Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Favorite Holiday

Coming up soon is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books here in Los Angeles, and I must say I can't wait for April 25th. This is a huge outdoor festival where local bookstores, authors, publishers etc set up booths for the weekend and sell and sign and discuss books all over the UCLA campus. I think it was here 5 years ago that I really started picking up YA books on my own (other than Harry Potter, of course) - before that I just stole books from my mom's elementary school.

Because I go with my parents, I'm sort of constrained by their interests, so I'll probably be attending a panel on writing California history and not attending the panel on YA lit moderated by Cecil Castellucci (sigh), but I will be able to pick up books from all of my favorite indie bookstores at once. Yay! At the book festival, I tend to have the most success finding science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, young adult books, and quirky, intelligent general fiction. There's not a noticeable queer presence, but I usually pick up an offbeat queer book or two.

I'm always sure to pick up several books at the Mysterious Galaxy booth and usually do well at Book Soup and Skylight Books as well. It's always fascinating to see what all the different bookstores choose to bring as recommendations and representations of their own unique identities. Of course you can find major bestsellers at many different booths, but this festival is a great way for bookstores and publishers to highlight things I don't really know about yet. I love it!

So, I'm asking the internet to help me prepare. What offbeat or lesser-known books do you think I should look out at this year's festival? What do you predict I will fall in love with? What titles or authors should I look for? What new releases might I find there first? I'd be glad to take recommendations or suggestions for my annual book-buying binge! And if you're in the LA area, this event is definitely worth attending - I find it such a beautiful, idyllic day to wander among bookstalls in the spring weather.

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