools.”  —Lois Kim, Executive Director

 

The five school libraries selected for funding are Aransas ISD Little Bay Primary and four
schools in Houston ISD: Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary.

Aransas ISD’s Little Bay Primary was heavily damaged during the storm and will not reopen. Its pre-kindergarten classrooms received substantial damage and all mentor texts for classroom libraries were lost. Funds will be used to purchase new classroom books for the 2018-2019 school year at Aransas ISD’s new campus, the Discovery Learning Center.

More than 20,000 books were destroyed in the four Houston ISD school libraries selected for funding. Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary will receive funds to help replace the books that were lost at each campus.

Thanks to you, these libraries will be able to replace books lost to flooding. 
Together, we keep our state #TXBookStrong!

TBF Throwback: A Summer Reading List

This summer, we’re taking a look back at some of the amazing authors we’ve been lucky to host at the Texas Book Festival by recommending their books as summer reading. Join us as we pair these books with great local places to visit as you read!

Check back here weekly as we add more titles, recommended by the TBF team, our dedicated volunteers, and friends of the Festival.

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Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson  |  Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson

 

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Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

 

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Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston

 

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A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros

 

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The Audacity of Hope by President Barack Obama

 

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Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte

 

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You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

Books for Budding Feminists: Some Recommended Reading

Reading more about women of history and women of today is something we can all aspire to, and with graduation coming up, there’s plenty of opportunity to inspire young adults to learn more about the place women occupy in the past, present, and future. If you (or people you know) are interested in learning more about women’s lives, struggles, and female trailblazers, this list of recommended reading from our intern Aliya should get you started!

 

Text Me When You Get Home – Kayleen Schafer

Text Me When You get Home started because of the author’s own journey in discovering the love and support women can provide for each other. As someone who previously prioritized male recognition over female relationships, Schafer had to teach herself that there can be more than one kind of love story to a person’s life, and that can be just as important as any romantic relationship. As a memoir, tell-all, and compellation, Text Me embodies the spirit of so many current movements that highlight the female bonds every woman can relate to, but don’t necessarily speak about. It’s all in the title, Text Me When You Get Home.

 

Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine – Michele Lent Hirsch

After having struggled with her own heath issues, Michele saw an opportunity to shed light on an issue people don’t realize exists until they’re experiencing it. Even though females are some of the most primary demographic for many illnesses, they are often overlooked or have their symptoms underestimated. In Invisible she shares three women’s stories alongside her own, and how each of them experienced being young, ill, and woman.   

 

Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain – Abby Norman

In Ask Me About My Uterus Abby Norman reflects on her experience struggling to find a diagnosis for the horrible pain she’d had for years and presents poignant examples of the way women’s symptoms are often disregarded in the medical community. After being forced to drop out of college and end her career as a dancer, she decided to take control and find her own diagnosis. A powerful call to action on all fronts, this book strives to shake current assumptions and strike forth in a new way of approaching women in heath.

 

I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope – Chessy Prout & Jenn Abelson

Chessy took her trauma, having been sexually assaulted as a freshman in high school, and created possibility. This memoir not only tells that story, the one of shame and pain and triumph, but it also shifts the focus back at the culture that allows things like this to happen daily without recognition. Featuring concrete ideas to force change in an unforgiving society and the empowering voice of a young girl, it’s hard to read this book and not feel inspired.

 

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World – Ann Shen

A beautifully illustrated adult picture book, Bad Girls has everything you never learned in school about amazing women. The passion, drive, and rule-breaking tendencies of each woman paved the way for others to come and proved something in their own right about the true strength women possess. From spies to artists and Joan Jett to Marie Curie, it spans decades, professions, and status quos with moving biographies and watercolor portraits.

 

Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses to Empower and Inspire You – Ann Shen

The follow up to Bad Girls, Legendary Ladies takes the world of celebrating women to a mystical realm where magical stones repair the earth and home is a volcano. As another beautifully illustrated picture book it takes very conceptual characters and shapes them into tangible biographies, making us feel as though we can be just as strong and powerful. I can say reading just one a day fills me with the pride and inspiration to combat any obstacle put in my path with the same dignity they signify, only maybe fewer talismans.

