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Arts and Entertainment

5 Things To Do At The L.A. Times Festival Of Books If You Don't Like To Read

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The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books—the largest book festival in the country—takes over the USC campus this weekend (April 12-13).

It’s a book lover’s paradise, filled with readings, conversations and panel discussions. Authors and performers scheduled to appear include: Hugh Acheson, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Gustavo Arellano, Reza Aslan, Philip Bailey, Mayim Bialik, T.C. Boyle, LeVar Burton, Roy Choi, Sandra Cisneros, Jackie Collins, Giada de Laurentiis, Rob Delaney, Barbara Ehrenreich, Dan Fante, John Green, Carla Hall, Daniel Handler, Robert Hilburn, Pico Iyer, Diego Luna, Chris Kluwe, Terry McMillan, B.J. Novak,Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Alicia Silverstone, Susan Straight, Marlo Thomas, Stephen Tobolowsky, Sandra Tsing Loh, Henry Winkler, Rachel Zoe and Adrian Todd Zuniga, among so many others.

But what’s to do if you’re not the bookish type? What if you like the idea of reading good lit better than actually doing it? Well, you’re in luck because the Festival of Books also caters to the nonreaders out there with performances, comedy, film, art and food.

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So to help you plan your festival experience, here are five highlights for the nonreaders out there:

- Festival After Dark: The Festival continues into the night with a new evening program Festival after Darkon Saturday at 8 pm at USC’s Bovard Auditorium. There's a live performance of American Public Media's Wits program, hosted by John Moe and featuring comedians Margaret Cho and Paul F. Tompkins, with musical guests Superchunk and Will Sheff of Okkervil River. Tickets: $33.50 to $65.

- Cooking Demonstrations: Over on the Cooking Stage, the Festival weekend features cooking demonstrations on Saturday by Alan Jackson & JoAnn Cianciulli, authors of The Lemonade Cookbook, Suzanne Goin and Hugh Acheson. On Sunday, Jackie Collins, Scott Conant, Ben Ford and Carla Hall all do cooking demos.

- Film Screenings: There are free screenings happening throughout the weekend at USC’s School for Cinematic Arts’ Broccoli Theater. On Saturday, Frankenweenie screens at 11:30 am, followed by Looper at 2 pm. On Sunday, Labor Day (Paramount Pictures) screens at 11:30 am with a Q & A to follow with author Joyce Maynard, interviewed by John Horn. At 2 pm, Twenty Feet from Stardom screens.

- Music: There are live music performances throughout the weekend on the Pop & Hiss Stage with Adult Books, The Blank Tapes, Mexico68 playing Saturday, and The Skariginals, Mexico68 and Salt Petal takeover the stage on Sunday.

- Art: Six artists were selected to live paint/create work during the festival: Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia, Andy Robert, Jena Priebe, Essi Zimm and DevNGosha: Devin Liston and Gosha Levochkin. Check out the work along "Artists Row."

The Festival of Books runs Saturday from 10 am-6 pm and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Admission to the festival is free. Only the indoor Conversations and Festival After Dark require tickets. Taking public transportation to the USC campus is recommended and easy: Take the Metro Expo Line and get off at Expo Park/USC Station.

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