Texas Book Festival 2014



This year’s Texas Book Festival, overtaking Austin’s Capitol grounds for the weekend of Oct. 25-26, will host more than 280 writers and their more or less freshly published books—the largest lineup in the festival’s storied 19 year history.

Since nobody could possibly take it all in—though please do have fun trying—a bit of guidance may be called for, and for that you’ve come to the right place.

Over the coming week we’ll be posting here a round-up of several dozen festival books the Observer has covered over the course of the past year (with links to the original reviews), a feature on independent Texas publishers represented at the festival, and a highly subjective collection of recommendations from Observer editors and writers.

We’ll be posting that material here between now and the festival’s opening day, so bookmark the page and check back often.

The Observer will be at the Texas Book Festival this year. Visit our booth (#403) for discounts on books, merchandise and subscriptions.

Want to read still more about Texas books? You can read all of the book reviews in our 2014 Books Issue online.


Texas Book Festival 2014: The Observer Picks


Martin AmisThere must be a million ways to approach the 2014 Texas Book Festival. You could pick a theme and follow it around the Capitol grounds, for instance, or you could plant yourself in an extension room somewhere and watch whatever comes your way. Or you could compile a highly subjective, entirely idiosyncratic, don’t-even-bother-feeling-compelled-to-justify-it schedule of stuff that just plain strikes your fancy. Here’s ours.


Declaration of Independents


Arte Público Press logoAn estimated 40,000 literature lovers will descend on the Texas statehouse this weekend for the Texas Book Festival. For the state’s independent presses, there may be no better chance all year to court new readers. Read the full story.


The 2014 Texas Book Festival in Reviews


bookpileWhen the Texas Book Festival announced its 2014 lineup earlier this month, we were pleased, in the manner of the prescient, to note that the Observer has treated no fewer than 20 of these authors—plus one filmmaker—either online or in the magazine’s pages over the course of the last year or so.

If any of the following books or authors (listed below in alphabetical order) are on your must-see list this coming weekend, here’s a handy list of links to our review and the relevant Texas Book Festival event pages:


Sarah Bird: Above the East China Sea
Saturday, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Cynthia Bond: Ruby
Saturday, 2-3 p.m.

Rosemary Catacalos: Again for the First Time
Saturday, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Bill Cotter: The Parallel Apartments 
Saturday, 2-3 p.m.

Elizabeth Crook: Monday, Monday
Saturday, 2-2:45 p.m.

Nan Cuba: Body and Bread
Saturday, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

John T. Davis: The Flatlanders: Now It’s Now Again
Sunday, 2-3 p.m.

Rod Davis: South, America
Saturday, 1:45-2:45 p.m.

Doug Dorst: S.
Sunday, 11-11:45 a.m.

Cristina Henriquez: The Book of Unknown Americans
Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Lacy M. Johnson: The Other Side
Sunday, 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Richard Linklater: Boyhood
Sunday, 3:30-4:15 p.m.

James Magnuson: Famous Writers I Have Known
Sunday, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Micheal Morton: Getting Life
Sunday, 3-3:34 p.m.

Rene Steinke: Friendswood
Saturday, 12:15-1:15 p.m.

Carmen Tafolla: This River Here: Poems of San Antonio
Saturday, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Merritt Tierce: Love Me Back
Saturday, 3:15-4:15 p.m.

Chris Tomlinson: Tomlinson Hill
Sunday, 12-12:45 p.m.

Bill White: America’s Fiscal Constitution
Sunday, 1:15-2 p.m.

Gwendolyn Zepeda: Falling in Love with Fellow Prisoners
Sunday, 2:30-3:15 p.m.