Did you know that October is National Book Month? To celebrate, the Utah Humanities Council organized the 15th Annual Utah Humanities Book Festival, which features book signings and talks from young adult authors such as Lois Lowry, David Levithan, Maggie Stiefvater, and Libba Bray. Last Tuesday I was the happy attendee of Maggie Stiefvater‘s reading and signing at the King’s English. This is the first time she has stopped in Utah so I was incredibly excited for the event. It was well attended and Maggie herself was endearing and entertaining. Here is a shot of Maggie holding up Gansey’s (The Raven Boys) top-sider:
A few days before that, I attended the Utah Council of Teachers of English (UCTE) annual conference on the invitation of my mother-in-law, who is an English professor. I have no aspirations to become an English teacher myself, but I admire the profession and have fond memories of my English teachers who were the best and most memorable teachers of my teenage years. So why attend? Because of the headlining authors, of course. Shannon Hale and Francisco Stork each spoke and gave a breakout session together about writing. I was so busy enjoying every moment of the day that I hardly documented the event with notes or photos. (Sometimes I’m old fashioned that way.) I did manage to snap a photo of Shannon and Francisco in their breakout session:
I knew Shannon was funny from reading her tweets or blog posts, but I had no idea how completely hilarious she is in real-life. I loved the slide slow of her school portraits, her kids, and the staged author stalker photos that accompanied her address. As for Francisco, it is impossible to accurately describe what it was like meeting him for the first time. We became friends earlier this year via email and and seeing him in real life plus being able to hear his insightful words was the real highlight of the day. To top it all off, the English teachers accepted the lone book blogger into their fold. They looked to me for reading recommendations, and I felt valued and appreciated and immediately like I belonged. There are not much better days to be had.
What about you? Is National Book Month being celebrated in your area and how are you participating? What upcoming events are must-sees in Utah?