Published April 16, 2020

We invite you to join us for SHELF LIFE, a new series from the Virginia Festival of the Book, featuring virtual author events every Tuesday and Thursday at noon (EDT), livestreamed on Zoom and Facebook: 

Tuesday, April 21 at Noon

How to Build a Heart: Maria Padian in conversation with Emily Thiede

Join freelance writer, essayist, and author of young adult novels, Maria Padian, for a closer look at her award-winning work and latest book for young readers, How to Build a Heart, in conversation with Emily Thiede. “An absolutely enthralling depiction of family and self-discovery.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Register here

Thursday, April 23 at Noon

The Third Rainbow Girl: Emma Copley Eisenberg in conversation with Allison Wright

Join author Emma Copley Eisenberg as she discusses her acclaimed debut nonfiction book, The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia, in conversation with Allison Wright. “Evocative and elegantly paced… [Eisenberg’s] unraveling of the brutal double murder is as skilled as her exploration of Pocahontas County, where the men, as much as the women, appear trapped in their predestined societal roles.”—New York Times Book Review

Register here

Tuesday, April 28 at Noon

Cool Town: Grace Hale in conversation with Karl Hagstrom Miller

Join author Grace Hale as she discusses her newest book, Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture, in conversation with Karl Hagstrom Miller. “Hale’s rich, personal narrative draws readers in…. This colorfully rendered reverie will delight indie music fans.”—Publishers Weekly  

Register here

Thursday, April 30 at Noon

One Night Gone: Tara Laskowski in conversation with Meredith Cole

Join mystery novelist Tara Laskowski as she discusses her first novel, One Night Gone, in conversation with Meredith Cole. “A subtly but relentlessly unsettling novel.”—Tana French, author of The Witch Elm 

Register here

In order to fully participate in any event, please register in advance so that you can ask questions and take part via Zoom. You may also choose to simply watch the event livestreamed on the Virginia Festival of the Book’s Facebook page

During most (but not all) events, there will be some time for audience questions, so if you have any please type them into Zoom’s question feature, below the live screen.

Finally, whenever possible, we strongly encourage you to support your local booksellers and libraries by buying or borrowing Shelf Life featured books:

  • To find a local bookseller near you and purchase books online or by phone, visit
  • To find a library near you and explore lending collections, visit

SHELF LIFE is presented as part of #HumanitiesAtHome from Virginia Humanities

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