Books - 50 new books launch at Decatur Book Festival

5 highlights from the massive annual event

For an author, the book launch is an important moment. After years toiling alone with a manuscript, the launch is the moment when that work finally becomes a public fact, something people can see, hold, and read. Among the many authors and events the Decatur Book Festival is hosting this weekend, will be more than 50 book launches. Which should you be on the lookout for? We’ve picked a few new books that caught our eye.

Pickett’s Charge by Charles McNair

Atlanta resident and Alabama native Charles McNair is a constant presence on Atlanta’s literary scene but his first (and last) novel was published almost 20 years ago. Since then, McNair has been working on the novel Pickett’s Charge, which tells the story of a Civil War veteran who lives to be 114 years old. Saturday, 4:15–5 p.m. at the Decatur Library Stage.

The Best American Poetry 2013

Series editor David Lehman has been collecting the best poetry written in America since 1988. For the launch of the latest edition, Thomas Lux, Kevin Young, Jehrico Brown, and other poets talk with Lehman about their work. Saturday, 4:15–5 p.m. at the First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary Stage.

Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs

Forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has used her professional expertise as the foundation for a career writing thriller novels, including the popular Temperance Brennan series and Fox television series “Bones.” She’ll talk about her latest book, Bones of the Lost, with Atlanta’s best-selling thriller author Karin Slaughter. Saturday, 1:45 p.m. at First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary Stage.

The Explanation for Everything by Lauren Grodstein

New Jersey-based novelist Lauren Grodstein has earned some considerable praise for her novel A Friend of the Family and her pseudonymous teen novel Girls Dinner Club. Her latest tells the story of a biologist whose life is thrown out of order when a young, ambitious college student approaches him with a project about intelligent design. The Explanation for Everything promises a tale about the desire for meaning and temptations of faith. Sunday, 3:45 p.m. at Old Courthouse Stage.

For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law by Randall Kennedy

A professor of law at Harvard Law School, Randall Kennedy explores the complex questions and deep history that surround the idea of “affirmative action.” This year the DBF has added a focus on the Civil Rights Movement and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, so Kennedy’s provocative work should provide some insight to the present and future of legislation surrounding race in America. Saturday, 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Decatur Sanctuary Stage.