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Nikole Hannah-Jones at center: Billie Jean King, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Barack Obama, Julie Andrews and Luis J. Rodriguez.
Clockwise from left, with Nikole Hannah-Jones at center: Billie Jean King, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Barack Obama, Julie Andrews and Luis J. Rodriguez.
(Jason Armond, Roger Erickson, Jay L. Clendenin, Pari Dukovic, Varon Panganiban, Ana Venegas.)
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Welcome to the L.A. Times Book Club, an opportunity to see, hear and interact with world-class authors and thought leaders. When you sign up for this newsletter, you become part of our community book club.

Every month, we invite all of Southern California to read along with us. Then we bring Los Angeles together to talk. And listen. And we welcome guest authors to help us make sense of the world. Here are memorable moments from the L.A. Times’ Book Club’s first four years.

I’m your host and editor Donna Wares. Tell us: What books and authors do you enjoy most?

Become a book club benefactor: Make a tax-deductible contributions through the L.A. Times Community Fund to keep our book club going and growing. Thank you for helping us build something amazing.

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January 2024

Dean Koontz is the author "The Bad Weather Friend."
(Douglas Sonders / Thomas & Mercer)

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On Sunday, Jan. 28 bestselling author Dean Koontz joins book club readers for a special in-person conversation about his new thriller, “The Bad Weather Friend” at UC Irvine.

Get tickets.

Dean Koontz with his beloved golden retriever, Elsa. He is a longtime benefactor of Canine Companions for Independence.
Dean Koontz with his beloved golden retriever, Elsa. He is a longtime benefactor of Canine Companions for Independence.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)
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December 2023

California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick is the author of "Scar and Flower." He joins the L.A. Times Book Club on Dec. 12, 2023.
(Curtis Messer / Word Poetry)

California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick joined us for a conversation with Times Editor Steve Padilla on Dec. 12.

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November 2023

Books covers for "The Worlds I See" by Fei-Fei Li and "Unmasking AI" by Joy Buolamwini.
(Flatiron Books / Random House)

On Nov. 14 Fei-Fei Li, author of “The Worlds I See,” and Joy Buolamwini, author of “Unmasking AI,” joined AI Book Club Night at the L.A. Times Book Club. Watch now.

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October 2023

Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida, left, and former Washington Post Editor Martin Baron, right.
Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida, left, and former Washington Post Editor Martin Baron, right.
(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

Author Martin Baron discussed “Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos and The Washington Post” with L.A. Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida on Oct. 11. Watch now.

This event was presented in partnership with the USC Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication.

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Members of the audience listened attentively at the University of Southern California Wallis Annenberg Hall.
Members of the audience listened attentively at the University of Southern California Wallis Annenberg Hall.
(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)
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September 2023

Author Walter Isaacson signs copies of "Elon Musk" at the L.A. Times Book Club
Author Walter Isaacson signs copies of “Elon Musk” at the El Segundo Performing Arts Center.
(Varon Panganiban / For The Times)

In September we read bestselling author Walter Isaacson’s biography “Elon Musk.”

Isaacson joined us Oct. 1 for a conversation with Times columnist Anita Chabria. Watch now.

Author Walter Isaacson (left) discusses his book "Elon Musk" with columnist Anita Chabria at the Los Angeles Times Book Club
Author Walter Isaacson (left) with columnist Anita Chabria.
(Varon Panganiban / For The Times)

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August 2023

Christian Cooper (right) is the author of "Better Living Through Birding"
(Random House)

Christian Cooper, the bird lover who went viral after he was falsely accused of threatening Central Park dog owner, joined book club readers Aug. 16 to discuss “Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World.”

Watch Cooper in conversation with Times writer Carla Hall about his memoir and his new series, “Extraordinary Birder.”

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July 2023

Author Luis Alberto Urrea and "Good Night, Irene," July 2023 selection of the L.A. Times Book Club.
(Nicole Waite / Little, Brown)

Who are the ‘Donut Dollies’? In his new novel Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story behind the front line WWII heroes.

On July 19 Urrea discussed “Good Night, Irene” with Times editor Iliana Limon Romero at a live streaming book club night. Librarian Nancy Pearl joined as a special guest reader. Watch.

