LA BookFest Is Where All the Cool Kids Hang Out
Discover the Exclusive Collection of Books Featured in the LA BookFest for Your Summer Reading.
An incredible array of authors were part of LA BookFest, an event designed to give booklovers an online gathering place since we aren’t allowed to go outside and play together. Book festivals and conventions like the LA Times Festival of Books, BookExpo and BookCon in New York, and North Hollywood’s annual Beach Bound Book Bash, plus so many other events, were the highlights of the year for booklovers, families, and entire communities. LA BookFest was designed as an online alternative.
Let’s explore some of the books and authors featured at LA BookFest. You are guaranteed to find some new great additions for your summer reading list.
Jonathan Maberry – V-Wars
V-Wars was a crazy ride of a book before it became a Netflix series. Conceived by New York Times best-selling author and 5-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, Jonathan Maberry’s, V-Wars features stories from various “frontlines” reported by many contributors like Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, James A. Moore, Gregory Frost, John Everson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Scott Nicholson (as well as Maberry). The result is a page-flipping series that creates a fascinating chronicle of humanity’s response to this sudden, hidden threat to the world. Maberry is also on the Future of Fiction Panel at LA BookFest.
Sara Winokur – Double Blind: The Icelandic Manuscript Murders
Move out of the way Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There’s a new Nordic Thriller for fans to curl up with. Double Blind by Sara Winokur is a wild ride through the cultural landscape of Iceland, from rural farmsteads to icy fjords to the high-tech world of DNA forensics. This crime thriller packed with twists and turns will keep you at the edge of your seat until…oh, now we can’t tell you too much. Grab this debut novel and find out what Goodreads readers are raving about.
Russell Nohelty – Katrina Hates the Dead
Katrina hates the dead, and you will soon, too. Fed up with the Apocalypse (we can relate!), Katrina decides to take matters into her own hands and goes on a mission to Hell so she can kill the devil. Monsters, the undead, and a battle between good and evil will leave you wondering, is the devil really such a bad guy after all? And is God really that swell? Decide for yourself with Katrina Hates the Dead. Nohelty is on the Future of Fiction Panel at the LA BookFest.
NJ Ayuk – Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals
The world runs on oil and gas, and the future of this industry and the effects on the world is evident to those who read NJ Ayuk’s Amazon bestseller, Billions at Play. Comprehensive and thought-provoking, the book is a road map for the continent in using its vast energy resources to improve its peoples’ lives. Ayuk addresses how African countries can use their energy industries as springboards for diversifying and growing economies. Ayuk is an African Energy lawyer, Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, and he also delivers the LA BookFest opening keynote.
Brandon Cross – The Legacy Book Series
What happened to a young boy named Brandy, who, while dying from a terminal illness and facing abuse at home, reached out to find friends in the early days of the internet? Take a trip back to the early 90s and read the real story presented in a message-board format. Discover the inner workings of young teens as they confide in each other and witness the incredible story of a boy destined to die, but who discovers hope first, and leaves a captivating legacy behind. Book One and Book Two of The Legacy Book Series is by Brandyn Cross, a multimedia artist, musician, filmmaker, and author. Cross is also on the World Is Getting Closer Panel and performing at the LA BookFest after party.
Sarah Kendzior – Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America
Are you ready to find out what’s behind the curtain? New York Times bestselling author, Sarah Kendzior, brings us Hiding in Plain Sight, which pulls back the veil on an American autocrat in the making. She reveals the fragility of American democracy – how our continual loss of freedom, the rise of consolidated corruption, and the secrets behind a burgeoning autocratic United States have been hiding in plain sight for decades. A host of the podcast Gaslit Nation and author of the New York Times Bestselling The View from Flyover Country, Sara Kendzior also participates in a Conversation during the LA BookFest.
Sue William Silverman – How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences
Named “one of 9 essay collections feminists should read in 2020” by Bitch Media, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences charts Silverman’s attempt to confront her fear of death, as well as her desire to escape it. With gallows humor, Sue William Silverman recounts cruising New Jersey’s industry-blighted landscape in a mythic gold Plymouth, visiting emergency rooms for maladies both real and imagined, and collecting talismans all to ward off the inevitable. Sue William Silverman is an award-winning author of seven books of creative nonfiction and poetry, and she joins The Allure of the Memoir Panel at LA BookFest.
Maria Alexander – Snowed
Snowed is a young adult fiction at its finest. Find out what happens when Charity Jones, a 16-year-old engineering genius who is bullied for being an atheist, finds the brutally slain corpse of her worst bully, and then gets hard, haunting evidence that something monstrous is stalking her community. Can Charity and her Skeptics Club stop the killer? Maria Alexander, a Bram Stoker Award-winner, spins a captivating wintery tale to escape into on these hot, summer nights. Young adults and more will love Snowed.
