One of my favorite annual local events will be held over the weekend of April 26 and 27 - The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!
This free event (there's a charge for parking) on the UCLA campus celebrates books and reading with author talks, panel discussions, book signings, book-selling, and more. There's a great kids' section, and many activities geared for them too. Aside from browsing the exhibitor booths, one of my favorite things there are the giant, audience-participation crossword puzzles. Two years ago at the Festival, we had the opportunity to see a performance by the most rockin' bunch of writers you've ever heard of, The Rock Bottom Remainders, but it looks like their "tour" this year will be just one show, in New York City on June 1. It's a benefit, and they're a lot of fun - see it if you have the chance, but you won't be seeing it at UCLA.
But getting back to the original point; if you're in Southern California and a book lover, you really shouldn't miss the Festival. And please e-mail me if you plan to go; maybe we can meet up among the books!