Phyllis McLaughlin de Urrea with fellow Red Cross volunteers
Urrea’s mom Phyllis McLaughlin de Urrea (left) with fellow Red Cross volunteers
(Courtesy of Luis Alberto Urrea)

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June 2023

(Left to right) Mae Martin and Elliot Page with book club readers at the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.
(Varon Panganiban / For The Times)

On June 8 actor Elliot Page joined more than 900 book club readers for a live, in-person conversation about his memoir “Pageboy” at the historic Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.

Elliot Page speaking
Elliot Page talks about writing “Pageboy”
(Photo by Varon Panganiban)
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May 2023

Actor and author LeVar Burton takes a photo with book club readers.
(Varon Panganiban / For the Times
)

On May 24 actor, author and “Reading Rainbow” founder LeVar Burton joined book club readers to discuss the State of Banned Books. Watch now.

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Keep reading: The 15 most banned books in America this school year.

LeVar Burton and Times editor Steve Padilla discuss the State of Banned Books at the L.A. Times Book Club
LeVar Burton (right) and Times editor Steve Padilla discuss the State of Banned Books
(Varon Panganiban / For the Times
)
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April 2023

Gabrielle Zevin speaks about "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" at the Festival of Books
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

On April 22 bestselling novelist Gabrielle Zevin discussed “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” at the Festival of Books.

She also stopped by the Times studio to answer some Very Important Questions.

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March 2023

Annalee Newitz is the author of "The Terraformers."
(Sarah Deragon/ Tor)

Author Annalee Newitz joined book club readers March 28 to discuss “The Terraformers” with Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda. Watch.

Newitz explains, “I wrote this book because I wanted to dream up a more hopeful world.”

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February 2023

Author Brendan Slocumb and "The Violin Conspiracy."
(Vintage / Glenn Fry)

Author Brendan Slocumb joined book club readers Feb. 23 to discuss his bestselling mystery, “The Violin Conspiracy,” with Times classical music critic Mark Swed. Watch now.

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January 2023

Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder and the cover of his new book, "Rough Sleepers."
(Random House / Fran Kidder)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder joined us Jan. 26 to discuss “Rough Sleepers” with Times columnist Steve Lopez. Watch now.

The bestselling author of “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” Kidder returns with a deeply researched exploration of the nation’s homeless crisis and the systematic failures behind it.

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December 2022

Author Celeste Ng on the set of "Little Fires Everywhere."
Author Celeste Ng on the set of “Little Fires Everywhere.”
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

“Little Fires Everywhere” author Celeste Ng joined book club readers Dec. 8 for a virtual conversation about her latest bestseller, “Our Missing Hearts,” with Times columnist Patt Morrison. Watch now.

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November 2022

Author Percival Everett discusses "Dr. No" at the L.A. Times Book Club.
Percival Everett discusses “Dr. No” at the L.A. Times Book Club.
(Varon Panganiban for the Times)

On Nov. 16 author Percival Everett discussed “Dr. No” with columnist LZ Granderson at the Autry Museum of the American West, a special book club night featuring live music and browsing the museum after hours.

If you’re a longtime fan, or just discovering his work, here are 5 books that showcase Everett’s style.

Author Percival Everett and columnist LZ Granderson at the L.A. Times Book Club on Nov. 16, 2022
Author Percival Everett and columnist LZ Granderson.
(Varon Panganiban for The Times
)

Before the book talk, we previewed “Washed Ashore,” a short doc from directors Ley Heimgartner and Cameron Neilson about marine biologists investigating the mysterious die-off of the Pacific gray whale. The film is part of L.A. Times Short Docs.

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October 2022

Novelist Lydia Millet is the author of "Dinosaurs." She joins the L.A. Times Book Club in October 2022.
(Norton/ Ivory Orchid Photography)

On Oct. 26 author Lydia Millet joined the L.A. Times Book Club to discuss “Dinosaurs” with Times reporter and novelist Jeffrey Fleishman at the Autry Museum.

Millet’s previous novel, “A Children’s Bible,” explored climate change and was a 2020 National Book Award finalist.

Book cover for "Me and Paul" by Willie Nelson and author photo.
(Harper Horizon / Pamela Springsteen)

On Oct. 13, Willie Nelson joined the L.A. Times Book Club to discuss “Me and Paul,” the story of a 70-year-old friendship with drummer Paul English that inspired and saved his life.

