All the YA Lit at Texas Book Fest!

Teens! A ton of amazing Young Adult authors will be at this year’s Fest. We’re once again bringing back YA HQ Tent on Congress, an entire tent dedicated to young adult authors and panels.

Tons of the year’s most exciting YA authors will be here, including Rainbow Rowell, Mariko Tamaki, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Hafsah Faizal and more. Come out to meet them and hear about their brand new books October 26-27!


Taking Care of Business: Kick-Butt Women in Fantastic Worlds
YA HQ Tent, 11:00 AM – 11:45 

The powerful women in these big new fantasy and sci fi novels are taking on the world to do what only they can do: save it from itself. From the Wild West to Wonderland to deep space, these authors talk about riveting new adventures that leave us feeling empowered and energized to take on our own worlds!
Authors: Charlotte Nicole Davis, L.L. McKinney, Nicky Drayden
Moderator: Katrina Ashton

Confronting Injustice: New YA About Major Issues
YA HQ Tent, 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

One of the most important things stories can do is encourage us to become more engaged with the world around us. In their new novels, these authors show us characters who stand up for what they believe in and make change in their communities. What are you capable of changing? Come be inspired by these stories!
Authors: Kekla Magoon, Rafi Mittlefehldt, Mitali Perkins
Moderator: Vanessa Lee

Matters of the Heart: Modern Love Stories
YA HQ Tent, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Love is great… until it sucks. Oh, but even then, relationships are so interesting to discuss. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or have sworn off love forever, grab a seat while we talk about the different kinds of love and heartbreak in these new books, from star-crossed love on the border, to two teenage girls outed in a small Texas town, to a graphic novel about a girlfriend who just will not go away.

Authors:Rubén Degollado, Brynne Rebele-Henry, Mariko Tamaki
Moderator: Anna Lyon

Dramatic Destinies: Death-Defying Stories of Daring and Courage
YA HQ Tent, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Death-defying feats of deception, daring, cunning and courage fill these page-turning adventures. It’s going to be a wild ride as the authors dive in and tell us how they create these imaginative, carefully-plotted stories that keep us reading way past our bedtime.
Authors: Hafsah Faizal, Maureen Johnson, Mary Pearson
Moderator: Princess Jones Curtis


On Our Own Terms: Creating the Lives We Want
YA HQ Tent, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

The world can be a lot to bear sometimes. Like, way too much. When that happens, the worlds we create for ourselves with music, friends, and our own imaginations can literally save us. But what happens when that salvation stops working? These authors share new stories where personal survival takes unique forms–and faces its own unforeseen consequences.

Authors: Audrey Coulthurst, Paula Garner, Morgan Parker
Moderator: Leticia Urieta

Wise Warriors and Epic Adventures
YA HQ Tent, 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

Acts of daring and drama tear across these new novels, where wit and bravery save worlds, battle injustice, and take on enemies across the ages. Dive deep into these tales of vengeance and justice and find out how these authors fuel the fire of these stories.

Authors: Tochi Onyebuchi, Lilliam Rivera, Sherry Thomas
Moderator: Natalia Sylvester

What I Never Told You: Spinning Secrets and Uncovering Truths
YA HQ Tent, 2:00-2:45

Secrets spin at the heart of all of these new novels. From the truth behind a rap song that’s gone viral, to the unspoken traumas of family history, to a character’s deepest desires to make more of his life, to uncovering the truth behind a murder, each author explores the implications and consequences of what we do and don’t reveal, to ourselves and the people we care about most.

Authors: Tiffany D. Jackson, Jennifer D. Mathieu, Matthew Mendez, Randy Ribay
Moderator: Kendra Fortmeyer

A Conversation with Rainbow Rowell
Kirkus Reviews Tent, Sunday October 27, 3:15-4:00

Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell sits down at Texas Book Fest to talk about her brand new book, Wayward Son, the sequel to her #1 New York Times bestselling book, Carry On. What happens when the hero’s journey is over? What comes next when your life has only just begun? Don’t miss this amazing conversation!

