If you are in Los Angeles (or want to be) at the end of April, stop by UCLA for the 12th annual LA Times Festival of Books, April 25-27 for some book spotting instead of celebrity spotting. Maxine Hong Kingston, author of Hawai’i One Summer and The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, among others, will accept the Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement on the 25th.

In addition to the Kirsch, awards for nominated outstanding 2007 books in categories of biography, current interest [Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is one], fiction [among them, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao], the Art Seidenbaum Award for first fiction [Antonia Arslan’s beautiful novel Skylark Farm is nominated], and of course history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction, will also be presented.

Just a few authors on the long participant list are: Tobias Wolff, Pico Iyer, Arianna Huffington, Gore Vidal, and Padma Lakshmi, cookbook author of Top Chef Fame (bet you thought you’d never see those two names next to each other!) And on the large exhibitor list is the University of Hawai`i Press, so stop by their booth and say Aloha.