5 exciting L.A. book events that will make you sound even smarter at parties


Looking for great book events to get your brain going?

We’ve got you covered with some fun upcoming events including a tribute to the late Kevin Killian; two chances to catch the “Prince of Preschool Books” Hervé Tullet; a Gen X-themed reading; a book signing with Bobby Hundreds; and, last but not least, the inaugural L.A. Times Book Club event featuring the great Susan Orlean.

Here are the best things to do this week in literary L.A.

Celebrate the life and work of Kevin Killian

Poet, novelist, editor, playwright and true cult icon Kevin Killian died June 15; to mourn his loss the Poetic Research Bureau will host an informal reading Sunday in his honor. Books by the celebrated figure of San Francisco’s New Narrative Movement include “Shy,” “Bedrooms Have Windows” and “Impossible Princess,” for which he won the Lambda Literary Foundation award for best gay men’s erotica. Obituaries in Lambda, Art Forum and Frieze have underscored his significance in both the queer cannon and the hearts of the literary community at large, and hundreds of tweets and Facebook posts grieved his passing and celebrated his joie de vivre. The Poetic Research Bureau will have copies of his work from which to read and encourages mourners to share their own memories of this beloved writer. Bring tissues.

3 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at the Poetic Research Bureau, 951 Chung King Road. Free.


Two chances to catch Hervé Tullet

Angelenos have two chances to catch the wildly popular children’s book author and illustrator Hervé Tullet this week, courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). (Just how popular is Tullet? His picture book “Press Here” spent over 200 non-consecutive weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.) Join Tullet for a reading and book signing on Friday with Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Bookstore, or jump into his interactive educators workshop on Tuesday at the ICA LA. The workshop “will demonstrate how to facilitate art-making at home, at school, or anywhere through [his] ingenious new project ‘Ideal Exhibition,’” which will be showcased as part of “Summer School,” the museum’s new, hands-on education initiative. Events are family-friendly and free. They’re also likely to be popular, so RSVP.

3 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Artbook at Hauser & Wirth, 917 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles. Free.

3 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1717 E. 7th St., Los Angeles. Free.

Bobby Hundreds at the Grove

Bobby Kim, a.k.a. Bobby Hundreds, is a multi-faceted guy. Co-founder of the L.A.-based streetwear company and media platform the Hundreds, he’s also the mastermind behind Death Sentences Reading Club and recently published his own nonfiction debut, “This Is Not a T-Shirt: A Brand, a Culture, a Community — a Life in Streetwear,” which The Times’ Adam Tschorn calls “an L.A.-centric roller-coaster ride.” (Please note the unmistakable “Franny and Zooey” font splashed across the cover. The branding is strong with this one.) Hundreds will discuss “This Is Not a T-Shirt” with rapper Wale at the Barnes and Noble at the Grove on Tuesday. Expect crisp sneakers, graphic hoodies and a packed house.

7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at Barnes & Noble in the Grove at Farmers Market, 189 the Grove Drive Suite K 30, Los Angeles. Barnes & Noble will issue wristbands for entry on a first-come, first-served basis to customers who purchase the book.


It’s here! The official Los Angeles Times Book Club launches with Susan Orlean

The Los Angeles Times Book Club makes its official debut on Tuesday evening with bestselling author Susan Orlean at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Art Park. Orlean will discuss “The Library Book,” a gripping whodunit about the mysterious 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central library (and a moving meditation on the necessity of books) with The Times’ Deputy Managing Editor Julia Turner. If you love the L.A. Times Festival of Books then you’ll love this event, even if you’re worried that you’re “not a joiner.” Book club editor Donna Wares said it best: Book clubs aren’t just about books, they’re “meaningful experiences and in-person discussions where stories and ideas can be shared with humanity and nuance the internet doesn’t always allow.” It’s a great opportunity to connect with Orlean — and other readers — IRL.

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 4814 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. $10-$75.

Welcome the arrival of summer with a throwback at Beyond Baroque

The Los Angeles Press promises a night of nostalgia with “Gen X Summer” this Thursday at Venice standby Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. Poets and memoirists including Linda Ravenswood, Liz Stephens and Peggy Dobreer will share new work on an old theme, namely a particular fantasy of Los Angeles in the 1990s. The event description sounds like my seventh-grade mood board: “The Century City Mall, walking in Westwood … Tower Records, Heaven, penny loafers, Fiorucci and Hamburger Hamlet,” all serve as artistic inspiration for this event. An open mike will follow, so if you’ve got a sonnet stashed away about the Johnny Rockets on Melrose (what, just me?), here’s your chance to shine.


8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at Beyond Baroque, 681 N. Venice Blvd. Venice. $10 regular admission, $6 students and seniors, members attend free.