Authors: Rainbow Rowell
Moderator: Mariko Tamaki


Free Family Fun at Texas Book Fest!

Calling all young book lovers! There’s so much to learn, explore, and do at this year’s Texas Book Festival! Kids on Congress, our Congress Avenue thoroughfare highlighting exciting kids authors and activities, is back and better than ever. In fact, it’s so robust, we can’t even fit it all on Congress Avenue! Whether you’re a picture book reader, YA fanatic, or chapter book lover, we’ve got something for you. You don’t want to miss out on these free, all-day events, including author storytimes, live music, hands on activities, and giveaways!

Explore the Festival with a Kid’s Passport


Stop by the Children’s Activity Tent and pick up a Kid’s Passport! Return your passport at the end of the day with at least five stamps from specific activities — such as meeting a new friend, reading a new book, and visiting the Kirkus Reviews tent — and get a free small scoop of Amy’s ice cream!

Where’s Waldo? At Texas Book Fest!


2017 Texas Book Festival

Make sure to keep an eye out for everyone’s favorite hidden, red stripe-wearing character, Waldo! Candlewick Press is presenting a Where’s Waldo scavenger hunt, scattering several Waldo cutouts throughout the Festival grounds. You can pick up the scavenger hunt forms at the Children’s Activity Tent, but also be on the lookout for a real-life Waldo running around Congress Avenue!

How to See Sonia Sotomayor at Texas Book Fest

U.S. Supreme Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be in conversation about her new picture book, Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You in the House Chamber at the Texas Book Festival on Sunday, October 27 at 11:30AM. Afterwards, she will sign books. Space is limited. Please read the full event guidelines if you’d like to attend.

Must-See Authors at First United Methodist Church!

Saturday, October 26 at 10:00AM
Graphix Con: Great New Graphic Novels for Young Readers
featuring Raina Telgemeier, Gale Galligan, and Molly Ostertag!

Saturday, October 26 at 12:45PM
The Power of Kindness and Wonder: R. J. Palacio in Conversation

Read Me A Story Tent: The Spot for Picture Books


We’re so happy to bring some of today’s best picture book authors and illustrators to this year’s Festival, including Judy Schachner, Kat Zhang, Eric Velasquez, Isabel Quintero, Matt Tavares, and many more! With new storytimes beginning every 30 minutes, this tent invites kids to interact authors and illustrators while understanding they may have to get up and get their wiggles out, too! Search “Read Me A Story” on our schedule to see the full list of authors, illustrators, and storytimes!

Children’s Authors in the Latinx Lit Tent!


This year’s bilingual storytimes in the Latinx Lit Tent bring Tania de Regil, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Megan and Jorge Lacera to Congress Avenue! Additionally, make sure to catch Saturday’s celebration of the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Book Award winners with David Bowles and Xelena Gonzalez. 

Children’s Authors in the Kirkus Reviews Tent


Don’t miss some of our favorite picture book, chapter book, and YA authors in the Kirkus Review Tent! Kwame Alexander brings us The Undefeated; Steven Weinberg and Jon Scieszka are going AstroNuts, and Andy Griffiths invites us to imagine his 117-story treehouse! This is where you’ll also find special conversations with Ibtihaj Muhammad, Ibi Zoboi, Meg Medina, and Sharon Robinson. And don’t miss YA superstar Rainbow Rowell in conversation with Mariko Tamaki!

Next Chapter Tent: The Spot for Middle Grade Readers


Magic, animal adventures, and spies, oh my! The Next Chapter Tent will feature a variety of panels for middle grade readers and early chapter book lovers. Plus — we’ll be teaming up with the Texas Library Association to announce this year’s Texas Bluebonnet Award winners! Check out the full schedule in the Next Chapter Tent and come ready to ask questions and learn about the big adventures in these books!

