This weekend was the annual Texas Book Festival in downtown Austin. They always get some amazing authors, and I have been going since 2011. In 2011, I went to see my favorite author, Sarah Dessen. Dessen is a teen fiction writer (like me!) who has published 13 novels. She’s basically the queen of the YA genre. If you haven’t read one of her books before, I highly recommend you do- my favorites are Dreamland (I’ve reread this one more than any other book- it’s amazing) and This Lullaby (I love the characters in this one) Her newest novel, Once and For All, is also one of my favorites. It was great to catch her at the tail end of the book tour promoting Once and For All. Plus…
This was a reunion event!
Sarah Dessen, YA author Libba Bray, and blogger/moderator Sarah Pitrie were all back together, same as it was in 2011! Here’s Sarah Dessen and me back in 2011, at that year’s Texas Book Fest. Back when I was BRUNETTE (RIP brown hair, that’s never happening again!!!)
On a beautiful, cloudy Sunday in Austin, my boyfriend Scott and I headed downtown. We parked downtown and walked over to the book fest. A huge area right off the capitol building is completely shut down for this fest, which is awesome. There were huge tents set up, and people were wandering around eating from food trucks and waiting to get books signed.
We got to the panel at 12:08, and it started at 12:15. Perfect timing! We even snagged two seats in the second row. The tent was full, and I was so glad we had a place to sit for the 45 minutes.
Scott has come with me to see Sarah Dessen a bunch of other times- basically every time she’s in Austin. She loves when boyfriends come to these things, since her readership is almost 100% female.
The panel was called Lifetime Achievement. In my opinion, they didn’t cover that enough. Sarah has been a published author for 21 years this month, and Once and For All was at the top of the NYT Bestseller’s list, and she’s about to start her 14th novel. The moderator just kind of glossed over all that and didn’t ask enough questions that really interested me. She asked what TV shows they were into 6 years ago vs. now. The ladies couldn’t remember what they were into 6 years ago- which I get, neither can I- and they clearly weren’t prepped on this flashback aspect beforehand. It was amazing to see Sarah Dessen in person, as always, and Libba Bray is really awesome (you can tell she’s a really cool lady). But I walked away wanting more! I thought at the very least the moderator or person who arranged this reunion could have had flowers or cupcakes to honor these authors and their lifetime achievements. I wanted some real talk about their favorite books and authors, finding their agents, editor relationships, etc. instead of TV talk. I get enough of that on Twitter! 😆
After the Texas Book Fest, I surprised Scott by taking him to Wheatsville Co-Op! That’s one of my favorite grocery stores- vegan donuts, spicy queso chips, and buffalo popcorn tofu are my must-buys. He has been craving vegetarian sushi. We’re not vegan or vegetarian, but we don’t eat seafood because of the mercury/PCBs, and we try to keep it plant based.
We sat outside and ate lunch and split an almond pumpkin latte. It was way more Scott than Taylor- the espresso was strong, the pumpkin flavor was very earthy, and it neded to be 5,000 times sweeter. After Wheatsville, we ran some errands and headed home. It was such a fun Sunday. I wore the cutest new dress, and I did a cool golden eye shadow look. But I didn’t take any outfit photos! Oops. Just a good excuse to wear that dress again, I guess!
I did enjoy my favorite vegan chocolate sprinkle donut, and you can kind of see my pink dress. I love these donuts!
The Texas Book Fest is one of a million reasons I loooove Austin and never want to leave. What other city is 80 degrees in November and shuts down a chunk of downtown for a festival devoted to devout readers?
Do you like reading? What’s your favorite book? Tell me in the comments!