Candice Bergen, Octavia Spencer, Maria Bello, Billy Idol and Pauley Perrette are among the celebrities expected to add star power to the 20th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the paper announced Tuesday.

The festival, scheduled or April 18-19 at USC, 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 Maria Bello, 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.

Ticket sales began today for Los Angeles Times subscribers. Sales for the general public begin March 25.

Information on tickets is available online at

City News Service

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