Each year, the Boston Book Festival promotes a culture of literature and ideas to enhance the city as a whole with their day of presentations, readings, and book sales. From veteran young adult authors to debut memoirists, we’ve rounded up the can’t-miss presenters at this year’s event on October 28.
Known for his wildly successful young adult bestsellers, A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket will be taking the stage to introduce his new picture book, The Bad Mood and the Stick—a story about a child named Curly whose bad moods prompt her to poke her little brother with a stick. The new work is filled with humor, heart, and rainbow-hued watercolor illustrations from Matthew Forsythe. Be sure to check out the celebrated author’s presentation to start off your day at the Boston Book Festival.
Music enthusiasts will not want to miss this presentation that takes a deep dive into the albums and lives of the Fab Four. Speakers include The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik, biographer Alan Light, author Touré, and Rob Sheffield who wrote Dreaming the Beatles. Each of these presenters will examine their favorite Beatles songs, discuss the group’s time together, and try to understand how they still find new listeners each day.
Hosted by WBUR’s Asma Khalid, Our Digital Future will discuss and examine the way in which our world is seemingly being taken over by technological advances and machines. Jeff Howe, coauthor of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future, Andrew McAfee, the co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Nicholas Negroponte, author of Being Digital, will discuss their viewpoints on our digital future and how we can keep up and evolve with this inevitable reality. Attendees are welcome to voice their questions and concerns for the presenters to answer.
If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite authors create an entire fantasy world seemingly out of thin air, now is your chance to discover the real inspiration and origins to some of these fantastic realms. Moderated by literary agent and debut YA novelist, Lana Popvi?, this session will feature three authors of fantasy novels for young adults who will discuss how they fashioned their own imaginative worlds. Speaker Tochi Onyebuchi drew inspiration from Nigerian folklore and hero legends in Beast Made of Night, while Julie C Dao reinterpreted characters inspired by Snow White’s evil queen for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, and Libba Bray used the Roaring Twenties in New York City as a backdrop for Before the Devil Breaks You.
Moderated by WBUR ARTery reporter Maria Garcia, Memoir: Strange Journeys will feature four memoirists who will speak about the unusual travels they found themselves on and how they decided to put those extraordinary events into words for their books. Presenters include Holly FitzGerald who describes her honeymoon trip that involved a plane crash in Ruthless River, Leland Melvin, author of Chasing Space, which follows his journey as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Atlantis and on the International Space Station, Andrew Forsthoefel who wrote Walking to Listen after walking across the United States upon graduating from college, and Ayelet Waldman whose efforts to heal herself inspired her novel, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life.