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One of the nicest events of the year is happening this weekend: the 18th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Two days of wandering around the USC campus in gorgeous weather in the company of other like-minded people who are there because they love books. Booths and booths of books, authors, publishers, and other bookish and culturally related matters, panels ranging from "Big Science" to "There be Dragons," and entertainment and interviews on stages around the campus. Such literary luminaries as Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates will be interviewed; friends of KCET who will be appearing and signing include Susan Straight, Patt Morrison, and Steven Paul Leiva.

Everything (except the parking) is free, but tickets are required for the panels. You can get tickets online here, but don't despair if there are no tickets left, a certain percentage are set aside to be given away the days of the festival, and you can always try your luck in the stand-by line.

Sandra Tsing Loh
1:30 p.m. "Why Did the Writer Cross the Genre?" Panel; Hoffman Hall

Erin Aubry Kaplan
3:30 p.m. "From the Front Lines of the Culture Wars" Panel; Hancock Foundation

The Expo Line stops by USC and there's also a shuttle bus from Union Station. Lists of authors, directions, transportation, maps and schedules can all be found here.

Image tracie7779/Flickr/Creative Commons