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On the Town: GCC students check out Festival of Books; "The Art of the Scarf" event

April 22, 2014|By Ruth Sowby
  • Glendale Community College students pose in front of Tommy Trojan at USC for the Los Angels Times Festival of Books.
Glendale Community College students pose in front of… (Photo by Ruth Sowby )

On a recent sunny weekend on the USC campus, more than 100,000 bookies gathered to read, attend author seminars, panels and lunch from ubiquitous food trucks.

The Los Angeles Times 19th annual Festival of Books also featured author readings and screenings as well as musical and cooking demonstrations. It attracted Southland readers, many of them pushing strollers for the littlest of would-be wordsmiths.

About 60 Glendale Community College students from two freshmen comp classes, taught by yours truly, met at the popular statue of Tommy Trojan to begin their field trip.

Their assignment was to interview an author and/or publisher of their choice. Some of them headed to the Angel City Press booth that displayed books with Los Angeles themes. Those students with an artistic bent paged through "Exhibitionist" written by April Dammann. The coffee-table book is about art dealer Earl Stendahl, grandfather of the author's husband.

The students stood in front of Tommy Trojan to snap selfies with their friends and families joining them at the festival. Anihit Grigoryan posed with her mother, Satenik Gabrielyan. Amineh Ghazarian took a selfie with friend Nairi Mnasaghanian. Her husband, Mher Mgerdoun, approved. Farnaz Yazdani left her camera at home, but brought her 10-year-old daughter, Elin Hovsepian. Nancy Sayadian was accompanied by her 5-year-old son, Ejmin Manokian.

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Oscar Martinsson, going solo, decided to do some exploring on campus and ran into a large, blank poster titled "What Books Inspire Your Fire." Readers were invited to write down their favorite books and authors.

Martinsson, an international Glendale Community College student from Sweden, scribbled "Jan Guillou" and the Swedish author's book "Ondskan." The semi-autobiographical book is about a 14-year-old boy living in 1950s Stockholm.

Hopefully, the students ended their day with a greater appreciation of reading for pleasure, not just for class.

This week's events went from the art of reading to "The Art of the Scarf." Last Wednesday, designer/artist Louise Wannier presented her artistic, silk scarves and, more importantly, how to wear them through various ways to tie them. Trattoria Neapolis Garden Room in Pasadena was the setting for the fundraiser to benefit Women at Work.

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