Best Book Festival

Best: National Book Festival
National Mall
2nd Best: Fall for the Book
4400 University Dr., Fairfax
Good news: There’s an excellent, wide-ranging, top-talent-drawing literary festival here. Bad news: You have to drive to Fairfax to get to it. Since 1999, George Mason University has sponsored the multi-day Fall for the Book event, which has a diverse mix of novelists, children’s authors, and nonfiction writers (last year’s event was thick with Lincoln scholars). Acknowledging its remote location, Fall for the Book has done some work to expand its reach beyond the no-man’s land of Northern Virginia, adding a handful of events in the District, Arlington, Bowie, and Bethesda. This year’s runs from Sept. 21 to Sept. 29, and there’s a possibility it could take the prize of best local fest: No announcement has been made yet about the future of the National Book Festival, launched by former first lady Laura Bush.