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Book festival features more than 100 authors

If you like to read, be sure to check out downtown Decatur next weekend. The city will host its first book festival, which will be attended by authors from across the country.

The free Decatur Book Festival opens Friday and will continue through Sept. 3. In addition to book signings and readings, there will be panel discussions on a variety of topics, a book market, live music and cooking demonstrations.

The festival will open with an address by keynote speaker Arianna Huffington, author of author of "Becoming Fearless ... In Love, Work and Life" (Little, Brown, $21.99). She will speak at 8 p.m. Friday at Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College in Decatur.

On Saturday and Sunday, readings and discussions will be presented on stages around the Decatur square. Musicians will perform on the outdoor bandstand. Festival events will also take place at Eddie's Attic and Javamonkey coffeeshop in downtown Decatur.

Activities for children include a "Cat in the Hat" parade at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and a youth poetry slam at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Storytellers will present tales for kids as well.

A writer's conference will be held on the campus of Agnes Scott College on Saturday and Sunday. Registration is required for the free conference.

On Sunday, the festival will end with a barbecue picnic and fireworks show.

If you go

•What: Decatur Book

Festival

•When: Friday, Saturday and Sept. 3. The keynote speech will begin at 8 p.m. Friday. Festival readings and discussions will begin at 10 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

•Where: The festival will take place in downtown Decatur.

•Cost: Most festival events are free.

•Info: Visit www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Schedule highlights

At the Decatur Book Festival, authors will read from and discuss their works. The event will also include cooking demonstrations and live music.

Saturday

•10 a.m. Diana Gabaldon on the Scottie Stage

•11:15 a.m. Pearl Cleage on the Scottie Stage

•Noon Scott Peacock cooking demonstration at Cook's Warehouse

•12:30 p.m. Emily and Don Saliers reading at Eddie's Attic

•1:45 p.m. Michael Connelly on the Verb Stage

•3 p.m. Karin Slaughter on the Scottie Stage

•4:15 p.m. Steve Berry on the Verb Stage

•5:30 p.m. "The Atlanta Race Riots of 1906: A Centennial View" discussion with Rebecca Burns, Paul Hudson and Lisa Tuttle

•8 p.m. Adult poetry slam at Javamonkey

Sunday

•Noon "Books and Belles" discussion with Dorothea Benton Frank and Patti Callahan Henry on the Georgia Center for the Book Stage

•1:15 p.m. Tina McElroy Ansa on the Verb Stage

•2:30 p.m. "A Gathering of Georgia Writers" discussion with Jack Riggs, Brian Jay Corrigan and Janisse Ray on the Georgia Center for the Book Stage

•3:45 p.m. Ferrol Sams on the Georgia Center for the Book Stage

•5 p.m. "Writing Around the Edge of Southern Foodways" discussion with John T. Edge, John Egerton and Marcie Cohen Ferris

•5 p.m. Terry Kay on the Verb Stage