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Meet Some Booksellers and Publishers Exhibiting at BookFest

What would Kerrytown BookFest be without booksellers and publishers? Fortunately we don’t have to find out, because a large percentage of the over 120 exhibitor tables at the 2016 event will once again include booksellers and publishers. BookFest visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of books, including those from this year’s speakers. To give you a glimpse of what’s in store, we asked booksellers and publishers to tell us about the books they’ll have available, including those they’re especially eager to share with BookFest visitors. Following are just some of the booksellers and publishers exhibiting at BookFest this year.


Aunt Agatha’s

Aunt Agatha’s (14th BookFest): Our booth is always fun as we have lots of authors signing there throughout the day, and we try and mix in local talent with some of the bigger name authors who are speaking.  This year we have local writers Greg Jolley and Linda Fitzgerald, along with some regional Michigan and Midwest writers.  Of course you can also visit with Kent Krueger and Hank Phillippi Ryan, among others, at our booth as well.  Hank Ryan wrote one of my favorite books of 2015, What You See, as did Carrie Smith, author of Silent City, who will be moderating our mystery panel. But we are also excited to welcome Brian Freeman, Patti Abbott (Megan Abbott’s mom and a writer herself) as well as some kick ass women who write cozies – Eva Gates, Casey Daniels and Sarah Zettel and their moderator, Barbara Gregorich.

BookBound from website1


Bookbound (4th BookFest): We will primarily be selling a variety of our hand-picked bargain books. These are overstocks and remainders that we can sell at steep discounts, and they range from literary fiction and poetry, to history, social science, philosophy, music, science, art and more. We will also bring an assortment of new gift books, items of local interest, and perhaps a few of our personal favorites. In our store, we carry a full assortment of new releases and other trade books, but our bargain books represent something different from other area booksellers and they tend to do very well at BookFests so we like to show them off. What to Look For: It is hard to choose specific titles because our bargain book supply is quite unpredictable and we can’t be sure what we will bring with us that day. There will be some recent bestsellers and award winners like State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar, Incarnadine by Mary Szybist, and Leslie Jamison’s Empathy Exams. Other perennial favorites we likely will have include Justice by Michael J Sandel, Carsick by John Waters, The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor, The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn.

Books of the Ages (5th BookFest): I sell exclusively Children’s books and will be bringing over 1,000 titles which will include some of my specialties: Pop ups, Award Winners, Illustrated classics, Tasha Tudor, Michael Hague, Tolkien, Series books, and Edward Gorey.  I will also bring a table of nice picture books at 3 for $12.

Crazy Wisdom

Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tea Room

Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tea Room (4th BookFest):  Crazy Wisdom specializes in spirituality, sustainability, psychology, and conscious living so we’ll be attempting to bring a diverse selection in these areas. What to Look For:  It’s always a fun challenge to select books that will draw readers to our table. For us, it’s less about bringing particular titles, and more about bringing those unique titles that readers haven’t heard of, and might be surprised to see at Crazy Wisdom!

Grey Wolfe Publishing

Grey Wolfe Publishing

Grey Wolfe Publishing, LLC (3rd BookFest): We publish nearly everything: poetry, memoir, children’s books, young adult, new adult, general fiction, historical fiction, and anthologies. Being a family-owned business we try to keep a standard that isn’t too inflammatory or dangerous.  What to Look For: This year we’ll be featuring our community service books as well as a debut novel by YA author Caitlyn Mancini, and four from different genres from myself (Diana Plopa). We will also be accepting manuscripts (in digital format) from anyone who is interested in publishing.

