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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Banned Books Week Kick-Off!

As a reader, a writer, and someone who just loves freedom in general BBW is a special week for me.
It always amazes me when reading lists of banned books and the reasons for their banning. Some of the reasons are the silliest thing EVER.

I generally try to  make a point to read banned books on a regular basis and shine the light on them. Other times I've read banned books that I didn't even know had been banned or challenged until sometime later.

This week I will be spotlighting different books that have been banned and challenged but maybe aren't as well known as some of the banned classics.
And I'll go a little more into what exactly are banned books and why this week is so important.

I had been planning on reading about 10 books for this week...but that ended up being a bit more than I could do, so I'll just be reading 2 or 3 and posting reviews for them.

If you are partaking in BBW I would love to check out your post(s) so send me the link!

Happy Banned Books Week, y'all!

Austin Teen Book Fest '12

The Austin Teen Book Festival was yesterday and it was a blast!

Neil Shusterman was supposed to be the opening keynote speaker, but his mother was hospitalized so he could not be there. So Libba Bray took his place as opening speaker. As much as  I wish Neil could have been there, Libba was awesome.
She gave some great life advice:
"Pizza is always the answer."
"Pay attention to what is going on around you, or history will be written without your consent."
"There are no girl books. There are no boy books. There are books. Read them."
"Make life rue the day it thought it could give you lemons."
And what I believe was almost everyone's favorite piece of advice:
Don't be an asshole.

(Yeah, she's totally wearing a cape.)

There was so much more that people tweeted during her talk, but I can't find them all. It was pretty much a speech filled with awesome though. She is an incredible woman.
There were lots of people recording it, so I'm sure it's going to be on YouTube. You should go find it, and watch it, and love her too.
Then this happened:

This is what was being referenced as "Lightsaber Karaoke" for the rest of the day.
Libba and some of the volunteers starting singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and waving lightsabers.
They also had the music video+lyrics on a screen so everyone could sing along.

Turn around, bright eyes.

It was a pretty magical way to kick off ATBF12.

Then, after the singing had faded, and fog from the fog machine disappeared, the panels started.
There were six panels, but only time for 4 so it was a bit of a challenge deciding which ones to go to.
I ended up going to:
Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads
which featured Greg Leitch Smith, Marissa Meyer, Rachel Cohn, Jeff Hirsh, and Dan Krokos.

Right after the first panel we took a break for lunch. One of the things that I was most excited about was I knew that right down the street the food trucks would be set up for the day, so I headed down there.
If you are ever in Austin and stumble upon this food truck get something from there!

I had a bacon croissant that was to die for. And a strawberry basil smoothie. It was soo good that I went back after the festival and got another (bigger) one for the drive home.

Back to the festival for the next panels.
What Would You Do For Love?
which featured:
Tracy Deebs, Ally Condie, Kresely Cole, Jessica Shirvington, Tamara Ireland Stone, and Jessica Khoury.

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Sarah Rees Brennan (who is standing on a chair), Libba Bray, Leigh Bardugo, Kami Garci, Margaret Stohl, and Rae Carson.
This was such a fun panel. Sarah was a fantastic moderator. She had this whole "Hunger Games" thing going on. Whichever author didn't get a lot of applause she was going to kill later. Turns out she got the least amount of applause :p

Then last, but certainly not least I choose to go to 
Creature Comforts
Sophie Jordan, Scott Speer, Anna Banks, Gina Damico, Tara Hudson, and Martha Brockenbrough.

Right after the last panel it was like a mad dash to the signing tables because there were people who skipped the last panel just to get in line. So people had started lining up over an hour before.
That's what was going on before the last panel. Some of these people were in line for over an hour.
It was really funny being in the Libba Bray line because Scott Speer's table was right next to it, and he had to get up to take pictures with almost everyone that came up to him (mostly girls) girl literally almost swooned walking away. He was dubbed ATBF12's heart throb author :p

All in all it was a fantastic day. I met some great authors, bloggers, readers, made some new friends, got some new books, and some really cool swag.
If you didn't get to make it this year, you should most definitely make a point to come next year!
It is so so much fun!

Thank you Book People, Austin Public Library, and all the volunteers for making yesterday awesome!

Did you get to go this year? Did you do a recap post?
Link it up in the comments! I would love to check out your ATBF12 experience!
In the next week, after I go through the swag, I'm going to do a giveaway for some of it! :D
So keep an eye on the blog.

Thanks Austin for such a great day!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bloggiesta 2012-I'm participating!

I've seen Bloggiesta happen a couple of times, but I never knew what it was. Then when I finally found out it was almost over. That bummed me out. So I was determined to catch it the next time.
This time around I am participating in Bloggiesta!

For those of you who do not know, Bloggiesta is a weekend dedicated to working on your blog. With school back in, families needing attending to, jobs, etc our blogs can quickly fall behind. So before it gets too out of control...or if you are like me and your blog is already way way behind....take the weekend of September 28th-30th to get it back up to date.

There will be mini-challenges, blog hopping, meeting new bloggers and catching up with old friends.
And most importantly, getting the blog back to tip top posting shape.
Sign ups are going on now so head over to THERE'S A BOOK to learn more!

I'll post my goal list right before Bloggiesta starts.

Hope to see you there!