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What To Expect: The L.A. Times Festival Of Books 2012

Candice Aman |
April 16, 2012 | 1:34 p.m. PDT

Senior Arts Editor


USC gears up to host the L.A. Times Festival of Books for the second time (Katie Buenneke/Neon Tommy)
USC gears up to host the L.A. Times Festival of Books for the second time (Katie Buenneke/Neon Tommy)
Only one event can bring Oscar-award winning actress, Julie Andrews, L.A. riots figure Rodney King, and reality TV sensation, Bethenny Frankel, together, while attracting the likes of over 150,000 people. The literary feat to end all—the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books returns to USC next Saturday for a weekend celebration of bibliophilia unlike any other. 

After a successful move from UCLA’s campus in Westwood to Downtown L.A. last year, the 17th annual L.A. Times Festival of Books is back with a schedule packed with hundreds of speakers, authors and performers that will fill the literary appetites of every attendee, young and old. 

Among the esteemed guests taking the stage will be a slew of celebrated writers including T.C. Boyle, John Green and Judy Blume, who will be on hand to partake in simulating panel discussions, book signings, and general conversations about their latest literary musings. 

The celebrity-turned-author is a unique breed that sees no shortage at the Festival of Books and this year will be no different.  L.A.’s deep-rooted ties with the entertainment industry will be well represented, once again, with the likes of veteran actor John Cusack, retired pro-basketball player Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Golden Girls’ Betty White, among many others, to promote their newest endeavors. 

In this food-centric town, the Cooking Stage will most likely be one of the weekend’s crowd pleasers.  Attendees will find some of the food industry’s leading tastemakers including Michael Voltaggio, chef owner of the critically acclaimed restaurant Ink, and Gail Simmons, a seasoned Top Chef judge and food critic, providing cooking demonstrations and dishing about all things culinary.

In addition to playing host, the university itself will be joining in the festivities by featuring some of the school’s brightest talents at the USC Stage including the renowned Trojan Marching Band.

From poetry readings to cultural performances to panel topics ranging from crime fiction, memoirs and publishing, the Festival of Books has all the bases covered. And readers of comic books and graphic novels, fear not—there will be discussion led by Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher as well as a screening dedicated for this massive fandom. 

Considering the formidable lineup of authors, speakers, and events that are scheduled to take place at the Festival of Books next week, L.A. is bound to be the literary Mecca of the world—if only for one weekend. 

Reach Candice here. Follow her tweets from the Festival of Books. 

RELATED CONTENT: Festival of Books bring Betty White, John Cusack, Julie Andrews and other celebrites together 



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