In the fall an avid reader’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of books. With due apology to Alfred, Lord Tennyson for mangling his musings on spring, I can’t help but think my observation is more universally apt. As the days draw in and the weather turns cool, my longing to be curled up in a bright, cozy place with a new book or old favorite (and a cat or two) grows stronger. But before I commit completely to my reader’s hibernation period, I’ll be taking the opportunity to celebrate the beginning of the reading season by taking in some of the events at this year’s Chippewa Valley Book Festival (CVBF). The festival consists of twenty events over ten days, October 15 through October 25, and this year’s crop of authors is spectacular. (Did someone say “Caroline Fraser, author of Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Biography; buy your $10 tickets now while supplies last?” I could’ve sworn I heard someone say that.) In fact, I could rave about this author lineup much longer than you might wish to hear, so perhaps you should check it out for yourself at www.cvbookfest.org.
Saturday, October 20 will be a full day of free, drop-in CVBF programming at the library. Book sales and autographing sessions will take place after each event. The library is proud to host presentations by Miriam Karmel, author of Subtle Variations and Other Stories, Leah Weiss, author of If the Creek Don’t Rise, Peter Geye, author of Wintering, and Patricia McConnell, author of The Education of Will. For long-standing fans of Wisconsin Public Radio, yes! That Patricia McConnell: engaging co-host of the weekly call-in show Calling All Pets on which she and the inimitable Larry Meiller provided entertainment and education for almost 14 years. It’s been a decade since the show was cancelled and I still feel a little bereft. (“Speak, Meiller; speak. Good boy, Meiller!” Best banter ever.) Then, to conclude a day of literary fun, Eau Claire’s own ecWIT (Eau Claire Women in Theater) will perform “Prose and Poetry Alive,” a performance medley of selections from this year’s CVBF authors.
And that’s not all! Wednesday, October 24 William Kent Krueger, author of the Cork O’Connor mystery series, will be at the library to discuss the transformative power of stories. In addition, the library will be supporting the festival’s mission to inspire young writers by playing host to a writing workshop with Mitali Perkins on Wednesday, October 17 as part of the Authors in the Schools program. If you are (or know) a young writer age 10 to 18, register today by calling 715-839-5007. Space is limited!
I for one am looking forward to adding some inspiration to my winter reading list at the Chippewa Valley Book Festival. Hope to see you there!