Readers of all stripes are invited to participate in the fifth annual Times Festival of Reading on Nov. 9 on the grounds of Eckerd College. The festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicks off with a talk by Brian Lamb, CEO of C-SPAN, television's most book-loving network. Other authors who will be featured throughout the day include two Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists, an op-ed columnist, several novelists, a TV anchorwoman, two magazine editors, a member of a World War II Jewish commando unit, an astrologist to the stars and a professional complainer.
This year the fair's children's activities have been expanded. They include art activities, storytelling, a parade of storybook characters, a performance of Charlotte's Web and book-related workshops. At the Free Books! tent, kids 12 and younger can get a free book and Marvel comic.
Three open-air entertainment stages will feature music, theater, poetry and storytelling. Books will be sold at more than 70 sites. A food court will be available. Admission is free. Parking is free. Here is a sampling of the festival's offerings.
_ MARGO HAMMOND
Times Book Editor
The first author talk of the day is the CEO of the most book-loving network on television: C-Span's Brian Lamb. Every weekend the cable network devotes hours to book-related programs, including the popular Booknotes on Sunday night, when Lamb interviews a single non-fiction author for a whole hour. Now Lamb has compiled the best of those interviews in a book of his own: Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas.
What do you do when the whole world is mad at you? Deborah Norville talks about her surprising television comeback after her Today fiasco in Back on Track: How to Straighten Out Your Life When It Throws You a Curve. In her book, part memoir and part self-help, the host of Inside Edition tells how you, too, can overcome adversity and get back on track.
Personal finance columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, who has just published an updated version of her classic bestseller Making the Most of Your Money, offers financial advice for the 21st century.
The marrying kind
Andrew Sullivan, the former editor and now senior editor at the New Republic is an advocate of same-sex marriages, but in Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con: a Reader he presents both sides, inviting a lively public debate on the issue.
Thanks for the memoirs
Tell-alls have been the rage in publishing this year. At the fair, five authors will present their memoirs. Here the writers speak for themselves.
Gwendolyn M. Parker, a former American Express businesswoman turned novelist, reflects on her life as a black woman in America in Trespassing: My Sojourn in the Halls of Privilege.
"Mr. Bollen was certain that I couldn't have written that poem because it was too good, and a Negro couldn't possibly write that well. My teachers didn't call on me because they didn't expect me to have the answers, and when they learned that I did, they ignored me as much as they could because they didn't want me to have them."
The Pulizer-Prize winning New York columnist Jimmy Breslin relives his brush with death during a life-threatening brain operation in I Want to Thank My Brain for Remembering Me.
"Suddenly, I decided that the entire journey, this dangerous operation on the only brain I have, turned out pretty well. I want to thank God for letting me live, and I want to thank my brain for remembering me. Good boy yourself, Breslin. You rate a miracle now and then."
Syndicated columnist Nat Hentoff talks about his 40 years writing about jazz, free speech and his own personal convictions in Speaking Freely.
"This Jewish atheist civil-libertarian, imperfect pacifist, committer of civil disobedience against the Vietnam War, had declared himself to be pro-life. I was the only declared pro-lifer at the Voice _ my home base _ since its founding in 1956. Three women editors stopped speaking to me, and the other staff members pretended in pity not to notice _ as if I were dying of some horrible but thankfully non-infectious disease."
Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Rick Bragg remembers growing up dirt poor in Alabama in All Over But the Shoutin'.
"This is not an important book. It is only the story of a strong woman, a tortured man and three sons who lived hemmed in by thin cotton and ragged history in northeastern Alabama, in a time when blacks and whites found reason to hate each other and a whole lot of people could not stand themselves. . . . Anyone could tell it, and that's the shame of it."
Peter Masters describes how he and other members of a little-known Jewish commando unit fought the Nazis in World War II in Striking Back: A Jewish Commando's War Against the Nazis.
"Sometimes one hears "Forget the Holocaust. Forget the war.' We Jewish soldiers cannot help but remember what to us was truly a holy war fought against a monstrous system bent on destroying us, our families and friends, and, indeed, civilized life on earth."
Humor with a bite
Florida novelist and Miami Herald journalist Carl Hiaasen gathers together another contingent of Sunshine State wackos in Lucky You, a satire about the state lottery that pokes fun at religious charlatans, real estate developers, newspaper editors and other easy targets.
The National Public Radio commentator Bob Garfield offers his usual wry look at America in Waking Up Screaming From the American Dream.
John Homans, the Tampa author of Wilber Winkle Has a Complaint, will rant about his latest pet peeves, offer tips on how to complain the "Wilber Winkle Way," and present his book of complaint letters and their quirky responses.
Forget Disney World and other glittery Florida sites.
Amble on down the Orange Blossom Trail with travel writer Phillip Manning (Orange Blossom Trail: Walks in the Natural Areas of Florida).
