Friday, August 30, 2019

Still Life with Robin: BookFest 2019!

by Peggy Robin

You normally get “Still Life with Robin” on Saturdays. But not when it’s the Saturday of the Labor Day Weekend, because that the day of the Library of Congress National Book Festival – the best free annual event in Washington, DC that does not involve fireworks!

As I will be at BookFest 2019 most of tomorrow, my column is coming out tonight, mainly to say that you should go, too! Hop on the Metro, head on down to the Convention Center, and be sure to pick up your free totebag first thing, so that when you go around to the various exhibits and author appearances, you can pick up any little freebies and tchotchkes that may be handed out, and just drop them in your roomy bag. Pens and pencils, bookmarks, notepads, booklets, posters, comic books, and sometimes even hardback books are among the giveaways up for grabs every year. And if you’ll be buying copies of any of the featured authors’ works to be autographed, you can stick them in your totebag, too.

There will be over 100 authors at BookFest 2019 – but here are the Big Names: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Joyce Carol Oates, Barbara Kingsolver, Philippa Gregory, Sara Paretsky, Natasha Trethewey, Alexandra Horowitz, Linda Sue Park. Now you may be starting to wonder if any men have been invited! Yes, there’s Marcus Zuzak, Nathan Englander, Henry Louis Gates, Frans de Waal, Evan Thomas, David Brinkley, David McCullough, and ....well, I think I'll stop there. The complete list, conveniently in alphabetical order, is here: You can find speaking times, book signing times, and locations, too -- go to You will also find panel discussions, kids activities, a poetry slam, and books, books, and more books, everywhere you look. You can download the free mobile app to your phone if you are digitally inclined: Get the National Book Festival app for iPhone, iPad, or Android - more info here:

This year’s BookFest is expected to be the biggest one ever, so if you don’t like crowds….this may not be the thing for you. In that case, stay home and read a good book!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays (except for today, when it’s still Friday.) 

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