I’m so looking forward to June, when I will be attending Booktopia in Oxford, Mississippi. What is Booktopia you say? Well, it is the retreat organized by Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, the incredible hosts of the podcast Books on the Nightstand (if you don’t already subscribe to it — do so now — it is wonderful) where the weekend is spent discussing books and reading with like-minded souls. I attended the first retreat last year in Manchester, Vermont and it was amazing, so this year when they announced three separate retreats in different locations, I registered for the Oxford Booktopia since I have never before been to the Deep South.
One of the highlights of these retreats is the attendance of real live authors. Last week, the lineup of the authors coming to the Oxford retreat was announced and I couldn’t wait to get to my local independent bookstore, Read Between the Lynes, and get a head start on my reading. Here is what I’ve picked up (so far):
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (winner of the 2011 National Book Award!)
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
All of these are books I’ve heard of, but I’m not sure that I would have selected them on my own. I discovered several new authors at the retreat last year, so I am confident that these authors will also be a pleasure.
A few other authors will be at the retreat as well, including Eudora Welty’s biographer and the author of a book about Margaret Mitchell and the phenomenon that was Gone with the Wind. But as there is an independent bookstore in Oxford, I think I’ll wait to purchase these books while I’m there.
Have you read any of these books? Which one do you think I should try first?