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Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore (4th BookFest): We’ll be selling new literary fiction, poetry, small press titles, local authors, bestselling nonfiction, a few of our book club picks, and much more. We’ll also be featuring books for the panel, Travel the Lakes, which takes place at 2:45pm at the Kerrytown Concert House. What to Look For: We have a lovely signed first editions club we call Literati Cultura. Each month, we ship a new signed first edition to book lovers across the country. It’s a subscription-based club, and with each book, we include a free exclusively-produced letterpress art made by our friends at Wolverine Press here in Ann Arbor. We’re excited to tell people about it at the BookFest. Previous picks include The Girls, Desert Boys, Heat & Light, Beloved Dog, and more.


Michigan Publishing Services

Michigan Publishing Services (1st BookFest): Michigan Publishing Services publishes scholarly print and digital monographs, edited volumes, anthologies, and journals authored and edited by U-M faculty, staff, and students, including institutional histories, conference volumes, and faculty reprints, as well as course materials, innovative digital projects, and experiments in “Publishing as Pedagogy” at U-M. What to Look For: We’re most excited for people to see the inaugural issue of the Michigan Journal of Medicine, published in collaboration with the U-M Medical School as a successful “Publishing as Pedagogy” case study. We have a great selection of new print titles from our Maize Books imprint, an impressive array of scholarly journals, and print literary arts projects produced by creative U-M students.

ML Books

ML’s Books & Antiques

ML’s Books & Antiques (2nd BookFest): I sell used, collectible books including ones on Michigan, the outdoors, mysteries, and science fiction. I sold a mixed bag last year; I don’t plan to mess with success.

NicolasBooks Logo

Nicola’s Books (14th BookFest): We usually bring with us the featured authors’ books, Michigan authors, books about Michigan and sometime signed editions. What to Look For: Fiction writers B.A. Shapiro’s books, The Art Forger and The Muralist  and John Smolen’s Wolf’s Mouth as well as the excellent selection of children’s books either illustrated or written by Michigan authors – Kelly Di Pucchio, Shanda Trent, Kristen Remenar and Matt Faulkner.

Plain Tales Books (13th BookFest): I will be selling books on printing and typography as well as Easton Press, Folio Society and other miscellany.

You can find a full list of all of the 2016 Kerrytown BookFest exhibitors in the exhibitors tab on our website. Exhibitors will be at BookFest all day from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and represent all facets of the book world from authors to booksellers to publishers to non-profits to a wide range of book-related artists. Check back here and on our Facebook page in the weeks ahead for information about more exciting exhibitors.

Meet Some Returning Exhibitors

Last week we told you about some of the exciting new exhibitors making their first appearance at the Kerrytown BookFest on September 11. This week we would like to introduce you to some returning exhibitors who will be at the over 120 exhibitor booths at BookFest this year. We asked these exhibitors to describe the process they use to produce their products, and about some of the things they are most excited for BookFest visitors to see at their booths. We also asked them to let us know what new things visitors might expect, because most of our returning exhibitors take pride in changing things up a bit each year.

Jen Talley from website if no response

Jen Talley

Jen Talley (5th BookFest): I do original drawings based on current events, pop culture & comics. I do most of my drawings using my Microsoft Surface tablet and various drawing apps, which enables me to get more done more quickly! I turn these drawings into prints, cards, magnets, and buttons using my home office equipment. Everything I produce is printed and made at my kitchen table or desk! New for 2016: Like many people I became a little (a lot) obsessed with the Broadway musical “Hamilton” this year and I have a new series of drawings based on the cast & costuming of the show. There is a full set of 16 magnets available, as well as prints, buttons, greeting cards, and individual magnets. What to look for: The Hamilton series is my favorite right now, and I also have a brand new series I’m calling “G is for Girl Power” that features real-world historical and contemporary women who have done remarkable things. It’s an alphabet series — G is for Grace Hopper; R is for Ruth Bader Ginsburg; S is for Sojourner Truth, etc. I’m nearly finished with all 26 designs and hope to have the completed poster available at BookFest.


