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MAD 4 BOOKS: The LA Times Book Festival

Every year on the last weekend in April, the Los Angeles Times
gives a stupendous gift to the city.

The LA Times Festival of Books, is held on the UCLA campus where around 450 authors will read, discuss, recite, answer questions, spin stories, tell tales.

And its all free.

Whatever your literary pleasure, there’s an event for you. You’ll find:

.noirish and proceduralist mystery writers (Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, T. Jefferson Parker, Elizabeth George)

…..wise journalistic scribes (Marc Cooper, Dave Cullen, Barry Siegel, John Buntin)

….historians and cultural commentators (Reza Aslan, Richard Reeves, David Shields)

….nonfiction adventurers (Sebastian Junger, Chuck Bowden, Deanne Stillman, Amy Wilentz)

…..erudite & humorful fiction whizzes (Tod Goldberg, Seth Greenland)

…..marvelous memoirists (Samantha Dunn, Tim Page, Dinah Lenney, Rachel Resnick, Hope Edelman, Jesse Katz)

…..witty and wonderful poets (Amy Gerstler, Mark Doty, Wanda Coleman)

……a pile of famous novelists—fiction and non (T.C. Boyle, Dave Eggars, Yann Martel, Terry McMillan, Paul Harding, Bret Easton Ellis)

… stellar children’s authors, cooking stars, and the amazing and never-to-be-missed-if-you-can-help it, Father Greg Boyle in conversation with Warren Olney…..and a zillion other cool people and activities.

For instance at 12:30 PM on Saturday, I’m running a panel with:

Peter Schrag, whose wonderful Not Fit for Our Society sheds light on our hot-button immigration debates by looking at the nativist movements and immigration politics of the past.

Miriam Pawel, who has written, The Union of Their Dreams, an insightful and controversial book on Cesar Chavez’s farm worker movement, showing it from angles not seen before, which some which had not been brought to light.

Richard Rayner whose A Bright and Guilty Place explores the dark and light that has always entwined through the history of Los Angeles through a high profile, nearly mythic scandal of the 1920s.

We’re going to chat about what these explorations of the past can teach us about the problems of the present and the possibilities for the future (or something of that nature).

So y’all com’on down.


  • …wise journalistic scribes (Marc Cooper…)

    Uh, does someone who’s really wise write the following about “dangerous” Tea Party protesters, whom he has referenced as “Blue-Haired” and Pot-Bellied?”

    So, the nut cases — and that’s what they are– who were out stroking their barrels today in and around D.C. were, in fact, commemorating if not implicitly honoring this barbarous act of domestic terrorism. Their presence and their actions and their rhetoric openly mocked the loss and searing pain experienced by the families of McVeigh’s victims and by the people of the United States. They fooled nobody with their duplicitous chatter about patriotism — nobody except other fools and paranoids.

    Actually, he’s either purposely dishonest in his writings or is stupid. You know him, Celeste. Is this your judgement of “wisdom?”

  • Woody doesn’t creep me out at all, Rob. I actually like Woody personally a great deal and, although I’ve never met him, I consider him a friend, as I do a number of people whom I’ve gotten to know through the online community that is created around blogs like WLA.

    I do, however, dislike many of his views.

    And when he makes, say, anti-gay or anti-Muslim remarks, his words and actions creep me out in a BIG way.

  • Talk is cheap, always has been and guys like Rob love the internet for that reason alone. It’s a pretend world, like me pretending about my work, just ask Rob. The idiot kid sounds like someone that will be welcome with open arms his first visit to the joint. Maybe Rob will become his pen pal.

    Rob can talk all the shit he wants, but I’ll bet when he gets pulled over he’s as meek and mild as any other poser.

  • He’s going to be in jail one day because he calls cops pigs? Sure Fire, there isn’t enough cement in the world to build prisons for everyone who calls cops pigs.

  • Rob and Sure Fire. Doesn’t this same argument ever bore you?

