Posts Tagged ‘Miami Book Fair’

Miami Book Fair Spectacular

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

My god.  What a month for hope.  Latest for me was the Miami Book Fair International where an entire village came alive with written words dancing and singing and shaking hands in downtown Miami.  What a vibrant testament to imagination, the organizers’, the participants’, the visitors’. 

I had the honor of reading with Brad Matsen author of Titanic’s Last Secrets.  It is the story of why the Titanic went down so quickly, what happens when businessmen compromise principles, and the tragedy that can result from a cascade of moral if not legal wrongs.  It is the story of our economy in a bathtub, and it reminded me very much of what I saw as a Washington, DC lawyer:  good people making compromises on small parts of important issues, with the result that bad policies were implemented, and worse. 

Continued thanks go to Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books and Books and the fair’s pioneer.  Likewise, to Cristina Nosti who saved me more than once from death as a socially awkward sixth grader at his first writers’ dance.

Rest assured the weekend was not without its odd reptilian magic:  Those who attended my Books and Books reading in Miami will remember Alan Rigerman, who stood up and had a number of things to say in defense of Mario Tabraue, Ray Van Nostrand, and others.  I wondered if Alan would be at my reading but it turns out he was in the newspaper.  According to that morning’s Miami Herald, while Alan was attending Repticon, the Florida reptile show,  a 16-year-old girl was mauled at his home by one of Alan’s two pet cougars, a male named Chaos.  She will live.  Alan also keeps alligators.

Miami Book Fair International This Week! The Lizard King Reading Sunday 5 pm, Room 7128

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Big Names, Rising Stars

By Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Miami New Times,
published: November 13, 2008

Miami Book Fair International is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the first 10 months of the year, you already know the literary luminaries are coming out in numbers. Many of the fair’s celebrities have been visiting our shores for the past quarter-century, and quite a few cite good ol’ cofounder and indie bookstore owner Mitchell Kaplan as the man who gave them an annual platform for their efforts. We’d like to assume you’re a well-read sort (you’re reading New Times, right?), so you’ve probably already set your cell phone calendar to see the likes of Nikki Giovanni, Junot Díaz, Dennis Lehane, and Scott McClellan this Saturday at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. But you shouldn’t head for just the big names. First, those events are probably going to be packed to the gills, and second, if you make time for only the celebrities, you’ll certainly miss out on some up-and-coming talent in the literary world. Isn’t it better to say “I saw so-and-so at their first reading, and there were seven people there” than “I am totally on the Pulitzer Prize-winning bandwagon”? Exactly. Bust out that BlackBerry and make a date with these authors.

Former Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud — who knows of what he writes — will read from his book Sins of South Beach at 10 a.m. in Room 3410. And Sloane Crosley — whose witty, dark I Was Told There’d Be Cake is supposed to be the next big thing — will read at 3:30 in Room 7128. The obscure-author fun will continue Sunday: Bryan Christy is bound to tell crazy stories from The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers at 5 p.m. in Room 7128. And Peter Moruzzi’s Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground is a lush, fantastic photographic homage to the Cuba of yore; he’ll share his story Sunday at 4 p.m. in Room 1101. Between readings, don’t forget to wander over to the International Pavilion, where there’ll be film, musical, dance, and cultural performances at the fest’s World Stage. For more authorly info, visit
Nov. 9-16, 2008


Miami Book Fair International 2008!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Just got the date and time for my talk:  Sunday, November 16, 5 p.mThe Miami Book Fair is one of the world’s premier literary events and I’m honored to be speaking.  I’ll be on together with Brad Matsen author of TITANIC’S LAST SECRETS, just out from my publisher, TWELVE.  I loved SHADOW DIVERS.  In Matsen’s new book shadow divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler explore the untold secret of why the Titanic really went down.  From ocean floor to reptile jungle–it should be a fascinating hour.