Tuesday, October 02, 2012
We've given you a few weeks to peruse our world-class list of who's appearing at the Boston Book Festival, but the when and where have been under wraps. Well, the wait is over! Get out your calendar, text your friends, and start mapping out your plans for October 27, because we've just released our full schedule of sessions, seminars, kids' events, and Berklee Festival Stage performances.
Admission to all daytime events on October 27 is free. The Keynote with Richard Ford at 6:00 pm at Old South Church will be a ticketed event. Tickets are only $10. We anticipate high demand, so get your tickets here, now. We'll also have a limited supply available at the BBF, but why wait? Guarantee yourself a seat by ordering online today.
BBF members who join by Oct. 19 can also receive a free ticket to the keynote, as well as terrific year-round benefits. Join today!
Tickets to Page to Screen, our kick-off event on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m., are also available now and selling fast! The event brings together Buzz Bissinger, Rachel Cohn, Andre Dubus, Nick Flynn, and Daniel Handler--all authors whose books have been adapted for film and television. You can read more about the event and purchase tickets here.
We're looking forward to seeing you at Page to Screen on October 26 and at the Boston Book Festival on October 27!
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Boston Book Festival is going to the movies this October!
Book to Film is a new series co-sponsored by the BBF and our colleagues at ArtsEmerson. Together, we've curated a two-weekend series of films based on popular and award-winning books for adults and children. Screenings will take place at ArtsEmerson's state-of-the-art Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center.
Tickets for each film are available for just $10 ($7.50 for ArtsEmerson members) and are on sale now at ArtsEmerson's web site.
Friday, Oct. 12, 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 12, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 14, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 19, 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 19, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Friday, October 26
Old South Church
645 Boylston St.
Book lovers and cinephiles alike love to argue the merits of film adaptations of beloved books. But who's more invested in this process than the book authors themselves? The Boston Book Festival kicks off BBF 2012 on Friday, October 26 at 7:30 pm with a very special conversation among five authors whose book-length works have been turned into films and television shows.
Co-sponsored by the Boston Phoenix and moderated by Wesley Morris, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for the Boston Globe, the event will feature Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights), Rachel Cohn (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist), Andre Dubus III (The House of Sand and Fog), Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City/Being Flynn), and Daniel Handler (A Series of Unfortunate Events).
We'll play clips from the films under discussion and hear first-hand from authors about their books' journeys from page to screen. There will also be plenty of time for audience questions, followed by a book signing at which the conversation can continue.
BBF's Page to Screen kick-off event will be held in the beautiful sanctuary at Old South Church, 645 Boylston St. Tickets are only $15 and are available for purchase online now.
The discussion sets the stage for a weekend all about books and ideas-make plans now to attend this special evening and the full day of presentations to follow at the BBF on October 27!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Over our first three years, the Boston Book Festival's keynote sessions have quickly gained a reputation for being stimulating, dynamic, even provocative--and certainly never boring! When the 2012 edition of the BBF hits town on October 27, we can promise that our two keynotes--one for kids, one for adults--will continue this tradition.
2012's Boston Book Festival keynote will be delivered by award-winning novelist and short story writer Richard Ford. Ford is best known for his Frank Bascombe novels, including Independence Day, the first novel ever to win both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His latest work, Canada, has been called by Lorrie Moore "a hearty meal of a novel." It is indeed a supremely satisfying, beautifully introspective novel about loss and progress, about the ongoing process of making sense of one's past in order to proceed into the future.
This year's kids' keynote will be delivered by the elusive and mysterious Lemony Snicket, author of the wildly popular Series of Unfortunate Events. This October, he'll be publishing Who Could That Be At This Hour? the first volume of his autobiography, an account that shouldn't be published, in four volumes that should never be read. Does attending this year's kids' keynote require bravery? Or foolhardiness? We'll let you be the judge of that.
Richard Ford and Lemony Snicket will headline an illustrious line-up that includes dozens of other authors we'll be revealing over the coming weeks. Visit our presenters' page to learn more about our keynote speakers and their work, and mark your calendars now for October 27--the full day of programs, for kids and adults alike, is not to be missed.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Just in time for summer vacations and afternoons at the shore, we've rounded up the BBF crew's favorite reads for summer 2012. Pack one (or more) of these wide-ranging choices in your beach bag, and you'll be all set for those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer reading.
Canada by Richard Ford
I am about halfway through Richard Ford's Canada, about a teenager whose life changes as the result of a tragic act of bad judgement on the part of his parents. It is a serious and masterfully written novel about isolation, alienation, character, childhood, and memory set in the unforgiving environment of the American West.
