Wiley Cash Book Signing

On Friday I went to Wiley Cash’s book reading and signing for This Dark Road To Mercy at Malaprop’s. Malaprop’s is an awesome independent bookstore in Asheville, NC that features great authors quite often! Wiley is a North Carolina native and graduated from UNCA (me too!). His first book was set in Madison County and his second in Gastonia. Apparently Malaprop’s has sold more of his books than any other bookstore!

I just read A Land More Kind Than Home last month and loved it so I was excited about this event. I got two of my coworkers to join me and we had a blast. Wiley was a great speaker, friendly, and hilarious. Not to mention great looking! We had a blast.

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I added This Dark Road To Mercy to my collection of signed books. Most I’ve had signed in front of me and met the authors (Khaled Hosseini at Malaprop’s and Veronica Roth, Ally Condie, Rae Carson, Carrie Ryan, Stephanie Perkins, Rachel Cohn, and David Levithan at YALLFest) but a few I’ve won in contests/promotions (Silver Linings Playbook, Gorgeous, and Timepiece). This is a recent obsession and I can’t wait to add more!

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YALLFest

In November 2013 I went to YALLFest in Charleston, SC. I learned about it in 2012 but wasn’t able to go that year. It’s an annual young adult book festival and it was amazing! I met so many authors and got tons of books signed. (People were rolling around suitcases filled with books!) They also had lots of discussion panels. And it’s held in a city that I love. What more could one ask for? I will definitely try to go EVERY year from now on!

Charleston is only about four hours from where I currently live. My friend Rheannon, who lives in Winston-Salem, met me over YALLFest weekend and we were able to stay on her father-in-law’s houseboat for free! (Which I have always wanted to do and crossed off my bucket list!)

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I arrived in Charleston on Friday in time for the YALLFest Red Carpet Preview at Charleston County Public Library. Several authors discussed “Disturbing Universes” and I got a book signed by and photo with Carrie Ryan (author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series).

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After the panel I hurried over to Sullivan’s Island for sunset beach photos!

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Dinner was at Taco Mamacita. Yum!

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Rheannon wasn’t arriving until late so I caught a movie by myself and then when she finally got there we had some late night drinks and munchies at The Southern General on Johns Island (near the marina).

mmmm corn fritters

mmmm corn fritters

In the morning I donned all of my nerdy book gear for the festival! And I got there early enough to get a wristband for the coveted Veronica Roth signing (limited to the first 500 in line).

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The Opening Keynote started at 10am and featured two of my favorite authors: “Girl Power, Boy Power” with Veronica Roth and Rae Carson.

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There were so many book signings throughout the day! I got books signed by Rae Carson, Rachel Cohn (who is actually my friend’s sister), Ally Condie, David Levithan, Stephanie Perkins, and Veronica Roth. I wanted to get books signed by Marie Lu and Ransom Riggs but they sold out of her books (I wanted her to sign Champion which was released that week so I had planned to buy it there) and he got food poisoning!

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I was so busy getting books signed that I didn’t have much time to go to panels. I did attend the YA Smackdown that evening, which was fun. The authors played games on stage and there was a band made up of several authors who rocked out for awhile. (Note: All festival events were free except the Keynote and Smackdown, which were $6-$7 each. And they sold out! So buy tickets ahead of time.)

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That evening Rheannon and I had dinner at Virginia’s on King and alcoholic slushies at Wet Willie’s!

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On Sunday Rheannon and I visited the Angel Oak and Folly Beach.

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After the beach, she left to head home. Since I had a three day weekend (Veteran’s Day), I decided to stay a little longer and drive back later on Sunday. I walked around and explored downtown.

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What a great weekend! I can’t wait for YALLFest 2014!

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

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I am using this book for the Treasure Hunt (geological formation), Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge, 52 Books in 52 Weeks, Literary Friday, and Book Club Friday.

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I also got to go to this book reading/signing tonight, which was so awesome! My first one!

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Summary from Goodreads: Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars. Going to his reading made me appreciate this book so much more but it did take me three weeks to read… There were so many characters and each of the nine chapters was its own story in a way. It was a beautiful, touching novel but A Thousand Splendid Suns is still my favorite. I think I have to have a main character I can really care about to be fully invested in a book. I did like the crime/drug lord storyline and would love if he wrote a book about those characters!

4 stars