2013 Bangor Book Festival Welcomes Newbery Award-winner Clare Vanderpool


The Bangor Book Festival is proud to announce our very first Youth Keynote speaker!

Clare Vanderpool loves to read, research and travel. Writing Navigating Early gave her the opportunity to do all three. On a research trip to Maine, Clare explored Lighthouses, walked on sandy beaches, visited a boarding school and even took her own trek on the Appalachian Trail. Unfortunately, she did not run into any bears. That would have been some research!

Clare started reading at age five and writing at age six, when her first poem was published in the school newspaper. Her first novel, Moon Over Manifest, was awarded the Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to AMerican Literature for children.

Clare lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and their four children.

The Youth Keynote is scheduled for Saturday, October 5 at the Bangor Public Library during the 2013 Bangor Book Festival and is free and open to the public. More details soon.

25 things to do this fall: Food, fairs, festivals and foliage

“For seven years running, this relaxed celebration of all things literary in Maine has offered timely, inspiring talks and lectures about everything under the sun — from a talk by Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo to workshops on gardening, Maine’s coasts and hunting and fishing. This year’s keynote will be Maine author Cathie Pelletier, author of “A Marriage Made at Woodstock,” “The One Way Bridge” and many others.”

Thank you Bangor Daily News!

Finalists Named for the 2013 Maine Readers’ Choice Award

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award Committee is pleased to announce the three finalists for 2013.

This year’s finalists include two debut authors and a three-time novelist who has gained commercial success and literary respect over the course of the past five years. There is no question that the debut authors (Cash and Powers) have a bright future ahead of them.

The finalists are:


A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins)

For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when you get caught spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can’t help sneaking a look at something he’s not supposed to—an act that will have repercussions. It’s a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he’s not prepared. He now knows that a new understanding can bring not only danger and evil—but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance.

Told by resonant and evocative characters, A Land More Kind Than Home is a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all.

Cash’s debut novel is a New York Times Bestseller and made the list of New York Times Notable Book of 2012. It also is a Southern Independent Booksellers Association’s Book Award Finalist for 2012, Strand Magazine Critics Award Finalist for Debut of 2012, Indies Choice Finalist for Debut of 2012, Library Journal Top Ten Book of 2012, Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012, Crime Writers’ Associations’ Debut Novel of 2012, Indie Next Pick, SIBA Okra Pick , Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection , and Winner of the 2012 John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award

homeslide8-powersThe Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (Little,Brown)

Amazon Reviewer Jon Foro wrote this about The Yellow Birds when it was selected as best debut novel (September 2012). “ With The Yellow Birds, Kevin Powers introduces himself as a writer of prodigious talent and ambition. The novel opens in 2004, when two soldiers, 21-year-old Bartle and the teenaged Murphy, meet in boot camp on the eve of their deployment to Iraq. Bartle, bound by a promise to Murphy’s mother to guide him home safely, takes the young private under his wing as they move through the bloody conflict that “rubbed its thousand ribs against the ground in prayer.” Powers, an Iraq veteran, eyes the casual violence of war with a poet’s precision but without romanticism, moving confidently between scenes of blunt atrocity and almost hallucinatory detachment with Hemingway-like economy and prose that shimmers like desert heat. Compact and emotionally intense, The Yellow Birds joins a maturing and impressive collection of Iraq War literature–both memoir and fiction–that includes Brian Castner’s The Long Walk and Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. ”

The Yellow Birds has received the 2012 Guardian First Book Award, the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction. Kevin Powers, a 32-year-old Iraq War vet, has won an Anisfield-Woof Book Award for this celebrated debut novel. The award was announced in late April and carries a $10,000 prize. The award recognizes fiction, poetry and nonfiction that has “made an important contribution to society’s understanding of racism and the diversity of cultures.

homeslide9-flynnGone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

Deceit, infidelity, suspicion . . . and that’s only the beginning. When Nick and Amy fall in love, they are the confident, handsome man and the beautiful, privileged young woman embracing in front of their Brooklyn Heights brownstone and sharing a laugh at the expense of less blissful couples. Eventually, their picture-perfect union falters: Amy grows weary of the “cool girl” image she’s portrayed; Nick gives rein to old impulses and easy lies. As with many marriages, friction works its way into everyday exchanges, and the glow of the honeymoon fades. But with Amy and Nick, that fracture takes a much darker turn.