Nelson was in conversation with Jaclyn Cosgrove, The Times editor who launched the newsroom’s yearlong mental health initiative, For Your Mind.

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September 2022

FOB 2022: Silvia Moreno-Garcia Feature

On Sept. 27 bestselling novelist Silvia Moreno-Garcia discussed her science fiction thriller, “The Daughter of Doctor Moreau,” with Times editor Steve Padilla. Watch now.

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“The fictions of Silvia Moreno-Garcia abound in shapeshifters,” says reviewer Paula L. Woods. “And they are central to her latest novel, ‘The Daughter of Doctor Moreau,’ which reframes the classic H.G. Wells story of terrifying human-animal hybrids as a thrilling and romantic anticolonial adventure set in the Yucatán Peninsula.”

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August 2022

Book cover for "California Soul" and chef Keith Corbin
(Random House )

On Aug. 23 chef Keith Corbin discussed “California Soul” with Times Food editor Daniel Hernandez . Watch now.

In gritty, graphic detail, Corbin’s memoir shows readers his journey from teenage gangster to maximum-security prison inmate to co-owner of one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants. Corbin cooked his Vegan California Gombo during a visit to The Times Test Kitchen.

Editor Laurie Ochoa reads from "California Soul" at book club night.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)
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July 2022

Jennifer Grey is the author of a new memoir, "Out of the Corner."
(Brian Bowen Smith/ Ballantine Books)

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On July 27 “Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Grey discussed her bestselling memoir, “Out of the Corner” with Times writer Amy Kaufman in Hollywood.

Watch now.

"Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey joined the L.A. Times Book Club on July 27, 2022 to discuss "Out of the Corner."
Jennifer Grey on stage with Times reporter Amy Kaufman at the Montalban Theatre.
(Varon Panganiban/ For The Times )
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June 2022

Ibram X. Kendi is the author of "How to Raise an Antiracist." He joins the L.A. Times Book Club June 22, 2022.
(One World | Stephen Voss)

On June 22 author and historian Ibram X. Kendi discussed “How to Raise an Antiracist” with columnist Sandy Banks

Kendi addresses such questions as: How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race?

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Ibram X. Kendi and Times columnist Sandy Banks at USC.
(Varon Panganiban)
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May 2022

Los Angeles Times Book Club authors for May, 2022. From left, Colleen Kinder, Maggie Shipstead, Michelle Tea and Pico Iyer.
(Owen Murray | Maggie Shipstead | Jenny Westerhoff | Brigitte Lacombe)

On May 26 authors Pico Iyer, Maggie Shipstead and Michelle Tea and editor Colleen Kinder discussed “Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us” with Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds. Watch now.

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April 2022

Amanda Gorman reads a poem on stage at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Amanda Gorman at the Festival of Books.
(David Livingston / Getty Images)

Inauguration poet Amanda Gorman was our April book club author.

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Gorman joined Times readers April 23 at the Festival of Books to discuss “Call Us What We Carry” with Natalie J. Graham, Orange County’s poet laureate.Watch: Gorman’s first public performance since the pandemic.

Orange County Poet Laureate Natalie J. Graham (left) interviews Amanda Gorman at the Festival of Books
Orange County Poet Laureate Natalie J. Graham (Left) interviews Amanda Gorman at the Festival of Books.
(Nick Agro / For The Times)

More: How Growing up in L.A. shaped Amanda Gorman’s poetry.

Reyna Grande is the author of "A Ballad of Love and Glory."
Reyna Grande is the author of “A Ballad of Love and Glory.”
(Imran Chaudhry
)

On March 29 author Reyna Grande joined Times editor Steve Padilla to discuss her historical novel, “A Ballad of Love and Glory.” Watch now.

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February 2022

 Jane Goodall and book cover for "The Book of Hope."
(Celadon Books/ Andrew Zuckerman)

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On Feb. 25 renowned naturalist, scientist and U.N. messenger of peace Jane Goodall joined book club readers to discuss “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times.”

In a conversation with reporter Dorany Pineda, Goodall also talked about how each of us can make a difference to heal the planet. Watch now.

