2010 Decatur Book Festival

Decatur Book Festival

2010 Decatur Book Festival

This weekend is the 5th annual AJC Decatur Book Festival. I had a lot of fun at last year’s festival. Jonathan Franzen will be there. I’m hoping to be able to see Diana Gabaldon, who I missed last year because the crowd was way too big—her latest book had just been released. I think it should be a good time, and I hope the weather will be nice. Last year was crowded, but it was good because there were still plenty of places to sit, and it was heartwarming for this English teacher to see books bring so many folks out.

I don’t know if I’m being prickly or sensitive, but it bugs me that folks who commented on my review of Charity Girl, even if they agreed with the assessment, felt the need to point out they can understand Georgette Heyer’s Regency slang, ergo, I must have reading comprehension problems. Those exact words weren’t said, but they were sure implied a few times. Listen, I can read Robert Burns’s Scots dialect. I can understand Joseph in Wuthering Heights. I don’t think I have reading comprehension problems if I can’t figure out a few words in what I’m sure is probably historically accurate and meticulously researched but nonetheless dated and unfamiliar—apparently just to me—Regency cant. I didn’t like the book, and I stand by my review, but I don’t think I will participate in something like that again. I think the real problem some of the commenters had with my review is that I didn’t enjoy a book by an author they liked. Honestly, many of them were polite about it. In fact, I felt those who completely disagreed and yet didn’t feel the need to denigrate my intelligence probably made some good points. They know the author better than I do, after all. But I don’t understand the point in trying to belittle someone you disagree with. It isn’t likely to make them decide you’re right.

The Decatur Book Festival

Decatur Book FestivalWe all had a good time today at the Decatur Book Festival. I had to grab a nap when we got home so I could recover. I am a little sad—one of my main reasons for going, seeing Diana Gabaldon and possibly getting a book signed, didn’t turn out to be feasible when I saw the line. If I had been alone or with like-minded friends, I would have waited, but I was with family, none of whom shared my interest in seeing Ms. Gabaldon, so I filed that away for another time. I have seen her once before, after all.

We roamed all over the place, seeing all the different tents. We didn’t actually buy that much. The atmosphere was great, and as an English teacher, I was ecstatic that so many folks were gathered to celebrate books and reading. We mostly looked, walked around, and had fun. I think everyone except Steve found a book in the Little Shop of Stories. Sarah got Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson. Dylan got a copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. (it’s different from the one he already has because it has a CD). Maggie got some Junie B. Jones books and a replacement for the lost (and admittedly battered) copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I got a copy of Finn by John Clinch. It’s a book I’ve been curious about for some time.

You can look at my pictures here, if you have a Facebook. I don’t think you have to be my friend to see them, but if you want to be my friend, just send a request. I’m not sure if you can see them if you don’t have a Facebook.

Decatur Book Festival and R.I.P. Update

Decatur Book FestivalTomorrow, the Huffs are heading to the annual Decatur Book Festival for the first time. I’ll be sure to share all the fun here.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve finalized the selections I will read for the R.I.P. Challenge. I have decided on Peril the First, which means I plan to read four books: Dracula by Bram Stoker, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Grendel by John Gardner, and 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill. I am hoping that by picking books of a manageable size that I can actually finish the challenge, but I would like to read the others on my list at some point. I had settled on Dracula and Coraline fairly early on, but what finally made me decide on Grendel was a short excerpt in a supplementary textbook I use for teaching British Lit. I can no longer claim I’m any kind of Beowulf aficionado if I haven’t read Grendel. I decided on 20th Century Ghosts because of the recommendation of a Barnes and Noble employee who raved about it when I purchased it.

Meanwhile, my sister, who doesn’t have a blog, is going to read The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel, Strange Guests by Brad Steiger, and Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian. She has committed to Peril the Second. Perhaps if we all ask her really nicely, she’ll consent to guest blog here with her reviews. Or perhaps she will prefer to post reviews at the blog Carl has set up for the purpose. Either way, I hope she’ll share her thoughts with us.

Roundup: Reading News

Twitter and Facebook are great places to obtain news, depending on who you follow/friend. In the last couple of days, I have learned all the following: