Your Guide to the LA Times Festival of Books

Los Angeles already attracts some of the world’s greatest storytellers, but most Americans only associate it with the screenwriters, directors, and actors who bring their favorite shows and movies to life.

Fortunately, bookworms and authors have a reason to flock here too. For the past two decades, LA has followed award season with an event that celebrates the written word: the biggest book festival in the United States.

On April 18 and 19, the University of Southern California will host the LA Times Festival of Books on its sprawling LA campus. The festival is free to the general public, but some events, including the Indoor Conversation series, require tickets to reserve seats.

Plan your personal itinerary after learning more about the festival’s biggest highlights and must-see moments.

Tricks of the Literary Trade

If you’re a writer who wants to improve your craft, this is a rare opportunity for you to network, brainstorm, and learn new skills from the industry’s biggest success stories — all without paying a penny. Choose from dozens of moderated conversations with veteran writers and scholars, who will explore themes that touch on every imaginable genre and theme.

Topics include narrative journalism, independent publishing trends, historical biographies, pop science, social media movements, illustration techniques, personal memoirs, and crime fiction.

Star-Studded Lineup

It wouldn’t be an LA festival without some star power. While most of the stages will feature seasoned authors, poets, journalists, and other performers, the LA Times Stage will host an assortment of interviews with actors, singers, and other entertainers who are also published authors.

You’ll probably recognize some of the names on this lineup: rock star Billy Idol; actresses Lorraine Bracco, Maria Bello, Kate Mulgrew, and Candace Bergen; sitcom stars Jason Segel and Jon Cryer; and talk show host Tavis Smiley.

The Ronald Tutor Campus Center and Bovard Auditorium will also host ticketed conversations with some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names. Check the official itinerary for conversations with producer Brian Grazer, comedian Patton Oswald, and actor, author, and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton.

Inaugural Ideas Exchange

Only one event costs money to attend, but if you watch TED Talks, subscribe to The New Yorker, or recommend The Tipping Point to your socially conscious friends, you may want to spring for a ticket. On Sunday, April 19 at 1 pm, best-selling author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell will help kick off the first-ever LA Times Ideas Exchange in the Bovard Auditorium.

Tickets range in price from $27.50 to $100, and they each include a signed copy of Gladwell’s recent best seller, David and Goliath.

Something for the Kids

The Festival of Books is a family affair, so don’t hire a baby-sitter or leave your teens at home. Several stages will be devoted to age-appropriate events, which range from young adult fiction panels and readings to musical performances and museum presentations.

Budding young writers can learn new storytelling techniques at “Writing the Unknown” and “New Takes on Classic Tales,” while aspiring detectives may enjoy a preview of Matilda the Musical or a reading from Octavia Spencer’s ninja heist series.

Words That Really Matter

Do you want your writing to have a larger social purpose? Some presentations and conversations will explore the specific ways in which writing can affect and reflect society at large. Hear from experts who write about everything from cyberterrorism to environmental protection, and learn how writers use their work to support veterans, empower Middle Eastern youth, fight income inequality, and more.

Visit the festival’s official website to view the full itinerary and reserve tickets.

This information has been brought to you by Norm Reeves Ford Superstore in Cerritos, CA. Visit us today to check out our latest 2015 Ford models.

Tips for Cleaning your Taillights

Taillights need regular cleaning not only to remove the loose dirt but also remove the grime, caused by oxidation, that accumulates over time. The grime causes the cloudiness or yellow haze on your lights. Whereas removing the loose dirt can be done by simply using a damp cloth, removing the caked-on grime is a more difficult task requiring specialized care. Below is a look at the various steps you need to follow to clean and restore your taillights.

How to Clean and Restore Your Taillights

Step 1: Sanding Sanding refers to the use of sandpaper to abrasively remove dirt and grime and at the same time create a uniform surface on your taillights or headlights. Sanding also restores surfaces that have endured scratches and sandblasting for prolonged periods. For the best results, you should perform both dry and wet sanding in multiple stages as below.

  • 300 grit: You should begin sanding with this low-grade sandpaper since it’s quite rough and therefore ideal for removing rock belts, dips, flaws, and major dings on the outside surface of your taillights. You should dry sand first for about 10 minutes and then wet sand for about 20 minutes.
  • 400 grit: Sanding with 400 grit, though not necessary, is recommended, as it tails away any marks left by the 300 grit, leaving you with a smoother finish. It also cuts down on the amount of time required to fine-sand the surface. You should dry and then wet sand for approximately 15 minutes.
  • 600 grit: Sandpaper with 600-grit grade is neutral (ie, neither coarse nor smooth). Therefore, sanding at this stage is ideal for creating a uniform sand and smoothing the entire taillight surface. For this stage, you need to perform wet sanding only.
  • 800 grit: Any sandpaper grade higher than 600 grit is ideal for smooth sanding. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe the surface to remove excess residue generated from the 600 grit sanding. Uniformly wet sand the surface for about an hour or until the yellow haze on the surface disappears.
  • 1200 grit (and higher): The higher sandpaper grits are ideal for pre-finalizing the surface, making it ready for application of polish hardening compound. You should only wet sand using water and plastic cleaner.

Step 2: Polishing Polish gives your taillights a sparkling, brand-new look. The type of polish you use will depend on the type of surface (ie, whether the taillights are made of plastic or glass). Other than commercial polish, you can use common homemade ingredients such as baking soda to give your lights a microscopic scrub. Step 3: Waxing/Buffing Glass/plastic polish creates a secondary hard coat on the surface that seals the microscopic pores to prevent dirt and moisture from accumulating on your taillights. Applying wax and/or buffer offers protection to the coat created by the polish.

Tips for Keeping Your Taillights and Headlights Clean

1. Remove caked-on grime: Use a degreaser to remove any grime from the surface of your taillights. Degreasing agents are effective for cleansing the grime that accumulates both on the inside and outside of your lights. 2. Avoid condensation/oxidation: The grime on the inside of your taillights is caused by moisture leaking into the light assembly, mixing with dirt, and condensing. For this reason, you should take steps to avoid moisture leakage, such as sealing the taillights using Teflon tape. On the other hand, you must ensure that your lights are completely dry after cleaning before reassembling and fixing them on your car. For assistance with cleaning your taillights, contact Norm Reeves Ford Superstore in Cerritos, CA, today.

Best Bridal Boutiques in Los Angeles, CA

Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life. Finding the right dress for this spectacular occasion is important, so you want to know what the best bridal boutiques are in the Los Angeles, CA, area. The guide below can help you locate those bridal boutiques to make your life a little bit easier during this special time in your life.

Carolina Herrera Boutique and Bridal 

If you need a wedding dress that fits with the current fashion trends, then Carolina Herrera Boutique and Bridal is for you. Not only does this boutique have endless racks of classy chic and trendy wedding dresses, but they also offer fittings. This means if you do find a dress that you’re absolutely in love with that doesn’t fit you perfectly, you can be sized and have it altered by their team of designers so it does. This fancy boutique is located at 8441 Melrose PIace in Los Angeles.

Grace Bridal Couture

Grace Bridal Couture, located at 5971 West 3rd Street in Los Angeles, makes custom wedding dresses for those who want a dress specially made for the big occasion. The boutique also offers wedding gown alterations so you look stunning as you walk down the aisle. This boutique is also the place to turn to when you have an heirloom wedding gown you need restyled to fit your liking but also so you can also please the family members who passed it on to you to wear on your big day.

However, this award-winning bridal shop only helps your wedding gown needs by appointment, so schedule ahead of time if you want them to be your number one bridal boutique during one of the biggest times of your life.

Glamour Closet


Glamour Closet is located on 8340 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles. This bridal boutique offers affordable designer wedding gowns with elegance and beauty to help you feel gorgeous on your wedding day. Not only does the Glamour Closet offer wedding gowns, but their staff also is always there to help when you need it.

Beautiful Day Wedding

For a one-stop bridal shop that not only offers beautiful wedding dresses but matching tuxedos for your wedding day, Beautiful Day Wedding is the boutique for you. Here you can even find elegant pieces of jewelry to match your wedding day outfits, chic veils and headpieces along with fancy sashes, jackets, champagne flutes, ring bearer pillows, guest books, and garters. This boutique will even help you find the right bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. You can visit this boutique at 158 South Western Avenue in Los Angeles.

Katie May Los Angeles 

Located in the heart of Los Angeles at 117 West 9th Street, Katie May is a boutique dedicated to offering a wide selection of handmade gowns to form to the female body perfectly. The boutique uses the finest materials to make their dresses, and each gown is made specifically to the bride’s liking. However, in order to book an appointment to have a dress made for you, you must plan at least six months in advance at this hot spot.