March 16, 2015

The Gloriousness and Frustrations of the Tucson Festival of Books

As always, we had a great time at the Tucson Festival of Books. On Saturday we went all as a family and enjoyed face-painting, bongo-playing, book-listening, and character-greeting.

This shot makes me laugh, because Noel took it. Apparently crowds are much less crowded when you're 6'4'' and can see over people's heads.

On Sunday I attended a panel with Katherine Paterson and met up with my friend Meghan to go see a Jacqueline Winspear interview. I got there too late for the Luis Alberto Urrea and William Kent Krueger panel I'd hoped to attend first thing, and then of course three women near me in the Paterson panel were raving about how great Urrea and Krueger had been. Sigh. Hopefully next year!

I also had really wanted to go to the Longmire panel - because Craig Johnson was there with Lou Diamond Phillips, but I chose to spend my 11:30 hour waiting in this ridiculously long line for Noam Chomsky tickets instead.

And goodness, was he brilliant. I overheard, right as we were lining up for the 4:00 entry, that there were overflow rooms, where the interview was projected, and you didn't need tickets for those. And I was like "ARGH, I could've gone to the Longmire panel after all!" But oh well, I did read for 45 minutes while I was in line, and now I can say I was in the same room as Noam Chomsky!

I do think the lines are one of the downfalls of the TFOB the last two years. They tried out a new ticketing system this year, so it was a little better, but they either need to spread out the big names a little more, or open some bigger venues. Because with 120,000 book lovers attending... it's a big and crowded event! I love how much it's grown - this was my fifth year attending, but a part of me selfishly wishes that it was still a little smaller!

Have you ever attended a book festival?