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January 2022

Author photo and book cover for Stephanie Land and"Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive."
(Legacy Lit/ Hachette Books)

On Jan. 25 bestselling author Stephanie Land discussed “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive” with Times reporter Paloma Esquivel. Watch now.

Her memoir inspired a popular Netflix series. To learn more about the inequalities built into our economy and potential solutions, here are nine books to read after “Maid.”

 10 books to help you understand inequality
(Harvard University Press; Legacy Lit/ Hachette Books;Doubleday/Random House;Crown;Twelve Books;The New Press;Knopf;Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

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December 2021

Best-selling author Ann Patchett will discuss "These Precious Days," with Times columnist Steve Lopez on Dec. 9, 2021
(Heidi Ross/Harper)

On Dec. 9 bestselling author Ann Patchett joined book club readers to discuss “These Precious Days” with Times columnist Steve Lopez. Patchett reflects on family, friendships and writing this deeply personal collection of essays. Watch now.

Born in Los Angeles, Patchett now lives in Nashville and co-owns Parnassus Books.

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November 2021

kevin Merida
(James Estrin/One World/Kirk McKoy / LA Times)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones discussed “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” with Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida on Nov. 30. Watch highlights.

Authors Terry McMillan and Nafissa Thompson-Spires also read their contributions at the California African American Museum.

 Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Nafissa Thompson-Spires and Terry McMillan.
Kevin Merida, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Nafissa Thompson-Spires and Terry McMillan at book club night.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

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Read columnist LZ Granderson’s interview with Hannah-Jones here.

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October 2021

Ron Howard and Clint Howard at the L.A. Times Book Club
Ron Howard and Clint Howard get ready for an evening with L.A. Times Book Club readers at L.A. Live’s Rooftop Terrace.
(L.A. Times Today TV)

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard joined book club readers Oct. 15 to discuss “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family” with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mary McNamara. Watch now.

This special book club evening, at L.A. Live’s Rooftop Terrace atop the Grammy Museum, was our first in-person event since Feb. 2020. The Howards also sat down for pre-show chat with L.A. Times Today.

“The Boys” brings readers inside “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Happy Days,” “Gentle Ben” and other iconic TV shows of the 1960s and 1970s. Ron and Clint Howard talked about why they wrote the book in a recent Times interview.

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"Happy Days" actress Marion Ross was a surprise guest at book club night with Ron and Clint Howard.
“Happy Days” actress Marion Ross (front row in white, striped jacket) was a surprise guest at book club night with Ron and Clint Howard.
(Varon Panganiban)
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September 2021

Book cover for "Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Lines of California's Wildfires" by Jaime Lowe.
(MCD/Farrar, Strauss and Giroux/ Jeff Montgomery)

Journalist and author Jaime Lowe joined book club readers Sept. 28 to discuss “Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Lines of California’s Wildfires” with Times columnist Erika D. Smith. Watch now.

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August 2021

Billie Jean King and her memoir, "All In: An Autobiography."
(Roger Erickson | Knopf)

On Aug. 24, tennis legend Billie Jean King joined book club readers for a conversation with Times executive sports editor Christian Stone about her memoir, “All In.” Watch now.

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Read Sports columnist Helene Elliott’s interview with King and an excerpt.

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July 2021

Rodrigo Garcia is author of "A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes."
(Rodrigo Garcia/HarperVia)

Filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia joined book club readers July 29 to discuss “A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes” with Times editor Steve Padilla. Watch here.

Garcia’s book is a remembrance of his father, author Gabriel García Márquez, and his mother, Mercedes Barcha.

Bonus: Here’s a Gabriel García Márquez reading guide.

Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha in the late 1960s, from "A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes" by Rodrigo Garcia.
(Courtesy of the Garcia Marquez Family Archive)

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June 2021

Michele Harper is the author of "The Beauty in Breaking."
(Riverhead Books/ LaTosha Oglesby)

Michele Harper joined book club readers June 29 for a conversation with Times reporter Marissa Evans about “The Beauty in Breaking,” her bestselling memoir about life as an ER doctor. Watch now.

Harper’s memoir is featured in the United We Read series, Heather John Fogarty’s yearlong reading journey through every U.S. state. Here’s the complete reading list.

