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President Obama and First Lady Obama to Host National Book Festival

On Saturday, September 26, 2009, President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the National Book Festival on the National Mall. This is the ninth annual event and the last two years saw crowds of 120,000 plus. Somehow I think that DC better order up a whole fleet of porta potties for the crowd that is likely to descend.

Former first lady Laura Bush, a retired teacher and public school librarian, started the festival in 2001, modeling it after events she held as first lady of Texas.

This year’s festival will feature about 70 award-winning authors, poets and illustrators in pavilions dedicated to specific genres of writing, ranging from history and biography to mysteries, thrillers, poetry and prose, and books for families and youngsters.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. GrowlyCub
    May 28, 2009 @ 21:50:46

    I have an off topic question. I’ve noticed something since the inauguration and I’m not sure whether that is a true perception or whether I just don’t remember the media doing the following before:

    I’ve noticed all over the media that they often call President Obama just Mr. Obama. I noticed that right from the start. Often they’ll say Mr. O and then switch to Pr. O and vice versa in the same piece. I notice it mostly in oral presentations (radio, TV).

    I do not recall anybody ever calling Bush anything but President Bush. Am I just not remembering him being called Mr. Bush, or is there really some kind of weird lack of respect thing going on?

    This has been bugging me for a couple of month, so when I saw this post I just had to ask, if it’s all in my head or not!

  2. Samantha
    May 28, 2009 @ 23:22:05

    I am so glad they are continuing this “new tradition”. The media has been trying so hard to point out every difference between the first ladies, and this just shows that they both probably have much more in common than they like to talk about.

    @growlycub Nope I’ve noticed it too, the nicknames for Pr. Obama but I also remember lots more W and Bush than anything else when referring to Pr. Bush. I think it’s a lack of etiquette being taught as manners more than anything else. Used to be you used someone’s proper title no matter what but that seems to be disappearing along with actual grades on report cards and a losing team in childrens sports.

  3. jmc
    May 29, 2009 @ 05:55:58

    I’ve gone to a couple of the Book Fests on the Mall. It was fun, but the lines were pretty crazy, especially for the big name authors like Gaiman.

    I don’t remember any portapotties on the Mall last year…they may have been there, but I have a phobia, so I may have blocked it from my memory.

  4. Lusty Reader
    May 29, 2009 @ 10:16:49

    yes yes yes i’ve lived in dc for 4 years and gone every time! i usually have to take an advil when i get home, but it was worth it!

  5. Corrine
    May 29, 2009 @ 18:10:56

    @GrowlyCUb & Samantha:

    Proper addressing etiquette in this situation, is the president is referred to as President Obama the first time, but in the same speech, he can therefore be referred to as Mr. Obama.

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