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.