“We really have become one of the premier book festivals in Atlanta as well as in the country,” said event co-chair Ina Enoch. “We really are able now to bring in a variety of very diverse authors.”
The festival, which kicked off Thursday, includes speakers, panel discussions, a Family Reading Festival, author meet-and-greets, book signings and more. Prices vary for each event.
Organizers said they planned the event for nearly 11 months and anticipate about 10,000 visitors throughout 18 days.
The festival’s keynote authors include Tony Danza, Emily Giffin, Delia Ephron, Peter Greenberg and Rabbi Harold Kushner.
“We entertain authors who have written a book since the last book festival with the exception [of authors who wrote] a book a year ago in hardback and it’s now in paperback,” said event co-chair Sherie Gumer.
She hopes the community will have the chance to hear from current authors writing on a variety of subjects.
“Our authors are fiction writers,” Gumer said. “They’ve written memoirs. There are some psychology-type books as well as historical-type books. We really hope that [visitors] get the opportunity to enjoy a literary event and create open dialogue on a variety of different topics that we think are of interest to the community.”
Enoch said the festival will end with a performance by entertainer Michael Feinstein who has written a book entitled “The Gershwins and Me.”
Visitors to the festival will have the chance to purchase books from featured authors at the on-site bookstore run by independent bookseller A Cappella Books.
“A portion of the sales price of the books comes back to the JCC to help our many wonderful programs,” Gumer said.
Book festival attendees can also participate in the festival’s community service project. Enoch said the center is asking the community to donate new or gently-used children’s books to Project GIVE to benefit children in shelters throughout Atlanta.
A closer look:
Where: 5342 Tilly Mill Road in Dunwoody
When: events continue through Nov. 18; times vary
Contact: (678) 812-4005.