Broward County's annual Literary Feast is back this weekend for its 31st installment. Over the years, the event has featured more than 500 acclaimed authors and raised over $4 million for Broward County Library programs and children in the community.
Literary Feast kicks off on Friday, March 1, when the authors pay visits to Broward County high schools to speak about their careers. In the evening, LitLIVE! will be held at various Barnes & Noble bookstores throughout the county, featuring book signings, panel discussions, and author Q&A's. Saturday's schedule includes the Night of Literary Feasts’ welcome reception at Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale, followed by a silent auction and literary dinners hosted in private homes and local restaurants. Around 350 guests are expected throughout the weekend.
Book lovers of all kinds should find something to satiate their tastes at this year's event, which will host 14 authors including Ronald H. Balson, Beck Dorey-Stein, Peter Hellman, Shari Lapena, and Daniel Stone.
Jennifer Keljik, the events and marketing manager for the Broward Public Library Foundation, notes that four of the top authors to see are either Floridians or have chosen the Sunshine State as the setting for their stories, exploring topics ranging from the tragic shooting in Parkland to Broward County's obscure underbelly.
Here are four top authors you should check out at this year's Literary Feast:
Dave Cullen. Turning grief into positive action is at the heart of Parkland, in which journalist Dave Cullen offers an intimate and moving account of the group of 20 teenagers who survived the tragedy and inspired millions of people across the country to join their #NeverAgain gun reform movement. Cullen is also the author of New York Times bestseller Columbine, about the 1999 Colorado high school shooting.
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Former Senator George LeMieux. The tales in LeMieux's Florida Made: The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State tell of the people and forces that helped propel Florida's national status from “insect-ridden swampland” to a leading modern destination for tourism, business, agriculture, and innovation. A former U.S. senator and chief of staff to Governor Charlie Crist, LeMieux introduces readers to the life of trailblazers like the "Grande Dame of the Everglades," Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who worked tirelessly to save the state's vast wetlands from annihilation, as well as the Florida doctor who developed a precursor to modern air conditioning.
James O. Born. A native Floridian and former state law enforcement agent who was part of the late 1990s Miami drug war, Born has incorporated different elements of his career into each one of his 15 thrillers. His third novel, Escape Clause, won the inaugural Florida Book Award for Best Novel. Born has collaborated with author James Patterson since 2016, and the duo's most recent novel, Ambush, spent eight weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list.
James Swain. Florida resident James Swain is the award-winning author of 20 mystery novels. His newest thriller, The King Tides, introduces readers to retired private detective and ex-Navy Seal Jon Lancaster, who agrees to help a man protect his daughter from people who become obsessed with her.
Broward County Literary Feast 2019. Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 at various locations. Tickets start at $175. bplfoundation.org.