The YA HQ Tent: All Young Adult Authors, All the Time

The Young Adult HQ Tent is back this year, giving YA lovers of all ages a chance to dive into fantastic worlds, epic quests, unique situations, star-crossed love stories, and some with happy endings, too. Join young heroes and heroines as they solve the world’s problems, save the adults and the planet, and find how to love themselves and others. Featuring tons of authors, including Maureen Johnson, Tochi Onyebuchi, L. L. McKinney, Jennifer Mathieu, and so many more! Check out the full YA HQ schedule here.

And don’t miss bestselling YA author Rainbow Rowell in the Kirkus Reviews Tent on Sunday, October 27 at 3:15PM! She’ll be in conversation with Mariko Tamaki about Wayward Son, the highly-anticipated follow up to Carry On!

So Much More Fun To Have!


2018 Texas Book Festival

YA publisher FIREreads and children’s book club Literati will be on-site at 10th and Congress with various interactive activities for kids of all ages. You won’t want to miss this fun opportunity for a hands-on Festival experience with these two fantastic, book-centric communities! And while you’re in the area, don’t forget to stop by the Penguin Young Readers outpost in our Next Chapter tent. The wonderful Penguin team will be giving away goodies throughout the day, so get ready middle grade readers!

Many thanks to St. David’s HealthCare for bringing Hook’em, UT’s lovable mascot, to our Festival grounds.

We’re so excited for a great, fun weekend! Check out our author lineup for a complete list of the authors at this year’s Festival.

Texas Book Fest Q&A with Fernando A. Flores

Fernando A. Flores is an Austin-based writer and bookseller. He is the author of Tears of the Trufflepig.

TBF: Why did you write your new book? What was your inspiration?

Fernando A. Flores: I wrote this book out of sheer will and fear, and sought to capture a border narrative beyond realism that would act like a haunted looking glass, and could reflect something morbid and very much real in our world today.

TBF: What’s the last book you read, loved, and can’t stop recommending? Why is it so good?

FF: Stay and Fight by Madeline Fitch is one of the most superb novels I’ve read in recent years. The writers I seek are the ones able to look past themselves to capture their time and place, and Madeline does this very admirably, with incredible force and originality.

TBF: What’s the first book you remember reading? Who gave it to you?

FF: The first book I remember having an impact on me was The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley. I checked it out of the high school library when I was about 16, and, though I knew very little about that part of America, it affected me very much.


Fernando A. Flores is one of 300 authors who will appear at the 2019 Texas Book Festival which takes place October 26-27th 2019 in downtown Austin. The Festival is free and open to the public! Check out all of this year’s authors.

Texas Book Fest Q&A with Lilliam Rivera

Lilliam Rivera is the author of the new YA novel Dealing in Dreams

TBF: Why did you write your new book? What was your inspiration?

Lilliam Rivera: My young adult novel Dealing in Dreams was inspired by a book I read over and over again when I was in High School: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. I loved the book and its depiction of family, class, and violence. Although the book was set in a place so outside of my own upbringing (I’m from the Bronx, New York) I could relate to the characters. When I was writing Dealing in Dreams , I kept thinking of what life would be like if girls were forced to grow up in a violent world. I wanted to explore a dystopian setting where girls are regulated to fight in gangs as their only way of life.

TBF: What’s the last book you read, loved, and can’t stop recommending? Why is it so good?

LR: The last book I read was the young adult book The Patron Saint of Nothing by Randy Ribay. It’s a heartbreaking story about a Filipino-American boy who travels back to the Philippines to find out what really happened to his cousin who was suddenly killed as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs. It’s so timely and beautifully written.

TBF: What’s the first book you remember reading? Who gave it to you?

LR: The first book I remember reading was Babar Visits Another Planet by Laurent de Brunhoff. The picture book was so beautifully illustrated. I remember being in awe of the planet Babar visited and how his visit was a bit of a disaster. I’m sure my parents must have given me the book.


Lilliam Riverais one of 300 authors who will appear at the 2019 Texas Book Festival which takes place October 26-27th 2019 in downtown Austin. The Festival is free and open to the public! Check out all of this year’s authors.

Texas Book Fest Q&A with S. C. Gwynne

S. C. Gwynne is the author of the new history book, Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil WarHe is also the author of Rebel Yell and Empire of the Summer Moon.

