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Book lovers! Get excited for Saturday's free Festival of Reading

By Times staff
There will be dozens of authors discussing and signing their work as well as books to purchase at the free Festival of Reading.

The Times Festival of Reading, a free event for book lovers, is back for its 25th year.

Literary names visiting the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg on Saturday include crime fiction writer Michael Connelly, children’s author Kate DiCamillo (Because of Winn Dixie) and former Fox News broadcast journalist Gretchen Carlson.

There will be talks by the authors and book signings and a book market with books for purchase.

It runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the USF campus at 140 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg. You can see the full list of featured authors here, as well as the full schedule of signings and talks, and a venue map.

The Times has been talking with authors and reviewing their books in advance of this year’s fest. Here’s a look at all of our coverage to help you get informed and excited.

MICHAEL CONNELLY

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

 Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft followed Connelly to Los Angeles to hang out on the set of Bosch and see why the Amazon series feels so much like the books. It's Connelly's involvement, she wrote.

Bancroft also reviewed Connelly's latest Bosch novel, Two Kinds of Truth in which she explains why it's Bosch at his best.

 

 KATE DICAMILLO

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

With a couple of Newbery Medals under her belt and legions of enthusiastic fans, Kate DiCamillo should feel pretty secure about her books, right? We talked to DiCamillo, a featured author at this year's festival, and found out that for DiCamillo, connection is the story.

 

GRETCHEN CARLSON

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Broadcast journalist Gretchen Carlson could have taken the $20 million she received from her sexual harassment lawsuit against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and retired to private life in comfort.

As the festival featured author writes in her new book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, her successful suit against a predator — one that resulted in Ailes being fired — provoked a withering barrage of hatred from internet trolls so vile it almost stopped her in her tracks.

 

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Ibram X. Kendi, 35, won the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction for his bestselling book Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. It’s a bold title, and a bold book: an unstinting, deeply researched, beautifully written study of how racist thought and action permeate our culture and history. We asked the Festival of Reading featured author about those topics in a recent interview.

 

WHAT IF CRIME FICTION WRITERS TURNED TRUE CRIME?

We had some fun with crime fiction writers Ace Atkins, Tim Dorsey and Lisa Unger, asking them what real-life crime they'd write about if they turned to non-fiction. Here's what the three authors, all featured at this year's festival, had to say.

 

FUN WITH FLORIDA

There are a number of Florida-centric authors and Florida-themed books at this year's Festival of Reading. Here's a look at some of our coverage:

Review: Jack E. Davis' 'The Gulf' is an enthralling history of the Gulf of Mexico

Poetry to Prose: Florida poet laureate's columns are prose to savor

Florida stories a rich source for Sarah Gerard’s ‘Sunshine State' 

Whose Florida is weirder? Pittman vs. VanderMeer