I Cannot Live Without Books

15th Annual National Book Festival Saturday, September 5th

The Library of Congress and Honorary Chairs President Obama and Mrs. Obama invite us all to the 15th Anniversary National Book Festival, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, at the Washington Convention Center. To mark this special occasion, as well as the 200th anniversary of the Library's acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s 6,487-volume personal library, the festival has as its theme Jefferson's quote, "I Cannot Live Without Books."

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington established with Laura Bush the National Book Festival, an annual celebration of reading and literacy that has welcomed more than 1 million guests and more than 1,000 authors.  The first festival was held in 2001.

This year, approximately 150 authors, illustrators and poets will make presentations in pavilions dedicated to Children; Teens; Picture Books; Biography & Memoir; Contemporary Life; Culinary Arts; Fiction; History; International Programs; Mysteries, Thrillers & Science Fiction; Poetry & Prose; Science; and Special Programs. Special evening activities include a Poetry Slam, a Graphic Novels Super Session, a Great Books to Great Movies panel and a first-time-ever pavilion dedicated to Romance fiction.

Other highlights:
Seven authors will launch new books at the festival: Thomas Mallon’s Finale, David Maraniss’ Once in a Great City, Jay Winik’s 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History, Tom Gjelten’s A Nation of Nations, Erika Lee’s The Making of Asian America, Casey Schwartz’s In the Mind Fields: Exploring the New Science of Neuropsychoanalysis and Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World.

One of the greatest assemblages of authors of war under one roof gather to pay tribute to American warriors of the past 75 years. Award-winning broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw will speak about his best-selling book, The Greatest Generation. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson will talk about the human stories in his Liberation Trilogy: Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle, and The Guns at Last Hour. Christian Appy will present American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity. National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran will speak on his book about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, For Love of Country, which was co-written with Howard Schultz. Lastly, Elizabeth Samet, a professor at West Point and author of Soldier’s Heart, will hold a discussion with war novelists who have dealt with the ongoing Iraq-Afghanistan experience in great works of fiction: Elliot Ackerman (Green on Blue), Roxana Robinson (Sparta) and National Book Award winner Phil Klay (Redeployment).

Juan Felipe Herrera will make his first public appearance as the 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry and will announce his new nationwide program initiatives. The first Hispanic poet to serve in the position, Herrera will present his “Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes” on the Children’s stage and also serve as a judge in the poetry slam.

For more information on the festival, visit www.loc.gov/bookfest/.