Chicaloo Kate


Chicaloo Kate

ChicalooKate (8th BookFest): I do most of my design work in Photoshop. All the making, from magnets to notebooks to coffee mugs, is done in my Ann Arbor studio. With the notebooks I print and cut the cover image, then punch and coil the notebook. The coffee mugs are made using a process called sublimation, which is where a gel based ink is added to a surface using heat. New for 2016: I am always adding new things to my booth. One of the biggest additions to my lineup is coffee mugs.  I am also going to have a bunch of new pulp/comic cover notepads. What to look for: My favorite item to make right now is the coffee mugs. I have a lot of different designs including snarky humor, book cover designs and quotes.


Moon Moth

Moon Moth Press

Moon Moth Press (12th BookFest): Uses up-cycled books, a variety of art papers, collage materials, and glue. We deconstruct a book, taking it apart and replacing the text block with new paper creating a blank journal. They are primarily concertina and soft spine case books. Our cards usually begin with a discarded book page. We then collage imagery over the text allowing various words to remain readable. New for 2016: We have expanded our line to include mid-century covers and we are making some journals with lined paper. We added sympathy cards this year.

Petoskey Stones print Treehouse Block Prints

Treehouse Block Prints

Treehouse Block Prints (2nd BookFest): I am a linocut printmaker.  I carve my designs (based from my original photographs) into linoleum blocks and I hand-print each of my linocut prints.  Printmaking brings peacefulness and calm to my life, and I hope that feeling shines through my work. New for 2016: I have several new handmade prints since last year’s Kerrytown BookFest:  Petoskey Stones, Wooden Sled, Bicycle, and Backyard Beehives.


Jeanne Adwani

Jeanne Adwani (13th BookFest): This particular project is based around ‘vintage’ Michigan postcards I have collected, and a poem I wrote called Mitten.   I have lots of vintage Michigan postcards.  Since I’m a bit attached to my old postcards, I photocopied the images as ‘originals’ and they are the inspiration for my collection of little books. I set the poem up and then printed it.  I have used thick types of papers to make the covers, various paper to print my poem, photo paper to print my poem.  I cut and arrange all the makings for my little book and sew it with waxed linen thread.  Did I tell you that I purchase most of my lovely paper from Hollanders? I hope people find a certain charm in my little books, and feel the ‘invitation’ to appreciate the wonder of Michigan. New for 2016: This is an entirely different project than before.  Much for intimately crafted.

Joyce Nass (12th BookFest):  I design the item, hand marble the paper, cut the board and paper, glue and put them together. What to look for: Journals and boxes made with my hand marbled papers. New for 2016: New sizes of handmade journals and a few new box sizes.

You can find a full list of all of the 2016 Kerrytown BookFest exhibitors in the exhibitors tab on our website. The exhibitors will be at BookFest all day from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and represent all facets of the book world from authors to booksellers to publishers to non-profits to a wide range of book-related artists. And check back here and on our Facebook page in the weeks ahead for information about more exciting exhibitors.

New Exhibitors for 2016!

In addition to many wonderful speakers, this year’s Kerrytown BookFest will also include over 125 exhibitor booths. The exhibitors will be at BookFest all day from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., and represent all facets of the book world from authors to booksellers to publishers to non-profits to a wide range of book-related artists. This year we’re especially pleased to include a number of new artists.

We asked these new exhibitors to describe the methods they use to create their products, and to let us know what some of the products they are most excited for BookFest visitors to see at their booth in September. Following are just a few of our new exhibitors:



Cakeasaurus Prints – Marian Short: I am a Michigan-based printmaker and writer. I primarily work with woodblocks: I draw a design, transfer that design onto a carving block and then carve away all the negative space. I apply special ink to the wood surface that remains, lay a sheet of paper on top — apply pressure — and voila! Woodblock relief print! I just started using very soft linoleum blocks to make new card designs; the process is the same. In traditional printmaking, to achieve a print with different colors, you carve away different parts of the design from more than one woodblock and the finished print will have been printed on each of the blocks. I do multiple block prints, but am also exploring the mixed media route of adding color in Photoshop. I am super excited to see visitors engage with the pages from my Cakeasaurus picture book (Cake Thief vs. Birthday Boy!). This has been a long-time labor of love and it’s now entering its final stages — less than five blocks left to carve (as of July 2016). I am ALSO really excited about my new card designs — linocuts, plus a Photoshop workshop, have invigorated my creativity during a period where there’s less time to spare (HELLO toddler girl!) T-shirts are a distinct possibility.

