Top Ten Moments at the Tucson Festival of Books

Can I just say holy moly?! The Tucson Festival of Books delivered on the promise of a weekend full of books and authors and awesome. Here is my list of the top ten moments of the festival, with no resemblance of ranking. I’ve also got it packed with linky love, so you can learn more about these amazing authors.

10. Learning about the philosophy of naked wine–wine made without additives or chemicals–during Alice Fiering’s panel.


9. Hanging out at Tucson restaurants–the Nimbus Bistro serves some of the best craft brew in the state, while Athens on 4th Ave’s Greek wine list and tiri saganaki made me one of the happiest women ever.

8. Meeting Quirky Bookworm for the first time! Jessica is one of the sweetest bloggers out there and one of the first readers of my blog. She’s got a special place in my heart, and it was so great to finally meet her.

7. Listening to Diana Gabaldon talk about the writing process–Mrs. Gabaldon is just about the most sensual, interesting woman I’ve seen on a book panel and her writing process of constant revision with no outline matched that part of her personality absolutely.

6. Mr. BookPairing meeting one of his favorite former students–the incredible Alisha Peru–after her performance at the festival.


5. Learning about a wicked cool new author, Sam Sykes, who absolutely shined in the panel I watched, even when matched with the likes of Patrick Rothfuss and Diana Gabaldon. I am, however, just a little jealous of the fact that, at 25, this author is working on his fourth book.

4. Geeking out with Kevin Hearne about Irish mythology and integrating the mythology of different cultures into his Iron Druid series. I also want to go out and have a beer with Hearne–he’s awesome.

3. Everything about Patrick Rothfuss, who is one of the funniest, cleverest authors I’ve ever seen in person. Besides that, his rabid fan base shows just how much of an impression he leaves with readers. (Also, he led a session in a sing-along of “You Are My Sunshine”–I mean, c’mon).

2. Talking to Mary. Doria. Russell. about a future pairing for her newest book about Doc Holliday, Doc. She says bourbon. I’ve got to harden up, folks. She drives a good argument for it. (MDR retweeted me too everybody! Let’s talk about a complete fan girl moment.)


1. I couldn’t leave a spot without thanking the fantastic volunteers and organizations that put the Tucson Festival of Books together. It is an absolutely fantastic *free* event. Also, a big thanks to the weather in Tucson for a glorious Sunday, if not a bit bleh of a Saturday.

This post is also a part of the Where In the World Are You Reading theme of Bookishness Around Town, hosted by Trish.

Were you at the TFOB? What were your favorite moments?

About nikki_steele

Freelance writer and editor. Creator of BookPairing blog.
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  • Amanda @ On a Book Bender

    I’m glad to hear that Kevin Hearne is as awesome in person as he seems online.

    I haven’t read a book by Patrick Rothfuss–though perhaps I should?

    • Nikki Steele

      He was an absolute doll. Supposedly he invites fans to his release parties and we are totally going to be there next time. He was just such a sweet genuine guy.

      Amanda. Yes. Now. There will be a post up on Wednesday about his latest book, but he is really all the awesome :D

  • Ric Steele

    What a great weekend. So glad I was able to make it down.

    • Nikki Steele

      Agreed. A fantastic time.

  • Trish

    Another blogger, Jill of Rhapsody of Books, used to live in the Tuscon area and would head to the book festival each year. It sounds like a really fantastic one and I’m always jealous that we don’t have anything that lives quite up to par in Texas. Even the Texas Book Festival is sadly lacking. Gabaldon sounds like a fascinating lady. I’m about to start Outlander this month and can’t wait to dive in.

    Thanks for the post. It’s a little bittersweet seeing the sudden interest in a meme we didn’t think was of much interest all but a few. Perhaps we’ll bring it back to life when life settles down a bit.

    • Nikki Steele

      This was the first year I made it, completely unaware of it before then. Isn’t it crazy how much stuff is always going on around us that we don’t even know about? Just like the meme :( Toasting the end with such a great theme really made me want to be a part of it, and sad that I haven’t participated as much as I’d like. But definitely get the life part settled first–I’d love to be a part of it if and when you guys decide to start again :D Thanks Trish!

  • Melissa

    On man, that’s awesome! You met MDR! It sounds like you had an incredible time.

    • Nikki Steele

      MDR was the coolest! She claims that she now feels maternal towards Doc Holliday and just wants to hug him close to her. How funny!

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