NORTHWEST BOOKFEST

Sand Point Magnuson Park, Hangar 27,

7400 Sand Point Way N.E.

www.nwbookfest.org for more info

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Oct. 19-Sun., Oct. 20

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My Bookfest Shortlist

A highly biased guide to this weekend's festival.

NORTHWEST BOOKFEST

Sand Point Magnuson Park, Hangar 27,

7400 Sand Point Way N.E.

www.nwbookfest.org for more info

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Oct. 19-Sun., Oct. 20 LOOK AT ALL these people! Look at this list of panels! Look at all these books! Here, to help you cut through it all (and make no mistake, there is a whole lot of cutting through to do), I offer my own must-see schedule of events. In the event that something is canceled or rescheduled or doesn't light you up inside, there are no less than 3 billion other events to choose from. Plus, a ton of trade booths and the book arts exhibit and a brand-new beer garden courtesy of the Elysian. SATURDAY, OCT. 19 Rise early, shower, caffeinate yourself. Your destination is an aircraft hangar, and you want to give yourself enough time to find it. 10:15-11:15 a.m. Carver Stage "How the Molecules Fell: Fate and Science" It's a high-minded way to start the weekend—you need to have at least two cups of coffee in you at this point. Tom Siegfried (Strange Matters), Amir Aczel (Entanglement), and McSweeney's writer Paul Collins (Barnvard's Folly) hold forth on how wild dreams, bizarre good luck, and odd personalities have given way to scientific breakthroughs. Though I have no idea who the other two guys are, I saw Paul Collins read a month ago at the U Bookstore and he made me chuckle. Seattle Weekly's Eric Scigliano (whose Love, War, and Circuses I loved) moderates. Your other option this morning is "Alexandria: An Interview with Nick Bantock," 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Hugo Stage. Bantock is the author of the Griffin & Sabine books. May this turn out to be terrible? Clearly. Except that Matt Briggs, a smart local fiction writer, conducts the interview. noon-1 p.m. Stafford Stage "When a Song Is Your Story: Fiction That Uses Music" Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Lullaby), Kathi Kamen Goldmark (And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You), and Eric Drooker (Bloodsong) discuss what happens when music plays such an active role in a novel that it effectively takes the form of a character. This panel will be much better than Palahniuk's second, later in the day, about what happens when your book becomes a movie, where he will undoubtedly talk all about how much Brad Pitt loved making Fight Club. Charles Cross (author of Heavier than Heaven, the biography of Kurt Cobain—remember that character?) moderates. 1:15-2:15 p.m. Stafford Stage "My Life as a Book: Crafting Memoir" David Shields (Enough About You), Julia Collins (My Father's War), Sandi Sonnenfeld (This Is How I Speak), and Kim Stafford (Early Morning), all of whom really, really know how to talk about themselves, talk instead about how to write memoir. Former Seattle Weekly managing editor Fred Moody (who published his own strange memoir in Pacific Northwest magazine) moderates. Grab lunch. Or a beer. Stroll. 3-4 p.m. Hugo Stage "The Book That Changed My Life" National Book Award-winner Charles Johnson and Seattle Arts & Lectures executive director Matthew Brogan talk to Nancy Pearl—and the audience—about books that have inspired them. Mine, a hopelessly common choice, is The Great Gatsby, and I will be there to say so. If this doesn't pan out the way you'd like, or if you don't want to hear a bunch of amazingly intelligent people rattle on about The Great Gatsby, the next best thing may be "Here She Is, Myth America: Dethroning the Deception," running from 3:15-4:30 p.m. at the Carver Stage, featuring Stephanie Coontz (The Way We Never Were), David Skover (The Trials of Lenny Bruce), Mark Hertsgaard (The Eagle's Shadow), Dan Savage (Skipping Toward Gomorrah), and Monique Morris (Too Beautiful for Words). I feel strangely compelled to mention another option this hour: "Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam, and the Pentagon Papers," from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Hugo Stage. Ellsberg is the former government employee who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press. My boss, Seattle Weekly's editor in chief Knute Berger, moderates. OK, now go see the book arts exhibit. I hear it's great. 5-6 p.m. Hall Stage "Eat, Drink, Woman, Detective" Normally, I wouldn't be caught dead in the same hangar as J.A. Jance (Partner in Crime), but at this panel she discusses (along with Jo Dereske, Miss Zukas in Death's Shadow; Kate Wilhelm, Skeletons; and Pat Lunneborg, Reckless Eyeballin') the role of food in great mystery novels, which sounds like an original way to talk about the genre. And I sure do love food. SUNDAY, OCT. 20 Wake up. You have places to be. Important places. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Carver Stage "Stopping Short" Is there anything more difficult to write than a short story? A handful of writers—stationed at a stage named after, arguably, one of the best American short-story writers ever—gives us the goods on how they do it: Adrienne Harun (The King of Limbo), Stephen Raleigh Byler (Searching for Intruders), Brenda Miller (Season of the Body), and Gina Oschner (The Necessary Grace to Fall). Moderated by yours truly. (See how this all ties together? So be there, OK?) Commence a very long lunch. Buy some books, visit that book arts exhibit again, drink unholy amounts of beer. You have two hours to kill. 2:30-3:45 p.m. Stafford Stage "Life in Limbo: Between Girlhood and Womanhood" Sluts, rebels, geeks, loners, lovers, and compulsive shoppers—what they have in common, besides a passing resemblance to Winona Ryder, is that they're the kinds of characters who populate books by Rebecca Bloom (Girl Anatomy), Rebecca Godfrey (The Torn Skirt), Jasmine Paul (A Girl, in Parts) and Emily White (Fast Girls). A total girlfest—may get icky. The real reason to go is because Kim Ricketts, the events director at University Bookstore and the funniest human I know, moderates. Let's say Kim's having a bad day and isn't funny at all—not at all. If that's the case, you are forgiven for getting up and leaving half an hour before her panel ends to see "Two Jews, Three Opinions: Self, Community, and Spirit in Times of Crisis," which runs 3:15-4:15 p.m. at the Carver Stage (where you saw the deftly moderated panel "Stopping Short" earlier in the day). At "Two Jews, Three Opinions" panelists will discuss how their spiritual beliefs and cultural affiliations influence their writing. Panelists are Mary Potter Engel (A Woman of Salt), Stephen Fried (The New Rabbi), Brenda Miller (A Season of the Body), and Jen Bleyer (founder of Heeb magazine, a new New York-based magazine about "cool Jews"). 4:45-5:45 p.m. Carver Stage "Don't Date These Guys: Misadventures of Underachievers" The perfect antidote to the "Life in Limbo" panel, these hapless, lovable young guys (Tristan Egolf, Skirt and the Fiddle; Mark Haskell Smith, Moist; and Adam Davies, The Frog King) are authors of books about—well—hapless, lovable young guys. Davies is sexy, Moist sounds sexy, and skirts and fiddles—well, OK, so I'm not so into skirts and fiddles, but no matter. Bookstore veteran Angela Garbles, a hapless young man's dream, moderates. cfrizzelle@seattleweekly.com

 
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