Thirteen Reasons Why You Should Come to the Alabama Book Festival


11. Meet the guy who inspired the latest Netflix craze.

Because Jay Asher, the author of Thirteen Reasons Why, will speak not once but twice at the festival, first at 12 p.m. and then at 1 p.m. for a workshop on YA literature.

10. Geek out with your Sci-Fi buddies

Because you are a sci-fi fanatic and hearing that the legendary Joe Haldeman is coming to Montgomery sends you straight to Mars. You’re keen to hear Haldeman talk about adapting his classic The Forever War into a graphic novel. Plus you love Octavia Butler, and the co-author of the graphic novel adaptation of Kindred, Damian Duffy, will share a panel with Joe at 3 p.m.


Books, Bikes and BitesBecause you have a ton of books you’d like to unload and you want to support the festival’s book drive, which this year will benefit Southlawn Elementary. Maybe additionally you like biking and want to help the Montgomery Bicycle Club celebrate National Ride for Reading Week in May by giving books. And you love Charles Lee’s That’s My Dog and for 7 books you get a free dog—or with 10 books a combo!

9. You’ve got the Blues

Because you love music and are curious about how songwriters put words to melodies. You go regularly to the Sanctuary and other local hotspots and festivals and you’re keen on these cats called Blue Yonder, who have a great EP recently released, Born of the Sky. You want to learn what rhymes with June beside spoon, moon, and pontoon, so you sign up for the Blues’ 3 p.m. songwriting workshop.

You’re a BrowserBecause you love to stroll the exhibitor tents and soak up all the great agencies, museums, magazines, and publishers who come out to show off their wares.


8. You’ve Got a Baby Bookworm

Because you have a small child who loves big dogs and you want to take the tyke to the 12:45 story time with Maxnificent the Polka Dot Pyrenees on the Old Alabama Town playground.

7.  The Gump Connection

Because you love Forrest Gump and you’ve heard that Winston Groom has published his first novel, El Paso, in twenty years, and you want the skinny on why the long draught.

6. You’re Middle Name is Julia Child

Because you can bust eggs without getting shells in the yolk but you don’t have clue one about how to get going on that cookbook you’ve always wanted to do, and you’ve heard that author Annette Thompson is doing a workshop at noon on how to go from paté to paper.

5. You’ve Got Your Own Stories to Tell

Because you would like to publish a memoir someday, and you heard Molly Brodak on NPR last fall and would like to attend her 9 a.m. workshop before seeing her and Kathie Farnell at 10 on the art of telling your life story.

4. It’s Cocktail Time

Because you went to Leroy for happy hour on Friday, and you met Robert F. Moss—whose research into the history of barbecue is quoted in this week’s New Yorker—and you got intoxicated by all the tales of obscure Southern drinks he told as a kickoff to today’s festivities.

3. Someone Risked Their Life to Tell You About It

Because you appreciate the fact that somebody had to dodge traffic in the five busiest intersections in Montgomery to lug sandwich boards into medians hoping to get the word out, and you want to reward that dedication.

2. Gump Connection Part II

Because you read Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle in college, but you never knew she set her 1982 novel Southern Discomfort in the Gump, and you’re intrigued to discover whatever brought her here all those years ago.

1. You Need a Beach Read

Because summer is almost here, and Saturday is going to be sunny and 90 degrees, and there’s no greater feeling than stocking up on great reads for the pool and beach!


Tomorrow morning over 4000 bookworms from all around the region will descend on Old Alabama Town for the most anticipated event of the year for Bookworms and word nerds.

The Alabama Book Festival features author talks, book signings, work shops, children’s activities, food trucks and lots of fun in a perfectly quaint setting. And did we mention its FREE?

Check out the schedule and tutor lineup at



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