    And Rob, it would be fantastically cool if you could go a week without impugning the general character and the immortal soul of every law enforcement person in America. I actually would find it extremely helpful. Cheering, even.

  • Maybe R.T. should get into his brown-face make-upt and take a drive to Arizona, he can then give us first hand accounts about his life as an illegal alien living/suffering in Arizona. It would make an excellent movie script for anyone who still has no script.

  • Maybe you should get dressed, go out, and see what it’s like to be a normal person today. That’s alien enough for you.

  • WTF, maybe you should go to Arizona, sounds like your kind of place. Maybe you could join some paramilitary group and check people for “brown face make-upt” to see if they are “illegal aliens”, idiot!

  • Celeste – Enjoyed your Saturday panel. However, I would have enjoyed it more if you had restrained yourself from constantly interrupting your authors to make your own points. We wanted to hear them, not you. And for heaven’s sake, sit on your hands!

  • Me and the other minute-men will be helping at the border, we expect many tea-party members to bring along their guns as well. We might even recruit the few robber barons to help fund the party, hoody hoo. Hope D.Q. and RT. stop by to vist, we welcome any opposing view points. Maybe the abuelita will bring some comida for the party.

  • It’s not that me and Bernie spent a lot of time looking at each others bed wear, but since you brought it up, he was rocking a pair of Intimo deco silk luxury pajamas, paid for by all of you, of course.

  • Celeste should take a poll of her writer friends and find out how many times a month on average that they stay home for the day working in their pajamas. It has to be awkward to have to take a quick shower and hurriedly dress for a dinner appointment.

  • Wow. I’ve kept quiet for a couple of days because Celeste said: “This is becoming awfully repetitive.”
    I guess it doesn’t make any difference whether I’m in the mix or not. Same old mudslinging, same old rants since I’ve been quiet.
    Rob still thinks that tea baggers are a bigger threat to this country than Islamic terrorists. Really?
    Does he think the Commander In Chief should declare war on a significant percentage of U.S. citizens? I mean hey, the CIC has declared war on Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Rob has said all along that he believes we should be there prosecuting that war.
    And he believes the tea baggers are a bigger threat?
    Wow. Rob wants drones flying in and dropping bombs on the tea parties? He wants troops to fire on the tea baggers?
    That’s what we’re doing with the Islamic terrorists we are at war with.
    He doesn’t really believe that shit. That’s Rob’s way of throwing bombs and trying to piss people off. He’s not crazy enough to really believe that shit.

  • Rob’s question brings to mind a few other questions.
    Is the world a better place without Sadaam Hussein?
    Would the world be a better place without Charles Manson?
    Richard Ramirez?
    Child molesters?

    Rob is consistently inconsistent with his views. I’m quite sure he is not ok with the death penalty for the above mentioned people, but he IS ok with the death of tens of thousands of Americans because they do not subscribe to his political views.

    Like I said, consistently inconsistent.

  • For one who has stated before that dissent is the greatest form of patriotism, he has no tolerance for dissent now that he agrees with those in power. That’s a very myopic and dangerous viewpoint. There have been lots of people in history who have shared that view. Just never here in the U.S.

  • RobThomas Says:
    Republicans have given the world yet another reason to hate white people today.

    I didn’t think was ANY reason for anyone to hate anybody because of the color of their skin.

    Talk about hate speech!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ^^^^Insert there after think.
    Sorry for the poor structure and lack of proofreading, I was so taken aback by such an icredulous and hateful statement that my head was spinning.

  • Celeste,
    Sorry for the serial posting. I’ll shut up now again for a couple of days. I find it not only necessary but compelling to respond to such hateful and vitriolic comments.

    “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to remain quiet”.

  • You’re not…Answering The Question.

    Would the world be a better place without tea baggers?

    That’s it. Cut his mike.

  • Rob, it’s Obama who is trying to “fundamentally change the way America works,” not me. He’s the radical. I’m “us.”

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