Vanderbilt Libraries feature sweet literary puns at second annual Edible Books Festival

Guests devour books at the Edible Book Festival hosted by the Vanderbilt Libraries. (Leanna Myers/Vanderbilt)

Book lovers and baking enthusiasts alike gathered on Monday for the second annual Edible Books Festival hosted by the Vanderbilt Libraries.

More than 100 people attended the event in the Community Room of the Central Library to view the 31 entries submitted by individuals and teams from the Vanderbilt community. Each entry took a creative take on classic and contemporary books, from a cake and cupcakes depicting the Hogwarts Sorting Hat from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to a “blue rose” cake in honor of a character from Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie.

Submissions also depicted books written by Vanderbilt authors, including tea time snacks to depict What Would Mrs. Astor Do? The Essential Guide to the Manners and Mores of the Gilded Age by Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and professor of American Studies Cecelia Tichi.

Following a public viewing of the entries, judges determined who would take home the top prizes for the day.  This year’s panel of judges was comprised of Vince Durnan, director of University School of Nashville; Celia Walker, assistant university librarian for assessment, communication, and engagement at the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries; and Jamie Pope, assistant professor of nursing, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. The crowd in attendance also voted for a People’s Choice winner.

The winning entries included:

  • People’s Choice: The Handmaid’s Tail (The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood), submitted by Grace Foy
  • Judges’ Choice: A Violet Blueberry (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), submitted by students from the University School of Nashville
  • Best Team Entry: Frosting the Aisle: How Baking Skills Brought Tennessee to the 21st Century and Could Save America (Crossing the Aisle: How Bipartisanship Brought Tennessee to the Twenty-First Century and Could Save America), submitted by Vanderbilt University Press
  • Best Nashville or Southern Theme: The Banjo According to John Hartford (DVD), submitted by Anne Potter Wilson Music Library Staff
  • Best Depiction of a Classic: Blue Rose’s Cake (The Glass Menagerie), submitted by Lorraine Burnett and Jennifer Bennett
  • Best Depiction of a Children’s Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, submitted by Rachel Lane Walden
  • Most Creative: The Sorting Hat (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), submitted by Taylor Hopkins and Maya Taylor
  • Most Appetizing: What Would Mrs. Astor Do? The Essential Guide to the Manners and Mores of the Gilded Age, submitted by Nancy Dwyer
  • Funniest/Punniest: The Silence of the Yams (The Silence of the Lambs), submitted by Debra A. Stephens

Following the judging and presentation of winners, the audience was invited to share in snacking on the edible books.

More information on the Edible Books Festival, including photos of additional entries and last year’s winners, can be found on the Edible Books Festival Website.

All photos by Leanna Myers/Vanderbilt.