Visitors to Washington D.C. this week have an excellent incentive to extend their stay through the weekend. On Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the city will host its tenth National Book Festival, an annual event that began in 2001. Held on the National Mall and sponsored by the Library of Congress, the festival celebrates the joys of reading and of lifelong learning.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are the honorary chairs of this year’s event, which commemorates “A Decade of Words and Wonder.” Illustrator Peter Ferguson designed the commemorative poster for the festival, which is depicted to the left of this article. Posters of the past nine festivals have been included in a slideshow.
Mystery fans will find some of their favorite authors in the Mystery and Fiction Pavilion. Participating this year are Ken Follett, Martha Grimes, Karin Slaughter and Scott Turow.
Ken Follett launched his successful career in 1978 with the publication his first novel, Eye of the Needle. Follett is the author of three series – the Apples Carstairs series, the Piers Roper series and the Pillars of the Earth series. His current work, the Century Trilogy, will provide a history of the 20th century as seen through the lives of five families. Follett has completed the first volume of his trilogy, The Fall of Giants (2010).
The American author of a British detective series, Martha Grimes began her Richard Jury series in 1981. The Man with a Load of Mischief introduced Inspector Richard Jury of Scotland Yard and his friend, the aristocratic Melrose Plant. Grimes has recently published the 22nd installment to this series,The Black Cat (2010).
Karin Slaughter uses the Georgia setting familiar from her childhood for her Grant County series, which features medical examiner Sara Linton. Begun in 2001 with Blindsighted, the Grant County series now consists of seven volumes, the latest of which is Broken (2010).
Scott Turow’s legal background provides the framework for his Kindle County series. He released the series debut novel, Presumed Innocent, in 1987. His newest series title, Innocent (2010), revisits Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto, the key characters from Presumed Innocent, twenty years after the conclusion of the events of that novel.
As a prelude to National Book Festival, the Library of Congress and the television channel Investigation Discovery will jointly host the event “Hardcover Mysteries,” on Monday, September 20th, at 7 p.m. Mystery authors David Baldacci, Sandra Brown and Kathy Reichs will discuss their careers and the relationship between fact and fiction in their books. Baldacci, Brown and Reichs will join with Harlan Coben, Lisa Scottoline, Sara Paretsky, Linda Fairstein and Joseph Wambaugh for the documentary television series, also entitled Hardcover Mysteries, on the Investigation Discovery channel. Hardcover Mysteries debuts on October 11, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. ET.