The Ten Best Things to Do at Miami Book Fair International

It's the most wonderful time of the year for book nerds: Christmas, Mardi Gras, and New Year's Eve rolled into one glorious week to charm and delight South Florida's bibliophiles. The Miami Book Fair International has almost arrived.

But with a massively long schedule of awesome events and only one of you (unless you've perfected cloning, in which case, we salute you), it's tough to decide what literary fetes are most deserving of your precious time.

So, to make life easier, here's our list of the top ten can't-miss book fair events. (Note: We didn't delve too far into the author readings; there are too many of those to pick from and that's a choose-your-own-adventure kind of deal.)

See also: Book Fair 2014 Includes John Waters, Questlove, Ira Glass, and More

Photo by Shaneeka Harrell
Photo by Shaneeka Harrell
Glassworks Media

Weird Miami Bus Tour, Muhammad Ali Edition

Via dance, film, poetry, and an interactive musical experience, riders will get to traverse Cassius Clay's daily training run from Overtown to Miami Beach.

Sunday, November 16. 4 p.m.; leaves from the Swamp, Southeast corner of NE Third Street and Second Avenue; free.

Poetry Karaoke

You know it's gonna be good when O, Miami transforms The Swamp into a poetry karaoke lounge. Because what's better than iambic pentameter meets off-key singing?

Sunday, November 16. 7:30 p.m.; the Swamp, Southeast corner of NE Third Street and Second Avenue; free.

The Ten Best Things to Do at Miami Book Fair International
Courtesy of the Miami Book Fair International

An Evening With Anne Rice

The vampire Lestat's literary momma, this prolific and hugely popular writer has penned more than 30 books, from religion to erotica. She was writing vampire lore before Edward was a twinkle in Stephenie Meyer's eye.

Oh, and come dressed in your best vampire outfit, post a selfie before she takes the stage (#MBFILestat) and you could win a bookstore gift certificate and a photo with Rice herself. Make young Brad Pitt proud.

Monday, November 17. 8 p.m.; Chapman Conference Center, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami (Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210); $15.

On The Porch: First Draft: #6WordsMiami Reading

You can say a lot in six words, and the book fair folks have been collecting these super-short stories from Miamians for a few months now. Listen to people read their diminutive tomes (and there's still time to write your own).

Wednesday, November 19. 6 p.m.; the Swamp, Southeast corner of NE Third Street and Second Avenue; free.

Weird Florida: From Hauntings to Mermaids

Florida is nothing if not weird. Eternally weird. Ridiculously weird. Hilariously (and depressingly) weird. Listen to Lola Haskins, Gary Monroe, Craig Pittman, James C. Clark, and Lu Vickers discuss the state's many oddities, with Fringe Florida author Lynn Waddell as moderator.

Saturday, November 22, 11 a.m.; The Swamp (Southeast corner of N.E. 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue); Free

Paleo Vegan

Ellen Jaffe Jones, author of Paleo Vegan (yes, that's a thing), will talk about how the diet trend of the moment works for veggies, too -- while showcasing some tasty eats for omnivores and herbivores alike.

Saturday, November 22. 3 p.m; Wine Theatre at Miami Culinary Institute, 415 NE Second Ave., Miami; $15

The Ten Best Things to Do at Miami Book Fair International

John Waters on Hitchhiking Across America

The filmmaker, actor, director, screen writer, standup comedian, writer, and visual artist -- the man behind Hairspray and Cecil B. DeMented -- will talk about his new book that chronicles his cross-country hitchhiking adventure (in which he carried a sign reading "I'm not psycho.") You can't make this stuff up.

Saturday, November 22. 4 p.m.; Chapman Conference Center, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami (Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210); $15.

Pop-Up Park: University of Miami Quidditch

Watch the University of Miami's Quidditch team put Harry Potter to shame with their Snitch-catching skills. Oh, and try your hand at the broom-riding sport, too.

Sunday, November 23. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Children's Alley, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami (Plaza behind Building 1); free.

Richard Dawkins on An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

Nerd alert! The original, British, Bill Nye, the scientific legend will talk atheism, intellectual awakenings and childhood memories.

Sunday, November 23. 6:30 p.m.; Chapman Conference Center Conference Center, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami (Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210); free.

The Ten Best Things to Do at Miami Book Fair International
Photo by Andy Gotts

John Cleese on So Anyway...

Because the Brits are coming in strong at the fair this year, the man made famous by Monty Python and Fawlty Towers will wax poetic about his jolly new memoir.

Sunday, November 23. 7 p.m.; Chapman Conference Center Conference Center, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami (Building 3, Second Floor, Room 3210); free.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.

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