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May 2021

Charles Yu discussed "Interior Chinatown" with Times film critic Justin Chang.
Charles Yu discussed “Interior Chinatown” with Times film critic Justin Chang.
(Los Angeles Times)

Our May book club pick was “Interior Chinatown,” Charles Yu’s 2020 National Book Award-winning novel about pop culture, Hollywood and Asian stereotypes.

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Yu joined us May 27 for a conversation with Times film critic Justin Chang. Watch now.

Former President Obama joined with filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
(Los Angeles Times)
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April 2021

Former President Barack Obama joined the Los Angeles Times Book Club April 21 to discuss his bestselling memoir “A Promised Land” with filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
Watch here.

Read about the discussion.

Read a book excerpt.

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March 2021

Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of "The Committed."
(Grove Press)

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Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of “The Committed,” joined book club readers March 10 for a conversation with Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda. Watch here.

Nguyen’s novel is a sequel to “The Sympathizer,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2016. “The Sympathizer” told the story of a conflicted double agent in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The sequel follows Nguyen’s protagonist to Paris. “I wasn’t done with his story,” Nguyen says.

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February 2021

"Migrations" author Charlotte McConaghy.
(Flatiron Books)

Australian writer Charlotte McConaghy, author of the novel “惭颈驳谤补迟颈辞苍蝉,” joined us from Sydney for a Feb. 24 conversation with Times reporter Rosanna Xia. Watch now.

“Migrations” has drawn praise from reviewers for its powerful discussion of climate issues. “I wanted to energize people and myself and come out of the other side of despair and apathy and into a place of hope, love and action,” McConaghy says in a Times interview.

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January 2021

Lisa See, author of "The Island of Sea Women."
(Scribner/ Patricia Williams)

Bestselling author Lisa See shares the stories behind “The Island of Sea Women” with Times culture columnist Mary McNamara on Jan. 25. Watch here.

Read an interview with Lisa See.

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December 2020

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, “The Undocumented Americans," Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, “Children of the Land"
(One World/ HarperCollins)

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, author of “The Undocumented Americans,” and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of “Children of the Land,” shared their stories of a hidden America. They talked about immigration and family with Times editor Steve Padilla. Watch here.

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More: Interviews with Cornejo Villavicencio and Castillo.

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November 2020

Science fiction writer Octavia Butler stands near some of her novels at a bookstore in Seattle in 2004.
(Noé Montes/ Angel City Press
)

The L.A. Times Book Club explores the legacy and prolific writing of science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler. Step inside her L.A. world with this interactive map.

Lynell George, author of “A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler,” and Times reporter Julia Wick joined book club readers on Nov. 18. Watch now.

Lynell George is the author of "A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler."
(Noé Montes/ Angel City Press
)

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Giveaway: This event included the book club’s first book giveaway, made possible with a donation from the estate of Octavia E. Butler and literary agent Merrilee Heifetz. The giveaway featured five of Butler’s books: “Kindred;” “Parable of the Sower;”“Parable of the Talents;” “Wild Seed;” and“Fledgling.” The other books are: “Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora,” edited by Sheree R. Thomas; “Binti: The Complete Trilogy” by Nnedi Okorafor;“An Unkindness of Ghosts” by Rivers Solomon; “Pet” by Akwaeke Emezi ; and “How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?” by N.K. Jemisin. Update: All 700 books have now been claimed.

Today's black speculative fiction authors include Octavia Butler, Rivers Solomon and N.K. Jemisin.
(Grand Central Publishing, Beacon Press, Aspect, DAW, Akashic Books, Make Me A World, Orbit.)

Reading guide: How to chose your next Octavia E. Butler book
Book excerpt: ‘A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky’ reveals Octavia E. Butler’s early life in Pasadena
Book club newsletter: Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena and giveaway

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September 2020

Amaud Johnson, Ashaki M. Jackson, Robin Coste Lewis
Top row, from left: Amaud Johnson, Ashaki M. Jackson, Robin Coste Lewis, Khadijah Queen, jayy dodd, Natalie J. Graham, Kima Jones, Douglas Kearney.
(Victoria Smith/Jason Gutierrez/K. Miroire/Michael Teak/jayy dodd/Maya Washington/Kima Jones/Bao Phi)

On Sept. 24 the L.A. Times Book Club hosted Black Poets in a Time of Unrest, featuring National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis, the Los Angeles poet laureate, in conversation with reporter Makeda Easter.

