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What’s On: Festival Program Guide for Saturday, Sept. 18

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Saturday, Sept. 18 include (L-R from top) Jason Reynolds, Catherine Belton, Joshua Yaffa, Daniel Kahneman, Cass R. Sunstein, Elizabeth Hand, Alex Michaelides, Mary Roach, Suzanne Simard, Patricia Engel, Rivka Galchen and Heather McGhee.

It’s Day Two of the Library of Congress National Book Festival! And here’s your daily Festival program guide with a schedule for live presentations today, and more! Each morning, we’ll run down the schedule for the day’s live presentations and preview the following day’s schedule, so you won’t miss a thing. (You can always review the full Festival schedule here.) You can get this notice sent to your inbox each morning by subscribing to the National Book Festival blog. Here’s the rundown for today:

Today: Saturday Sept. 18 LIVE

noon ET: Live Conversation with Jason Reynolds.  Jason Reynolds, Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, discusses his ambassador platform, GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story, and his award-winning book “Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks” (Atheneum), with teen interviewers Courtney Kim and Brandon Marshall.

1 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Catherine Belton and Joshua Yaffa. Catherine Belton, author of “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and Joshua Yaffa, author of “Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition and Compromise in Putin’s Russia” (Tim Duggan), discuss their new books with Jeff Pegues, chief justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News.

2 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein.  Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein, co-authors of “Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment” (Little, Brown), discuss their new book with New York Times Book Review writer and editor Gal Beckerman.

3 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Elizabeth Hand and Alex Michaelides. Elizabeth Hand, author of “The Book of Lamps and Banners” (Mulholland), and Alex Michaelides, author of “The Maidens” (Celadon), discuss their new books with NPR Books editor Petra Mayer.

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Mary Roach and Suzanne Simard.  Mary Roach, author of “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law” (Norton), and Suzanne Simard, author of “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest” (Knopf), discuss their new books with Sarah Kaplan, climate reporter for The Washington Post.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Patricia Engel and Rivka Galchen.  Patricia Engel, author of “Infinite Country” (Avid Reader), and Rivka Galchen, author of “Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), discuss their new books with Kevin Larimer, editor-in-chief of Poets & Writers.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Heather McGhee. Heather McGhee discusses her new book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” (One World), with Errin Haines, editor-at-large of The 19th and a contributor at MSNBC.

Videos On-Demand: Watch Anytime

Watch videos from 35 of this year’s participating authors! Stream at your convenience. Here’s the full list.

  • Michael J. Fox, award-winning actor and author of “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality” (Flatiron), discusses his new memoir with Roswell Encina, chief communications officer at the Library of Congress. Fox speaks about learning gratitude and optimism during difficult times and how he finds connection and inspiration through the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
  • Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas discuss “Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body: From Your Tongue to Your Toes and All the Guts in Between” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Based on the No. 1 kids podcast, “Wow in the World,” this book takes readers on a hilarious, fact-filled and highly illustrated journey through the human body.
  • Brayden Harrington discusses “Brayden Speaks Up: How One Boy Inspired the Nation” (HarperCollins), which tells the true story of how Harrington, a 13-year-old boy who stutters, met Joe Biden and was inspired to give an extraordinary speech that electrified the nation.

More Author Talks & Festival Events Near You

Listen to a NPR TED Radio Hour interview with New York Times best-selling author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds about his most recent book and plans for his third term as Ambassador. Listen here.

Listen to a NPR Short Wave interview with outdoors activist Ambreen Tariq about her book “Fatima’s Great Outdoors.” Listen here.

Our media partners have joined us to broaden the National Book Festival celebration this year to include conversations with many of our Festival authors. Check out the full list here.

In addition, local organization and affiliate Centers for the Book have found ways to bring the National Book Festival closer to you. Find watch parties, community conversations, story walks, poetry slams, book club meetings and more.

You can also explore these events by state and discover Great Reads from Great Places through the Festival Near You interactive map.

Tomorrow: Sunday, Sept. 19 LIVE

1 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Katherine May. Katherine May, author of “Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times” (Riverhead), discusses her new book about coping with circumstances beyond your control with 7News On Your Side anchor Alison Starling.

2 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Yiyun Li and Douglas Stuart. Yiyun Li, author of “Must I Go” (Random House), and Douglas Stuart, author of “Shuggie Bain” (Grove), discuss their new books with Alexander Chee, author and contributing editor at The New Republic.

3 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Matt Parker. Matt Parker discusses his new book, “Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World” (Riverhead), with Roswell Encina, chief communications officer at the Library of Congress.

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Joseph J. Ellis. Joseph J. Ellis discusses “The Cause: The American Revolution and Its Discontents, 1773-1783” (Liveright) with philanthropist and National Book Festival co-chairman David M. Rubenstein.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Jennifer Ackerman and David Allen Sibley. Jennifer Ackerman, author of “The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent and Think” (Penguin), and David Allen Sibley, author of “What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing—What Birds Are Doing, and Why” (Knopf), discuss their new books with Joel Achenbach, science writer for The Washington Post.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Noé Álvarez and Maria Hinojosa. Noé Álvarez, author of “Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land” (Catapult), and Maria Hinojosa, author of “Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America” (Atria), discuss their new books with María Elena Salinas, journalist and principal of MES Multi-Media LLC.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis. Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis, co-authors of “2034: A Novel of the Next World War” (Penguin), discuss their novel with philanthropist and National Book Festival co-chairman David M. Rubenstein.

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Sunday, Sept. 19 include (L-R from top) Katherine May, Yiyun Li, Douglas Stuart, Matt Parker, Joseph J. Ellis, Jennifer Ackerman, David Allen Sibley, Noé Álvarez, Maria Hinojosa, Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis.

Follow the Conversation

Join in the National Book Festival conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NatBookFest and follow the Library on these social media channels:

Join us for the 2021 National Book Festival, Sept. 17-26. Audiences are invited to create their own festival experience this year, with programs in a range of formats. Subscribe to this blog for future updates on the festival, and visit the Festival website.


  1. Susan Coleman Fedor
    September 18, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I do not understand how to watch these author presentations. Will there be a comprehensive list that will be bingeable all at one time? I’ve been an attendee and/or participant from the days under the tent. This year’s format has me flummoxed

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