Voracious Readers Seek Refuge at the Festival of Books

The 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which wrapped up Sunday featured an array of techno activities, book signings and technology demonstrations.

Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Julie Andrews, Sugar Ray Leonard, Betty White and Rodney King are just some of 400 authors who appeared in panel sessions on several stages set up at this event which was held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Held annually since 1996, over two days, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is one of the largest and most prestigious book festivals in the country and attracts nearly a quarter of a million people each year.

Books weren’t the only thing on the menus this year; there were food trucks, cooking shows, a free mobile dental clinic, screenings for blood pressure and glucose levels and plenty of merchandise for sale.

With several screenings, eight outdoor stages, seven book-signing areas, 14 panel rooms which ranged in topics from fiction and history to D.I.Y tactics, Saturday’s events kicked off with the USC Trojan Marching Band and a welcome from USC president C.L. Max Nikias.

As presenting sponsor of the festival, Target teamed up with the Walt Disney Company and Oscar winning actress and author Julie Andrews to celebrate the first National Princess Week. Andrews appeared on stage to read from her new book “The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl.”

A focal part of the festival reflecting the retailer’s commitment to education, the Target stage also featured an appearance from Kareem Abdul-Jabar, co-author of “What Color is MY World” who was at hand to sign autographs for fans. Rodney King discussed everything from the beating and the trial and the riots in LA while promoting his memoir, “The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion To Redemption” during an interview with Los Angeles Times columnist  and KPCC-FM (89.3) radio host Patt Morrison at the festival.

Musical acts on the Target Children’s state included the SqeeGees, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band and Disney Junior’s Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve

This was the festival’s second year at USC after moving to the new location from UCLA’s (University of California, Los Angeles) Westwood location.

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