Friday, June 01, 2018

Booktopia 2018

Welcome, Booktopians! My mom and I at Booktopia 2018
If you were reading my blog around April and May, you probably got sick of hearing me mention Booktopia! My mom and I attended our third Booktopia this year. Here's a recap:

First, the basics. Booktopia is a unique annual event held the first weekend in May in Manchester, VT. It was started by Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, the hosts of an amazing book podcast called Books on the Nightstand (it is now off the air, but you can still download old episodes). My mom and I went to Booktopia in 2015, the last year that Ann and Michael hosted it. Happily, the wonderful independent bookstore in Manchester, Northshire Bookstore, decided to keep up the Booktopia tradition on their own. My mom and I attended this unique event again in 2017 and then this year.

I say that Booktopia is unique because it isn't like any other book event - every single author who attends mentions that! This is not simply a reading by an author or a book trade show, like BEA, but an intimate gathering of book lovers and authors, together for the whole weekend. There are sessions where the authors each speak about their books and perhaps read a short passage, but those sessions are interactive, with lots of Q&A from the readers in attendance. So, it's more like a weekend filled with book club meetings with the authors in attendance!

This year, the featured books and authors were:
And when Chloe Benjamin got sick at the last minute and couldn't come, author Bianca Marais stepped in, with her new novel Hum If You Don't Know the Words (of which I've heard nothing but rave reviews so far!).

(links are to my reviews)

This year's Booktopia was even more fun for me because I had the opportunity to interview two of the authors ahead of time for Shelf Awareness, so I had already talked to them and gotten to know them a bit (and both were delightful!). You can read my interviews with Stephen McCauley and Heather Abel.

My mom and I with Stephen McCauley, one of our favorite authors
Friday night was a big dinner event, with all the authors and readers (the authors just sit among the other attendees) - we ate a great dinner, talked books, laughed a lot, played some killer book trivia, then ended the evening with a Yankee Book Swap.
Our group is ready for the Yankee Book Swap!
During the day Friday and Saturday, we attended interactive sessions with individual authors. Booktopia officially ended Saturday evening with a 10-minute talk from each author, on any topic they wanted. In between, we ate at the wonderful restaurants in Manchester, VT, chatted with our book friends, old and new (many of the same people return to Booktopia every year), and shopped at the fabulous Northshire Bookstore (the Booktopia fee includes a $50 gift card).
Heather Abel giving her wrap-up talk
All in all, it was another exhausting but satisfying Booktopia - it really is the ultimate event for book lovers! Start now to plan to go next May to join the fun! I'll post a link here on the blog at the start of the year when tickets go on sale. Hope to see you there in 2019!

Be sure to check out this article in Shelf Awareness on Booktopia, written from the perspective of the booksellers who do all the hard work to put it on.


  1. This sounds like such a wonderful way to spend a weekend and I love that your mom goes with you!

    1. Me, too, Helen! We really enjoying going together every year!

  2. It was a fabulous Booktopia! It was all wonderful ! But the best part was sharing this with my wonderful daughter Sue Jackson ❤️.
    So grateful !

    1. Thanks, Mom - I agree!! I love that time together.