Monday, July 25, 2011
"I read, therefore, I am." That is the theme of my life. It's also the theme of the Leimert Park Book Fair, Number 148 on my Bucket List.
If you know me or follow me on Goodreads.com, you know I read up to three books at one time, with a twist. (One is always an audiobook.) Words are my life, and any time I can go to a book fair, fest or fete I am there faster than James Patterson can publish his next book, and that's pretty fast.
So imagine my thrill at attending the 5th Annual Leimert Park Book Fair where they had a main stage, a children's stage, a cook's corner, several break-out author sessions and a poet's lounge. It takes place up and down Degnan Boulevard here in L.A., which has an eclectic assortment of shops, lounges, restaurants, clubs, businesses and the famous Eso Won Book Store, all black-owned. It really was a festive atmosphere, and celebrity authors abounded: Sugar Ray Leonard, Todd Bridges, Karyn Parsons, Dr. Bernard Kinsey to name a few, as well as established authors like Pamela Samuels-Young, Ernessa T. Carter and at least 30 more of their contemporaries. I was in my element!
(Ernessa T. Carter, Todd Bridges, Helena Andrews)
But the piece de resistance was seeing not one but TWO Pulitzer Prize winning authors. How often do you get to see that in person? Paul Blackmon wrote a non-fiction book Slavery By Another Name about the re-enslavement of black folks from the Civil War to World War II (Yes, it's true!); and they also had the lovely and smart Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns, a book regarding the little-talked about Great Migration of African-Americans from the south to the north during a defining period in America.
(Isabel Wilkerson w/moderator Beverly White of KNBC-tv)
I went alone having in mind to stay only a couple of hours and see some key authors that I follow, but I ended up staying all day and spending way too much money on books. But it was well worth it, and I'd do it again faster than James Patterson can hire another author to write his book for him, and that's pretty fast.