Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Celebration of the Written Word - Los Angeles Times Book Festival

Hollywood stars, high profile book authors, celebrity authors, book publishers and California’ first lady could all be found at the 13th annual Los Angeles Times Book Festival. This year’s event took place on Saturday and Sunday April 26 & 27 on the grounds of the U.C.L.A campus in Westwood. It seemed as if a lot of celebrities were promoting their memoirs. Actress/author Julie Andrews spoke on one the stages about her memoir, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years.

Actress/author Valerie Bertinelli best known for her role as Barbara Cooper in the television series, One Day At A Time which aired in the late 70’s, and in the 80’s her role in Touched By An Angel, formerly married to Van Halen guitarst Eddie Van Halen and currently spokeswoman for Jenny Craig spoke candidly on the Los Angeles Times Stage in front of a packed crowd. She talked about her autobiography, Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time, her more than twenty year marriage to rocker Eddie Van Halen, her 17 year old son, and her obsession with food. “I do care about how much I weigh, but it’s not an obsession. I am happy with who I am.” Bertinelli said.

Others celebrities included Cheech Marin, Marlee Matlin, Jane Smiley, Henry Winkler, tv writer/producer, Stephen J. Cannell. Fans of book authors waited in long lines in the hot sun which stayed in the high 90’s throughout the day. With more than 450 authors there were author speaker panels and live musical performances. There was something for everyone in a wide arrange of genres.

Target stores teamed up with Disney and brought hours of enjoyment to the children. The Target stores set up a tent and sold books, their outdoor stage had many of the personalities from Disney channel performing. The sister singing/actress duo of Ally and AJ charmed the kids when they read from their debut book, Mayhem in Miami.

Other Disney personalities included one of the twin brothers from Disney Channel’s, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Dylan Sprouse who plays the mischevious brother Zack read from the brother’s newly released book. The crowd was not without a bunch of screaming young girls.

Valerie Bertinelli speaks on the Los Angeles Times Stage about her memoir, Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time.

Valerie Bertinelli speaks with fans about her memoir.

Aly and AJ read from their book, Mayhem in Miami.

Dylan Sprouse, star of the Suite Life of Zack and Cody reads from the Sprouse brothers debut book.