Last weekend I went to The LA Times Festival of Books and had a blast! This year I definitely overcommitted myself and accidentally overbooked myself at one point so I missed a panel I really wanted to attend. But I was able to get all the books signed that I brought and saw so many of my friends that the festival was still so much fun.
I figured I would structure my post the same way I did last year’s post because I liked how that one turned out. If you would prefer to see my day in a short video, I made an IG reel.
Also, today we both are at YALLWEST and hopefully we will have a post up about that event soon.
I had breakfast and ended up leaving later then I meant to! I stoped for coffee and gas before I hit the road. Thankfully the drive was fine.
Panel One: Young Adult Fiction: Gripping Tales of Love, Loss, & Friendship
Authors: Nic Stone, Jumata Emill, & Robin Benway
I was going to meet my friend Jordan (check out her blog here) at the YA stage and this was the panel occurring at 10am. It was such a good panel! They discussed everything from book bans, their writing processes, to how they come up with the titles of their books. I have read a few of Robin Benway’s books (Far From the Tree is a favorite and I got to tell her that). I’ve only read Dear Martin by Nic Stone and I need to read The Black Queen which sounds fabulous. This panel was probably my favorite of the day and shoutout to the moderator who was great.
Alison Cochrun Signing
I adored The Charm Offensive (see my review) and my friend Kelsy* sent me a copy last year so I was so hyped to be able to get it signed! If you’ve read my review you know I have a love/hate relationship with the Bachelor Franchise and it was fun talking about the show with Alison. I 100% believe we could’ve talk about the Bachelor for way longer and I also think I forgot to tell her that I adored her book. Whoops! She was signing at The Mysterious Galaxy booth which is an independent bookstore in San Diego that is fantastic.
*Kelsy has an Etsy shop that you definitely should check out!
Panel Two: The Challenges of Modern Life
Authors: Liska Jacobs, Rachel Lindsay, Allie Rowbottom, & Isabel Kaplan
I only went to this panel because Rachel Lindsay was on it and she is one of my favorite Bachelorettes. I wasn’t a massive fan of the conversation that this panel featured. All of their books tackle different things and while I think the conversation they had was topical and interesting as someone who has some knowledge of what they were talking about I didn’t get much out of the panel. I would’ve liked more specific questions or a deeper conversation because they talked about a lot of things I am interested in, women in media, reality TV, women’s pressure to look a certain way, social issues, etc. they just kept the convo pretty surface level.
But I did love hearing Rachel Lindsay speak because she is a force!! I was able to get my copy of her memoir, Miss Me With That, signed and talk to her about the show and I was mildly starstruck and took a truly terrible selfie with her!!
Also I just looked up Allie’s memoir and apparently she is part of the family that owned/created JELLO??? I have many questions now.
Amalie Howard Signing
I read Always Be My Duchess last year and loved it (see my thoughts here)! I’ve since purchased two of her books at used bookstores and like two more of her books in ebook form. I also wanted the mass market of Always Be My Duchess because I have her other books in mass market form and I also like the girl on the cover better than the illustrated cover so I bought a copy at the festival at The Ripped Bodice booth (who also hosted this signing). Amalie was so sweet and had cute swag, including a fan to promote her YA novel which I’m excited about.
Falon Ballard Signing
I loved Lease on Love (review) so I was excited to see that Falon would be signing at the Steamy Lit booth. I forgot (again) to tell her I loved her debut, but I did get to tell her that I am enjoying her podcast, especially their interview with Kate Clayborn so we got to fangirl together about Kate for a second because obviously. She also had super cute stickers and bookmarks that she was giving out.
Panel Three: Young Adult Fiction: Sexuality, Friendship, & Queer Romance
Authors: Patrick Ness, Robbie Couch, Adam Silvera, & Tess Sharpe
I missed a chunk of this panel to do my last signing, but saw the beginning and the end so I am counting it. I was also partially checked out during this panel since I was so tired, but the authors did have an interesting conversation from queer representation in YA to trigger warnings. They also took quite a few audience questions which made the panel end late and then the signing at to be a bit rushed. Apparently the fire marshal was trying to shut us down? Either way I got my copy of Tess Sharpe’s 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did) signed. She was super sweet! I complimented her hair and she complimented my name. I can’t wait to read her books.
Ashley Herring Blake Signing
I quickly ran over to Feminist Book Club and got my copies of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care & Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail signed. I’m glad I found out about this signing because Ashley was only going to be on a panel on the Sunday and I didn’t go on Sunday. So it worked out great!
I got an LA Library card! I don’t live in LA county so I haven’t been able to sign up for a card (even though they are open for all CA residents)
Saw a bunch of my SoCal book friends and met some new ones!
Thanks for reading!
3 thoughts on “RECAP: LA Times Festival of Books 2023”
Beyond envious right now! It seems like all the best book festivals happen on the West Coast and I’m jealous! Nothing ever happens in Virginia – and the things that happen in DC are usually underwhelming so it’s not worth the 3 hour drive and traffic haha! One of these days I’ll make it out west for all of these fun events!
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definitely would be worth a trip out here! If you ever make it out for one of the festivals let us know if you have any questions!