Weave your way through the state's small towns with native Floridian Bruce Hunt (Visiting Small-Town Florida)
Climb onto the front porches of native Floridians to listen to "tall tales as the family hound bays at the moon" with Times columnist Jeff Klinkenberg (Dispatches from the Land of Flowers).
Crisscross the state in search of a changing Florida with Miami Herald columnist Al Burt (Al Burt's Florida)
These writers will show you a hidden Florida that even many natives never see.
Moderated by Gary Mormino of the University of South Florida
Just in time for Christmas
What is it about Christmas that inspires so many writers? Jerry Bledsoe and Richard Paul Evans, two authors with holiday-themed novels, talk about their approaches to the holiday spirit. True crime writer Jerry Bledsoe presents The Angel Doll. Richard Paul Evans talks about The Letter, the sequel to his best-selling novel The Christmas Box.
An artist's life
Nationally acclaimed artist P. Buckley Moss will sign copies of her biography by Peter Rippe: Painting the Joys of the Soul.
The new age
Albert Clayton Gaulden, the creator and director of the Sedona Intensive, where author James Redfield got the inspiration to finish The Celestine Prophecy, offers a spiritual guide to the future in Clearing for the Millennium
Best of Addis
Times Editorial cartoonist Don Addis will sell and sign copies of The Best Offerings of Bent Offerings. Noon-2 p.m. The proceeds from book sales go to charity.
Now hear this
The Banned Books Marathon features five-minute readings from books that at one time have been banned in the United States. Anyone is free to join the marathon, which is coordinated by the American Civil Liberties Union.
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Talking to the dead (authors)
Famous Dead Authors: George Sand (Corinne Broskette), 11 a.m.; Paul Laurence Dunbar (Stephen McGruder), 11:30 a.m.; Mary Shelley (Kathleen Gavin), noon; Charlotte Bronte (Elizabeth Brinclow), 1 p.m.; Edgar Allen Poe (Eddie Dravec), 1:30 p.m.; Aphra Behn (Marcia Jeffery), 2 p.m.; Frances E.W. Harper (Iola Leroy), 2:30 p.m.; A.A. Milne (Ron Zietz), 3 p.m.; Lucy Montgomery (Gaylia Cole), 3:30 p.m.; and Kahlil Gibran (Dan Khoury), 4 p.m.
RICHARD BURGIN: Boulevard editor and novelist will read from his latest collection of short stories Fear of Blue Skies
ERIC JEROME DICKEY: Fresh from the success of his first novel, Sister, Sister, which was number one on the Essence/Blackboard African-American fiction list, the California writer presents his second novel, Friends and Lovers.
BURTON HERSH: The freelance journalist and novelist takes a look at the public and private life of the Massachusetts senator in The Shadow President: Ted Kennedy in Opposition.
The Reading Room
Steve Rubin, professor of English at the University of South Florida and editor of Telling and Remembering: A Century of American Jewish Poetry, reads from his anthology.
"Teaching With James Michener" will be a tribute to the late author by novelist Sterling Watson, who taught with Michener at Eckerd. Watson is the director of the college's creative writing program.
Janis Owens reads from her novel My Brother Michael, which is narrated by a Civil War historian raised in a small Florida mill town.
Albert Howard Carter III, Eckerd professor of literature and humanities, presents First Cut: A Season in the Human Anatomy Lab, a description of a human anatomy course.
Nancy Jean Sanborn reads from Prison by the Sea, an account of the writer's battle with agoraphobia.
FRANK STRUNK: The Madeira Beach mystery writer presents his latest, Throwback.
E.C. AYRES: The St. Petersburg mystery writer continues his Tony Lowell mystery series with Night of the Panther.
Writing about business
Times staffers Alecia Swasy and Mike Wilson will talk about the business of writing business books (while working as a full-time journalist). Swesy, the Times business editor, is the author of Changing Focus: Kodak and the Battle to Save a Great American Company. Wilson, the Times religion writer, is the author of The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison: Inside the Oracle Corporation.
The business of writing
The Florida Publishers Association will hold a round-table discussion on the fundamentals of publishing. Participants include Barbara Hagen, FPA president, publishing consultant and book manufacturer; Sylvia Hemmerly, Publishing Professionals, book designer and typesetter; Ann Rust, Amaro Books, independent publisher; and John Harms, Frederick Press, author and independent publisher.
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Victoria J. Baker (A Sinhalese Village in Sri Lanka: Coping with Uncertainty), Tim Beal (Reading Bibles, Writing Bodies: Identity and The Book), Nancy Corson Carter (Dragon Poems), Albert Howard Carter III (First Cut: A Season in the Human Anatomy Lab), Bill Felice (Taking Suffering Seriously), James Goetsch (Vico's Axioms: The Geometry of the Human World), Arthur J. Skinner (The Death of a Confederate) and Don Sherburne (Key to Whitehead's Process and Reality) will sign copies of their work.
