"This is first year we've done it," said Danville Branch Librarian Seng Lovan. "We hope it will encourage reading and public libraries, and get people in touch with authors."
Reading Festival 2008 will bring 50 authors into the 25 community libraries for a weekend of free and fun programs.
The Danville Library will host Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea," at a Senior Citizens' Tea, at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 17. Tickets will become available at 10 a.m., Monday, April 21, at the library for people 60 and up, two tickets per person. That evening, Mortenson is speaking to the public at the Danville Community Presbyterian Church in a cooperative effort between the church and the library. These tickets will become available at the same time and place, two per person.
The next day, Danville will welcome local children's author Ginger Wadsworth at 2 p.m. Children will have a chance to share cookies with her and ask questions about being a writer.
"Reading is an essential life-long skill. It can be an activity that recharges you, forces you to rethink an opinion or a subject, or provides a way to relax," said Anne Cain, Contra Costa County Librarian.
Best-selling and emerging authors taking part in the festival include novelists Anita Amirrezvani and Elizabeth Rosner; mystery writer Cara Black; Catherine Coulter, author of bestselling FBI thrillers; and nonfiction author Peggy Orenstein.
"There will truly be something for everyone," said Cain. "We look forward to celebrating the joy of reading throughout the county."
For a complete festival schedule and up-to-date information, visit the library's Web site at ccclib.org/reads. The Contra Costa County Library Reading Festival is being presented by Target Corp.
--Dolores Fox Ciardelli