Published March 1, 2021

At a time when pure, unadulterated joy feels hard to come by, books can be a reliable source of delight. The following virtual events in the 2021 Festival line-up are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, whether it’s as a result of cooking something new, rediscovering the natural world, losing yourself in a romance story, or getting silly with your kids. Keep reading for some mood-boosting events featuring inspiring and uplifting books by authors in a variety of genres…

Double Draw Dare with Tom Angleberger & Dub Leffler

March 18, 7 PM-7:45 PM: Children’s book author-illustrators Tom Angleberger (DJ Funkyfoot! Butler for Hire) and Dub Leffler (Once There Was a Boy) take part in this interactive event for ages five and up, discussing their award-winning books for young readers. Fun for all ages!

Celebration! A Tribute to the African American Literary Tradition

March 21, 11 AM-1:30 PM: The Charlottesville Chapter of The Links Incorporated presents its 17th annual Celebration of the African American Literary Tradition, including musical and spoken word performances by community youth and a tribute to book festival authors. Invited authors will speak about their books, in response to questions provided by The Links, and take questions from attendees. The Links, Incorporated is an African-American Women’s service organization; the Charlottesville, Va. chapter was chartered in March 1998. Given the unique structure of this event, you MUST register to attend, and capacity is limited. Please write for further information or contact a member of The Links directly.

O Wondrous World! Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil in Conversation

March 22, 12 PM-12:45 PM: Authors Ross Gay (The Book of Delights) and Aimee Nezhukumatathil (World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments) discuss their new books, collected essays devoted to their appreciation of ordinary wonders of the world, rendering them extraordinary. Through short, lyrical essays, Gay and Nezhukumatathil fully explore their own places in the world and share what we can gain from being open to its joy and beauty.

Contemporary Romance with Karen Grey, Tif Marcelo & Lorelei Parker

March 25, 12 PM-1PM: Authors Karen Grey (What I’m Looking For), Tif Marcelo (Once Upon a Sunset), and Lorelei Parker (Crushing It) discuss their contemporary romance novels, featuring healthy doses of romantic comedy, passion, and heartwarming second chances.

Lulu Miller Dives into Curiosity: A Celebration of Nature Writing

March 25, 2 PM-3 PM: Author and Radiolab cohost Lulu Miller (Why Fish Don’t Exist) will speak at the celebration of the Reed Award for Environmental Writing presented by the Southern Environmental Law Center. Miller’s remarkable book—part biography, part memoir, and part scientific adventure—offers a wondrous fable about how to persevere in a world where Chaos will always prevail.

Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from My Indonesian Kitchen with Lara Lee

March 26, 4 PM-4:45 PM: Lara Lee (Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from My Indonesian Kitchen) discusses her new cookbook of authentic Indonesian cookery and demonstrates a recipe using simple techniques and easily accessible ingredients. With more than 80 traditional and vibrant recipes that have been passed down through the generations, Coconut & Sambal interweaves recipes with beguiling tales of island life and gorgeous travel photography that shines a light on the magnificent cuisine of Indonesia.

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