Author Events

Click on a program title to find out more and add it to your Conference scheduler.

Friday, June 28

Opening General Session featuring Steven D. Levitt

4–5:15 p.m.

Steven D. Levitt, co-author of the upcoming Think Like A Freak and of the smash #1 international bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, promises to turn your brain inside out before the conference even starts. He’s likely get your problem-solving juices flowing to the benefit of you and your library, showing how applying counterintuitive approaches to everyday problems can bear surprising results.

Bleak New World: YA Authors Decode Dystopia

8–10 p.m.

Join Booklist Publications for this year’s Books for Youth forum, featuring a stellar lineup of YA authors, who will discuss the wildly popular genre of dystopian literature for teens. Speakers will include Lois Lowry, Cory Doctorow, Veronica Roth, and Patrick Ness.

Saturday, June 29

Crossing Over: Teen Books for Everyone

8:30–9:30 a.m.

Some of the most interesting writing is designed for young adults but people of all ages are discovering their wide appeal. Join United for Libraries and writers of young adult literature, including Darynda Jones, Richard Kadrey, and Anton DiScalafani. Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert moderates.

Auditorium Speaker Series featuring Khaled Hosseini

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Everyone will be reading, recommending, and talking this season about Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed, his first new novel in more than six years. Take this outstanding chance to hear one of the world’s most widely read and beloved novelists, so you can go back and share insights with patrons, students, and book clubs. The Afghan-born novelist and physician is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, with more than 38 million copies sold in more than 70 countries.

Auditorium Speaker Series featuring Ping Fu

noon–1 p.m.

Ping Fu’s remarkable story of personal and business resilience is told in her memoir Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds Portfolio/Penguin). The book relates how she was separated during China’s Cultural Revolution from her parents at age eight, was forced to work in factories rather than get a school education, and ultimately exiled at 25 when she came to the U.S. She quickly made a new life for herself as an entrepreneur, worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and AT&T Bell Labs,and is a member of President Obama’s National Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a board member of Long Now Foundation.

Quirky Books for Quirkier Librarians

3–4 p.m.

Join United for Libraries as great writers, including Josh Hanargame, John Scalzi, and Abby Stokes, talk with pride about their geeky—and often out in left field—topics. Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert moderates.

Auditorium Speaker Series featuring John Lewis

3:30–5:30 p.m.

Congressman John Lewis is eager to reach a new generation of Americans with the story of his legendary role as one of the so-called “Big Six” leaders in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement who, despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, remains a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He believes that the nonfiction comic book format of his autobiographical, three-volume project March will effectively engage readers with the story of the Movement and help document the extreme violence faced by himself and other Civil Rights activists. Attending this session will help you discover why he chose the comic book format, how the project grew to three volumes, and offer you insights into March, books you’ll likely be recommending and building programs around. Lewis will be joined by co-author Andrew Aydin and comic book artist Nate Powell for the second half of the program to discuss their collaboration on March.

Sunday, June 30

Auditorium Speaker Series featuring Temple Grandin

8:30–9:30 a.m.

Temple Grandin—diagnosed with autism at age 2 in 1949 and now one of the world’s most influential, accomplished, and well-known adults with autism—will inspire and inform as you think about serving the wide range of your library’s users. From the “aspies” in Silicon Valley to the five-year-old without language, Grandin understands the true meaning of the word spectrum. She is a bestselling author, doctor of animal science, and autism activist who believes that “We need different kinds of minds to work together. People who are interested in things and people who are interested in concepts complement each others’ skills.”

First Author, First Book

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Come meet and hear from today’s new authors and tomorrow’s bestselling authors, including Elliott Holt, Matthew Guinn, Kent Wascom, and Jessica Soffer. United for Libraries hosts this traditional and popular program moderated by Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert.

Auditorium Speaker Series featuring Giada De Laurentiis

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Born in Rome, De Laurentiis grew up in a big Italian family that spent a lot of time together in the kitchen, where she discovered her love of cooking. She honed her skills at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and worked at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Los Angeles before founding her own catering company. Her new deliciously fun Recipe for Adventure book series with Penguin Young Readers Group is about a brother and sister whose lives take a magical turn when their fabulous great aunt comes to live with them. The books are a perfect blend of adventure, humor, and food that middle grade readers know and love. The first two books in the series, Naples! and Paris! will be published in fall 2013, each one inspired by the author’s love of a certain city and/or cuisine.

PLA President’s Program and Awards Presentation featuring Ann Patchett

1–2:30 p.m.

Ann Patchett is a super-champion of books and reading, known not only for writing award-winning, compelling, and thoughtful books, but also for eschewing the trend and opening Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, when all the other bookstores in town had closed. At the time she said she wondered if she was “opening an ice shop in the age of Frigidaire,” but instead the store garnered reviews as glowing as her books, and headlines in national media like “The Bookstore Strikes back.”

Shoot Between the Lines: Mystery Writers Reveal All

3–4 p.m.

Don’t have a clue? Come to this program and hear from Lars Kepler, John Dufrensne, Sara Gran, A.S.A. Harrison, and other authors who’d like to share theirs with you. Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert will moderate.

Monday, July 1

Auditorium Speaker Series featuring Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick are sure to provoke important questions and discussion when they talk about their recent joint project, The Untold History of the United States. A thoroughly researched and rigorously analyzed look at the dark side of American history, it is a companion to the Showtime documentary series that challenges the prevailing orthodoxies of traditional history books. Stone and Kuznick construct an often shocking but meticulously documented “People’s History of the American Empire,” arguing that we must face our history forthrightly in order to set a new course for the 21st century. Stone and Kuznick are also eager to talk to and with librarians about what they see as the current sorry state of history books available to middle and high school students.

Auditorium Speaker Series featuring Alice Walker

noon–1 p.m.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear one of the most prolific authors of our time, a poet, feminist, and activist who has written both fiction and essays about race, gender, and other topics. When you attend this session, you’ll also find out about two new books that the New Press is pleased to present in 2013: The Cushion in the Road (essays) and The World Will Follow Joy (poems). Publishers’ Weekly has named The Cushion in the Road one of their top ten “literary biography, essay and criticism” titles of the season.

Tuesday, July 2

Closing General Session featuring Octavia Spencer

9:30–11 a.m.

Find out what Octavia Spencer has recently been busy with—including appearing on 30 Rock and writing her first novel. Spencer is keynote speaker at the Closing General Session. She’ll be talking (among other things) about her upcoming first novel, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit (October 2013, Simon & Schuster).