This fall there will be the Ninth Annual National Book Festival in DC.

Laura Bush started it up, with the help of the Library of Congress, while George Bush was president, modeling it on the very successful Texas Book Festival she started in Austin when GWB was governor here (have I mentioned she and I are both alumni of the School of Information at UT? We’re practically twins).

Anyway, with the Bush family no longer in DC, there was a lot of talk about whether or not the National Book Festival would go on, but at the end of May, President and Mrs. Obama announced they would act as honorary chairs for the event and it would go forward as before. Since this is the first year I’d live close enough to actually consider going, there were some quiet cheers from my direction at this announcement.

The cheers were louder, though, two weeks ago, when they announced the author lineup. You can check out the whole list here, but I was particularly thrilled to see Shannon Hale, Kadir Nelson, Jeannette Walls, Lois Lowry, Sharon Creech, and Ken Burns on the list. And that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

As we drove home that night from school and work, I told Bart, “I’m going to fly down for the day. It’s only a $39 direct flight from Boston to DC. Do you want to come?”

I wasn’t sure he’d want to, but to my joy, he immediately said, yes, that he wanted to come.

And then when I got on to Southwest to buy the tickets, I discovered that we had enough leftover credit from all the times I’ve cancelled and rebooked tickets at lower prices, or swapped free tickets for paid tickets (yes, I spend an unhealthy amount of time on Southwest, I’ll admit) to cover the cost of both tickets entirely. Plus some. So our trip is completely paid for.

I am beside myself with joy at the idea of hopping on a plane in the morning, flying down to DC with my darling husband, spending the day hearing authors I love speak and hopefully meeting a few, and then flying home in time for a late dinner and then snuggling down into my own bed.

East Coast, you’ve already won me over.

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  • Reply diana banana July 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    geez…..I was all ready to offer up our guest bed but you won't even need it! I hope you enjoy yourself though. Next time you're in DC you definitely need to make it a longer trip!

  • Reply Jess July 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Yay! I'm so excited for you.

    Also, and I apologize if you've written about this before and I missed it, but if you and Laura are twins, what do you think of the book American Wife?

  • Reply TheMoncurs July 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    PLUS odds are excellent that I will also be there. I can hardly sleep at night for excitement.

  • Reply megan July 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Not fair. And can you be my travel agent? You know, for when I actually get to go somewhere on a plane again?

  • Reply RA July 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Very intriguing! That is a weekend when we don't have a game to attend, so maybe I will price out some train tickets to visit my sister as a front for geeking out over books, of course.

  • Reply Lisa C July 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Isn't it great how close everything is out East? When are you coming to Rochester? Super close to Palmyra and Niagara Falls AND you can crash at our place. I know how much you love free!

  • Reply Elizabeth July 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Oooh, I am way jealous.

  • Reply Alison Stewart July 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I was all excited thinking for some reason this was in Texas and I am going…..until I read the "rest of the story"! Oh well….enjoy!

  • Reply Lisa July 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Free trip! I'd love to go on that one. I'm a bit jealous of the relative closeness of all the East Coast stuff. Out here in SD, there aren't so many day trips.

  • Reply Yankee Girl July 27, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I am extremely jealous. Sometimes I watch the coverage on C-SPan. I'm such a nerd.

  • Reply Lexilooo July 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I'll be there too, and I can't wait! The Book Fest is one of my favorite days of the year! Last year, I met Laura and Jenna Bush when they signed my copy of the children's book that they wrote together. They were so sweet! Make sure you check out the Pavillion of the States too. Each state has a table where they talk about authors from their state, that sort of thing. It's great!

  • Reply Nemesis July 27, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Well DANG. I would be an East Coast fan as well, I think. Check you out!

  • Reply Whitney July 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    That's awesome! That sounds like so much fun 🙂 And everything is better when it's free!

  • Reply Trish July 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Man–you got my hopes up when you mentioned Texas. DC?? Eh, too far. Hope you have a great time!

  • Reply heidikins July 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    …this actually gave me butterflies. I want a fancy day-trip vacation!

    ….gasp! Thoughts! I am going to DC this fall…and at $39 dollar prices I *just may* be able to squeeze in a Boston jaunt. Hmmmm, the plot is getting super thick. ;o)


  • Reply Saskia July 28, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Amazing author list! Very jealous right now.

  • Reply Packrat July 28, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    For the umteenth time: you could fall in a puddle… 🙂 Book festival and meeting blogging friends – wonderful!

  • Reply blakspring July 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    that is such a great plan. you will have an awesome time. i am jealous. hmm, now you've got me considering this. a somewhat short drive from nyc.

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