Festival of Books’ stages offer variety

Book lovers, unite.

This is the first time the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is being held at the USC campus, and it will take it by storm.

Behind the scenes · The outdoor events on campus for the Festival of Books will feature all types of performances throughout the weekend. - Jennifer Schultz | Daily Trojan

Though you might be overwhelmed by the number of people flooding campus Saturday and Sunday, mapping and scheduling out the events you want to attend will help you get through the day happy and  free of stress.

Below are some of the notable events happening on the stages of the festival.



Los Angeles Times Stage

11 a.m. Rainn Wilson, interviewed by Amy Alkon

Did you miss Rainn Wilson when he visited Bovard earlier this semester to discuss his book SoulPancake? Here’s another chance to check out the actor-author discussing the deep themes of his book.

A New York Times bestseller, the book allows you to “chew on life’s big questions.”

Filled with humor from the first page, the book is infused with Wilson’s personality as a comedian and is based on the website SoulPancake.com, which is, as Wilson puts it, “for people interested in exploring creativity and spirituality.”

To hear more about Wilson’s grand ideas or just to see one of your favorite actors from The Office, head to the Times stage at 11 a.m.

4:50 p.m. Sister Souljah, interviewed by Jada Pinkett Smith

USC is known for having many famous actors roam its grounds, and it will soon be able to add actress Jada Pinkett Smith to the list.

Smith will be interviewing another female powerhouse, Bronx-native, New York Times bestselling author Sister Souljah. She is best known for her fictional works, including The Coldest Winter Ever and Midnight: A Gangster Love Story.

Souljah has made a name for herself in the modern novel world. Stop by the stage to witness Smith’s interviewing skills and hear more from this intriguing author.


USC Stage

With so many great acts, the USC stage is a great location to stop by any time of the day. From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the stage will feature the likes of spoken-word performer Javon Johnson, USC comedy group Second Nature Improv and musician Rozzi Crane.

Cooking Stage

The Festival of Books covers a variety of areas related to books, including cooking. The stage will feature well-known cookbook authors as well as cooking demonstrations. Stop by from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to witness the culinary talents and tips of authors and cooks such as Erin McKenna and Bob Blumer.


Hoy Stage 1 p.m. Spanish spelling bee

Refine your Spanish skills by witnessing the first stage of the Spanish Spelling Bee. Finals will take place on Sunday at 4 p.m.



Los Angeles Times Stage, 11 a.m.

If you don’t get your comedy fix from the appearance of Rainn Wilson, another comedian will be gracing the same stage on Sunday.

Actor and writer Patton Oswalt, best known for his role in The King of Queens as well as his stand-up comedy, also shares his thoughts on life through essays about his own experiences.

Listen to the Ratatouille actor provide insight into both his authorial persona and his funny guy nature.

Cooking Stage 2 p.m. Duff Goldman

If you’re an avid Food Network or TLC watcher, you probably know who Duff Goldman is. Known for his baking talent, the pastry chef is also the author of Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes.

Though he won’t necessarily be handing out samples, you can stop by the stage to hear a talk and participate in a Q&A with the well-known chef. Maybe you can even ask him for a recipe or two.

Etc. Stage

Dedicated to what might be the most unique parts of the festival, this stage has a variety of offerings if you’re looking for a break from the standard book festival programming.

The stage kicks off Sunday with a performance from Korea Presents Eagle Taekwondo at 10 a.m. that will feature a Latin Jazz band before topping off the day with the band Hi Ho Silver Oh.

Stop by for some different forms of entertainment and you might discover your new favorite band.


Hoy Stage

If you’re looking for even more cultural performances, the Hoy stage is for you.

At 12 p.m. the Mariachi Cielo Nuevo will be filling the USC campus, or at least a large portion of it, with their loud band music. If you stick around, you can catch a performance from Afro-Latino Rhythms, a group of drum line dancers sure to keep a good beat going.