TBF: Why did you write your new book? What was your inspiration?

S. C. Gwynne: I have always loved the American Civil War. I wrote a biography of Stonewall Jackson entitled Rebel Yell a few years ago, which covered the first two years of the war. I became so interested in the topic that I just had to see how the war ended. (The North won, as far as I can tell.)

TBF: What’s the last book you read, loved, and can’t stop recommending? Why is it so good?

SCG: Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. I don’t normally read historical fiction but this stuff is so stunning I could not stay away.

TBF: What’s the first book you remember reading? Who gave it to you?

SCG: One of the “Dick and Jane” series that was inflicted on my generation. See Spot run. Run run run. What an inspiration to readers of all kinds. I have modeled my own literary style after it.


S. C. Gwynne is one of 300 authors who will appear at the 2019 Texas Book Festival which takes place October 26-27th 2019 in downtown Austin. The Festival is free and open to the public! Check out all of this year’s authors.

Books We Can’t Wait to Read: Lydia’s YA Picks

Happy 2019, y’all! New year, new books, new resolution to read everything I can get my hands on without coming up for air (it’s the resolution I make every year, and in some ways, it’s the easiest since it’s what I most want to do all the time). I’m sharing a list of Young Adult books (and a few middle grade) that I either have read already and loved, or cannot wait to read and expect I will love. This is an entirely subjective list made from perusing spring and summer publishing catalogs, with the help of some ARCS I’ve gotten, and there are so, so many books to look forward to this year that I didn’t get to on this list.

Read It, Loved It, I’m Starting A Fan Club:


Dragon Pearl – Yoon Ha Lee
I finished this book last week and I’ve already texted a friends about it a bazillion times. With this wild, wild west-style space opera, full of Korean folklore, mythical creatures, futuristic societies, and truly original world-builing, Yoon Ha Lee brings all the talent and verve that have made her name in adult horror and science fiction, and makes a fantastic middle-grade debut. I’ve loved everything the Rick Riordan Presents imprint has published so far, and Dragon Pearl is such a worthy addition.
Bonus: if you’re an audiobook fan, this is a good one to listen to!

If You’re Out There – Katy Loutzenhiser
I think anyone who is or has been a teenager well understands that feeling of watching the friends we’ve known since forever grow up alongside us and… grow into someone we don’t actually know as well anymore. If You’re Out There is one such universal coming-of-age story, but don’t think that means it’s a predictable plot—Zan’s unique angst and her refusal to simply let her best friend go made this one of the freshest, most heartfelt, and yes, fun take on this common theme and I want everyone to read this the second it hits the shelves.

This Time Will Be Different – Misa Sugiura
One of my favorite books of 2017 was Misa Sugiura’s gorgeous It’s Not Like It’s A Secret (if a story combines a coming of age narrative, positive queer representation, and the mystery of a family’s long-held secret, I’m there), and I’m only a couple of chapters into This Time Will Be Different, but I can already confidently recommend this gem. If you loved the sweet romance interwoven with history and complicated families in The Sun Is Also a Star and Picture Us In The Light, this is definitely a book for you, and it’s going to be the book I feverishly press into the hands of every friend, family member, and passing stranger I see this year.
Also, I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we all do it AND JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER.

Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi
Speaking of covers, here’s another I can recommend you lovingly stroke while diving into the fast-paced, intricate story of fantastical magic, ancient artifacts, and dark inheritance. Set in a fictionalized version of Paris, Chokshi’s brilliant, gem-faceted world holds all the lush, layered mystery of books like Swordspoint and Six of Crows—best of all, you can read it now.

Dealing in Dreams – Lilliam Rivera
From the author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, this book has a brilliant premise, a frame-worthy cover, and a story full of swagger and singular, unforgettable voice. The story of Nalah and her Las Mal Criadas, the “baddest girl gang in Mega City,” is all I ever wanted from a high-octane futuristic feminist dystopian fantasy about a group of teen girls fighting their way through an inhospitable world.

