Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Salon: Bibliofeast is Coming! Bibliofeast is Coming! or What Kind of Bookish Events Should You Attend?

Once upon a time a long time ago, I went to the ALA meeting with my mom's cousin. While I was not then, nor am I now, a librarian, it was my first taste of an event revolving around books and working with books and book nerd that I am, I loved it. Since then, I have gone to a handful of signings and readings. I don't typically attend a lot these because I feel completely tongue tied in front of authors I love and as a result generally end up babbling incoherently to them. I should add here that none of the authors on the receiving end of my verbal diarrhea has been anything less than gracious about my social incompetence so if you fear this same problem, do not let it hold you back! More recently, I have also attended more formal panels and conferences focused on books and the book world. All of these sorts of things, huge conventions, intimate readings, and conferences, are wonderful ways to dive more deeply into reading and the book world. But I have to admit my very favorite event is one that is coming up next week here in Charlotte and is hosted by the Women's National Book Association--Charlotte chapter. It's the annual Bibliofeast in honor of National Reading Group Month.

Bibliofeast is a moveable feast with authors. Let me explain. We meet at a local Italian restaurant (Maggiano's at South Park for those in the area) and have cocktails and dinner. We mill around chatting with drinks in our hand, meeting other book lovers and a few authors, before heading into dinner. We find seats at our tables and then one of nine authors joins each table. As the folks at the table eat, the author talks a little bit about his or her book and then answers questions and chats with those eating. After a predetermined amount of time, the author says goodbye and moves along to the next table and your table gets a new author with whom to chat. Yes, the authors are the moveable part of this moveable feast. And while you enjoy your salad, pasta, and dessert, you get to indulge in casual conversation with most, if not all, of the authors at the event. Now, here's why I love it above other book events. You don't have to worry about what you're going to say to the author. This is huge for me. There's a whole table of people to chat with him or her so if you are feeling particularly tongue-tied, you can just take it all in. But, if you want to speak or ask a question about the book or writing process or life, you can do it in a setting that just feels like dinner with friends. Because it really is dinner with friends. All the folks there are there because they love books and reading (and some of them love writing too). So they are automatically your people. Very cool, especially for those of us who are introverts. And the authors and books are fantastic too.

So now that I've made you jealous already, here's the list of the authors I'll eating dinner with on October 14:

WILTON BARNHARDT, Lookaway, Lookaway | St. Martin’s Press
DIANE CHAMBERLAIN, Necessary Lies | St. Martin’s Press
NORA GASKIN, Time of Death and Until Proven | Lystra Books
SUSAN GREGG GILMORE, The Funeral Dress | Broadway Books
TOMMY HAYS, What I Came to Tell You | Egmont USA
CASSANDRA KING, Moonrise | Maiden Lane Press
REBECCA LEE, Bobcat and Other Stories | Algonquin Books
JAMIE MASON, Three Graves Full | Gallery Books
JOHN MILLIKEN THOMPSON, Love and Lament | Other Press

But it doesn't have to just be me. If you are in the area, you too can come to this really fun event. Important details in case you want to attend:

Place: Maggiano's Little Italy at South Park Mall

Date and Time: Monday, October 14 at 6pm

Books will be sold before and after the event by local independent book store Park Road Books

Tickets available online here

I'd love to meet you if you come, so please find me and say hi. And for those of you who are too far away to join us, the WNBA is hosting quite a few other bookish events for the month. Find out what's going on near you here. Finally, do you know of any other book related events I should attend? Tell me about them in the comments.


  1. I LOVE this format and wish we had something like it in our area of the country. I, too, am tongue-tied when it comes to making small talk, but I would love to hear the conversation that takes part at these round tables. Have a wonderful time!

  2. Lucky you! And while I have heard of most of those authors/books, I would especially like to chit-chat with Diane Chamberlain, since I have been reading her books off and on for many years. Enjoy this when it comes. Sorry, I don't have news of any other event to share with you.

  3. I haven't been to this kind of author event before but I am lucky to live in a place where there are lots of different kinds of events that are available to us! Have fun!


I have had to disable the anonymous comment option to cut down on the spam and I apologize to those of you for whom this makes commenting a chore. I hope you'll still opt to leave me your thoughts. I love to hear what you think, especially so I know I'm not just whistling into the wind here at my computer.

Popular Posts