April 11, 2014 |
Reading is such an improbable idea -- a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading -- and of this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books -- we asked four readers (who also happen to be writers) to celebrate books that mattered in their lives. In 1975, when I was young, I went to hear James Baldwin speak. Afterward, I waited in a long line and finally got to stand before him. I told him that his book "Giovanni's Room" had made me want to be a writer.
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)
April 9, 2002 |
For author E. Annie Proulx, who has lived happily in a big log house on 190 wind-swept acres in Wyoming for the last seven years, visits to Los Angeles are a vivid contrast to life in the state she's personified in her work. In conversation, and in her writing, she speaks of Wyoming with the tenderness of an old friend. "It's an extremely handsome place," she said by phone from her home last week. "Quiet. Peaceful. Windy." "The country poured open on each side ... the empty pale place and its roaring wind ... the distant antelope as tiny as mice," she writes in her 1999 book "From Close Range: Wyoming Stories" (Scribner)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2011 |
A cannabis grower who courts trouble, a fictional Chinese detective who inevitably solves the puzzle and an actress whose navel stoked nationwide controversy — noir and Hollywood hold a special place in the Los Angeles mythos and were among the myriad subjects explored Sunday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The weekend event drew throngs of booklovers young and old and provided plenty of conundrums: Could one drop in on the panel discussing Hollywood icons at 2:30 p.m. and still catch an interview with author Maxine Hong Kingston at 3 p.m.?
April 19, 2013 |
Since background-check legislation was voted down in the Senate on Thursday, Adam Winkler, author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America," expects a "lively" conversation at his panel on guns in America at the 18th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. "This is a hot-button issue, and we have a collection of some of the leading scholars on guns and gun politics on this panel," he says. "Sometimes things can get heated. But I find that people are really hungering for a balanced, non-emotional discussion.
April 13, 2014 |
A Sunday morning Los Angeles Times Festival of Books panel brought together four bestselling female novelists to discuss "Fiction: Choices and Consequences," a topic that (perhaps unsurprisingly, given its general applicability) is relevant to all of their work. Warmly and humorously moderated by Leslie Schwartz, herself a novelist ("Angels Crest"), writers Lacy Crawford, Lian Dolan, Jane Green and Gigi Levangie began by summarizing their most recent books, all of which feature female protagonists and treat life crises that, to judge from the audience's rapt absorption, nods and tearful bursts of laughter, are far from inaccessible.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2013 |
This weekend was always going to be a hectic one for police in Los Angeles and Long Beach. With hundreds of thousands of people descending on the cities for three major sporting and cultural events, authorities began preparations for security months ago. But things took on much greater weight Monday, when two bombs tore through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The terrorist attack killed three people and wounded more than 170 others. Beyond the carnage, the bombing left Americans feeling skittish and forced U.S. law enforcement officials throughout the country to rethink their security plans for large upcoming gatherings like the marathon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2013 |
Authorities plan to beef up security at major events such as this weekend's Long Beach Grand Prix and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. Officials stressed there have been no threats made. The Los Angeles Police Department has already increased patrol at Dodger games. Large-scale outdoor events and venues present law enforcement with one of its greatest challenges, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other security experts said. With thousands of people often spread over large areas, protest marches, road races, festivals and the like offer would-be attackers myriad opportunities to hide explosives among densely packed crowds.
May 29, 2011 |
Years ago when Megan McDonald, the now-52-year-old author of the popular children's series "Judy Moody," was writing picture books for the 2- to 4-year-old set, a grandmother came through her signing line at an event in Florida. Clutched to the elderly woman's chest was a waterlogged, tattered copy of McDonald's debut, "Is This a House for Hermit Crab?" The woman proceeded to tell McDonald that because of her modest means, the book, which tells the simple story of a crustacean on a quest to find the perfect home, was the only one she owned.
April 12, 2014 |
"Authors who write personal material tend to get a bad rap," moderator Meghan Daum said at the start of Saturday's panel "Nonfiction: The Art of the Personal Story" at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Personal writing is often seen, by literary and journalistic types alike, as embarrassing and narcissistic, less about craft than naked self-expression. But the four highly accomplished writers assembled here - Pico Iyer, author of "The Man Within My Head," a book about his complex relationship with Graham Greene; Leo Braudy, USC professor and author of "Trying To Be Cool: Growing Up in the 1950s"; Dinah Lenney, author of "The Object Parade," an autobiography in inanimate objects; and Leslie Jamison, author of the highly praised new essay collection "The Empathy Exams" - were nothing if not devoted to craft, and they could hardly be called navel-gazers.