Haven’t Read Yet But Would Follow These Authors Anywhere:


A Thousand Sisters – Elizabeth Wein
Code Name Verity stole my heart and made me sob (all three times I’ve read it), and I’ve relished every Elizabeth Wein book that’s come after, so I can’t wait to get my hands on A Thousand Sisters. Wein’s Young Pilots series is my gold standard for well-researched historical fiction, so it only makes sense that she should write a book about the Night Witches, “Soviet women who flew World War II bombing missions in flimsy bi-planes made of balsa wood and fabric.” Even if you don’t reach for nonfiction very often, treat yourself to this one: Wein’s storytelling abilities have a way of putting you in the moment so well you’ll be just as entranced as with a novel.

The Meaning of Birds – Jaye Robin Brown
Did you love Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit? Me too, and while it may have a heavier storyline, I expect Brown’s skillful treatment of queer teen stories and complex, genuine characters will make The Meaning of Birds just as important and uplifting.

Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits – Anna Meriano
My favorite clan of pastry brujas is back and I cannot wait to read this follow-up to one of my favorite books of 2018. Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble was full of wacky fun, family secrets, and sisterly love (and trouble)—I fully expect A Sprinkle of Spirits to be just as spicy, spooky, and sweet. Bonus: for those of y’all in the Houston area, you can celebrate the book’s release with Houston-based author Anna Meriano at Brazos Bookstore on Febrary 9.

The Vanishing Stair – Maureen Johnson
Did you fall in love with the twistery mystery of Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious? I was sold from the first page (The dedication reads: “For everyone who has ever dreamed of finding a body in the library.” How does she know??) and when my local indie bookstore opened on Tuesday, January 22, you bet I was at the door waiting to get my hands on a copy. I’ll probably finish it in one gulp and then regret not making it last a little long. Oh well.

Somewhere Only We Know – Maurene Goo
One of my favorite books I read last year was The Way You Make Me Feel, and I was so thrilled to get to see Maurene Goo, in all her intimidating-coolness, at the 2018 Texas Book Festival. Imagine my shriek when I came across Somewhere Only We Know in a spring catalog—a new book by the queen of fresh, original YA rom-coms, starring a Kpop star and a teen tabloid reporter? I’ve never hit pre-order so fast.

The Raven’s Tale – Cat Winters
I adore Cat Winters’s particular brand of bone-chilling historical fiction, and am both excited and slightly terrified to see how she tells this tale of the King of Creep himself, young Edgar Allen Poe. While I wait for April 16, I will buy extra light bulbs for the coming nights when I can’t sleep. Future Lydia will thank me.

And Still More I Can’t Wait to Read:


Dough Boys – Paula Chase
The Usual Suspects – Maurice Broaddus
Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined – Stephanie Hemphill
Like a Love Story – Abdi Nazemian
Destroy All Monsters – Sam J. Miller
With the Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo

Pumpkinheads – Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Let Me Hear A Rhyme – Tiffany D. Jackson
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali – Sabina Khan
Tell Me How You Really Feel – Aminah Mae Safi
The Tiger at Midnight – Swati Teerdhala


A Good Kind of Trouble – Lisa Moore Ramée
Orange for the Sunsets – Tina Athaide
Other Words for Home – Jasmine Warga
These Witches Don’t Burn – Isabel Sterling
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens – Tanya Boteju
Stand on the Sky – Erin Bow
Love and Other Curses – Michael Thomas Ford



The Raven Tower – Ann Leckie

One Last recommendation: This one isn’t technically YA or middle-grade, but how could I write this post and not shriek about a new fantasy novel from multiple award-winning author Ann Leckie (who also just happens to be one of my favorite living authors?). The answer is: I could not, and should not. We should all be basking in the glory of Leckie’s boundless imagination, dry, subtle wit, and heart-stealing characters.

Book Club Guide to Texas Book Fest

Calling all book clubs! The Texas Book Festival is a great opportunity to discover your group’s next big read and to meet the authors you’ve been reading and discussing all year. This year, we’ve curated several sessions with book clubs in mind. Of course, we hope you’ll join us at EVERY session this year (and as soon as you figure out the human cloning technology to make this possible, please do let us know). All of these sessions are FREE and open to the public. The authors will sign copies of their books immediately afterwards. 



