What to Do at the LA Times Festival of Books: SATURDAY

The USC marching band kicked off the festival on Saturday morning.

The USC marching band kicked off the festival on Saturday morning.

It’s only two more weeks until LA’s greatest free event of the year. The Festival of Books, the largest literary event in the country, will be taking over the USC campus Saturday, April 9th and Sunday, April 10th. See here for ticketing information. More than  500 “authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs will lead conversations, live performances and demonstrations throughout the weekend.” So how does one decide what to do? Here are a few of our recommendations:


10:00 a.m. Andrus Gerontology Center Pretty Deadly: The Dark Side of California
(Conversation 1041) Moderator: Richard Rayner, Frances Dinkelspiel, Deanne Stillman, Jon Wilkman

10:30 a.m. Bovard Auditorium Joyce Carol Oates in conversation with Michael Silverblatt (Conversation 1061)

11:00 a.m. Los Angeles Times Main Stage Stan Lee, author of “Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir,” interviewed by Jevon Phillips. Books must be purchased ahead of time. You will be given a voucher which will be exchanged for a book at the signing table. There will be no posed photographs with Mr. Lee

11:00 a.m. LA Sound Stage Pom Poms Music Performance

11:30 a.m. Town & Gown Kim Stanley Robinson in conversation with M.G. Lord
(Conversation 1032)

11:30 a.m. Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 123) Juan Felipe Herrera in conversation with Sesshu Foster (Conversation 1092)

12:30 p.m. ACURA COOKING STAGE Duff Goldman, author of “Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home,” Cooking Demonstration

12:30 p.m. Reading By 9 Children’s Stage Taye Diggs, author of “Mixed Me!”

1:00 p.m. Ronald Tutor Campus Center Senator Barbara Boxer in Conversation with Patt Morrison (Conversation 1073)

1:20 p.m. Los Angeles Times Main Stage Padma Lakshmi, author of “Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir,” interviewed by Noelle Carter

2:30 p.m. Los Angeles Times Main Stage Rainn Wilson, author of “The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy”

2:30 p.m. Poetry Stage Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate

2:30 p.m. Town & Gown Roy Blount, Jr. in conversation with Chris Erskine

2:45 p.m. Travel Smart Stage The Future of National Parks Michael Liang, Visual Information Specialist and Spokesranger for the National Park Service, in conversation with Christopher Reynolds, LA Times staff writer

1:30 p.m. Taper Hall 101 Memoir: Live Through This (Conversation 1123) Moderator: Samantha Dunn. Sarah Hepola, Wendy C. Ortiz, Jerry Stahl

1:30 p.m. Wallis Annenberg Hall State of Emergency: Homelessness in LA (Conversation 1143) Moderator: Suzanne Wenzel. Chris Cormier, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Ben Henwood

3:10 p.m. USC Stage I See Hawks in L.A. Alt-Country Music Performance

3:20 p.m. Hoy Stage Woodcraft Rangers Mariachi and Folklorico Children’s Musical Act

4:00 p.m. Travel Smart Stage So You Want to Be a Travel Writer? Eleven Things You Need to Know With Catharine Hamm, LA Times Travel editor and Christopher Reynolds, LA Times staff writer

4:00 p.m. Reading By 9 Children’s Stage Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo, author & Illustrator of “Twenty Yawns”

Free Conversation Tickets
Indoor Conversations require free tickets.* The Conversations schedule will be posted in March 8.

Advance Conversation tickets
Available starting April 3, 9 a.m.
A $1 service fee applies to each ticket.

On-site Conversation tickets
Available the day of the Conversation
A limited amount of tickets for each Conversation, while supplies last, are also distributed at the festival ticketing booth — free of service charges. The booth will open at 9 a.m. on each day of the festival.

*Guests with Conversation tickets must arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled Conversation start time to ensure seating.

Festival Pass $35
Reserve up to eight Conversation tickets before they become available to the general public, receive two Book Prizes tickets, a festival poster and the opportunity to purchase valet parking before the general public.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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