Monday, October 19, 2015

Texas Book Festival 2015

I am still recovering from a fabulous weekend down in Austin, Texas, at the Texas Book Festival. My sister and I drove down and had a wonderful time hearing authors speak, buying books and getting our books signed by the authors. It won't surprise you to hear that I added a TON of books to my TBR list, which is a little unfortunate considering my last post about how I have two boxes full of books I need to read. However, this festival gave me back the spark for reading I've been missing over the last few months and has motivated me further to get rid of books I don't really want to read. There are just too many good books out there to waste time on something I feel like I should read. No more of that for me. As we wandered through the ginormous Barnes & Nobel book tent, I couldn't help but feel like I just want to sit and read them all.

So let me share with you a few highlights of the weekend. First of all, the festival was excellently organized. We had no trouble finding where we needed to be. If I have any complaint it's that I couldn't be in two (or three, or four) places at once. There were so many interesting panels and I think really something for everyone. The Festival even had its own app and it was very useful. The only thing they could have added was the author signing schedule.

I was able to hear so many interesting authors speak about their work and about their love of writing. Some of these authors I knew and was excited to hear, some were new to me and sparked a lot of additions to my Goodreads Want to Read list. I can't wait to read A School for Unusual GirlsA Step Toward FallingKissing in AmericaThe Great Good SummerWish Girl, and Famous in Love. Erin Bow did a reading of her book The Scorpion Rules and I ran right out to buy it and have her sign it for me. I'm starting it TODAY! I also really enjoyed Nova Ren Suma's reading of her book The Walls Around Us and Peter Kujawinski's reading of his book Nightfall. It didn't hurt things at all that those last two scary stories were read to us in the dark at the Texas State Cemetery Saturday night. Creepy and awesome! I loved hearing Jessica Day George and Michael Buckley and it was fun seeing Emory Lord again. Lauren Oliver was very high on our must-see list and my sister was completely star-struck by Marie Lu. I have heard such amazing things about Julie Murphy's book Dumplin' and hearing her panel was a great way to end the weekend.

And I have to tell you about the amazing dinner we had Saturday night. A friend suggested Gourdough's Donuts. I was really confused because I had no idea you could have dinner at a donut place. Oh, how much I had to learn. We went to the Downtown location and it was unbelievable. Donut burgers, entrees served over a hot donut, salads served with a garlic donut.

My sister had the Ron Burgundy burger:
Angus beef, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, bacon and a fried egg. She said it was delicious!

And I had the Mother Clucker:

It was two fried chicken breasts served on a hot donut, drizzled with a honey butter sauce. It was delicious, but it could have used a side salad, as silly as that may sound.

And of course, there was dessert. I ordered The Carney:

It was a hot donut with cream cheese icing, caramel, peanuts and grilled apples. I loved the caramel and cream cheese, but I flicked the apples and peanuts off to the side after a bite or two. I can't recommend this place enough and I would definitely go again. There are so many things I wanted to try!

It was a very busy, very fun weekend. We will most definitely be back!

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