We the Animals by Justin Torres
I have also begun We the Animals, a semi-autobiographical novel by Justin Torres. It will be a quick read, not only because it's short, but also because it is captivating. Like Canada, it is about family, memory, and growing up poor with parents who are a mismatched and, in this case, highly volatile couple.
Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada
Next on my list of summer reading is Alone in Berlin, by Hans Fallada. Written in 1947, it has been described by Primo Levi as "the greatest book ever written on German Resistance to the Nazis."
Living, Thinking, Looking by Siri Hustvedt
Short forms like essays and short stories are perfect for dipping into on summer vacations, and Hustvedt is a master of the essay form. Here she brings together more than thirty essays written between 2006 and 2011 on the intersections of life, philosophy, and the visual arts, all written in vibrantly intellectual prose that will make readers feel entertained, energized, and maybe even just a little bit smarter.
The Innocents by Francesca Segal
Gilded Age by Claire McMillan
2012 marks the 150th anniversary of Edith Wharton's birth, and the old girl still feels as relevant and timely as ever in these debut novels inspired by her most famous works. The Innocents re-sets The Age of Innocence in East London's young Jewish community, and Gilded Age uses The House of Mirth as a jumping-off point to skewer the social mores of present-day monied Cleveland. If you like your summer reading breezy but with some literary underpinnings, you can't do much better than these two novels.
Shop Indie Bookstores
Shop Indie Bookstores
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
Louise Brooks, the quintessential flapper, got her start in life in Wichita, Kansas. This vibrant historical novel imagines Louise's first trip to the big city, during which her respectable middle-aged chaperone, who's been entrusted with preserving Louise's tenuous virtue, winds up breaking a few taboos of her own.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This book has been getting a ton of great press lately, and for good reason. The story of a marriage gone south is full of unreliable narrators, mystery, and lots of last-minute twists that made me want to
go back and read it all over again as soon as I finished. If you're on the library waiting list for Gone Girl, check out Flynn's earlier books Dark Places and Sharp Objects.
You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik
Controversial and seemingly based on true events, Maksik's novel paints a picture of a morally conflicted American teacher in Paris. Indulgent and provocative.
Shop Indie Bookstores
Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
Another unreliable narrator! Christine is an amnesiac who wakes each day not knowing where she is. She leaves herself clues before going to sleep in the hopes of eventually piecing the puzzle together. Ironically, you will not be able to go to sleep until you finish this book.
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Set in North Korea, Johnson's novel leads you into a nightmarish world where things are real simply because the Dear Leader says they are. You want the book to end so you can escape, but you also can't get enough of Johnson's writing.
Broken Harbor by Tana French
French's In the Woods, The Likeness, and Faithful Place were the literary high points of my past three summers, so I'm eagerly awaiting the July release of her fourth novel. French's daisy-chain approach, centering each novel around a minor character in the previous one, draws you closer to a group of characters you think you know well.
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
Lehrer's latest book is a look into, as the title says, the way that creativity works. Looking at creativity through neuroscience, Imagine explores the brain's capacity for fostering creativity and inspiration. It's a broad topic, but Lehrer maintains focus by linking science with real life stories such as Bob Dylan's source of inspiration, the creation of the Swiffer, and more. And while the text definitely gets into some complex neuroscience terminology, Lehrer does a great job in making sure the material is well explained and accessible to even the most right-brained readers.
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
I'd been meaning to pick up last year's Orange Prize winner for over a year, and the wait was well worth it. Obreht's first novel alternates between present day reality and fantastical folk tales, and the combination allows for an interesting balance on the edge of magical realism. Each passage in The Tiger's Wife is bursting with details, and Obreht's imagination seems to have no limits. The folk tales throughout the novel are stories within the story, and while Obreht doesn't tie everything up with a nice bow at the end, the mystery of it all is what makes her novel so intriguing.
The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel ben Izzy
This is on my list of books to reread this summer. It's a tiny, beautiful memoir about perseverance and the power of storytelling. Joel ben Izzy, a professional storyteller, loses his voice to cancer and with it his passion and career. This is the story of how ben Izzy learned to find happiness without a voice. His story is inspiring, but what makes The Beggar King stand out is that ben Izzy introduces each new chapter with a short, and beautifully told, fable or story. Each chapter of the memoir is emphasized by a fictional story that helped ben Izzy cope with his distress and find the secret of happiness. It's short enough and interesting enough to read in one sitting, but the short chapters resemble individual short stories that are best read one at a time.
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
I know I'm probably that last person on earth to read this series, but I usually have a difficult time with these kind of texts. However, Harry Potter eventually won me over, so I'm hoping the same thing will happen here.
