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The Southern Festival of Books Turns the Page in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

In 2023, The Southern Festival of Books made a fine and glorious return during a late October weekend in Music City when the weather was as picturesque as the new setting for the much loved event that was marking its 35th year of celebrating the written word. The SFOB is among the oldest literary festivals in the country, annually welcoming hundreds of authors and thousands of visitors to downtown Nashville each October. This year the expansive set-up was moved down the hill to Bicentennial Mall - now with a Capitol view - as it took up positioning between the Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee State Library for a truly heady and intellectually stimulating upgrade over its prior locale. Here is a quick outline to what we enjoyed most during our visit. Make sure to mark your calendars for the 2024 edition!

• A new location in 2023 added to the fun and fresh feel at the 35th annual Southern Festival of Books in Nashville.

• All signs pointed to a great event this year at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

• The rock star and the author >>> Musician Mike Webb (POCO, John Fogerty) meets author Laura Turner Lynch (Postive Power Secrets From A to Z) on the weekend's sunny Sunday afternoon at the SFOB!

• Meet The Thompson Family! Who says a family can't write children books together?! The Thompson Family are a family of six, each with their own personality who love to write Christ-centered stories for the whole family to enjoy.

• The Thompson Family say - "You see it all started with deciding to pray together as a family which developed into what we now call family night. We used our family nights to connect with each other and the beauty of God's word. This produced a load of wonderful and creative writings inspired by God that are purposeful and fun to read."

• Rich Redmond is an award-winning recording and touring drummer based in Nashville and Los Angeles. As an in-demand artist, Rich has recorded/toured/performed with: Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Ludacris, Kelly Clarkson, Bryan Adams, Bob Seger, Joe Perry, Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Jewel, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Thompson Square, Eric Church, Deana Carter, Montgomery Gentry, Alabama, John Anderson, Trace Adkins, Keith Urban, Travis Tritt, Emily West, Chris Cornell, Kelsea Ballerini and many others.

• Rich told us that the recent controversy surrounding his boss has been good for sales of both his book and concert tickets!

• At the Nashville Archives musician Mary Gauthier read the foreword she penned for Jeff Fasano's amazing new Americana Portrait Sessions photography and coffee table book.

AMERICANA PORTRAIT SESSIONS - This fine-art book from Jeff Fasano features images of nearly 200 iconic Americana musicians, songwriters, producers and pioneers. Americana Portrait Sessions also includes a sweeping essay on the origins and trajectory of Americana by Nashville music writer Edd Hurt, with a Foreword by Mary Gauthier.

• Author Mary Gauthier discussed her new must read music-based autobiography SAVED BY A SONG at the Cumberland Tent. The Grammy nominated folk singer and songwriter's revealing account is an inspiring exploration of creativity and the redemptive power of song - and she was thrilled to talk about it and take questions from festival attendees.

• There were many great music themed books available for purchase including the latest on icons Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift.

• The Southern Festival Books really was far-out as was Bending Atmospheres: A Journey from Inner to Outer Space by Glenn J. Butler. This memoir of a young man's dream of space flight and deep diving, is said to be a dazzling adventure recounting daring, heroic professionals learning to work at undersea pressures to 1,000 feet sea water and in the vacuum of orbital space traveling at 18,000 miles an hour. Sounds like a thrilling page turner, indeed!

• The team from Hare Krishna were on site offering affordably priced collections of their teachings. We sure were tempted but that would have been a lot to carry back to our car!

• Leigh Lincoln's "road" series was intriguing. She has spent the better part of the last thirty years involved in homeless and poverty advocacy in one way or another. Her novel - Road Home - was born out of this work. She wanted to make people think about their lives and how they live. But most importantly, about how they treat others and how they want to be treated. Her other novels, Road to Freedom, Finding the Real Road, and The Road West look at how our lives don't always follow the path we choose. But yet somehow we must pick up the broken pieces and move on. How we grow and where our strength comes from is what's most important.

• Rod Vick is an award-winning author whose twenty books include Kaylee's Choice, the first of a seven-book series following the coming-of-age adventures of a young Celtic dancer. His books also include, sci-fi, mystery, and historical non-fiction.

• Kendel LeGore - This Nashville based, indie rock artist brought her blend of emotional lyricism, intricate song structure and distinctive sound to the book festival.

• Jack Silverman conjured up some fancy fret work on the large Musician's Stage as his friend Mike Webb looked on in support.

Related Links: For more information on the SOUTHERN FESTIVAL OF BOOKS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Southern Festival of Books | The Southern Festival of Books Adds Another Exciting Chapter in Nashville | Positive Power Secrets From A to Z | Michael Webb | The Thompson Family | Rich Redmond | Jeff Fasano Photography | Mary Gauthier | Glenn Butler Books | Leigh Lincoln | Rod Vick | Jack Silverman | Kendel LeGore


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