 

Autism in Heels: The Untold Story of a Female Life on the Spectrum – Jennifer Cook O’Toole

Many times women and girls on the autism spectrum go undiagnosed and unrecognized because they don’t fit the traditional symptoms that are often found in men. Jennifer has had this experience personally and details her journey into discovering her identity and her diagnosis for the reader in a book sprinkled with careful wit, playful honesty, and a whole lot of strength. Going against the medical mainstream can be difficult, but for Jennifer that’s what she’s been doing her whole life as a “misunderstood miracle.”

 

 

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World – Rachel Ignotofsky

With the STEM field so present in the world of innovation right now Women in Science comes at the perfect time to highlight some of the forgotten ladies that made it what it is. Not only that, but in addition to biographies from Jane Goodall to Patricia Bath it contains a collection of quirky, unique renditions, an illustrated glossary of scientific tools and terms, and relevant statistics on women in STEM. In a field often dominated by the opposite sex, it’s powerful to see the unspoken framework of women who built it for those to come.

 

Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win – Rachel Ignotofsky

A sister to Women in Science, Women in Sports takes on the record breakers and trailblazers of the athletic community. We all know Billie Jean King and Simone Biles, but do we know Toni Stone or Patti McGee? After reading this you will, not to mention so many more women who fought against an environment structured to make them feel and act inferior to their male counterparts. A true testament to the not only physical but also psychological strength of the female athlete, Women in Sports will leave you impressed, grateful, and ready to stand.

2018 Texas Book Festival Dates Announced!

The Texas Book Festival is proud to announce its 2017 Festival Weekend was the most successful on record, with 50,000 attendees coming together on November 4 and 5 in the largest celebration of books and literacy in the Festival’s history. The Texas Book Festival will return for its 23rd year on October 27 and 28, 2018, and will once again be held in and around the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin.

The 2017 Festival Weekend featured more than 300 authors, including Tom Hanks, Dan Rather, Gail Simmons, Attica Locke, Min Jin Lee, Mark Bittman, Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, and more. Held November 3 at the Four Seasons Hotel, the annual First Edition Literary Gala raised more than $630,000 for the nonprofit organization and its literacy programs. Additionally, the TBF gave more than $100,000 in grants to Texas public libraries in 2017 and, through its Reading Rock Stars literacy program, provided more than 9,300 books to students in Title I schools this year. The Texas Teen Book Festival, held on October 7, also drew thousands with its all-star lineup of YA authors including Jason Reynolds, Marie Lu and many others, as well as an interactive iTent space, writing workshops, panels, and more.

“2017 was an epic year in so many ways, from standout literary talent across so many genres to incredible attendee turnout. We are as starstruck as anyone about the big marquee names at the Festival, but our true stars are the children, schools, and libraries we are able to impact across Texas, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters,” says Lois Kim, executive director. “We’re setting our sights even higher in 2018 for our outreach programming and an amazing Festival Weekend.”

Book lovers can expect to see more of what 2017 offered during next year’s Festival Weekend – a great author lineup, book signings, food trucks, cooking demonstrations, author sessions and panels, live music, a Saturday night Lit Crawl, and more. Submissions to participate in the Festival will open on Monday, January 11. For book submission guidelines, please visit our submissions page.

Books We Can’t Wait to Read: TBF’s 2018 Book Preview

Whether you made a resolution to read more in the new year or you plan to just keep going at your usual rate, it’s never too early to start building your 2018 must-read list.

This week we’re going through some of the titles we’re super looking forward to this year—some we’ve read already and some we can’t wait to get our hands on! Check out:

 

Julie’s 2018 preview of adult fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Lydia’s 2018 run-down of young adult and middle grade reads to look for.

Lea’s and Lydia’s top picks for picture books and kids’ lit this year.