Sunday, November 5 3:00-4:00
Bring Your Book Club!

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweenty, Rumaan Alam, Amita Trasi
Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom
Bring your book club to the Festival to meet authors Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (The Nest), Rumaan Alam (Rich and Pretty) and Amita Trasi (The Color of Our Sky) as they discuss their new work. With wit, style, and characters you won’t stop discussing, these authors explore family, friendship, self-discovery and more in page-turning stories you’ll be eager to share.



Saturday, November 4 10:30-11:15
Family Forms
Amanda Eyre Ward and Emily Robbins

Moderated by Jardine Libaire
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.016
The boundaries of love are tested in new novels by Texas writers Amanda Eyre Ward (The Nearness of You) and Emily Robbins (A Word for Love). From surrogate parenting to being a third party witness to a clandestine affair, Ward and Robbins discuss the particular nature of love just to the side of center and what draws them to write about the gray areas of human family and connection.



Saturday, November 4 11:00-11:45
Thank You For Being A Friend
Lisa Ko and Rakesh Satyal

Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.026
Sustaining friendships are at the centers of new novels by Lisa Ko (The Leavers) and Rakesh Satyal (No One Can Pronounce My Name). The friendships formed by characters as they immigrate to America and acclimate to life in New York and Cleveland become fundamental to their development and to the story. Join Ko and Satyal as they discuss writing foundational friendships.




Saturday, November 4 11:30-12:15
A Piece of The World
Christina Baker Kline and Sarah Bird

Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom
Celebrated Texas writer Sarah Bird sits down with Christina Baker Kline, friend and author of the mega-bestselling book club favorite, Orphan Train Girl, to discuss following up on her phenomenal success, the joys of the writing life, and Kline’s stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, A Piece of the World.





Saturday, November 4 12:15-1:00
Vintage Writers on Reading
Will Schwalbe and Ariel Lawhon

Location: Capitol Auditorium
An intimate seminar for readers interested in the behind the scenes of being a writer. William Schwalbe (Books for Living) and Ariel Lawhon (Flight of Dreams) will talk about their respective reading and writing habits. Special tote bags with complimentary advanced readers copies will be handed out!





Saturday, November 4 12:15-1:00
Family History, Family Destiny
Min Jin Lee and Hala Alyan
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.014
Setting their new novels against the backdrop of very different, very contentious points in history, Min Jin Lee (Pachinko), Hala Alyan (Salt Houses) and Rodrigo Hasbún (Affections) open up generational stories of displacement and destiny in Korea, Kuwait City, Bolivia and beyond. Join them as they discuss how political forces shaped the lives, structures and fates of their characters and how history drew each of them to the page.




Saturday, November 4 2:15-3:00
Stephanie Powell Watts and C. Morgan Babst

Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.016
What does it mean to come home again when home has been ravaged by a hurricane, or family neglect, or poverty, or time? What would constitute home then? In new novels by C. Morgan Babst (The Floating World) and Stephanie Powell Watts (No One Is Coming to Save Us), characters learn that not all homecomings are created equal. Join them as they discuss writing about what comes after the storm of time.





Sunday, November 4 1:30-2:15
Unexpected Connection

Rachel Kadish and Jessica Shattuck in Conversation
Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom
Soon after meeting in a Boston writers’ group, Rachel Kadish (The Weight of Ink) and Jessica Shattuck (The Women in the Castle) learned that they shared an unexpected bond: Kadish’s grandparents were Holocaust survivors; Shattuck’s were members of the Nazi party. Join them as they discuss their friendship, the questions they asked one another, and how their family histories informed their new historical novels–and offer context for current event.




