L.A. Times Festival of Books 2019 with the Bookworm Family
The day after the L.A. Times Festival of Books, I always have a book festival hangover. Not a book hangover, and not a festival hangover, and definitely not an alcoholic hangover. Just a BOOK FESTIVAL one.
Why? Because it’s always HOT at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, and even though I was drained and had a bit of a headache, I resisted the urge to drive back for day two. It may be because of global warming or it may be just that I’m spoiled living by the coast, or it may be that I just blame it on the fact that the festival is at USC when it used to be at UCLA (Bruin here!). But every year I leave happy and tired and wishing there was more time.
Of course every year that we’ve gone, we’ve left the festival when everything was closing up and shutting down because inevitably we are in the longest author signing line.
Some highlights from this year:
SANDRA CISNEROS! Okay, this may be the biggest highlight for all the the festivals for me. Cisneros is a lovely poet, writer, and activist and she wrote one of my favorite novels of all time, The House on Mango Street. It was a huge honor to hear her speak and, yes, I did give her a hug when I met her. But I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to do that if I hadn’t seen the person before me do so too. (Mini Me just shook her hand….but I did insist that Mini Me stay in line with me to meet such an influential and iconic writer.)
The pupusa food truck, VCHOS. Yummy AND gluten free!
As usual, lots of stage areas that we didn’t get to sit and watch, including the poetry one that I listened to for a tiny bit, and the children’s stage area that we bypassed entirely this year because we didn’t have enough time, and the fabulous one that had adults and kids dressed head-to-toe in traditional Mexican outfits before they all did a traditional dance. Like I said, too much to do, too little time.
The YA fantasy talk with Veronica Roth, Tahereh Mafi, Dhonielle Clayton, and Jennifer Nielsen that Mr. Bookworm and Mini Me almost missed while they were waiting for our boba.
Stalking Tahereh Mafi: since we weren’t allowed posed pictures when we met her earlier in the month, we stood in line to meet her again even though she signed all our copies already. :D She might really think we are stalking her as we are attending YallWest this weekend too.
Meeting Dhonielle Clayton after listening to her talk about The Belles and being completely charmed by her humor. We were in line for a while and I overheard her saying some very uplifting and encouraging words to other young writers. And I just get so excited for Mini Me that she relates and is able to meet with such talented writers herself! BTW, Ms. Clayton, ‘kissy kissy pothole’ is a saying in our house now. :D Thank you for the inspiration! [I just had an epiphany: is it kissy, kissy, PLOThole instead of pothole? That might make more sense as she said she writes that as ‘filler’ for the kissing scenes until she goes back to finish them. Hmmmm. Requires more thought. I’ll ask Mini Me.]
Too many book booths to count! I always want to buy ALL the books but I am limited by how many I can carry. And the heat. It’s too hot to buy too many books.
Having reviewed all that, I am sad that we didn’t head back for Day 2 because we missed out on Dan Santat, Peter H. Reynolds and more. But there’s always next year….plus we’re headed for Yallwest this coming weekend. Lots more fun and crazy scheduling to happen! Thankfully my family is patient with my frenziness.
Tips for next year: I’m bringing the girls’ Slytherin and Hufflepuff umbrellas to use as parasols, we’re bringing our own picnic lunch so we don’t feel obligated to waste an hour on waiting for food, and, most important, I always mark my calendar for the Sunday before the festival because that’s when the ticketed talks are released. The main stages are free and a free-for-all, but the talks that are held inside lecture halls have to be ticketed (for a nominal cost of $2.50, up from $1) because there are a limited amount of seats. No need to bring tons of water as there are a lot of drinking fountains and refillable water bottle stations or iced water on sale for the decent price of $2.