Boneshaker by Jan Beatty
I had the pleasure of meeting the poet and receiving a signed copy at AWP this year and her book has been on my "to read" list since then. I think all writers, regardless of genre, should read poetry. Jan was one of the friendliest people I've ever met, and I'm really excited to start reading her book.
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch
This memoir details Yuknavitch's abusive parents and the swimming scholarship that allows her to escape her fractured homelife; however, drug addiction eventually causes her to lose her scholarship. As a former competitive swimmer, I'm interested to see how Yuknavitch writes about swimming and how she mixes these descriptions and information with her prose and her story's progression.
Three Day Road by Joseph Boydon
This was one of the first books I read this summer, and it was a captivating read. Boydon's two main characters are Crees who leave Northern Canada to serve in World War I. The book is told in a series of flashbacks and sometimes alternating points of views, but various complex themes make it both poetic, haunting, and thought-provoking. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
I only wished that I had not watched season one of HBO's series based on the book, because the TV series is right on point. This made the book that much harder to read because the TV series was so accurate to the book's portrayal of character, plot, etc. Otherwise, the book was great in that Martin has created his own world, full of characters (remembering their names and connections is the hardest part), lands, cities, monsters, and of course a battle to win the throne.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
So far, this book is really wonderful in that it is gripping from the very beginning but still wants to be read slowly. It reads how I imagine any vampire would like to be read.
Shop Indie Bookstores
Dracula by Bram Stoker
I have to keep the vampire theme up!
Blindness by José Saramago
This one was recommended to me by a professor who mentioned that because it analyzes what it means to be human, many of the characters exhibit zombie-like qualities, making them, in some way, zombies in literature.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
As a recent graduate myself, I’m so drawn in by Eugenides’ protagonists. They stumble, mess up and generally claw through the early eighties and their early twenties in a humorous, melodramatic, and absolutely realistic way. Makes me excited for the next four years!
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Ethopia and surgery. Two topics that seem neither beautiful nor literary and yet Verghese makes them both sing. After finishing I dreamed of visiting Addis Adaba; however, not even his gorgeous prose on medicine could steer me towards med school.
Monday, June 04, 2012
It's that time of year again! Later this summer, Boston Book Festival will begin distribution of One City One Story 2012. Heading into our third year with 1C1S, and following the success of the past two years, the Boston Book Festival is thrilled to announce this year's selection...
The 2012 One City One Story selection is "The Lobster Mafia Story" by Anna Solomon, originally published in the Spring 2010 issue of The Georgia Review. The story was the recipient of a 2011 Pushcart Prize.
We think that the story's Boston setting and sense of family mystery will bring together readers from all across the city. "The Lobster Mafia Story" tells the story of recently widowed Marcella, born and raised in Boston's North End, and her life as a "a woman with a quiet life, with a husband who leaves only when he dies." The story links Marcella's mourning with a mystery surrounding a death and an unexpected teenage visitor. It's a story of crime, sorrow, and the secrets that both build and haunt a community. Readers will appreciate the wide-reaching themes and Massachusetts focus.
Solomon has published work in One Story and Harvard Review, as well as essays in The New York Times Magazine. Her first novel, The Little Bride, was published in 2011. Solomon holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with her family.
From the inaugural 1C1S year in 2010 with Tom Perrotta's story "The Smile on Happy Chang's Face," to last year's incredible session with Richard Russo about his story "The Whore's Child," we look forward to another great year of reading and discussing short stories with members of our community. We are looking forward to Anna Solomon joining us on October 27 for the Boston Book Festival for the special 1C1S session. Alicia Anstead will lead an open discussion with Solomon and readers from all over the city.
Help us make 1C1S 2012 another success! Look out for distribution of "The Lobster Mafia Story" in the weeks leading up to BBF. There will be copies at all Boston Public Library branches, as well as at bookstores, farmer's markets, T stations, special events and other places throughout Greater Boston. Keep an eye on our 1C1S website for more information regarding distribution. You'll find Anna Solomon's "The Lobster Mafia Story" somewhere close to you soon!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Would you like a chance to curate a session at the Boston Book Festival on October 27, 2012? We are making two one-hour slots available to outside groups/individuals who can introduce fresh voices and new ideas to the BBF. Be creative! The session can involve a workshop, literary improv, dramatic readings, literary games, etc.
You will be responsible for running your session, i.e., gathering your participants, beginning and ending on time, and covering any expenses (beyond room rental and basic A/V) for the session. We will publicize your session on our website and in our Program Guide, and we will ask you to publicize it as well.
