2013 National Book Festival Extravapalooza

Who’s hot and who’s … um, very hot, at this year’s festival. Plan your weekend by clicking here (links to lots of reviews inside!).

2013 National Book Festival Extravapalooza

The 13th annual National Book Festival is this weekend (September 21-22) on the National Mall. Two days of nonstop books and authors: the decision isn’t whether to go, it’s who to go see when you do!

Here’s a preview of some of the authors you may want to see this year, sorted by the pavilion in which they’ll appear.

Contemporary Life

We’ve Reviewed …

Mario Livio: Author of Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein—Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe.

Extras …

Pati Jinich: Author of Pati’s Mexican Table: my wife bought her book and I’ve been cooking up a storm using her recipes, from chicken tinga to honey-chipotle ribs, with delicious results.

D.T. Max: Author of a biography of David Foster Wallace. If you’re a DFW fan, this is a do-not-miss.

David Finkel: A MacArthur Fellow and author of Thank You For Your Service, which looks at post-traumatic stress disorder in returning veterans. Our review is coming soon!

History & Biography

We’ve Reviewed …

Rich Atkinson: A Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Guns At Last Light: The War In Western Europe 1944-1945.

Denise Kiernan: Author of The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.

David Nasaw: Author of The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy.

Walter Stahr: A reviewer for the Independent and the author, most recently, of Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man.

Evan Thomas: Author of Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle To Save The World.

Extras …

Marie Arana: A D.C. author and speaker at our June Books Alive! Conference, she’s the author, most recently, of Bolivar: American Liberator.

A. Scott Berg: Author of one of the most anticipated biographies of the fall, on Woodrow Wilson. Look for our review of Wilson on Thursday of this week.

Fiction & Mystery

We’ve Reviewed …

Margaret Atwood: Her latest is MaddAddam. We reviewed In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination.

Christopher Buckley: The son of William F. Buckley, Jr., his latest is They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?

Khaled Hosseini: The third and most recent book from this author of The Kite Runner is And The Mountains Echoed.

Adam Johnson: Author of The Orphan Master’s Son, a Pulitzer Prize winning book about North Korea.

Ayana Mathis: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Mathis’s debut novel, was released to much fanfare, including attention from Oprah Winfrey. (I didn’t like it as much as our reviewer did, but am eager to see what she does next.)

Brad Meltzer: A D.C.-based thriller writer whose latest is The Fifth Assassin. We reviewed The Inner Circle.

James McBride: Our review of The Good Lord Bird is up on the front page of our website today. The book’s about John Brown, told from the perspective of a slave, and it sounds fascinating. Go check it out.

Extras …

Don DeLillo: I am ashamed to admit I’ve never read anything by this modern master. Suggestions?

Roxana Robinson: Her latest, Sparta, is about a veteran returning from war and his difficulties readjusting to society. I’ve been thinking about devoting another post to this important book, which I just finished and highly recommend.

Poetry & Prose

We’ve Reviewed …

Amity Gaige: The latest novel from this Top 5 Writer Under 35 is Schroder, in which a father’s desperate act amidst a fierce custody battle reveals his decades-long lie.

Alyson Hagy: Her latest novel is Boleto, a novel set in the New West, where the right horse can be a trainer’s ticket or “boleto” to a better life.

Joyce Carol Oates: The latest from this extremely prolific author is The Accursed. We’ve reviewed Mudwoman and her memoir A Widow’s Story, as well as interviewing Oates about The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares.

Benjamin Percy: Percy’s latest novel is Red Moon. I’ve read his previous novel The Wilding and would recommend it. He’s also a pretty darned nice guy.

Manil Suri: The City of Devi is an apocalyptic novel set in Mumbai.

Extras …

Cristina Garcia: Dreaming in Cuban, among this well-known author’s works, is not to be missed.

Natasha Trethewey: Trethewey is poet laureate of both the United States and her home state of Mississippi. She’s written books of poetry and Beyond Katrinia: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Did I miss anyone? Who are you most looking forward to seeing? Any suggestions, recommendations, or invitations to meet up for drinks on Friday or Saturday night are welcome in the comments below.


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