Book Buzz

“I cannot live without books.”
— Thomas Jefferson

Our book buzz continues to accelerate with the recent announcement that former Vice President, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and bestselling author Al Gore will speak on Saturday, the main Festival day at 10:15 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Telfair Square. The Future, Gore’s latest book available January 29, will be the focus of his 40 minute talk and 20 minute question and answer opportunity.

Al Gore 2011 headshot bw, Courtesy of Al GoreGore_THE FUTURE -- COVER FINALIn The Future Gore identifies the six critical drivers of global change with a frank assessment of the emerging forces that are reshaping our world. Publisher, Random House Publishing Group, writes that Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers sober, learned and ultimately hopeful forecasts in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends.

From his earliest days in public life, Al Gore has spoken and written of the promise and peril of emergent truths—no matter how “inconvenient” they may be. Savannah’s own Flannery O’Connor, an important voice in American literature, expressed a similar belief with her words, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

The Gore event is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited and no photos or recording are permitted. Gore will sign all purchased copies of his current book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change – with a limit of four per person.

Dave BarryOn the lighter side of our book buzz, we are starting off the weekend with humorist Dave Barry on Thursday night, and on Saturday morning, young readers (and older ones) can enjoy Diary of a Wimpy Kid series author and cartoonist, Jeff Kinney. He will shine at the Trustees Theater at 10 a.m. with his “Start Your Morning with Jeff Kinney” event. This special Saturday program is presented by the Savannah Book Festival and the Children’s Book Festival/Live Oaks Public Libraries.

JEFF KINNEY_ABRAMS_02.09.12-9829Kinney’s seventh book in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel was the largest selling hardcover book of 2012 with over 6.5 million copies printed. More than 85 million Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are in print in 41 languages and in more than 44 countries. Zoo-We-Mama! If you have to ask, you need to be at the event.

Tickets for this special are on sale at the Trustees Theater for $5. For information or to purchase tickets, contact the Savannah Box Office at 912.525.5050 or The proceeds of the ticket sales go to help offset production costs.

Local Authors Featured

Gregg Allman (Credit Danny Clinch)Local Savannah area resident and internationally recognized legendary rocker Gregg Allman will autograph copies of his memoir, My Cross to Bear, from noon until 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Festival’s book tent in Telfair Square. Allman has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is on Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” His memoir reflects on the early history that helped shape him, and takes readers all the way through to the formation of the band that would go on to change the sound of rock and roll.

deen_headshotKSW Official HeadshotOther local authors featured during the Festival include Bobby Deen who heads a special event on February 15 at 1:00 p.m. at Trustees Theater. Deen, cookbook author, co-manager of Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons Restaurant and television host of “Not My Mother’s Meals,” will be joined by lifestyle and entertaining expert Kimberly Schlegel Whitman. Deen’s newest cookbook From Mama’s Table to Mine will be released on February 5, 2013. Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, a frequent contributor on NBC’s Today Show and the current editor at large for Southern Living magazine, has written six books on entertaining and party planning.

Murphy_HeadshotLocal physician Mark Murphy, a columnist for the Savannah Morning news and member of the Savannah Book Festival Board, will discuss his new murder mystery, The Shadow Man, a well-written and twisty thriller. Many Savannah residents know Mark Murphy, MD as their gastroenterologist—they may not know that his Shadow Man protagonist has an adversary who is found decapitated and an acquaintance whose remains are chopped up and stuffed into a garbage bag.

Griff and Cheryl Day, owners of Back in the Day Bakery, will highlight their Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, named one of the top cookbooks of 2012 by Celebrating family traditions, scratch baking, and quality ingredients, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook is like a down-home bake sale in a book.

photoKimberly Ergul and Holley Jaakkola, co-authors of A Savannah Christmas: Food, Décor, Tables & Traditions from Savannah & the Low Country bring their year-round lifestyle expertise to the Festival. Jaakkola was the lead garden expert for the G8 Summit at Sea Island and her community work has earned her several awards, including the Historic Savannah Foundation’s Nichola Parker Coe Volunteer of the Year Award. Kimberly Ergul owned a successful downtown interiors shop and chaired one of the city’s most popular home & garden tours for several years.