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PPPRINTSHOP – Chelsea Lisiecki: I use both traditional and experimental intaglio printmaking techniques to create hand-pulled prints. I first work on copper plates, then transfer the image onto paper using a 1970s steel etching press. At the BookFest I’ll also be offering hand-dyed stationary, bookmarks and picture frames made from reclaimed wood to accompany my prints. I’m really looking forward to sharing my latest series of plant-inspired etchings and monoprints. It’s been a lot of trial and error attempting to print delicate leaves, fronds and flowers, but the end results are worth it!


Popular Design

Popular Designs – Jamie Rhodes:  I create gift bags, gift bows, and gift tags with repurposed and recycled maps, comic books and magazines. I also create hand splatter painted gift wraps to go with my unique paper goods collection. I am very excited to see how all of my products are received by the visitors. I look forward to shopping for unique goods from others vendors as well!


Pretty Bookish

Pretty Bookish – Kristina Molnar: I use old and/or damaged book pages.  I save recognizable pieces of the text to be featured behind the glass in the jewelry I make. It’s been great to preserve and keep enjoying a book that would otherwise be thrown out or unused. I always love the reaction of someone finding a piece from their favorite book! I will have not only a wide variety of jewelry, but will also have keychains, cufflinks, tie clips, and bottle stoppers.


Nice Spread

Nice Spread – Rachel Nisch: I carve my stamps out of rubber using wood carving hand tools, and I use watercolor paper for the cards.  I use a mix of natural and conventional inks.  The blend of inks varies, making each stamp unique. Many of my stamps are abstract images, and even those that are more representational, leave plenty of room for the imagination.  I look forward to hearing what visitors see in the images- my own Rorschach test, I suppose.


Kirsten Elling

Kirsten Elling

Kirsten Elling: I experiment with different media — printmaking (etchings and mono prints) and bookmaking from found paper, but also photography, collage, encaustic and watercolor. Some of the books I make are very precise, using traditional methods, whereas others are more loose or inventive.  Same with my printmaking — I like to try new things and problem solve. I will have an array of handmade books (blank books as well as coloring books for kids), etchings, encaustic pieces, and also vintage children’s books for sale.

Nancy Bulkley

Nancy Bulkley

Nancy Bulkley: My primary medium is clay but I also like to make blank books and use rubber stamps that I have carved. I will have porcelain mugs at the Book Fest that I decorate with stamps I have carved out of clay.

5-4-16 etchings

Laurel Moon Jewelry

Laurel Moon Jewelry I create beaded jewelry and etched copper pendants.  My etchings are created from solid copper stampings that I fuse a printed design to and then submerge the pieces in an etchant, which eats away at any part of the copper that is not protected by ink/toner, leaving the design raised, and the unprotected areas recessed.  I then use a combination of sanding, patina application, and lacquer to enhance the contrast between the recessed and raised areas, and finish with a clear, protective lacquer. I have a line of small rectangular etchings that look like miniature books, and I also have several designs that are based on antique bookplates.  It’s a great way to show your love of reading and writing!


You can find a full list of all of the 2016 Kerrytown BookFest exhibitors in the exhibitors tab on our website. And check back here and on our Facebook page in the weeks ahead for information about more exciting exhibitors.


Printers at the BookFest

This year we’re hosting several printers who will be demonstrating their art form and allowing bookfest visitors to pull a print themselves. One of them is new to us and two are long time exhibitors.


