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10 Can’t-Miss Events at the 2018 LA Times Festival of Books

By / April 9, 2018

What do Mayim Bialik,, and Patton Oswalt have in common? They’re all on the schedule for this year’s 2018 LA Times Festival of Books, held annually over two days at the University of Southern California campus.

What originated as a book sale and show in 1996 has since grown into the largest literary festival in the country; annually, the event draws over 150,000 attendees and features more than 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists, and chefs.

Not just for bookworms, the 2018 festival lineup features everything from musical performances to author talks, variety shows, and live podcast tapings—all free, family-friendly, and open to the public.

This April 21-22, check out these 10 can’t-miss highlights (and more!) at the LA Times Festival of Books.

Beatie Wolfe’s The Art of Music: A Day of Storytelling Across Music, Art & Technology

April 21, 10:25am–6pm

Curated by singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe, this inaugural day-long program will represent the best in musical innovation and creativity through interviews, panels, performances, and screening premieres, including the global premiere of an architectural music AR installation. Featured speakers include Emmy-winning writer and producer Donick Cary, singer-songwriter Linda Perry, and composer Walter Werzowa.

Spotify’s Secret Genius Showcase with Larrance Dopson

April 21, 12pm–1pm

This edition of Spotify’s Secret Genius songwriting program, which features the individuals behind hit songs, shines the spotlight on Larrance Dopson. Dopson has produced songs for artists including Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Sam Smith, and will give the audience a behind-the-scenes look into his production process at this event in the Norris Theater.

Vivica A. Fox, Author of Every Day I’m Hustling in Conversation with Jen Yamato

April 21 12:10pm–12:50pm

This conversation between LA Times entertainment writer Jen Yamato and actress, producer, and TV host Vivica A. Fox will center around her new book, Every Day I’m Hustling. Released April 3 2018, the book details the ways in which Fox has used her roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic and DIY philosophy to build a successful career, as well as shares behind-the-scenes moments from some of her most star-studded projects.

Black Eyed Peas Discuss their Graphic Novel Masters of the Sun

April 21, 4:30pm–5:30pm

The Black Eyed Peas may be best known for songs like “Where Is the Love?” and “I Got a Feeling”—but this visionary group works in multiple mediums, including a graphic novel published last year. In this discussion, they’ll talk about Masters of The Sun: The Zombie Chronicles and its companion augmented reality app, which tackle social issues including the crack epidemic, police brutality, and gang warfare in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

Freaks, Geeks, & Awkward Weirdos: Teen Angst Storytelling

April 22, 10:30am–11:30am

Hosted by Mortified, this panel will feature founder Dave Nadelberg alongside Lauren Iungerich (creator, MTV’s Awkward), Tom Tenowich (showrunner, Saved by the Bell), and others for a conversation about the evolution of teenage depictions in pop culture. Mortified produces podcasts, stage shows, and a TV and film in which participants share embarrassing diary entries (or art and songs) from adolescence with the motto of “We are freaks, and we are fragile, but we all survived.”

The Evolution of Mexican Food in Los Angeles

April 22, 12pm–1pm

Ask any Angeleno and they’ll tell you—Los Angeles has the best Mexican food north of the border. This event will look at the evolving influence of Mexican food on LA’s culinary landscape through a discussion with Wes Avila, Chef at Guerrilla Tacos, and Bill Esparza, blogger at Street Gourmet LA and author of L.A. Mexicano.

Innovation Crush Podcast: Mayim Bialik in Conversation with Chris Denson

April 22, 12pm–1pm

Though she’s perhaps best known as the former lead of Blossom and current star of CBS’ Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik isn’t just an actress—she’s also a neuroscientist and author of books including Beyond the Sling, Mayim’s Vegan Table, and her latest, Girling Up. For this conversation with Chris Denson for his Innovation Crush podcast, Bialik will explore the nexus of science, geeks, girl power, and the written word.

Patton Oswalt in Conversation with Carolyn Kellogg

April 22, 12:30pm–1:30pm

Join LA Times books editor Carolyn Kellogg for this conversation with comedian, actor, voice actor, and writer Patton Oswalt. Oswalt is known for his roles on shows including The King of Queens and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as his voice work for programs such as Ratatouille and The Goldbergs, and has won both Grammy and Primetime Emmy awards.

Trailer Trash Revue Variety Show

April 22, 1pm–2pm

Dawn Brodey and Kevin Yee host this special edition of The Trailer Trash Talent Revue, a live variety comedy show that mixes interviews, music, comedy, and improvisation. Audience members whose names are drawn from ‘The Bucket of Destiny’ will have the chance to compete in a physical challenge or trivia contest for a prize.

Cover to Cover: Musicians, Comedians, and Authors Perform the Works that Inspired Them

April 22, 4pm–5pm

Ever wonder what an artist was inspired by when creating a certain piece of work? Find out at Cover to Cover, where musicians, comedians, and authors will perform and discuss the works that inspired them. This LA Times Festival of Books event is hosted by actor and improviser Tawny Newsome of Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, and features musical accompaniment by Jordan Katz & the Elements of Style.

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Nile Cappello is obsessed with: words, cotton candy, Southern California and eating her way across the world. She’s an online and offline over-sharer, screenwriter, only child and total klutz. She’s an expert in LA coffee shops, iced tea varieties and uncovering compelling and unique true stories.

More articles by Nile Cappello



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