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Vegas Valley Book Festival announces gigantic, big-name authors

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The Vegas Valley Book Festival, that annual bash dedicated to those interactive multimedia things printed on dead trees -- books, we think they're called -- just announced the two keynote speakers bookending the event that takes place Nov. 3-7 at the Historic Fifth Street School.

Kicking off the festival Nov. 3 is author T.C. Boyle, author of 20 novels, including The Road to Wellville and World's End, and more than 100 short stories. (One of my faves is his short story collection, If The River Was Whiskey, a veritable compendium of writerly technique.) Closing it out is Dennis Lehane, best known for gritty, searching crime thrillers, particularly Mystic River and Shutter Island.

Other things in the works I'm hearing a lot of buzz about: the festival's ever-burgeoning Comic Book Festival and "Feasting on Words - A Celebration of Food and Literature." The early word is that one celebrity chef Rick Moonen has something tasty in store for both food- and book-lovers. Check out the bookfest's website for more info.

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As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.