From the very first issue of Well-Being, released in August of 2010, one of my favorite parts of the magazine has been “BookShelf.” Fortunately we have had some amazing help from the folks at Lemuria Books who have provided reviews and pointed us to some must-read titles we might have missed without their guidance.
Our original idea was to review books that are related to health, nutrition and fitness, and we have continued that tradition over the past 35 issues. But somewhere along the way we realized that some topics, although sometimes it’s not immediately apparent how they relate to health and wellbeing, are tied in with our overall quality of life just the same. Topics about nature and its interdependency on us and our interdependency on it, come to mind – books about bees, butterflies, trees, plants, and pools. Topics about how we can take better care of our planet, and how we can take better care of ourselves and those we love – topics about learning to live and learning to die. We also have been fond of featuring photography books by Mississippians (and some haling from other places), those special people who capture the beauty of the world around us, and sometimes our own humanity, in a way that makes us appreciate even the everyday things in a new way.
If you are wondering why I seem to be waxing all nostalgic about a section of the magazine, it’s not really about that. I am just so excited about an upcoming event that celebrates Mississippi authors, Mississippi book lovers and our great literary history and tradition, the 2nd Annual Mississippi Book Festival.
The first Mississippi Book Festival, our own “literary lawn party,” held on the grounds of the state Capitol last August, attracted more than 3,700 attendees, and this year promises to be even bigger. The 2016 Mississippi Book Festival slated for August 20th, will again grace the Capitol lawn and is FREE to the public (with free parking, too). It begins at 9:00 am and concludes at 6:30 pm, with a ticketed after-party at Hal & Mal’s. The Festival will feature over 150 authors, 30+ panels, will include live interviews, book signings, a Kids Corner, Capitol tours, great food and live music. Among the noted writers attending are Kate DiCamillo, Richard Ford, Julia Reed, Jon Meacham, Jesmyn Ward, Richard Grant, Jacqueline Woodson, and W. Ralph Eubanks.
So mark your calendar to save the date – August 20th will be here before you know it. Be ready to don a wide-brimmed hat, grab some sunscreen and a lawn chair and head on down to the Capitol. Join some of Mississippi’s most avid book lovers, meet some of the finest Mississippi authors of today, and take a look back at literary treasures, like Willie Morris and William Faulkner.