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Throughout the day
For the small set
Free Books: Children 12 and younger can take home a free book, a Marvel Comic, bookmarks and posters. Coordinated by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. All day.
Kids Create: Kids can make bookmarks, book covers, and flowers and insects from Miss Spider's Wedding. Coordinated by the Junior League of St. Petersburg. All day.
Workshops: Two creative writing classes for kids 8 to 12 will be offered by the Tampa Writers' Alliance and the Writer's Voice Project of the Tampa YMCA. 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Two bookmaking sessions, using recycled paper and ribbon, will be taught by Creative Clay. Sign up early. Do It Tent. 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Storybook Character Parade with Wild Thing, Lily, Bunnicula, Miss Spider, Peter Rabbit, Miss Frizzle, Waldo and other children's book characters. 1:30 p.m.
Meet Sibley Fleming, author of the children's picture book, How to Rock Your Baby. Do It Tent, 1-1:30 p.m.
Talk with Beatrix Potter: The children's book author (portrayed by Travis Sherman) will read some of Peter Rabbit's tales and talk about her life. Do It Tent, 1-3 pm.
Charlotte's Web: American Stage presents their version of the children's classic. StoryLand Stage, 11:30 a.m.
The sound of poetry (and music)
Poetry readings and musical performances are offered on an open-air stage.
Throughout the day
More than 80 vendors will have books for sale, and 17 area literary and literacy organizations will be exhibiting on the campus grounds.
The following authors will have their own booths or appear at bookseller's booths:
Ann O'Connell Rust at Amaro Books
Dinah Arnette (Never Alone: A True Story)
Nathan Ruthstein and Happy Dobbs at Bahai Community of St. Petersburg
Frances Beard (Nothing to Lose)
Phillip Manning at John F. Blair
Betty Shulman, Tim Randolph, Susie Levan, Col. Robert H. Dowd and Bill Goss at Book Promotions
Eric Jerome Dickey at Books for Thought
Carol A. Wallin at Cardinal Enterprises of Florida
Judith Russell, children's book illustrator at Cherokee Publishers/Black Belt Publishers
Bea Rose at Compass Productions
Sochitl S. Cotman (Brazil Our Love)
Lary Crews (Novel Secrets: 10 Secrets Novelists Need to Know)
Jeeni Criscenzo (Place of Mirrors)
Catherine A. Wannamaker at Equity Enterprises
Dean Tong at FamRights Press
John Harms II at Frederick Press
Don Gallagher (The Pleistocene Redemption)
Anderson C. Hill II at Gina's Inkwell/Anderson C. Hill
Mac Perry, Tom Lenfestey, Monica Moran Brandies, Ted Dahlmen, Peter Bramley, Suncoast Florida Native Plant Society at Great Outdoors Publishing Co.
Pati Gross (Stranger Safety)
Tricia Seymour at Karlsen & Seymour International
Kathryn Kaufmann (Marriage Meant To Be)
Harry B. Knights (A Boy With a Wish)
Jack Lamberti, Robert Wolley, Jack Gargan and Nancy Sanborn at Lifetyles Press Publishing Consultants
Jo Ann Lordhal (100 Motivators for Educators)
Nathalie Marshall (What Is A Book)
Anne McKay Garris (Grandma Was Right: 39 1/2 Slogans to Raise Children By)
Ronnie Miller (Dances With Elephants)
James M. Denham and Kathleen Ann Goonan at Mosswood Bookshop
Carol Perry at Pages Book Fairs
Mary Gentry, Therese Lohr and Marian Coe at PINAWOR
Bruce Hunt at Pineapple Press
Janice Reed Romack (The Glass Jar)
Ilene Rosoff (The Woman Source Catalog & Review)
Barbara Gray at Starlight Productions
Julia Anita Strimple (Salad Sorcery)
Nina McGuire and Sandy Sammons at Tailored Tours Publications
Al Burt at the University Press of Florida
Carolyn Travis Laskey, Brenda Schnoor, John Petellat and Sarah K. Eiland at Vista Publishing
Donia Wadsworth (Doodling My Way to Enlightenment)
Cat Wagman (Why...Thank You!: How to Have Fun Writing Fantastic Motes and More)
Donna Cohen, Carl Eisdorfer, Kathy Feeney, Harold Clark, Al Burt, Frances Keenan, Dionne Stevens, Merl Reagle, Glenwood Sherry and the Junior League of Tampa at Waldenbooks and More
Jon Ward (The Clash of the Cowasorouses)
Fred W. Wright Jr. (City Smart: Tampa/St. Petersburg)