18 super special literary events in L.A. this fall

This fall, Susan Orlean will talk about "The Library Book," her forthcoming work about the mysteries surrounding the devastating 1986 fire at the L.A. Public Library.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Books Editor

This fall there are scads of literary events to feed your soul and bookshelf. Here are a few select picks.

Sept. 20, 5 to 9 p.m.

“This is (Not) L.A.” by Jen Bilik

Jen Bilik launches her book “This Is (Not) L.A.: An Insider’s Guide to the Real Los Angeles: Debunking the Clichés, Crushing the Haters, and Generally Making You Wish You Lived Here (or Happier That You Already Do)” with special guest readers, food trucks and museum collections open for guests. Free.

Natural History Museum, 900 W. Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, 90007,


Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Lorna Luft and “A Star Is Born”

Lorna Luft launches her new book about her mother and the movie with a brand new remake, “A Star Is Born: Judy Garland and The Movie that Got Away.” Presented by WeHo Reads and Book Soup. Tickets $5-29.

West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, 90069,

Jose Antonio Vargas and Viet Thanh Nguyen appear in conversation Sept 25.
(Gerry Salva Cruz / BeBe Jacobs)

Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Jose Antonio Vargas with Viet Thanh Nguyen

Journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas reads from and discusses his anticipated memoir “Dear America: Notes of An Undocumented Citizen.” He’ll be in discussion with Times Critic at Large and USC professor Viet Thanh Nguyen. Tickets $8-27 via Skylight Books.

USC Bovard auditorium, 3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, 90089

Sept. 29-Oct. 6

LAMBDA Litfest


Beginning with an all-day event at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center with panels such as “Everything You Wanted to Know about Being a Queer TV Writer but Were Afraid to Ask,” LAMBDA Litfest includes a series of evening events across the city celebrating LGBTQ writers. Most events are free.

Various locations,

Sept. 30, 7 p.m.

Fran Lebowitz

The sardonic New York writer brings her wit to Los Angeles. She’ll be in conversation with Matt Holzman; presented by CAP UCLA. Tickets $29-59.


The Theatre at the Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 90015,

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman’s new book; their L.A. event is Oct. 3

Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m.

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally

Married comedic actors Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”) and Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) present their joint memoir, “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History.” Tickets $35 via Skylight Books.


Aratani Theater, 244 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, 90012

Oct.4, 8 p.m.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin reads from and discusses her new book, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times.” Tickets $20-55.

LiveTalksLA at the Aratani Theater, 244 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, 90012.


Oct. 5, noon

Juan Gabriel Vásquez

A luncheon with Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez, who will discuss his sweeping new novel “The Shape of the Ruins” over lunch at Amici Brentwood. Hosted by Diesel Books. Tickets $75.

Amici Brentwood, 2538 San Vicente Blvd, Santa Monica, 90402. Call Diesel Books for tickets: 310-576-9960

Reyna Grande's new memoir is "A Dream Called Home."

Oct. 5, 7 p.m.

Reyna Grande

Award-winning memoirist Reyna Grande expands her story — which included walking across the border from Mexico — to attending college at UC Santa Cruz in her new book “A Dream Called Home.” Free.

Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, 91101

Oct. 15, 7 p.m.

Jodi Picoult


Bestselling author Jodi Picoult brings her new novel “A Spark of Light” to Southern California, hosted by {pages} a bookstore. Tickets $45 (includes book).

Hermosa Community Theater, 710 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach, 90254.

Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Susan Orlean with Attica Locke

The New Yorker staff writer makes her home partly in Los Angeles and her new book, “The Library Book,” focuses on the L.A. Public Library’s mysterious, devastating 1986 fire — and her love of libraries. Free.


ALOUD at Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., Los Angeles 90071.

Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants, makes one Southern California appearance this fall.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Oct. 16, 5:15 p.m.

Dav Pilkey

The only Southern California appearance of Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants and Dog Man. Tickets $20 (includes Pilkey’s latest, “Dog Man #5: Lord of the Fleas”).


Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach, 90278

Oct. 16, 7 p.m.

Justine Bateman

Actor Justine Bateman, who has a degree from UCLA in computer science and digital media management, takes on one of the central issues of our time in her new book, “Fame: The Hijacking of Reality.” Free.

Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, 90069.


Oct. 18, 7 p.m.

John Scalzi

Bestselling novelist John Scalzi, one of The Times’ critics at large, presents his new book “The Consuming Fire,” the latest in his “Interdependcy” series.

The Last Bookstore, 453 S Spring St., Los Angeles, 90013.

Roger Daltrey performing with The Who at Monterey Pop in 1968.
(Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

Oct. 23, 8 p.m.

Roger Daltrey

The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey has been hard at work on his memoir “Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story,” which promises to separate reality from myth and connect the dots between his personal life and the band’s songs. Tickets $45-55.

LiveTalksLA at the Aratani Theater, 244 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, 90012.

Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m.

Tara Westover with Mona Simpson


Tara Westover discusses her book “Educated: A Memoir,” which has been on our bestseller list for more than six months, with Mona Simpson. Free.

Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 90024.

Dec. 2, 3 p.m.

Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed

Bestselling authors Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat Pray Love”) and Cheryl Strayed (“Wild”), in conversation about writing, creativity and being true to yourself. Tickets $29-59.


Royce Hall at UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles, 90095.

Sally Field will talk about her new memoir "In Pieces" on Dec. 5.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Dec. 5, 8 p.m.

Sally Field

Double-Oscar winner Sally Field discusses her candid memoir “In Pieces,” which stretches from her youth through parenthood and memorable roles such as Gidget, Sybil and Norma Rae. Tickets $20-$50.


LiveTalksLA, Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre, New Roads School, Herb Alpert Educational Village, 3131 Olympic Blvd.,Santa Monica, 90404.




11:30 a.m. Sept 20: This list was updated by removing the appearance of Karl Ove Knausgaard, who has canceled his fall trip to Southern California.

This post was originally published 4:45 p.m. Sept. 14.