Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hurray! Another Festival of Books!

Yesterday I attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I'm sure you want to know all the details. The day began looking rather dark and overcast and I thought it was going to start raining thus ruining my coif but it was all okay. The sun broke through those clouds and being on campus felt like a scene from a movie. You know the one where the small town blonde girl goes to the big school? Right.

I was unable to get tickets ahead of time so had to feverishly light candles and pray that we would manage to score some standby tix. Luck was on my side, my friend and I got the panels I was hoping to see. I felt like it was nearly impossible to get into Frank McCourt In Conversation With Mitch Albom so I didn't even try. Frank McCourt's memoir Angela's Ashes was one of the best I've ever read, and Tuesdays With Morrie- gah! Is there anyone out there that hasn't shed a tear after reading it?

I sat in on the panel called, Until It Hurts: Satirical Fiction. I stood up and asked if anyone ever read my gossip blog because it very satirical. No I didn't. The panelists were Seth Greenland and Alan Zweibel- and yes they were both quite funny. The moderator was a woman who wore a gigantic hat complete with pins and flowers named Patt Morrison.

Next we (my friend Trina and I) wandered around and were amazed at the size of the festival. People everywhere, all shapes and sizes and colors, with and without children, holding coffee cups and oversized bags of kettle corn. I almost choked on my power-bar when we stumbled upon a Dianetics tent. Tom Cruise should have been there handing out pamphlets. Anyone with a weak brain and a lust for alien life could have been hooked up to an emeter. There were hundreds of booths set up with vendors and author book signings, I'm so sorry I didn't get to see Dita von Teese.

We scooted to the next panel which was called Fiction: Reinventing the Family. I got a ticket to this one by standing on line at the on-site Ticketmaster, in case you were wondering. I'm sure you were, this is riveting. Trina was able to get her grubby hands on a standby ticket so we were all set, seated front and off-center but perfect view to analyze Ayelet Waldman's red hair clipped back in what I think was a bunch of bobby pins.

There were three lovely authors all of whom were featured at one time or another in People Magazine's book review section. Karin Stabiner who reminded me of Gloria Steinem, moderated the conversation. The authors were truly interesting. Karen Fisher just wrote a big fat historical novel called A Sudden Country. Marti Leimbach's book is called Daniel Isn't Talking and lastly, Ayelet Waldman was there talking about Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. I cannot express to you how very giving those in the writing community are. Most authors are willing to talk and share their experiences, the authors on this panel were no different.

We spent a little more time with our mouths wide open gaping at the millions of book lovers on the UCLA campus: it was a Woodstockian book lovers orgy minus the nudity and patchouli. I said hello to Hillary Carlip at the Book Soup booth where Joyce Carol Oates was perched signing books for a line of people a mile long. Joyce totally needs to consume carbs. She looked rather frail and teeny. I KNOW she is amazingly prolific, but still. A girl needs her challah, you know?

It was a great day, even if my car did get hit in the parking garage by a reckless driver in a rush to get to her colonic appointment. I met two other fabulous bloggers for lunch at Jerry's Deli (tabloid whore and popbytes) and strolled around Urban Outfitters wishing I had money. Books and shopping and food, is there a better combination? I think not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Gosh, I wish I'd known about that event before hand! I would have liked to have gone!
~ Kiki's Mama ~ @ 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Angie said...
Just letting you know, I am reading your stuff everyday...I am making a working list of books I need to get, and it is getting big! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK DJ!

Angie @ 1:57 AM  
Anonymous Layla said...
I have to go next year. For a while, I was on a roll and went each year. Love love love the Festival! One of the most exciting moments for me was standing next to Michael Crichton (who is about 6'8"), saying "hi" (I know, brilliant, huh?) and having him actually respond. @ 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Tubal ligation reversal said...
For a moment while I was reading your article I struck to me that I always thought about this thing. But could not put it into words! How you do this is marvelous. @ 7:57 PM  
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