The Tucson Festival of Books began writing its eighth edition during the Prologue event at the University of Arizona BookStore last Sunday, announcing its 2015 donation to literacy, links to community activities and the 2016 author lineup.

The 2016 festival will be held 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. March 12-13, filling the UA Mall and adjacent buildings with author presentations, panel discussions, entertainment, vendors and hands-on activities. An estimated 400 authors participate and 130,000 people attend the annual bookapalooza.

The festival’s net proceeds, generated from sponsors, exhibitors and Friends of the Festival, are directed to improving literacy rates in Southern Arizona.

The 2015 literacy donation was $210,000, divided equally among Literacy Connects, Reading Seed and UA Literacy Outreach programs, said Marcy Euler, the festival’s executive director.

That brings the festival’s 2009-15 cumulative donation to $1.26 million, divided among the three groups, Euler said.

The festival will link with three community efforts.

Shakespeare’s First Folio will be presented in collaboration with the UA Libraries and other partners from Feb. 15 through March 15.

Published in 1623, the First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, and only 233 copies are believed to exist. The First Folio will be accompanied by an exhibition exploring Shakespeare’s impact.

The festival will include Shakespeare-related talks and authors, such as Dan Falk, who will be at the festival with his book, “The Science of Shakespeare.”

There will be a bit of macabre at the festival, as it connects with Tucson’s Big Read featuring Edgar Allan Poe.

The Big Read, presented by Literacy Connects through a Big Read Grant, encourages the community to share a good book or the work of a great poet. There have been readings and activities, like taking selfies in front of the Poe mural in the UA Poetry Center.

The festival will feature Poe-inspired presentations, like Gordon McAlpine and his books, “The Pet and the Pendulum,” and “The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe.”

In addition, the Western National Parks Association will be marking the National Parks 100th anniversary, and authors like Douglas Brinkley, author of “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America,” will discuss the nation’s parks.

The lineup includes some familiar authors as well as many participating for the first time. A few of those sure to attract a crowd:

  • Scott Simon
  • ,“Unforgettable.”
  • Faye Kellerman
  • , “The Theory of Death.”
  • Jonathan Kellerman
  • ,“Breakdown.”
  • Alan Zweibel
  • , “Benjamin Franklin: Huge Pain in my !@#$” and an original “Saturday Night Live” writer.

Some of the authors in a handful of genres:

Business: Dorothy Leonard, “Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for Managing Your Company’s Deep Smarts,” Peter Boni, “All Hands On Deck: Navigating Your Team Through Crisis, Getting Your Organization Unstuck and Emerging Victories,” and Natalia Petrezela, “Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture.”

Picture books: Raúl Colón, “Draw,” and Erin and Phillip Stead, “A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Lenny and Lucy.”

Culinary: Amelia Saltsman, “The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen,” and Dorie Greenspan, “Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from my Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere.”

Environment: Kathleen Dean Moore, “Great Tide Rising,” and Sy Montgomery, “The Soul of An Octopus.”

Fiction and literature: Lynn Cullen, “Twain’s End and Mrs. Poe,” Erika Swyler, “The Book of Speculation,” and Mary Kubica, “The Good Girl.”

History: T.J. Stiles, “Custer’s Trials,” and Lesley Poling-Kempes, “Ladies of the Canyons.”

Mystery/thriller: J.A. Jance, “Dance of the Bones,” and Kyle Mills, “Vince Flynn The Survivor.”

Nuestras Raíces: Sonia Manzano, “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx,” and Francisco X. Alarcon, “Poetry of Resistance.”

Find a list of the authors and their biographies at

Contact Ann Brown at 573-4226 or On Twitter:@AnnattheStar