Lewis joined a lineup of poet performers sharing their experiences in verse: Natalie J. Graham, Ashaki M. Jackson, Douglas Kearney, jayy dodd, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Khadijah Queen and Kima Jones, the co-host of the event with the L.A. Times Book Club. Watch.

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August 2020

"The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett
(Riverhead Books)

The August book selection was ” The Vanishing Half,” Brit Bennett’s bestselling novel about twin sisters, identity and family secrets.

Bennett joined book club readers Aug. 25 for a conversation with Times writer Carla Hall. Watch here.

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July 2020

Bonnie Tsui is the author of "Why We Swim."
(Lynsay Skiba/ Algonquin Books
)

“Why We Swim” by Bonnie Tsui is the book club’s July selection. Tsui, a Bay Area journalist, surfer and former competitive swimmer, joined Times reporter and masters swimmer James Rainey July 28 for a virtual meetup. Long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox shared a favorite passage during the event.

“Why We Swim” is a mix of memoir, history and swim adventure that journeys from the California Coast to Iceland’s swim culture to the “Hawaii” of the South China Sea.

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June 2020

"The Compton Cowboys"
(HarperCollins)

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“The Compton Cowboys,” a true story about identity and belonging by Walter 罢丑辞尘辫蝉辞苍-贬别谤苍á苍诲别锄, was the June selection. The book traces the history and legacy of black cowboys in a Los Angeles bedroom community.

罢丑辞尘辫蝉辞苍-贬别谤苍á苍诲别锄 joined us June 24 for a conversation with Times reporter Angel Jennings. Here are 5 Things to know about The Compton Cowboys.

Keep reading: Interview with the author, a book excerpt and the book club newsletter.

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May 2020

Emily St. John Mandel and her novels," Station Eleven" and "The Glass Hotel."
(Sarah Shatz; Knopf)

Emily St. John Mandel, author of the bestselling pandemic novel “Station Eleven,” joined the Los Angeles Times Book Club on May 19. Her new book, “The Glass Hotel,” revolves around another issue of great current concern — a financial crisis.

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Watch Mandel in conversation with Times reporter Carolina A. Miranda.

Mandel and other authors, including Susan Orlean, T.C. Boyle, Marlon James, Charlie Jane Anders and Jess Walter, helped us put together this end-of-the-world reading list.

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April 2020

Writer Fanny Singer and her mother, renowned chef Alice Waters, will join Los Angeles Times Book Club readers on April 21 for a virtual meet-up from Waters’ home kitchen in Berkeley.

During April we read “Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes & Stories,” Fanny Singer’s memoir about growing up at an epicenter of California cuisine. Singer is the daughter of Alice Waters, the chef behind Berkeley’s Chez Panisse Café and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project.

Singer and Waters joined the L.A. Times Book Club on April 21 to discuss food and family with editor Laurie Ochoa. Watch their conversation here.

“It feels like a moment to redefine how we relate to the things that we consume,” Singer says in an interview. Her favorite roast chicken recipe is here.

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March 2020

(L-R) Maria La Ganga, Milo the basset hound and Steph Cha during the first virtual book club night.
(L-R) Maria La Ganga, Milo the basset hound and Steph Cha during the first virtual book club night.
(Los Angeles Times staff)

On March 30, the L.A. Times Book Club rebooted with its first virtual event: novelists Steph Cha and Joe Ide joined Times reporter Maria L. La Ganga to discuss the new world of L.A. noir.

Cha is the author of the bestselling 2019 thriller “Your House Will Pay.” Ide’s new mystery is “Hi Five,” the fourth book in his “IQ” detective series set in East Long Beach. The book club conversation streamed live.

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February 2020

Poet Luis Rodriguez speaking at the Colony Theatre in Burbank during the L.A. Times Book Club event.
(Varon Panganiban)

On Saturday, Feb. 15, former Los Angeles poet laureate Luis J. Rodriguez discussed “From Our Land to Our Land,” a collection about race, culture and identity, with Times reporter Daniel Hernandez at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

More: Does Poetry Matter? L.A.’s former poet laureate explains why it’s life changing. Read an author interview.

