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15 June 2013

LA Times Festival of Books Recap - 2013 Edition

LA Times Festival of Books 2013

This post is (more than) a little bit overdue. I look forward to the LA Times Festival of Books every year. I mean, what's more fun than a giant, free book festival? This year was a little different for me than previous years. I didn't have a big agenda or a large list of panels or authors I wanted to see. I kind of wanted to just go and wing it. I was meeting some fun, bookish friends there and I was excited to just hang out and see what caught my eye. I only went on Saturday this year, instead of both days.

I started off the day by fighting traffic to get to the USC campus. Part of me was glad that so many people were going to the festival but the other half of me was annoyed that there was so much traffic. But I finally managed to park and made my way to the campus. It looked like a really great turnout this year and I wandered around for a bit hitting some of my favorite booths like Once Upon A Time, Mrs. Nelson's, and Mysterious Galaxy

LA Times Festival of Books 2013
love this downton themed display
My first panel of the day was at the YA stage where I met up with friends for the So Much for Normal Panel at with Kiersten White (Mind Games), Rachel Cohn (Beta), Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me), Michelle Gagnon (Don't Turn Around) and Moderator Aaron Hartzler.

LA Times Festival of Books 2013

LA Times Festival of Books 2013

I am fans of all of these authors though it was a treat to see Kiesten White since I haven't seen at an event in a long time. After this panel, I headed over to the Mrs. Nelson's booth where Oliver Jeffers was signing. Now if you don't know who Oliver Jeffers is, you really must look him up right now. Really, I'll wait. Done? Good. Now you know that he is an awesome illustrator and picture book author. I met Oliver a couple of years ago and was excited that he was back on the west coast. I wish I had snagged a picture with him but I was too shy to ask and there was a line. But I did get two of his books signed - The Heart and the Bottle and The Hueys in the New Sweater. He has a new book about crayons coming out late this year that I was lucky enough to read a galley of and it's awesome. 

After that it was time for lunch and a bit of shopping and wandering.

LA Times Festival of Books 2013
awesome what are you reading wall

LA Times Festival of Books 2013
ender's game!

LA Times Festival of Books 2013
yup that's captain underpants
After spending way too much money, we ended up back at the YA stage for Young Adult Friction Young Adult Friction with Caroline Cooney (The Face on the Milk Carton, What Janie Found), Jeremy Iversen (High School Confidential), Ann Redisch Stampler (Where It Began) and Moderator Blake Nelson.

LA Times Festival of Books 2013

I was really interested to hear Caroline Cooney since, like a lot of people my age, I read The Face on the Milk Carton growing up. I remember it being super creepy at the time. And I had no idea that it was a whole series of books, written over a period of many years. It was really interesting to hear Caroline talk about the evolution of the series and her characters.

Caroline Cooney
caroline doing her thing
Last but not least, my friend and I decided to get into the Lemony Snicket/Jon Klassen line to get copies of The Dark signed. We got in line right when Jon and Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) were just getting getting on stage for their presentation. The line was already huge by then but we did get a pretty good view of the show. It was pretty funny. Handler was in full on Lemony Snicket mode and was mercilessly making fun of Jon Klassen. But Jon took it in stride and held his own.

LA Times Festival of Books 2013

LA Times Festival of Books 2013
uh oh, line

We actually thought we weren't going to see Jon and Dan. They told us early on that Daniel had to leave early and would be signing for just an hour. They said that most of the people not within a certain area (which we were not in) would not get their books signed. But my friend Crystal and I decided to wait it to to see what happened. I am really glad we ended up staying because they announced later that Daniel would stay for everyone, though they were limiting each person to just one book. That was good for me but I did see people with whole stacks of A Series of Unfortunate Events that they were looking to get signed. It did take more than two hours for us to get through the line but it was totally worth it.

Jon Klassen and Lemony Snicket - LA Times Festival of Books 2013

By then it was nearing 7pm and the festival was closing up for the night. I really with I could have gone back on Sunday but I had other commitments. I had a great time at the festival, as always. The weather even obliged us but not being ridiculously hot (though it was still hot). Got some great books and hung out with some awesome people. All in all, it was a great day.

Apologies again for the extreme lateness of this post. I have a bunch of other recaps I hope to post in the next week as well. What do you think of book festivals? Love them, loathe them? What's your favorite book festival? Thanks for reading!

You can view our full photo album for the event on our Faceebook page.

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