Chad Pastonik

Chad Pastonik of Deep Wood Press in Bellaire, Michigan, returns as he has every year to exhibit his gorgeous work. He will be demonstrating the centuries old process of intaglio printing, specifically how it relates to book illustration, map making and contemporary fine arts. The tools and press will be available to view and audience participation for pulling prints is encouraged!

Joining Chad will be Amos Kennedy of Kennedy Prints! Amos’ distinctive letterpress prints will be on display, and he will create a special “Save the Date” card for the 2017 BookFest. He’ll have a printed background prepared, and guests will be encouraged to print the text for themselves.


Amos Kennedy

And finally, a newcomer to us, will be Wolverine Press from the University of Michigan. Wolverine Press is the letterpress studio of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. They are housed by MLibrary. They will be printing historic images of campus and the region from their collection, and talking about some aspects of Michigan printing history.

wolverine press

Work by the Wolverine Press

This is an aspect of the BookFest not to be missed!

Meet speaker William Kent Krueger

This interview was conducted by Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha’s, shortly after the publication of Krueger’s novel, Ordinary Grace, which went on to win virtually every award the mystery community has to offer, including the Edgar.  When BookFest rolls around, there will be a new Cork O’Connor novel to savor, Manitou Canyon.

I’ve known Kent since he invited himself to the store when his first novel, Iron Lake, was published in 1998. As long as I’ve known him, I’ve been a fan of his work. His new novel, Ordinary Grace, is an extraordinary leap – a deepening of previous work. It was a pure delight to read.

Q: One of the things I found most interesting about this book was the voice. While it’s set in 1961, it doesn’t in any way seem like a period piece or an historical novel. How personal to you are the memories of 1961 in small town Minnesota?


A: One of the main motivations for writing Ordinary Grace was the opportunity to explore memories, emotions, and experiences out of my own life when I was, essentially, the age of the story’s narrator, thirteen-year-old Frank Drum. For boys—maybe it’s the same for girls, I don’t know—that period in our lives is an important threshold. We’re about to step out of adolescence and into manhood, and the crossing over is sharp, significant, and full of deep emotion. Everything before seemed simple, and, afterward, everything so terribly complex. Growing up, I lived in many small towns, and I wanted to capture the essence of those places, both for the benefit of the reader and, I suppose, to indulge my weakness for nostalgia. So, yes, I mined a lot of my own background for this novel.

Q: The narrative feels more like a fable or a remembered dream. How did you accomplish this?

A: My own feeling is that this is the result of the way the narrative is constructed. It’s told by Frank forty years after the events took place, but the perceptions and the way in which occurrences, people, places, and emotions are described is often in the moment and from the point of view of a thirteen-year-old kid. So the voice is both current and past. It’s like a recollection that drifts between dream and reality.

Q:I think most serious writers have certain themes they are working through in almost every book. I think in all your Cork books the themes you seem to be interested in are kinship and loyalty and what those things mean. Any thoughts on that?

A: Yeah, I have a few. I write pretty close to the bone. In my series, many of Cork’s concerns and considerations are my own. So, Cork believes in justice; I believe profoundly in the necessity for justice in this world. Cork believes that you make commitments, and, come hell or high water, you stand by those commitments. That’s pretty much what I believe. Cork believes that in this life, family is the most significant relationship you’re likely to experience. Ditto for me. So what interests me in the stories is the struggle to hold to these ideals in a world that seems often bent on either forcing or seducing you from them.

Q: As this book comes after many Cork O’Connor novels, I am wondering if that writing journey led you to write this book? Do you feel like it was intensifying some of the themes you’ve written about in the past?