48

January 2020

Ocean Vuong joined book club readers at The Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.
(Varon Panganiban)

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On Jan. 27, author Ocean Vuong shared his debut novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” with Times arts and culture reporter Carolina A. Miranda at the Montalban Theatre.

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December 2019

Father Gregory Boyle got a standing ovation during his book club conversation author Hector Tobar.
(Ana Venegas/For The Times)

On Dec. 16, the book club welcomed Homeboy Industries founder Gregory Boyle for a breakfast conversation with author Héctor Tobar about “Barking to the Choir.” Then readers toured Homeboy Industries downtown.

Lisa Garcia leads a tour of Los Angeles Times Book Club readers at Homeboy Industries.
Lisa Garcia leads a tour of Los Angeles Times Book Club readers at Homeboy Industries.
(Ana Venegas/For The Times)

Read an interview with Boyle and five things to know about his book and his work.

For school groups and book clubs, here’s a discussion guide to “Barking to the Choir.”

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November 2019

Julie Andrews discussed her memoir with Mary McNamara at the Orpheum Theatre.
Julie Andrews discussed her memoir with columnist Mary McNamara at the Orpheum Theatre. The event drew a crowd of 2000. people attended.
(Ana Venegas/Ana Venegas/For The Times)

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On Nov. 18, Julie Andrews shared stories from “Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years” in a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning Times columnist Mary McNamara at the Orpheum Theatre.

Read The Times’ interview with Andrews and review of her new memoir, plus film critic Justin Chang’s commentary.

51

October 2019

 Ronan Farrow at the Orpheum Theatre
Ronan Farrow at the Orpheum Theatre
(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

On Oct. 22, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow discussed surveillance, counter-surveillance and the stories behindCatch and Kill,” his book detailing sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men.

Read The Times’ interview with Farrow.

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Michael Connelly discussed “The Night Fire” at the Montalbán Theatre.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

On Oct. 21, best-selling crime writer Michael Connelly joined book club readers for the launch of “The Night Fire.” He also previewed two upcoming books and talked about living with the same character for 27 years.

Keep reading: Here’s a look at 15 iconic Harry Bosch haunts across L.A., plus 20 essential L.A. crime books, and this special report on why L.A. is the perpetual dark heart of crime writing.

52

September 2019

Author George Takei and his book, "They Called Us Enemy."
(George Takei; Top Shelf Productions)

On Sept. 10, actor and author George Takei discussed They Called Us Enemy,” a graphic memoir about his childhood years in Japanese American internment camps during World War II. Watch a segment from the event on LA Times Today.

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For book clubs and school groups, here is a discussion guide.

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July 2019

Laila Lalami joined book club readers at the Skirball Cultural Center.
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Author Laila Lalami joined Times reporter Lorraine Ali for a conversation about “The Other Americans, ”a mystery and family saga set in the Southern California desert.

Here’s an interview with Lalami and five things to know about “The Other Americans.”

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June 2019

Author Susan Orlean, left, in conversation with Times Deputy Managing Editor Julia Turner.
Author Susan Orlean, left, in conversation with Times Deputy Managing Editor Julia Turner at the first Los Angeles Times Book Club meetup, at the Barnsdall Art Park Theatre on June 25, 2019.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

In June we read “The Library Book” by bestselling author Susan Orlean and hosted a community forum where Orlean and readers shared library stories. We also took a deep dive to explore what L.A. is reading right now and showed book lovers how to read for free with library apps.

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The L.A. Times Book Club builds on the success of America’s largest literary event, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which attracts 150,000 people every April. Our community book club keeps the storytelling and conversation going year-round.

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Get in touch

Editor Donna Wares
Editor Donna Wares returned to The Times in 2019 to launch the L.A. Times Book Club.
(Times Staff)

Want to be part of the book club? Sign up for the L.A. Times Book Club newsletter in the subscription box above, and we’ll keep you updated about live events, author interviews and book news.

Want to share an idea? To suggest a book, please include a brief summary and link to the publisher’s website in an email to bookclub@latimes.com. We’ll follow up if we need more information.

Join the conversation: The L.A. Times Book Club Facebook group is a chance to share your thoughts and compare notes with fellow book lovers. Please join the discussion there too.

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