Sunday, April 25, 2010

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Here's a photo taken outside Pasadena: an overview of one small section of the gargantuan Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus.

The fun part: going down the Janss steps. The good-for-me part: going up them.
plunging into the crowd was the insane part.

I went Saturday with my brother and sister-in-law. They had a list of signings to attend, so we ran the gamut of fun/good-for-us/insane several times over. We met Michael Connelly, Kate DiCamillo, Nick McDonnell, Dave Eggers and T.C. Boyle (at the Vroman's booth!). See? There's always a Pasadena connection. Michelle Huneven was there, too. She's the Altadena author whose novel, Blame, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Had I known, I'd have brought my copy of Blame for her to sign. I was thrilled to stop by the booth of Glendale's Abril Armenian Book Store, buy A Gift in the Sunlight by my friend Kay Mouradian, and have her sign it.

The Festival will host about 400 authors--of all genres and degrees of fame--over the weekend. If you go today you could meet Po Bronson, Elizabeth George, Antwone Fisher, Pico Iyer and/or a local author you already know.

Wear sensible shoes. Have patience with the crowd. And watch out for readers of all ages underfoot.

18 comments:

Lisa Carosa and Tim Sivils said...

Oh! I really miss attending this event. But when you live at the edge of the universe (Yucaipa), U.C.L.A. is a looooong trek for one day. Maybe next year, I'll go for the whole weekend. ~Lisa~

AMW said...

Memphis also has a reasonably good book festival each year, as does Ole Miss (about 75 miles south). Keep up the good work.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Book Festival !! Wow i would love to visit that !!Great//

Petrea said...

Good morning! It's always nice to see new commenters. Hi Lisa, Hi AMW. And welcome once again, Unseen. Thanks for your comments.

I was glad to see how huge the festival is. People have spoken about the "end of the publishing business." I don't think it's ending, I think it's changing, and it's exciting.

Virginia said...

ohhohhh Kate Dicamillo! LURV her children's books. The sea of people, I don't know if I could do that. Does sound like a great event and you captured it!

Petrea said...

She is darling, Virginia. I thought of you because I know you like "Because of Winn Dixie." For those who don't know, she also wrote "The Tale of Devereaux," and she's got a new book out (click on her name-link).

TheChieftess said...

I've often wondered about this festival...never made it there...How fun to meet so many authors...we had an opportunity to hear Michael Connelly speak for about an hour about how he got into writing and how his career developed...he's an interesting person...and one of my favorite contemporary authors...

I picked up a few Raymond Chandlers the other day and have just started reading The Big Sleep...I've seen the movie in bits and pieces many times over and visualize Lauren Bacall and Bogie et al while reading...

USelaine said...

Looks like it was a gorgeous day, too. I've never been to a big book festival, and hope I can before things get *too* different.

Wil Wheaton tweeted he was there today, and he's actually a Pasadena author too.

Amy said...

I meant to go, and then I got distracted by Unique LA. Looks like it was a lovely time.

Petrea said...

It's a remarkable event. I took lots of pictures. I may have to do an Overdog post if/when I get some time!

I should have known Wil Wheaton lived in Pasadena, but I didn't.

Dina said...

Again I say, Lucky you!

So did the people outnumber the books?

Diana said...

There's more than just Vroman's for a connection! Although Book'Em in South Pasadena doesn't seem to have gone to the Festival this year, Distant Lands, the travel bookstore, is there.

Dianne Emley said...

I was there on Saturday, Petrea! Had signings at the Mystery Bookstore booth and Sisters in Crime booth. Sorry I didn't get to see you.

Petrea said...

Ooh, I love Distant Lands! Thanks, Diana.

I'm sorry I missed you, Dianne! I hope you had lots of visitors. The place was certainly a zoo, but a happy zoo.

Petrea said...

By the way, Dina, I don't know if the people outnumbered the books but I wouldn't be surprised!

-K- said...

I went a few years ago and when I got home I realized I would have had much better seats if I had watched the discussions on C-Span. But even tho big crowds and festivals aren't really for me, it was great to see how many book-lovers are in this town.

Petrea said...

That was the best part, I think! Very heartening. I hear all the "doom and gloom" about the book business, but certainly not around here. But I didn't know the festival was on C-span! That would make it easier. I'm not a crowd lover either.

Larissa said...
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