Raye Mitchell, Esq. – How Women Negotiate from a Position of Strength
Taken from years of research, experience, and lessons learned along the way from leaders like Michelle Obama and a host of high-profile influencers, this book comes from Raye Mitchell, Esq., a Harvard Law School-trained attorney, speaker, and negotiator. She takes over 30 years of legal and business experience in marketing, branding, and intellectual property litigation as a trial attorney and compacted it into this book. Mitchell, a Boss Girl, which is part of the Genius Agency, will deliver a talk titled: Be Genius – Bossology 101: 5 Power Moves to a Big Idea during the LA Bookfest.
Ora Nadrich – Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity
Now more than ever, living mindful life matters. Nadrich’s book, written in a down-to-earth, supportive voice, offers the modern approach to Buddhist teachings of awareness and compassion, making them instantly accessible and adaptable to everyday life and everyday people. Ora Nadrich is the founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking. Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity was named in the 100 Best Mindfulness Books of All Time by BookAuthority. She presents a special Mindfulness Moment as a part of LA BookFest.
Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D. – Culture Shock: Surviving Five Generations in One Workplace
Is that Millennial in sales driving you nuts with their silly abbreviations in their reports? Are you snickering at the Boomer in accounting who is still using a hand-held calculator? Love it or hate it, Americans are experiencing a cultural revolution, unlike anything we have seen since the hippie counterculture movement in the 1960s and 70s. Today’s young adults, comprising Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Gen Z (born 1997-2010), are dramatically changing the way we live and work. Culture Shock: Surviving Five Generations in One Workplace by Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D., does a deep dive into the five generations in the workforce, examining how they behave and why.
Bilal Alaji – This Ain’t My Life
He challenges his reality and what he believes by stating, This Ain’t My Life, and breaks free of the life he was being forced to live. This memoir is the compelling story of Alaji’s journey to making his destiny. Growing up Muslim, Bilal experiences many trials throughout his youth with his father leading him down an arduous path. Bilal shows his willingness to never give up on finding his true purpose as he goes through failed marriages, legal proceedings, the shelter system, and lost jobs. A must-read memoir, Alaji, is also part of The Allure of the Memoir panel at LA BookFest.
Gerald Everett Jones – Preacher Finds a Corpse
What happens when a lapsed divinity student who is fascinated by astrophysics finds his best friend shot dead in a cornfield? After all, it looks like suicide. First, in a new mystery-thriller series, Preacher Finds a Corpse by Gerald Everett Jones is a mix of murder and metaphysics. A freelance writer, Jones is the recent winner of two 2020 Independent Press Awards for Clifford’s Spiral in literary fiction, and Preacher Finds a Corpse in the mystery category. Jones is also a moderator for the Power Pitching Panel at LA BookFest and a participant in The Allure of the Memoir Panel.
Ryan Southwick – The Z-Tech Chronicles
The Z-Tech Chronicles is a fantastic contemporary tale of super-science, fantasy, and adventure, set in author Ryan Southwick’s Bay Area stomping grounds. Coming June 2020, the book is available for pre-order now, and you don’t want to miss out. Find out what happens when the heart of the Silicone Valley uses super-technology to fight back against an ancient and powerful evil that’s on the loose in San Francisco. Southwick is on the Future of Fiction Panel at LA BookFest.
Dr. John Dracup – Clean Water for Developing Countries
Clean water is vital for people to live and thrive. Unfortunately, it isn’t available in all areas of the world. This book by Dr. John Dracup explores the different ways people and organizations can bring clean water to the people who need it the most. From filtration to sanitation to transportation, this book is a useful guide backed by fifty-plus years of research, clean water projects that the author conducted and participated in. A recommended read for those who understand the importance of clean water in our world.
Steven Joseph – The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris
Many people grew up believing that dinosaurs became extinct when the Dark Ages arrived, but that’s only partly true. One cranky dinosaur survived and became humankind’s oldest ancestor: the TyrantoCrankaTsuris. In this playful, imaginative tale that draws inspiration from Jewish culture, author Steven Joseph reminds children and adults that we all have a little TyrantoCrankaTsuris in us all. He is also the author of the forthcoming The Crankatsuris Method: A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness. Get the children’s book now, and watch for the adult version later in 2020.
Lisa Goich – 14 Days a Memoir: A Mother, A Daughter, A Two-Week Goodbye
“I wonder if my first breath was as soul-stirring to my mother as her last breath was to me.” For everyone who has lost a parent, this memoir by Lisa Goich is a comfort. It is a story of parental loss, and how to lovingly, bravely and gracefully let go of a hand you’ve been holding your entire life. From a child’s first breath to a mother’s last, this memoir shows how closing that circle can be a celebration of this unbreakable bond.