Sunday, November 5 2:00-2:45
It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s…. My Family?
Ladee Hubbard and Daryl Gregory
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.012

You think your family is strange? Master storytellers Ladee Hubbard (The Talented Ribkins) and Daryl Gregory (Spoonbenders) introduce us to vastly different families with talents the likes of which you’ve never seen. But these powers are not all they’re cracked up to be. These authors will challenge what you think you know about human limitations and the strength of human spirit.




Sunday, November 5 11:00-11:45
Unraveling WWII
Cristina García
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.036
Cristina García, bestselling author of the classic Dreaming in Cuban and finalist for the National Book Award, talks with author Natalia Sylvester about García’s new novel, Here in Berlin. This portrait of a city through snapshots excavates the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin, still pulsing with its past and WWII.






Browse More TBF Book Club Books!



2017 Texas Teen Book Festival Keynotes

The Texas Teen Book Festival has announced its 2017 keynote authors!

“TTBF 2017 is shaping up to be amazing!” says Festival Director Shawn Mauser. “I could hardly keep the keynote news to myself. Connecting teens with authors they love is the core of what we do. We’re thrilled to give Texas teens the opportunity to meet these exciting, inspiring writers.”

Head to the Texas Teen Book Festival site to check out this year’s fabulous keynote authors!

Join us at St. Edward’s University on October 7 for another jam-packed day of all things YA. The Texas Teen Book Festival is, as always, free and open to the public. Stay tuned to #TTBF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-the-minute news and announcements about this year’s Fest. Sign up for the TTBF mailing list to have all of the latest information delivered straight to your inbox.

This is only the beginning. So much more big news to come! We can’t wait for October 7!

From the Lit Director Desk: What I’m Reading

IMG_9937I’ve been to some very cold places this year in the name of books. 


The beginning of February saw me return from one book conference in time to promptly turn around and fly out to another book conference. I had just enough time to empty my suitcase of one load of books and make room for another. (Pity me, I know. Play the world’s smallest violins. My dishes were dirty for weeks! The cat did not learn how to do laundry in my absence!)

The great thing about flying in airplanes is that I’m too terrified to look out the window (the ground is so far away) or into the faces of my fellow passengers (which one of these people will be the one to fix the mask over my face when this steel machine goes down???) so I keep my head down and read. And drink tiny little bottles of airplane wine. And hope for the best. I read quite a lot this month. Here are a few of the books that stood out to me. There have been tons of great new books to read and 2017 has barely begun. Get to a bookstore! Browse around! There are good books afoot!


right way to be

The Right Way to be Crippled and Naked: The Fiction of Disability
edited by Sheila Black, Michael Northen and Annabelle Hayse

Available now! // Cinco Puntos Press

I’m so grateful to Cinco Puntos Press for sending this beautiful anthology my way. Twenty-seven writers present stories about “disability” in all ways the word can be defined. This is the first time – the first time – that short fiction by writers with disabilities, featuring disabled characters, has been anthologized. In addition to unfolding underrepresented perspectives, this book is just chock full of beautiful, lyrical writing. I am mesmerized, story to story. I’m a fan of anthologies in general and love being able to flip between a panoply of voices and styles between two covers. I’m thrilled to have this collection on my shelf.



Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
On sale May 16 // Transit Books

I’ve just begun this sweeping story of family, inheritance and history by Ugandan novelist and short story writer Makumbi. Longlisted for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Debut African Fiction, Transit Books is publishing this debut novel in the US in May. Moving through time, it follows the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan across generations. I’m really getting into the layers of Kintu Kidda’s journey and family life early on in the book, in the section set in 1750 in Buddu Province, Buganda. The tension of ritual, of tradition adhered to, subverted and manipulated, runs through Kintu’s large family and underscores the violent political turmoil incited by the region’s royalty. The ways in which the characters are bound to one another by blood, tradition, social norms, expectation, love and friendship create a rich and engaging emotional plot. There’s a lot more of this story to come, which is amazing, because Makumbi has already packed so much into the first 100 pages. This book already feels like several novels in one.


we are never meeting

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby
On sale May 30 // Vintage

