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Now Read This

Your guide to the juiciest parts of the Baltimore Book Festival

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Baltimore Book Festival is a perennial highlight of the city’s cultural calendar, showcasing some of our best organizations, bookstores, publishers, and media outlets (did we mention City Paper has a booth?). It’s also surprisingly lively and fun for a festival about, you know, books. There’s lots of live music and performances, cooking demonstrations, food options—it’s a little overwhelming, frankly, but it’s the ideal kind of festival, one where you can just wander about and inevitably come upon something interesting. Check out the web site to prepare more methodically (baltimorebookfestival.com) or just make sure to hit each of our essential Book Festival stops:

Radical Bookfair Pavilion: In this election year, be sure to restock your arsenal of outrage over any number of things which truly deserve it, whether it’s the exploitation of third-world resources, the corporatization of politics, or the gaping inequality of wealth and opportunity in Baltimore, USA. A steady stream of smart author-speakers and a broad collection of books and periodicals will get you appropriately riled up.

Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: In the same vein but a more optimistic light, hear the master of quiet rage, Democracy Now host Goodman and co-founder Moynihan talk about their book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope at the Bank of America Literary Salon (hm . . .) Saturday at 7 P.M.

50 Fest: The festival expands down Calvert Street this year to include Center Stage, which celebrates its 50th anniversary by presenting a wide range of performances from local theater artists, musicians, poets, painters, and dancers, including dramatic readings of Poe poems by local theater companies, including Single Carrot and Iron Crow.

Children’s Bookstore Stage: If you have kids, this one’s a no-brainer since there’s a steady stream of storytellers and folks dressed up as Frog and Toad and Clifford and the like. But even if you’ve graduated to young-adult or beyond, it’s worth checking in to see children’s book authors and illustrators describe their process and particularly to watch the illustrators draw their creations live.

The Music Stage: BBF always draws a solid lineup of music to enjoy while you’re munching on your crab-avocado quesadilla or whatever, and this year, the lineup includes blues from Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings and zydeco from Junkyard Saints.

The City Paper Book Swap: Visit us! We’ll have hundreds of books on hand for you to peruse, trade, maybe even borrow (bring us one of those crab-avocado quesadillas and you got yourself a deal).

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