The 65th Annual Peabody Awards
Candace Bergen at the 65th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon Waldorf=Astoria Hotel New York, on June 5, 2006. Photo via  Peabody Awards [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Candice Bergen, Octavia Spencer, Maria Bello, Billy Idol and Pauley Perrette are among the celebrities who will add star power to the 20th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday  at USC.

The festival, which continues Sunday, will include a new feature this year — the Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange, which is “designed to put insightful minds together in inspiring conversation.”

The inaugural edition of the Ideas Exchange will feature New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell in conversation with The Times’ film critic, Kenneth Turan, discussing how Gladwell’s work has “sparked conversations about who we are as individuals and as a society.”

The annual book festival traditionally attracts roughly 150,000 people over its two-day run, which includes author discussions, readings, book-signing sessions, exhibitor booths, entertainment and cooking demonstrations.

Other celebrities expected to appear are Tavis Smiley, Jason Segel, Tony Hale, former Mayor Richard Riordan, LeVar Burton, Roy Choi, Brian Grazer, Patton Oswalt and Joyce Carol Oates.

Attending the festival is free, but some author discussions require tickets. The tickets are free, although there is a $1 service charge for tickets purchased in advance. Some same-day tickets are available at the festival, although author discussions often sell out in advance.

Information on tickets is available online at

—City News Service

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