April 26, 2013 |
"The amazing thing about James Brown, for me," says R.J. Smith, "is you can't figure him out. " That's not uncommon for a music journalist, but it reveals just how complex Brown was -- Smith was his biographer. Smith, the author of 2012's "The One: The Life and Music of James Brown," dropped by our video booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to talk about his book and about James Brown, the godfather of soul. "He was a civil rights arbiter, and he was a Republican," Smith tells L.A. Times features editor Alice Short.
April 21, 2013 |
Before he started his latest book, Demetri Martin got a really nice pen. It wasn't a regular pen, he said, but "a really fancy pen to do the drawings," Martin, the stand-up comedian, writer and actor, said Sunday afternoon at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books . "I bought like 40 different little nibs," lots of special ink and a wide variety of paper, Martin said. "That was probably two or three weeks, I spent $500 to $600.... I was just procrastinating. " FULL COVERAGE: FESTIVAL OF BOOKS But "it doesn't look any different after all that," he lamented.
April 24, 2013 |
At the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Sunday, I got a chance to sit down with novelist and nonfiction writer Judith Freeman to discuss the lure of Southern California as a literary landscape, and also the influence of Raymond Chandler on the city and its cultural life. "When I moved here, one of the first writers that I started to read, through a friend of mine, was Raymond Chandler. And I thought, Wow, that's Los Angeles," Freeman said. "And I still think that he really got the city, he got underneath the city, he got everything about the city.
May 2, 2013 |
During the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, writer Matthew Specktor sat down with L.A. Times staff writer Carolyn Kellogg to discuss his new novel, "American Dream Machine. " It's a book set in and around a fictional Hollywood talent agency, not unlike Creative Artists Agency, where Specktor's father works. He rattles off some of his favorite books about Hollywood. "I'm very fond of Michael Tolkin's 'The Player.' I'm very fond of 'Play It as It Lays.' I'm very fond of Budd Schulberg," he said.
February 7, 2011 |
A little French girl and her schoolmates will be making their presence known in Southern California this spring: Madeline and her friends are a theme of artwork for the 16th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 30 through May 1 at USC. Madeline is the beloved character introduced by Ludwig Bemelmans in 1939, the smallest of her compatriot schoolgirls who tread in two straight lines through a series of children's books, including "Madeline"...
April 20, 2012 |
When "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" first came out, publisher Dutton did not send Judy Blume around the country to talk about it. "There were no book tours!" she says. "I don't think they sent children's book writers on tour. " That was in the 1970s, when Blume had a string of hits for young readers, from small children to those grappling with adolescence. "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" (1970), "Then Again, Maybe I Won't" (1971), "Freckle Juice" (1971), "Deenie" (1973)
July 22, 2008
As former editors of the Los Angeles Times Book Review (1975 through 2005), we are dismayed and troubled at the decision by Sam Zell and his managers to cease publishing the paper's Sunday Book Review. This step signals the end of an era begun 33 years ago when Otis Chandler, then the paper's publisher, announced the debut of the weekly section. Since then, the growth of the Los Angeles metropolitan region and the avidity of its numerous readers and writers has been palpable. For example, every year since its founding in 1996, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has attracted upward of 140,000 people to the UCLA campus from all walks of life throughout Southern California.
May 10, 2013 |
If Los Angeles can have a book festival -- the just-concluded Los Angeles Times Festival of Books -- and even the suburb of nearby Duarte (pop. 21,000) can have one, why not Pasadena? Pasadena is famous for the Rose Parade, Caltech and Jackie Robinson, among other things, but the city of 137,000 also has its own proud literary tradition, as the writer Larry Wilson recently reminded us. “From James M. Cain's 'Mildred Pierce' to Raymond Chandler's 'The High Window,' from John Ball's Virgil Tibbs mysteries including 'In the Heat of the Night' to Meggs Brown's macabre murder mystery 'Saturday Games,'… plenty of novels and short stories have been set in Pasadena,” Wilson wrote recently in the Pasadena Star News.
April 23, 2010 |
There will be award-winning novelists and bestselling mystery writers, leading historians and experts on nearly everything under the sun. But it wouldn't be a book festival in Los Angeles without, of course, entertainers. Stars of stage and screen have been a part of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books since its inception, doing readings, interviews and book signings, often playing to packed crowds. This year is no exception, with appearances scheduled by such celebrities as Alicia Silverstone, Marlan Wayans, Bernadette Peters, Carl Reiner and Henry Winkler.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2013 |
Is it any surprise that on a warm spring day, thousands of Southern Californians went in search of a good book - and a chance to meet the person who wrote it? Not to Susan Burton, a retired school librarian from Fontana, who was among the crowds that converged Sunday morning on the USC campus for the final day of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. "I think this is a fabulous place to be," she said as she stood in line with a friend to hear a discussion about crime writing with former L.A. Deputy Dist.