Hallelujah, all praise be, our year is saved thanks to Samantha Irby. This collection of ab-so-lute-ly hilarious essays reads like a long, wine-laced night with the good friend with whom you can discuss all of your totally honest and unpopular opinions about sex, life, love, mental health, aging, family, money, work, and being alive in a seriously less-than-perfect world. Irby is by turns irascible and endearing, self-deprecating and self-assured. In fashioning herself as an anti-hero with a penchant for cheap and dirty meals, doomed relationships and a happy life of cranky spinsterhood, Irby cracks sharp jokes with one hand while revealing poignant emotional vulnerability with the other. I don’t know whether or not it’s a good idea to glean dating advice from this book, but, I have to say, I have found her stories of romance and relationship-building both informative and reassuring. (Date someone who is the opposite of you, that person will know how to pack real road trip snacks; I will remember this advice forever.) If you’re shy and prefer to avoid attention in public, do not read this book outside of your home. You will laugh out loud, a lot, and people will look at you. I also do not recommend attempting to read this book at the gym. Especially don’t try to read the essay about exercising while you are trying to exercise. Take it from me: you cannot laugh this hard and elliptical at the same time. Samantha Irby is also the author of the essay collection Meaty and writes this blog over here.


goodbye vitamin

Goodbye Vitamin: A Novel by Rachel Khong
On Sale July 11 // Henry Holt and Co.

I ate this book right up. Yes, it has a tremendous cover, a cover that, at thirty-almost-six years old, intimidated me just a smidge. Am I hip enough to read this book?! Embrace the lemons, my friends, and get to page one, because you’ll forget yourself and be hooked straight away. This book is all humor and big, big heart. Told in dated entries that begin on December 26, it’s the story of Ruth Young, a thirty year old woman recovering from major heartbreak in her parents’ home, where she stays on after Christmas to help her mother manage her father’s rapidly developing Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s and broken hearts sound like a hoot, I know, but I promise, Khong delivers the hard stuff of heartache and health in memorable characters and tender, hilarious situations. This book has some of that oddball Miranda July dark humor I enjoy, with notes of Palahniuk’s ‘broken humans in extreme but somehow functioning and believable circumstances’ style, along with some deadpan emotional lines that punched me right in my Amy Hempel heart. As Ruth comes to terms with her parents’ marriage, her relationship with her father and family, and her own messy emotions, the story lifts right off the page and soars with hope. Khong was executive editor of Lucky Peach and is also the author of All About Eggs: Everything We Know About the World’s Most Important Food. This book will be called the perfect summer read, because it comes out in July, but, I promise, you’ll love it any time of year.


abandon-me separation-kitamura dear-friend

New Books On Shelves Now That I Really Enjoyed:

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker
A Separation
 by Katie Kitamura
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Abandon Me by Melissa Febos
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li
Why I Am Not A Feminist by Jessica Crispin
Animals Strike Curious Poses by Elena Passarello
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Always Happy Hour by Mary Miller
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders


exit-west all-grown-up sorry to disrupt the peace

Books to Look for in March: 

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
South and West: From A Notebook by Joan Didion
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Wait Till You See Me Dance by Deb Olin Unferth
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace : A Novel by Patty Yumi Cottrell
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hanna Tinti

2017 Internship Opportunities!

Join the Texas Book Festival Team as an Intern!

The Texas Book Festival and the Texas Teen Book Festival offer ongoing unpaid internships designed to expose qualified applicants to editorial, marketing and publicity, and development work, and other aspects of publishing, nonprofit organizations, and event planning. We’re now accepting applications for 2017 internships!

Take a look at the full list of available internships.

From programming to outreach to development and graphic design, we’re looking for help! Festival internships are particularly valuable for those interested in publishing, journalism, creative writing, and nonprofit operations. Interns receive a front row view of the inner workings of book marketing, publicity and event management, as well as gain an understanding of the rhythms and cycles of publishing, nonprofit fundraising, and community engagement.

Full disclosure: if you intern for the Texas Book Festival, there’s a 95% chance you will be asked to pose for Instagram. It’s painless, we promise. Look at these happy interns:



And also sometimes there’s dancing!