The Dirt on Jane

Local columnist, Jane Fishman, will give us inside scoop on The Dirt on Jane, her recently published memoir about gardening and other adventures. It is Fishman’s anti-memoir—a tale of aging, a style of gardening and a rage at having to wear two pairs of glasses to read a map in the car. For twenty years Jane Fishman has written a human interest column for the Savannah Morning News. She has owned a laundromat and a Middle Eastern vegetarian restaurant, written obituaries and taught high school English. A woman for all seasons!

Kevin FINAL head shot 1Kevin McCarey, an award-winning filmmaker, former oceanographer and current professor at SCAD, will talk about Islands Under Fire, a bizarre tale of his involvement in the preservation of a coral reef off the coast of Puerto Rico. McCarey is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker whose work has been shown on the National Geographic Channel, PBS, NBC and the Turner Networks.

jim_morekis_head_shotJim Morekis, Jim Morekis is the author of several travel guides in the best-selling Moon Handbook series: Moon Charleston & Savannah, Moon South Carolina, and the upcoming Moon Georgia. Moon Charleston & Savannah is a comprehensive guide to these two popular destination cities, including a journey along the surrounding coast from Cape Romain north of Charleston all the way down to Cumberland Island and into the Okefenokee Swamp.

“It is remarkable how much local literary talent we have in Savannah,” said Festival Executive Director Robin Gold. “Every year the city’s cultural and creative layers deepen—attracting and inspiring coastal residents.”

Read more about local authors and renowned visiting authors at Our slate of over 40 authors represents diverse genres that include fiction, non-fiction, history, lifestyle, young adult fantasy, contemporary issues and memoir. Fiction and nonfiction authors, including James Patterson and David Baldacci, will sweep Festival guests off to Florida, Boston, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, Iraq and right back to Savannah.

Stephen King Update

During his Festival 2012 talk, Stephen King promised that a sequel to The Shining was in the works. Word on the street is that Dr. Sleep, the sequel to 1977’s The Shining, will arrive this fall. In the new book, crazy Jack Torrance’s now-grown son Dan battles a soul-sucking tribe called True Knot.

F.Y.I. Georgia Historical Society Event Saturday, February 16, at 7 p.m.

Presidents Day weekend not only celebrates our Savannah Book Festival, but also The Georgia Historical Society’s premier annual Trustees Gala at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The event marks the finale of the Georgia History Festival with the induction of the year’s Georgia Trustees who exemplify a lifetime of excellence in their work and philanthropic accomplishments. Governor Nathan Deal will perform the induction of honorees S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A and Herman J. Russell, Atlanta real estate entrepreneur. Seats may be reserved on line at or call 912.651.2125.

Just for Fun… Gender and Literary License

George Eliot aka Mary Ann Evans
Currer Bell and Ellis Bell aka Charlotte and Emily Bronté
Isak Dinesen aka Karen Blixen (Out of Africa)
S.E. Hinton aka Susan Eloise Hinton (The Outsiders)
J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts
J.K. Rowling aka Joanne Rowling
Flannery O’Connor aka Mary Flannery O’Connor

For further thoughts on this, check out the Dec. 7, 2012 Wall Street Journal article, “Why Women Writers Still Take Men’s Names,” by Stefanie Cohen

Festival Accommodations & Reservations

The Savannah Book Festival is proud to partner with the finest lodging in historic downtown Savannah. Please book your stay with one of the following recommended establishments:

The Savannah Book Festival Inc. is an independent, non-profit corporation led by a volunteer board of directors. It is committed to celebrating the written word and to offering all main day events free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Executive Director Robin Gold at 912.598.4040, or visit

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