In a story full of surprising twists, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl tracks the course of a marriage gone spectacularly wrong. For the protagonists, it’s a psychological battle with everything at stake; for the reader, an excavation of human failings and incredible depths of betrayal . . . and a mystery whose resolution is every bit as troubling as its beginning.

Flynn’s literary mystery debut, Sharp Objects, was an Edgar finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards–the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year. Her second novel, Dark Places, was a New York Times Bestseller, a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and the Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction Choice. The movie rights have been sold for all three of her books.

Gone Girl is nominated for a Barry Award for Best Novel, for the Strand Critics Award, and the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Maine readers will be able to vote online at the award’s website and at public libraries and bookstores throughout the state. The winner will be announced in October at the 2013 Bangor Book Festival.

2013 Bangor Book Festival Welcomes Keynote Speaker Cathie Pelletier

The Bangor Book Festival is very excited to announce our 2013 Bud Knickerbocker Keynote Speaker!

Cathie Pelletier

Cathie Pelletier

Cathie Pelletier is the author of ten novels, eight of which are under her own name, beginning with The Funeral Makers, published by MacMillan in 1986.  (Her 11th novel is forthcoming from Sourcebooks.) Under the pseudonym of K. C. McKinnon she wrote two novels, Dancing at the Harvest Moon and Candles on Bay Street, both published by Doubleday, the latter earning a million-dollar advance.  The first McKinnon novel was translated into 19 languages and was a CBS TV film starring Jacqueline Bisset, Valerie Harper, and Eric Mabius.  The second was translated into 10 languages and was a Hallmark Hall of Fame film starring Alicia Silverstone.

9781402280733-PRTwo of Cathie’s novels under her own name have received notable mentions from the New York Times Book Review.  Her third novel, The Weight of Winter, won the New England Booksellers Award, and her last, Running the Bulls, won the 2006 Paterson Prize for Fiction.  She was also presented with the Bernie Schweid Award from Tennessee Booksellers.

She adapted her novel A Marriage Made at Woodstock for producer George Stevens, Jr. and Michael Stevens.  She also adapted The Funeral Makers for director Doug Liman (Swingers; Bourne Identity; Mr. & Mrs. Smith).  Her original screenplay, The Luna Christmas, has been optioned by actor Donald Sutherland.

Cathie created and sold to Simon & Schuster a book with country music icon Tanya Tucker, titled 100 Ways to Beat the Blues.  She co-wrote The Christmas Note with her friend, the late Skeeter Davis, singer and Grand Ole Opry legend.  She has co-written the forthcoming memoir, The Ragin’ Cajun, with her friend Doug Kershaw, the legendary fiddler-singer.  She has sold and helped with the collaboration of Cows: A Rumination, with her long-time friend and collaborator Carl Hileman.  She is currently in collaboration on a book with harmonica player Mickey Raphael, who has performed and toured with Willie Nelson for forty years.

Cathie has had songs recorded by David Byrne (of the Talking Heads), the Texas Tornadoes, the Glaser Brothers, and others.  She has collaborated on songs with Gene Nelson, whose “18 Wheels & A Dozen Roses,” written with brother Paul Nelson and a number #1 hit for Kathy Mattea, was voted Song of the Year.

The 2013 Bud Knickerbocker Keynote is scheduled for Friday, October 4 at the Bangor Opera House and is free and open to the public. More details soon.

Maine Readers’ Choice Award Winner to be announced at Bangor Book Festival


The Maine Readers’ Choice Award, officially established in 2013 by the Maine State Library and the Maine Library Association, recognizes the best in adult fiction published in the United States the previous year. The aim of this award is to increase awareness and reading of literary fiction. The Maine Readers’ Choice Award honors books that exhibit exceptional writing and a compelling story that encourages reading and conversation among individuals and in Maine’s communities.

To be considered for the Maine Readers’ Choice Award, books must be:

Published in the United States the previous year
Well written
Compelling story – you want to continue reading
Appealing to a wide audience
Revised editions, updates of previously published works, series or trilogies are not eligible.

Recommendations for consideration for this award will come from the library and booksellers’ communities across the state of Maine throughout the year. All genres are accepted as long as they meet the above requirements.

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award committee will focus on the list of submitted titles, narrowing the list to ten titles that will be read by the committee. The committee will select three to five titles to advance on to libraries and bookstores for a reader’s choice vote in September. Maine readers can vote online at the award’s website and at public libraries and bookstores throughout the state. The winner will be announced in October at the 2013 Bangor Book Festival.