We will evaluate proposals based on:
1. Will the content appeal to the BBF audience?
2. Does the content offer something different from standard BBF fare?
3. Is the individual/group offering a plausible plan for implementing the session?
In your proposal, please tell us:
Who You Are (your name, name of organization [if applicable], your bio, your or your org's website):
Title of Proposed Session:
Description of Session (150 words max):
Implementation Plan (400 words max, including answers to the following questions: If there are expenses associated, how will you fund your session? How will you guarantee your proposed participants' involvement? How will you communicate your plans and needs to BBF staff? Through what channels will you publicize your session?):
Deadline for Application: July 15
Notification: August 15
Submit all materials (including samples of previous work, if applicable), to:
Director of Communications
Boston Book Festival
2 Canal Park
Cambridge, MA 02141
Have fun, and good luck!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
An unforgettable evening was had by all who attended An Evening with Walter Isaacson at the MIT Media Lab on May 20. Isaacson memorably demonstrated on stage the storytelling skills that have made his biography of Steve Jobs such a runaway hit, regaling the audience with mesmerizing stories of a man who quite literally changed the world. The location of creativity at the intersection of science and the humanities was a major theme of Walter's presentation-what better place to celebrate this idea than at the MIT Media Lab, with a gathering of distinguished attendees who live out Steve Jobs's fearless embrace of innovation and passion for excellence every day? To enjoy more photos from the evening, please visit our Facebook album for the event.
A resounding thank you to all who came and contributed to the BBF, helping us to achieve our mission of celebrating literature and ideas and the people who create them with a free public event that enhances the cultural vibrancy of our city. If you'd like to help support the BBF's outstanding programming for 2012, please consider making a tax-deductible donation in any amount. It's easy to give online or by mail--click here for details.
The BBF was honored to be able to host Walter and his wife Cathy--on Walter's birthday, no less! Many thanks to them for participating. We are also very grateful to the MIT Media Lab for allowing us to use the beautiful space atop the Lab. The view from the outdoor terrace was particularly stunning on a near-perfect spring evening. We are very grateful to all who attended our event!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Boston's Independent Film Festival, a showcase for the best independent films from around the world. Attendees experience a range of independent films while engaging with the people who bring these movies to life--this interactive environment brings together everyone involved in the filmmaking process. Developed for a sophisticated audience who enjoy the eclectic range of independent cinema, IFF Boston offers a selection of American and international films, ranging from narrative features to documentaries, short films, and animation. The week-long event places independent films under a spotlight for Boston's audience to enjoy and explore. Visit the IFF's website for schedules, locations, and to purchase tickets and all-access passes to this year's festival.
Boston Book Festival is proud to be a screening sponsor at IFF Boston 2012 for the following titles. Links for discounted online advance ticket sales are below.
Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights
Sunday, April 29
Based on the classic novel by Emily Brontë, Andrea Arnold's adaptation of Wuthering Heights has already made its way through the film festival circuit. Premiering at the 2011 Venice Film Festival, where it received the Best Cinematography award, it went on to show at the Toronto International Film Festival and many others. Wuthering Heights features music from Grammy-nominated band Mumford & Sons.
Michael Winterbottom's Trishna
Sunday, April 29
A reinvention of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles relocated to India, Winterbottom's Trishna premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Starring Freida Pinto in the titular role, Trishna is Winterbottom's third Hardy adaptation.
Tom Bean and Luke Poling's Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself
Sunday, April 29
Already listed as one of the 10 Must-See Movies at IFF Boston, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself is Bean and Poling's biographical documentary about the author of Paper Lion and the longtime editor of The Paris Review literary magazine.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
An Evening on Food and Philosophy
presented by WBUR with the Boston Book Festival
April 23, 2012
Whether it's celebrating the virtue of organic, local, sustainable ingredients or lamenting the addition of "pink slime" to school lunch meals, food is a hot topic these days. But once we set aside the fads and the politics, what is the true meaning of food in our lives?
On Monday, April 23, Robin Young, host of WBUR's Here and Now, will be joined by three fascinating authors who have thought deeply about the place of food and community in modern life. Joining Robin will be Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker, author most recently of The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food, and novelists Margot Livesey (The Flight of Gemma Hardy) and Allegra Goodman (The Cookbook Collector).
The evening begins at 5:30 with an exclusive cocktail party, followed by an intimate three-course dinner with the author of your choice, all at Upstairs on the Square. Then, at 7:30, the party moves to First Church, just one block away, for a freewheeling discussion of food and its meaning in our lives.
The ticket price for the whole evening, which includes an autographed book from the featured author of your choice, is $175. For the public event alone, at which books will be available for purchase, tickets cost $40. To order, visit wbur.org or call 617-353-1151--and if you're having dinner, be sure to specify whose table you'd like to join. Dinner tickets are quite limited, but every effort will be made to accommodate your preference.