Sunday, May 15, 2011

L.A. Times Festival of Books

One hard drive back-up, hard drive wipe, and re-customization of a laptop later and I'm finally back in business (sort of, it's amazes how far behind one can get in one's 'digital life' without a computer for several days). So even though it's now been two weeks since the LATFoB I'm still going to report back on my first time attending. The great thing about being late to post is that others have already done great summaries of the panels I attended so I can be lazy link to panel summaries.

I was already planning a week long trip in SoCal and Michael kindly tipped me off to the festival so I made sure that was part of my week. My initial plan was to walk around soaking up all the book awesomeness and attend the Robert Crais panel. Things only got better when it turned out that another favorite of mine, Megan Whalen Turner, would also be a panelist that day. The festival really is like a complete overload of fantastic for book lovers.

Since this was my first time attending I can't speak to the difference between having it at UCLA and USC but I can attest to the fact that the layout was odd. It was almost like there were pods of activity/booths and you had to shift between them rather than just walking down one long line of booths or similar. For me, it made it hard to wander around and still feel like I saw everything. I spent a lot of time trying to find stuff rather than looking at stuff. Whether that was layout or just me, I don't know. However, I do know that I liked the panels much more than the wandering so if I make this an annual event (which I'm hoping to be able to do) I'm going to load up on panels and do less of the meandering.

So if you'd like to know how the panels went I'll direct you to the excellent summary of the Robert Crais panel done by Pop Culture Nerd here and another great summary here of the Young Adult: Worlds Beyond Imagination panel featuring Megan Whalen Turner (and this might even be a direct transcript).

As is probably obvious from the links I was able to meet up with other fans of my favorite authors and that was probably the most rewarding part of the event. An almost universal trait of book lovers is that we love to talk about the books we love and so meeting up with fellow fans is always a wonderful experience.

One final link before I sign off with a few photos. I went ahead and used the festival as a subject for my bookish travel column which can be found here.


  1. Easily, this was one of my highlights for the year, with an event we annually attend. Getting a chance to meet the wordy one and your husband, along with Paulette, was hard to beat. It's always fantastic to meet great folk, and the LATFOB seems to be a great venue for this -- it's where I was lucky enough to meet Jen, Christine, and Elyse.

    I agree with your assessment of the USC location for this year's festival. It was their first year there, so perhaps it'll get better if they return there next year. And let me put in my vote early that you two will make this an annual event. Thanks, Rachel.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Festival. Last year was my first year attending and had such a wonderful time with such wonderful friends! I loved the panels and the opportunity to meet favorite authors. Sorry I missed meeting you this year, but maybe next as I'm going to do my best to make it an annual trip. ;)

    Thanks for sharing the photos, Rachel!

  3. oh,fun! so envious i'm so far away. then again, i will soon have the opportunity to eat authentic gummi bears and stellar chocolate while gazing at 14th century wattle-and-daub. yes there' nothing like a mix of twigs, mud, and ancient animal dung to evoke envy among others.....

  4. lp13 - The credit for all my fun goes to you for suggesting it to me in the first place! I had a great time and am so glad you clued me in. Yay! Also, it was wonderful to meet you and your family! What a treat to spend the evening with you all. Same time next year, I hope.

    Christine - Next year sounds great! Hopefully all goes smoothly for us to meet then. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

    M. - "yes there' nothing like a mix of twigs, mud, and ancient animal dung to evoke envy among others....." Perfectly said and so true! I hope you have a wonderful time! And it can't hurt for you to think of the festival as something to do next Spring... I'd love to see you there.