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Chapter 7 - Savannah, Part 1

Just finished up a wonderful weekend in Savannah. If you have never been a part of the Savannah Book Festival, you don't know what you are missing. First of all, Savannah is an amazing city. It beautifully blends old with new. When General Sherman marched through the south during the Civil War, Savannah surrendered their city instead of subjecting it to the same fate as Atlanta, consequently a lot of the old city remained and remains to this day. It is not uncommon to stay in a hotel which dates back to the 1790's or before.

Savannah is a lovely historic city with great walkability. The historic downtown area was laid out in squares with houses and small parks lining the squares. Dave an I arrived on Thursday, Claire came in on Friday. Dinner on Thursday was at Circa 1875 a little French style restaurant. Friday we ate at The Pirate's House, a little touristy but always good food.

Friday saw us strolling around, hitting some of our favorite stores and sampling as much of the food as we could. We also scouted out where our events would be held so we weren't wandering around aimlessly on Saturday. There were a few authors we absolutely had to see and knew we'd have to get to those venues quickly to get in.

So here is how our Saturday went at the beginning after our breakfast at Goose Feathers.

Lauren Grodstein - Lauren wrote We Must Not Think of Ourselves which is a novel about the group of archivists who wrote the stories of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto in World War II. The impetus of the book was a trip to Poland taken by her family. Her nephew was celebrating his bar mitzvah and instead of opting for a large party he requested to go to Poland to trace his family origins. While there Lauren and her sister were taken to the Jewish archives where these letters have been stored and translated after being found buried in milk cans under the city. Lauren told her sister that there were thousands of stories in the letters and her sister challenged her to write one. You can find the archives online here -

Steven Rowley - Rowley's latest is The Celebrants about six friends from college. When one of them dies unexpectedly before graduation, they decide that if he had been there to hear all the wonderful things people said and thought about him, maybe he wouldn't have died. So they make a pact to have living funerals as they need them. Rowley admits that he got the idea watching the Big Chill while staying home during the pandemic. However the idea came to him, the book is warm, funny, sobering, and heartfelt sort of like Rowley himself.

T.J. Klune - Klune is the author of over 40 books (who knew?) but is known best for his most recent three - The House in the Cerulean Sea, Under the Whispering Door, and In the Lives of Puppets. He talked primarily about the last one and the format was question and answer with the manager of E. Shaver books asking the questions. Klune says he got the idea from buying a Roomba which in the first mapping of his house got itself stuck in a corner and emitted the saddest beeping noise. From there he developed the story and its automated characters to support the human protagonist.

So that was the first half of our day. Next week I will share the rest.


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