A: I think I had a lot to learn about storytelling before I was ready to take on the challenge of writing a novel like Ordinary Grace. It seems a rather simply told tale, but that simplicity hides a lot of depth, complexity, and meaning. (At least, I hope it does.) And that point of view I mentioned earlier, the voice that is of the moment and, at the same time, of the past, is a tricky thing to pull off. I’ve learned a lot about storytelling with the Cork novels and a lot about myself as a storyteller. I think I was aching to write this kind of book, and finally had to do it. Ordinary Grace allowed me to speak more directly to issues and themes that have been a part of the Cork O’Connor stories but seldom front and center, things like faith and the spiritual journey. Having done it and believing that I did an all right job of it, I’m eager to try this kind of story again.


Q: At the center of this book is a minister. Many of your books have a spiritual quality, and it’s not a pounding it into your head type deal, it’s part of the fabric of your storytelling. While you often write about very grisly happenings – and there’s some grim occurrences in this one, as well – the ultimate outlook at the end of every novel is a hopeful or optimistic one. I think it’s a quality many of your readers cherish. Anyway this is a long way of asking why you chose a minister as the central character?

A: My first thought, when mulling over the story that became Ordinary Grace, was to make Nathan Drum a high school English teacher in this small town, because that was my father and that was an experience I knew well. I wanted to write about a family that, in a small community, is watched carefully, and that’s definitely a teacher’s family. But I’ve always wanted to talk about faith, really about the whole consideration of God, and so the ministry became a better choice of profession. Over the years, I’ve known a lot of PKs (preacher’s kids), and I’ve heard stories of the pressures they were under and of their rebellions. I thought that kind of kid would make a compelling narrator. Also, I realized early on that when the death in the family occurs, if Nathan Drum is a minister, the tragedy would be such a tremendous challenge to his faith that exploring his reaction—and the reactions of each member of the family—would be a fascinating journey for me as a writer. Was it ever!

Q: As I was reading this for the second time, I was wondering about the structure of this book. You foreshadow what will happen, but the central death doesn’t occur until almost exactly halfway through the novel, making the story a stark “before” and “after”. Was this structure intentional, or did it happen organically while you were writing it?

A: Although the death provides a compelling mystery element to the story (I am, after all, known as a mystery writer), this was not intended to be a mystery, as such. It was, from its earliest beginnings, going to be a story about a family in a small town who experience something awful. It was going to be about love and struggle and faith and hope. I knew that eventually it would deal with a tragic death that turns out to be a murder and challenges a family, and, in a way, a whole community, to reconsider their values. So the first part of the book was intended to draw the reader into an engagement with the Drum family and the town of New Bremmen, so that when the tragedy occurs, if I’d done my job correctly, it would be an emotional blow not only to the characters in the story, but to readers as well. However, because I didn’t really outline this story, as I usually do with my Cork O’Connor novels, I felt my way along with the actual events. So, to a degree, I suppose, things did happen organically.

Q: Did this novel refresh your palate? Did it make you feel ready to dive back into the Cork novels?

A: These days, I never have to refresh myself in order to dive into a Cork O’Connor story. I love Cork and his family and Tamarack County, and I’m not at all tired of writing the series. I promised myself a long time ago that when I did grow weary of it, I would end the series, because I never want to offer readers a story in which I haven’t invested my whole heart. But if that time does ever come, the way I’m feeling right now, it’s still a long way down the road.

Q: What’s next for you as a writer?

A: I have another in the Cork O’Connor series due out at the end of August. It’s called Tamarack County, and I’m really pleased with it. That concludes my current contract with my publisher, but we’ve just negotiated a new three-book contract that includes two more in the Cork O’Connor series and another stand alone. I’m at work on the stand alone, a novel titled This Tender Land, which is, in a way, a companion to Ordinary Grace. It’s also set in southern Minnesota and in an earlier time, roughly the late nineteen-fifties. It’s the story of a wealthy farmer found dead in the Alabaster River and of the secrets, long buried in the soil of Black Earth County, that come to light during the investigation of his death. Thematically, it’s an exploration of the extremes we’re willing to go to in order to hold onto the things—people, land, ideals—that we cherish. I’m having a ball with it.