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The Sciences

Celebrating the Los Angeles Times Book Festival

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyMay 1, 2006 6:26 PM

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I just spent a wonderful weekend in Los Angeles, at an event that I didn't know existed but that so impressed me that I simply must give it a plug. I'm talking about the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, a staggeringly well-attended mega literary phenomenon that really revives one's faith that a true and loyal audience for the written word still exists. As a New Orleanian, the best analogy I can come up with is this: The event is like a Jazz Fest for books. Some 150,000 people attended the two day festival at the UCLA campus, forming long wait lines to hear readings and talks by the likes of Joan Didion, Gore Vidal, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Joyce Carol Oates and Scott Turow. But the show wasn't just about the stars: There were great panels on science writing, poetry, history, you name it. Hell, there was even a rock band. At first I thought this event was simply going to be a big PR opportunity for the LA Times; by the end, I realized that the paper had created something that it could and should be deeply proud of. I encourage any and all of you to try to attend next year....

P.S.: The last day of my west coast trip is today; I'm doing two talks in San Diego, so if you're in the neighborhood....

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