April 13, 2014 |
It was a lopsided victory of winks over smirks at "With a Wink and a Smirk," a Saturday afternoon panel discussion at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books that featured comic novelists Diana Wagman, Jerry Stahl, Mark Haskell Smith and Jim Magnuson and was moderated by David Kipen. That revelation, though, didn't come until close to the end of a free-wheeling, fast-moving and very humorous chat that included each author reading just the very first page (no more, no less) from one of his or her recently published books, and touched on taboo humor topics and the source of humor in the comic novel.
April 21, 2013 |
When you write a book that is titled "Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History," you probably expect a question something like this: What on Earth was the impetus for the work ... and the title? Florence Williams, the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for science and technology, proved to be ready for the query. During a video chat at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday, she explained that she had been nursing her second child and wondered about toxins in her breast milk.
April 21, 2012
There's going to be a whole lot of cooking going on at the 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the USC campus Saturday and Sunday. In fact, there's an entire stage devoted to it. Saturday will kick off with Ink's Michael Voltaggio at 10:30 a.m., followed by "Top Chef's" Gail Simmons at 12:30 p.m. Voltaggio will return to the stage at 2 p.m., along with Mozza's Nancy Silverton, to discuss the Southern California food scene with Los Angeles Times Deputy Food Editor Betty Hallock.
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2013 |
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Thursday named replacements for three transit department supervisors who were demoted in connection with an alleged cheating scandal. Sheriff Lee Baca appointed Ronene Anda, a 29-year Sheriff's Department veteran, as acting commander of the Transit Services Bureau. Anda replaces Cmdr. Pat Jordan. The sheriff also replaced two captains who reported to Jordon. “This happened fairly suddenly,” said Marc Littman, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which holds an $80-million contract with the transit bureau to protect county buses and rail.
April 16, 2013 |
Just in time for the upcoming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Times' books staff has created an interactive map of Literary Los Angeles , a work in progress. We've gathered passages from more than two dozen books set in and around L.A., as well as literary landmarks and local bookstores. This first draft of our map gives a sense of the wide scope, in time and space, of the Los Angeles literary scene. Wander over the map and you'll find scenes from books by assorted writers offering a glimpse of L.A. places and characters.
April 20, 2013 |
We have, when you think about it, always been an argumentative culture and society, even before we became a country. And we've been arguing ever since, for better or worse, and with varying degrees of skill. The nature of argument was part of the focus of the "American Arguments" panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday moderated by L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton, which drew together four history authors whose books explore some of the key formative arguments of American history.
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.