Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Borrow or Buy

Hosted by the Memphis Public Library, the third annual Bookstock festival features forty local authors of books for adults and children

Hosted by the Memphis Public Library, the third annual Bookstock festival on October 5, 2013, will offer west-state book lovers the chance to meet forty local authors who represent a range of genres, from current affairs to children’s fiction. Last year more than 2,000 people attended the free event, which includes the opportunity to buy books by regional writers—including Julie Cantrell, Eric Barnes, Joy Bateman, Calvin Dean, Marie Flowers, Deborah Sprinkle, Heather Stephens, and Christin Webb—as well as to take part in activities that include a children’s scavenger hunt for authors’ signatures, cooking demonstrations, and a keynote speech by Philip Mudd, author of Takedown: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda.

In his review of the book, Chapter 16’s Ralph Bowden describes Takedown as “a consideration of the way the American intelligence establishment responded to 9/11 and subsequent terrorist threats. It’s also a career memoir. Mudd, who now lives in Memphis, began in 1985 as a junior intelligence analyst at the CIA and rose to important managerial positions at both the CIA and the FBI. A dedicated insider, he respects the context in which he flourished and the people he worked with in the complex counterterrorist bureaucracy.” Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, raved about Takedown, calling it “a riveting, behind-the-scenes account of the world of counterterrorism. Mudd has been at the heart of the chase for the world’s most dangerous people and makes us feel we are there with him.”

In explaining Mudd’s selection as keynote speaker, Wang-Ying Glasgow, Adult Services Coordinator of the Memphis Public Library, cited the appeal of a local “author who is a top authority on a national level,” adding that the “importance and popularity” of Mudd’s topic makes his presence at Bookstock “timely, exciting, and relevant.” Mudd will describe his own firsthand experiences, offer his views on the past, current, and future climate of America’s preventative measures against terrorism, and speak to the way people’s lives have changed since 9/11, and to what end.

For the second consecutive year, Bookstock Jr. will take place simultaneously, offering hands-on art projects and talks for children, teenagers, and families. There will be plentiful opportunities for kids to make their own drawings outside: using sidewalk chalk, they will be invited to help artist Yancy Villa-Calvo create a design from Liz Tames a Dragon by Memphis journalist and author Stephanie Painter. A balloonist and face-painter will add color to the festival, as will the magician and writer known as Magic Mr. Nick. Inside, Deaf Family Literacy Academy of Memphis returns with Read with Me, Sign with Me, a program promoting literacy for children ages two through twelve who are learning to read and sign.

Throughout the day, dozens of participating authors will be present at their respective tables in the library’s lobby. There, people can meet these local writers, buy books, and have them signed. (The name “Bookstock” is quite literal: people are encouraged to stock up on titles.) As attendees move between authors’ tables, presentations, and activities—and surrounded by curious and engaged book lovers—they will provide a living example of the way local literature informs a sense of community, identity, and belonging.