Debra Eckerling – Your Goal Guide
Why do we keep failing at achieving our goals? Did you know that one of the biggest reasons our goals fail is that we often don’t put enough thought into what we really want? Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals by Debra Eckerling starts with that first, crucial step: figuring out your goals and putting a plan in place. Eckerling is a professional writer, communication specialist, and project catalyst with more than 20 years of experience. She is also on The World Is Getting Closer Panel at LA BookFest.
Sheryl Benko – The Last of Will
Imagine being a teenager and having your super-embarrassing cemetery-worker father drag you across the country to deliver the ashen remains of some guy named Will to their final resting place. BORE-ING! And doing it over Spring Break when you should be getting your driver’s license, SO RUDE! This award-winning coming of age story by Sheryl Benko is funny and poignant. A stranded van, a clown, a disco-dancing nerd, and a belligerent dwarf are just some of the encounters along the way. It is recommended for young adult readers and adults with John Hughes’s sense of humor. Benko is part of the Power Pitch Panel at the LA BookFest.
David Ruggerio – Say Goodbye and Goodnight
What happens when a celebrity chef discovers his passion for writing? You get a magnificent book like this instant classic, which is inspired by his real life. Say Goodbye and Goodnight by David Ruggerio takes us to Brooklyn in 1977, where we meet an up-and-coming fighter named Anthony, who falls for Gia, the love of his life. But the hatred their affair attracts could be their demise. Ruggerio offers a special cooking segment during the LA BookFest to get hungry readers ready for this book and others.
Scott Brody – The Org
When Org member Marianne Wolfe is murdered, it sets off a chain of events that could put someone with an agenda in the White House. A group called EcoPartyUSA surges in popularity as the globe faces devastating climate change and food shortages. What is in store for the world when cult-like influencers are steering the fate of the US? Scott Brody’s fast-paced debut novel crackles with tension. It is a political thriller you won’t be able to put down. Brody is also on the Future of Fiction Panel at LA BookFest.
Diana Lee Brown – Fly By
The U.S. government could only report that Diana’s father went missing-in-action while flying a combat mission into North Korea. There was no proof of death…his body and aircraft were never found. Take a fascinating journey with memoirist Diana Lee Brown as she searches for answers. The surprises she finds reflect her courage in facing her pain as she mourns a never-ending loss, and as she discovers a way to reconnect to her father’s love. Brown is participating in The Allure of the Memoir Panel at the LA BookFest.
Mitch Albom – Human Touch
The LA BookFest features a Conversation with Mitch Albom. An internationally renowned best-selling author, Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie spent four years on the New York Times Bestseller list. In 2019 he released Finding Chika, which is told in hindsight and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself. This is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable. The book is a devastatingly beautiful portrait of what it means to be a family, regardless of how it is made.
Albom also offers readers a shared serialized story of hope during the coronavirus pandemic. Human Touch is set in the time that each of us is living through together. It is being written by Albom in the present, one week at a time. Those who enjoy the story are encouraged to donate to the Detroit Beats Covid-19! A relief effort in Albom’s hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
Albom is featured in a Conversation with his Tuesday People co-host and producer Lisa Goich at the LA BookFest.
Discover more about Human Touch.
The LA BookFest took place on Saturday, May 9th, and was received with warm enthusiasm. For future events, visit the website and be sure to sign up for email alerts and enter the next Big Bundle of Books Giveaway, featuring many of the books featured in the online event. You can find the recordings of panels and conversations on the LA BookFest website. You can browse “Virtual Booths,” which are pages for partners designed to be a substitute for a physical booth one might find at a festival or convention. There is a “Books Page” showcasing many of these books, “Reading Room” videos of authors reading excerpts of their book and more.
The after-party featured musical performances by Kiera Lyons and Brandyn Cross, followed by the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon read by Danny Trejo at the end of the night.
The LA BookFest was presented by The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, an organization for writers in Southern California and beyond. Other partners for the event included: African Energy Chamber; Authors, Large and Small; Black Château Enterprises; Books That Make You; C. S. Lewis Publicity; D.E.B. Method; Get Published Radio; inFERNo Productions; The Lillian Todaro Collections; Napox Photography; PR Hollywood; WPN (Writers & Publishers Network, formerly SPAWN); TEDxResedaBlvd; TVGuestpert Publishing; WannaBe Press; and the Women’s National Book Association in Los Angeles. Media sponsors included: LA Talk Radio, MyStar95.com, Screenworks Entertainment, and Veritkal Life Magazine.
See you again at the best book fest happening this year: #LABookFest2020.