Bookleggers’ Five Miami Book Fair Picks

By | November 13th, 2012 | No Comments
Kurt Vonnegut

If you don’t go to the Miami Book Fair, you will make the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut even crankier.

With the Miami Book Fair International underway, we asked Nathaniel Sandler (a regular Beached Miami contributor) and David Gonzalez — the gentlemen behind the mobile library we told you about back in July — to give our readers their top five recommendations.

While heavy hitters Junot Diaz and Tom Wolfe have already inspired book lovers at this year’s Miami Book Fair International, which started on Sunday, we here at Bookleggers: A Library on the Run want to give you a heads up on what’s left, what’s literary, and what’s absolutely can’t miss. Starting with …

1. The Miami Book Fair International Street Fair

Nothing beats the fair itself. Over the weekend, downtown Miami turns into a dust bowl carnival of books. Underneath these miraculous tents are glorious treasures awaiting your love. Find new books, old books, deeply discounted books, and rare and antiquarian books. Art books, comic books. Books about cinema and television and music. Books that will make you laugh, cry, think, and feel. In short, book vendors from around the world are sure to have something for everyone. And you, lord or lady, are everyone.

When: Friday – Sunday
Where: Miami Dade College (300 N.E. Second Avenue, Miami, FL, 33132)
Cost: Free for all on Friday, $8 general admission/$5 for people over 62/free for children under five on Saturday and Sunday

2. Happy Hour with the Bookleggers & Literary Death Match

We might be a little biased here, but this is going to be eternal bliss covered in chocolatey sprinkles. Bookleggers (that’s us) is a mobile library that gets books out into the public. The first book is free and any book after that is available for trade or the low price of $2. We want you to read. Take it. Love it. It’s free. There’s nothing better than something that’s free, especially a book.

Following the library will be the competitive reading series Literary Death Match, which is a real treat. A fabulous line-up of readers and judges will make you laugh while you drink and drink while you laugh. For one, Etgar Keret will be judging. If you haven’t read the budding Israeli writer, you should (and his own Miami Book Fair reading on Saturday at 2 p.m. is your chance). Also judging is local comedienne Jessica Gross.

When: Friday, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Bardot (3456 North Miami Avenue Miami, FL, 33127)
Cost: Free before 7 p.m., $10 at the door after 7 p.m.
Event Page: HERE

3. A Poetry Reading featuring Kevin Young on ‘The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink’

Headlining poet Kevin Young will read from his appetite-whetting ‘The Hungry Ear’, a compilation of 150 poems that “describe food not just as a necessity, but as a necessary, elementary pleasure.” Young’s co-presenters are MacArthur Genius Grant winner Campbell McGrath, a vital figure in Miami’s contemporary literature community who will be reading from his latest work, In The Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys; Dana Gioia, who will be reading from his latest, Pity the Beautiful; and Richard Blanco, who will read from Looking For The Gulf Motel.

When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Miami Dade College (300 N.E. Second Avenue, Miami, FL, 33132, room 8303 on the third floor of Building 8)
Cost: Free before 7 p.m., $10 at the door after 7 p.m.
Event page: HERE

4. American Histories featuring Les Standiford on ‘Desperate Sons’

This one is for the non-fiction fans. Les Standiford weaves history and storytelling into a warm fuzzy hat we wish we could wear. He is a Miami treasure (director of the Creative Writing Program at FIU and author of South Florida-defining works like Bringing Adam Home and Last Train to Paradise) and is constantly churning out new work. He’ll be reading from his latest, Desperate Sons: Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock and The Secret Band of Radicals Who Led the Colonies to War, alongside Candace Millard, author of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, and David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy.

When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Where: Miami Dade College (300 N.E. Second Avenue, Miami, FL, 33132, room 3210 on the second floor of Building 3)
Cost: Free after general admission
Event page: HERE

5. ‘Kurt Vonnegut: Life and Letters’ with Mark Vonnegut, Dan Wakefield, and Don Farber

If you’re at all into Kurt Vonnegut, and we know that you are, you won’t miss this reading. His son, Mark, delivers his second memoir in thirty years, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So, which details his battles with schizophrenia as well as the pressures of growing up the son of a counterculture hero. In Kurt Vonnegut: Letters, writer and close personal friend Dan Wakefield compiles a collection of correspondence spanning more than sixty years. Combined, these two works shed new light on the great absurdist’s life and work from people who were intimately familiar with both. They will also be joined by Donald Farber, Kurt Vonnegut’s lifelong agent.

When: Sunday, 11 a.m.
Where: Miami Dade College (300 N.E. Second Avenue, Miami, FL, 33132, room 8302 on the third floor of Building 8)
Cost: Free after general admission
Event page: HERE

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