More than 100 authors and just shy of 11 hours. The logistical challenge of the National Book Festival is clear even to those who prefer words to numbers: There’s just no way to see it all. That’s the downside to the Library of Congress’ annual event, now in its 18th year, which again boasts an impressive mix of veteran authors and newcomers across an array of genres. “It’s a really spectacular lineup,” says the festival’s literary director, Marie Arana, who kicked off the planning process way back in December. “It’s a lot of work to pull it off, but as soon as the festival happens, everybody wants to do it again because it’s such a happy thing.” And dizzying. If you’re overwhelmed, consider bookmarking these six sessions at Saturday’s event.

If you like your authors to be very just: Sonia Sotomayor
11:25 a.m.-12:25 p.m.
The U.S. Supreme Court justice is appearing at the festival just days before the release of her new children’s books, “Turning Pages: My Life Story” and “The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor” (an adaptation of her 2013 memoir “My Beloved World” that’s geared for middle schoolers). But more advanced readers will likely enjoy hearing her speak, too. “Word is the justice is a free spirit,” Arana says, noting that Sotomayor and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden have previously met. “So we know from the very mouth of the librarian herself that the justice is likely to be surprising and unanticipated and fun. I think she has a very happy, childish spirit, and if we get a room full of children in the main stage, that’s probably going to bring that out in her.”

If you want to feel better about your childhood: Tara Westover
Noon-12:45 p.m.
The first time Westover set foot in a classroom, she was 17. Now, she has a Ph.D. from Cambridge and is the author of the best-selling memoir “Educated,” a riveting retelling of growing up in a survivalist family in rural Idaho. “It’s a new look at an American experience we haven’t seen very often,” Arana says. “It’s a religious universe that is very much unto itself. What fascinates us about stories like this is that it’s like someone being born into a world that we know, but they don’t. They’re learning about this outside world that they’ve been forbidden to go into, and Tara’s book really hits a nerve.”


If you’re interested in race and politics: James McBride
3-3:45 p.m.
How’s this for a festival-worthy pedigree: McBride’s debut novel, 2002’s “Miracle at St. Anna,” was turned into a movie directed by Spike Lee, and his memoir “The Color of Water” is required reading in many high schools and universities. In it, he describes growing up as one of 12 black kids raised by a white, Jewish mother. The writer-musician’s latest offering, 2017’s “Five-Carat Soul,” is an eclectic collection of short stories. One explores the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen; another follows the life of a toy train set that once belonged to an escaped slave. “We’re really lucky to have him,” Arana says of McBride. “He’s coming with these short, sharp, very observational stories, and since he’s deep into working on a new book, he’s only doing one or two appearances this year.”

If you’re a Marvel nut: Roxane Gay
4:10-4:40 p.m.
When Gay appeared at last year’s festival to promote her memoir “Hunger,” the line snaked through a holding room, with hundreds of people hoping to make the cut to see her. Expect the same this year. “Roxane is fantastic,” Arana says, noting that Gay is “back in a completely different identity.” She’ll be discussing “Black Panther: World of Wakanda,” a short-lived comic-book spinoff series tied to Marvel’s “Black Panther” comics. Gay collaborated with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Yona Harvey on the six issues of the 2016-17 project, which recently won an Eisner Award for best limited series. “She’s so candid, and she just tells it like it is,” Arana says. “I think people swarm to see her because they’re always going to be surprised by what Roxane says.”

If you’re gripped by the border crisis: Francisco Cantu
5:45-6:35 p.m.
Cantu spent four years, from 2008 to 2012, as an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border,” published in February, he recounts the violence he saw on both sides — and why he had to abandon the patrol. “He has written a really extraordinary book,” Arana says. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen the border so intimately told from the [perspective] of the American side, or as deeply and proudly beautiful. Cantu describes the gradual awareness of his human conscience, as someone who himself is of Mexican origin, and being in this very tough business and realizing he had to leave it.”


If you follow Reese Witherspoon’s book club: Celeste Ng
6:45-7:30 p.m.
Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” has spread like, well, wildfire. The novel, her follow-up to “Everything I Never Told You,” was named one of the best books of 2017 by more than 25 publications, and Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are turning it into a limited series for Hulu. “It was obvious to have Celeste,” Arana says. “It’s an absolutely beautiful book. It’s very humane and I think that’s the reason it’s connected with a lot of people. This has been a great step forward for her, and the public has responded.”

Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW; Sat., 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., free.