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Bright rows of punctuation marks in red, pink, orange and yellow decorates this year's NBF poster.
Poster artist: Laci Jordan

2024 National Book Festival Lineup

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The 2024 Library of Congress National Book Festival returns to the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 24. The festival’s theme this year, “Books Build Us Up,” explores how reading can help connect us and inform our lives. It’s through books that readers can develop strong bonds with writers and their ideas – relationships that open the entire world, real or imagined, to us all.

Throughout the day, attendees will hear conversations from authors of various genres across the festival’s many stages. Award-winning author James Patterson will chat about his newest novel “The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: Their Stories Are Better Than the Bestsellers,” and James McBride will discuss his new work “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store.”

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will take readers on an emotional journey in her latest book, “An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s,” a story dedicated to the last years of her husband’s life after serving as an aide and speechwriter to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Erik Larson, author of “The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War,” will bring to life the pivotal five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War.

Sandra Cisneros celebrates the 40th Anniversary of “The House on Mango Street,” Abby Jimenez, author of “Just for the Summer,” and Casey McQuiston, author of “The Pairing,” join forces to chat about their romance novels. Rebecca Yarros talks about her bestselling “Empyrean” fantasy series including “Iron Flame,” sequel to her bestselling “Fourth Wing.”

On some timely topics, Annalee Newitz, author of “Stories Are Weapons: Psychological Warfare and the American Mind,” and Peter Pomerantsev, author of “How to Win an Information War: The Propagandist Who Outwitted Hitler,” discuss the impact, now and historically, of political propaganda and misinformation. Also, Joy Buolamwini, author of “Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines,” and Kyle Chayka, author of “Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture,” dive deep into the impact of technology.

Explore how cooking can inspire with Tamron Hall and Lish Steiling’s “A Confident Cook: Recipes for Joyous, No-Pressure Fun in the Kitchen.”

Grammy Award-winning vocalist Renée Fleming explores the healing power of music in her latest book, “Music and Mind: Harnessing the Arts for Health and Wellness,” on stage with renowned psychologist and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin, author of “I Heard There Was a Secret Chord: Music as Medicine.”

Young adult readers will enjoy a conversation with Candace Fleming, author of “The Enigma Girls: How Ten Teenagers Broke Ciphers, Kept Secrets and Helped Win World War II,” and Monica Hesse, author of “The Brightwood Code.”

For children, featured authors will include actor and author Max Greenfield debuting his new children’s book, “Good Night Thoughts.” National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina will share her latest children’s book, “No More Señora Mimí,” a salute to the caregivers who enter a child’s tender world.

The National Book Festival will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. The festival is free and open to everyone.

Interested attendees not able to join the festival in person can tune into conversations throughout the day. Events on the Main Stage will be livestreamed on Videos of all presentations will be made available at and on the Library’s YouTube channel  shortly after the festival.

Visit to learn more about attending the festival. A comprehensive schedule will be available on the website and announced on the Library’s Bookmarked blog in the coming weeks. Subscribe to the blog for updates on festival plans and more. The National Book Festival celebrates creators and invites the public to be curious about the Library and its collections in their own creative or scholarly pursuits.

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