Skip to Main Content

San Antonio Book Festival

Authors of the SA Book Festival and Readalikes

What You'll Find Here

While some general information about the San Antonio Book Festival is provided here, please visit the official website and links below for more information.  The Library has provided some author and title book readalikes using the 2016 Author List for children, teens and adults.  We hope you enjoy all of the wonderful titles and resources available!

San Antonio Book Festival Official Website


SABF Schedule Now Available

The Book Festival schedule is now available! Take a look and see when your favorite authors are presenting so you can plan out your day. Download the app to customize your schedule. We can't wait to see you on April 2!

Thanks to SABF Sponsors!

Funding for SABF comes from the City of San Antonio, foundations, corporations, and private donations. All donations help keep the Festival free. General underwriting provides for: educational and community outreach and visits to the Festival for students from low-income areas; a fiction writing contest for 7th-12th grade students with cash prizes for winners and their schools; children’s and family activities at the Festival; tents for programming, technology, cooking demonstrations, music and exhibitors; and, special events for participating authors, author travel, and accommodations. 

Many thanks to the generous sponsors of the 4th annual Book Festival, whose support helps San Antonio grow as a literary destination, strengthens our vibrant literary community, and makes the literary world accessible to all! 


SABF Releases Lineup of Authors for 2016

The San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) has released their list of more than 85 acclaimed national, regional and local authors who will appear at the 4th annual festival.

SABF is a free, daylong, family-friendly event that draws thousands for author presentations, panel discussions, book sales and signings, recipe demonstrations, children’s and teen activities and food trucks. The Festival will take place on Saturday, April 2 from 10 am to 5 pm at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art. A full schedule of events will be available at in March. 

Top attractions this year include Stephen Harrigan (The Gates of the Alamo), with his latest historical novel A Friend of Mr. Lincoln; Skip Hollandsworth with his new true crime account, The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer; actress Sonia Manzano of Sesame Street fame with her memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx; award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister with her highly anticipated book, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation; and George Hodgman with his memoir Bettyville, which received a National Book Critics Circle nomination and was included in NPR critic Maureen Corrigan’s Best Books of 2015.

“This year’s lineup offers so many brilliant reads and authors with wide critical acclaim,” said Clay Smith, the Festival’s Literary Director. “Our Festival’s books cover a broad range of topics. We are featuring two basketball books: New York Times columnist Joe Nocera’s Indentured: The Rebellion Against the College Sports Cartel and Alexander Wolff’s The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama. In addition, we are proud to announce our first panel on gay literature featuring George Hodgman and Bob Morris (Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries his Parents), who both tackle the subject of reckoning with the place where they grew up.”

Young readers' author Pam Muñoz Ryan won the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature for her novel Echo, and both Sarah Hepola (Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget) and Kate Bolick (Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own) made waves for refreshing memoirs on alcoholism and feminism, respectively. Carl Safina, a preeminent expert on human relationships with the natural world and a MacArthur Fellow, will talk about his newest release, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.

The lineup also includes other books involving American presidents, in addition to Harrigan’s: H.W. Brands’ biography Reagan: The Life; Thomas Mallon’s fictional account,Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years; and Douglas Brinkley’s biography Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America.

One of this year’s presentations about the border features George T. Diaz’s Border Contraband: A History of Smuggling Across the Rio Grande and Kimball Taylor’s The Coyote’s Bicycle: The Untold Story of Seven Thousand Bicycles and the Rise of a Borderland Empire, both focusing on the revealing ways that objects tell the story of the border.

Much-anticipated regional authors include San Antonio Express-News editor Mike Leary with fellow editors Terry Scott Bertling and Jamie Stockwell with San Antonio: Our Story of 150 Years in the Alamo City; David Liss with his middle grade book Randoms; current Trinity University English professor Coleen Grissom with The World According to Coleen; Phoebe Fox with Heart Conditions: The Breakup Doctor Series, #3; Naomi Shihab Nye with Famous; and noted Austin graphic designer DJ Stout with Variations on a Rectangle.

Other highlights include:

  • New this year, Book It luncheons provide an opportunity to sit down to an intimate lunch with an author and eight companions. The festival is offering four Book It luncheons—three on the day of the festival and one the day prior. Festival attendees can Book It with Kate Bolick, H.W. Brands, Skip Hollandsworth, or an author yet to be named. Ticket pricing is available at, and all funds raised will benefit SABF.
  • Recipe demonstrations from cookbook authors at the expanded Central Market Cooking Tent include Cappy Lawton and Chris Waters Dunn (Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex), Renato Poliafito and Matt Lewis (Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays and Informal Celebrations), and Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Mastering the Art of Southern Vegetables).
  • Student winners of the 2016 San Antonio Book Festival Fiction Contest will be recognized in an awards ceremony at the Festival.
  • For young readers, the Festival offers interactive experiences for teens at the Geekbus and with a flip book photo booth in GeekTown, free books from the Literacy Caravan, a performance by Magik Theatre, and educational activities from the Express-News' History in Motion RV and the Doseum, San Antonio’s Museum for Kids. New this year, the festival will host a Party Time hour in the Children’s Tent where young visitors can spend time with Festival authors and illustrators.
  • Literary Death Match at the Empire Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Tickets available here. Four celebrated authors perform the most exciting sections of their work for an audience and panel of judges, who take turns spouting hilarious, off-the-wall commentary, then select their favorite writer to advance to the finals. Sharp commentary--with audience participation-- determines who is crowned Champion. This year’s competitors include Sara Benincasa (D.C. Trip), Jamie Brickhouse (Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir), David Crabb (Bad Kid: A Memoir), and Joaquín Zihuatanejo (Fight: Poems).

To read author bios, visit our 2016 Authors page.