Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My First Book Festival: LATFOB!

This past weekend I met my mom at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books for my very first big book festival experience and I had a fabulous time! That's me above - look at the crowds and the sunshine and the booths!

On Saturday we had tickets to two panels. Our first panel was Meg Cabot, famed author of all of those wonderful Princess Diary books. I'll admit that I've never read any of her books but lots of people I've talked to are big admirers so I wanted to check her out. My mom and I were cracking up through her entire talk. She was talking about how wonderful it is to be a woman and how fun it is to write and how she gets her inspiration from everyday things and it was really a fascinating talk. She has written a ton and I really enjoyed it. That's her below - sorry for the crappy photo!

That afternoon, we had a wander around the booths and then I heard above the crowd, the sweet voice of Stefan Richter from Top Chef Season 5 doing a demonstration at the Cooking Stage. I knew that someone would be there from Top Chef to promote the 'Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook' but if anyone out there is as big a fan of Top Chef as I am you will know that they have had many Cheftestants and some you want to see and some, meh. They hadn't really said who would be there so when I heard Stefan I had to get a closer look. Unfortunately the set was just wrapping up so I scurried behind the signing the booth and it was just him and I took a picture. He saw me and was like, "Do you want a picture with me?" (note Stefan is a big flirt!). Um, yes please! Proof below!

That afternoon we went to the panel on: Memoir: All the Single Ladies' with Amy Alkon, Julie Klausner, Guilia Melucci, and Sascha Rothchild. I wanted to go to this because I had recently read Guilia's book 'I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti'. The other women sold me on theirs! It was a fascinating look into why women's memoirs tend to delve into relationships and why it is often painful memories they write about most. This one was great because while it did have a little bit of why men can be so difficult it ended with one brave man getting up and asking, 'So I am a single man, what's they best way to approach a woman?' Laughs ensued. Oh and their answer? 'Just say hi.'

The highlight for me was the blogger meet up for dinner that night at Jerry's Deli. As a newer blogger I was really looking forward to putting some faces to the names! At dinner was Jill from FizzyThoughts, Lisa from Books on the Brain, Florinda from 3R’s Blog, Ti from Book Chatter, Amy from My Friend Amy, Danielle from There’s a Book, Thea from The Book Smugglers, and Mark from Random Ramblings of Sunny Southern CA. Sadly, I don't have a picture but I know Ti and Florinda took a picture so when they do their wrap up they might post one!

Sunday my mom and I mainly wanted to go to some book readings. We went to Alice Waters, a local Bay Area author and chef who has a new book out called 'In the Green Kitchen', Sarah Silverman, comedienne who did a reading from her new book 'Bedwetting' and country singer Trisha Yearwood who was cooking and talking her way through her new book (picture below!) :

All in all I had a fabulous time and hope to do it again next year and was so thrilled to see how many people love books!


  1. It looks like you had a great time! I would love to go to this festival one year. It seems they do a great job of having popular authors, literary authors and pop culture authors. Maybe next year I'll find money in the budget for a flight to L.A.!

  2. It was great meeting you on Saturday (and I posted some photos today)! Sounds like you enjoyed your first book festival - come back next year :-).

    And re: nomadreader's comment - yes, there really is a good mix of authors.

  3. How much fun!! I have a total food crush on Stefan! Still mad he didn't win.
    Maybe you'll be on the blogging panel next year??!!

  4. I love that first photo. Really gives a reader an idea of how many people were there.

    Again, it was so nice to meet you. I just posted my recap. Took me awhile to get it together.

  5. It looks and sounds as though you had a wonderful weekend. I went to the festival in 2007 and came away so incredibly inspired. I took my son who was 13 at the time with me and he was thrilled to get Mark Bowden's (Black Hawk Down)autograph. Glad you had fun meeting all of the fellow bloggers. I hope to join the group next year!

  6. I'm so jealous - it looks like you had a fabulous weekend!

  7. I had so wanted to get out to this one. I am glad that you had such a great time and got to meet some other bloggers. That is always the best time for me!

  8. JEALOUS! Sounds like you had the BEST time! I will meet a few of these awesome bloggers next month but I wish Lisa (Books on the Brain) could come, too. - AND YOU! What fun. I look forward to my next book fest (prob Boston in Oct). I know bloggercon will be a bit different on the author meetup opportunity but I know it will be exciting. I'm giddy with anticipation.

  9. It was great to finally meet you (and your mom)! The highlight of FoB is always hanging out with other bloggers. Hope we can do it again next year!

  10. Yay! It was so much fun to meet you and your mom. I'm so glad you came and hope to see you again sometime!

  11. Hi Leah! I love that picture on the top of the Janus steps- it really shows how crowded (and also how sunny and gorgeous) it was!

    It was so wonderful meeting you and your mom. Hopefully we can do it all over again next year! I hope to post a recap tomorrow- only a week late!!

  12. Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for sharing your pictures, and I'm glad to hear you had good weather as those outdoor festivals can be hit or miss.


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