Due to the proliferation of books where paper pages don’t exist and a book is downloaded from some nebulous bookstore in Cyberland, it might be prudent to declare traditional books dead. Each year, however, throngs of literati gather at the Miami Book Fair International. It’s also a place where authors who have become celebrities and celebrities who have become authors share their works with the masses in one of the festival’s hottest tickets — the “Evenings With” series — where many well-known and award-winning authors have read from and discussed with fans their latest works.
Catch up on your readings of these “2015 Evenings With” authors before they come to town.
M Train, Patti Smith
Punk-rock priestess Patti Smith won a National Book Award for her 2010 memoir Just Kids. In fact, when she accepted the book award, she made a plea for books everywhere. “Please, no matter how we advance technology, don’t abandon the book.” Now she’s back with M Train, a lyrical meditation on endings and beginnings. Black and white Polaroids, taken by Smith herself, add to the memoir’s journey. (Knopf/Deckle Edge, $25)
Letters to Yeyito: Lessons from a Life in Music, Paquito D’Rivera
Winner of 14 Grammy Awards, D’Rivera started writing his book years after receiving a fan letter with no return address. His hope was that Lessons would reach the anonymous writer and would-be musician. D’Rivera — saxophonist, clarinetist, and classical composer — writes about his defection from Cuba as well as his six-decade-long journey in the world of music. (Restless Books, $15)
Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, David Axelrod
For fans of real-life political suspense, American political consultant and top political advisor to President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s chief campaign advisor, Believer gives readers a look behind the closed doors of Washington, D.C. politics. (Penguin, $35)
Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs, Sally Mann
The New York Times called Hold Still a “wonderfully weird and vivid memoir.” Mann, considered one of America’s most renowned photographers, weaves prose and photographs together to explore her preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the landscape of the American South. (Little, Brown and Company, $32)
Golden Age, Jane Smiley
Fans of Pulitzer Prize-winner and master American storyteller Jane Smiley were waiting for this final volume of her best-selling trilogy, which has followed the Langdons, the family at the center of her novels Some Luck and Early Warning. Moving from the power-brokered 1980s and scandal-ridden ‘90s to the present and beyond, the novel brings the century-long family portrait to a magnificent conclusion. (Knopf, $26.95)
Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, Robert B. Reich
Secretary of labor during the Clinton administration, Reich, a prolific author, trots out his 14th book — a myth-shattering breakdown of how the economic system that made America so strong is now failing. He does offer hope in the dark abyss since he also adds his take on what it will take to fix the problem with an empowering call to civic action. Are you ready? (Knopf/Deckle Edge, $26.95)
The Miami Book Fair International, Nov. 15 to 22, Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.