Man, what a crazy with a capital Krusty-the-Clown-K week. The festival is already kind of a blur, but here’s what I can dredge up:
First, big thanks to the Emily D’Amour Pardo and the other fest organizers for a well run event. I was very impressed by how smoothly this first Boston Book Fest was run.
Friday night: The organizers hosted a meet-n-greet cocktail party at the Boston Public Library for the participants. Lisa and I chatted with quite a few nice folks. Then it was off to the Trinity Church for an opening ceremonies kind of event. Boston Children’s Choir performed, Richard Russo read from Cannery Row, Livingston Taylor performed (he was the only downer of the evening, says the punk), a local high school sophomore recited an amazingly powerful poem, and Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic spoke. Zander was a fascinating speaker, and made us all sing “Ode to Joy” in German. (The only German I know comes from an episode of The Simpsons: Die Bart Die!). After the church, they trolley car-ed us to a swanky furniture store (where one pillow cost 200 bucks) and fed us middle-eastern food. I managed to not spill food on the expensive furniture.
Saturday: The festival itself. They closed the street across from the front of the BPL for vendor tents and the like, with the author panels in the library, the old south church, and the basement of the trinity church. I saw Tom Perotta and John Hodgman at the old south church. They were very clever and funny. It made me hate them and their success. My panel, “and now for something completely different” was in the trinity church basement. My panel mates, Jennifer Haigh, Jessica Anthony, and R. Sikoryak were all very cool, smart, and funny, and shake-your-fist talented. I’ve already blogged about Jessica’s amazing novel, The Convalescent, and I’m equally in awe of her ability to accrue tee shirts. Mr. Sikoryak is a comic artist genius and I eagerly await my copy of Masterpiece Comics in the mail.
Check out a more detailed description of the panel and Rob’s comic work here.
Our panel was pretty much SRO, which was nice. I think the people liked my power point presentation comparing my uvuloplasty surgery to The Little Sleep. I mean, who doesn’t like missing uvulas, nasal splints, nostril opener thingies, and The Little Sleep, right?
Post panel, I hit the vendor tents with friend JoAnn Cox before they blew away. We had a nice dinner and I caught some of the Boston Noir release party at the BPL before collapsing from festival overstimulation and exhaustion.