Newsletter: Actor George Takei is sharing ‘They Called Us Enemy’ with L.A. Times Book Club readers

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

Good morning, and welcome to the Book Club newsletter.

Tickets still are available for the Sept. 10 Los Angeles Times Book Club evening with actor and author George Takei in conversation with Times reporter Teresa Watanabe.

Takei will discuss “They Called Us Enemy,” a new graphic memoir about his childhood years spent in Japanese American internment camps.

“In today’s America, we’ve seen the television images of migrant children in cages so many times that it’s all too easy to develop compassion fatigue,” reviewer Patrick J. Kiger writes.


“Former ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei, who as a child was one of 120,000 Japanese Americans rounded up from their homes by U.S. authorities and sent to internment camps during World War II, knows all too well how that feels. He seems determined to jolt the rest of us out of our apathy and make us understand.”

Takei said he decided to tell his story as an illustrated graphic memoir to reach a generation of readers that may not know what happened to Japanese American families like his.

Details: The L.A. Times Book Club welcomes Takei on Sept. 10 at the Montalbán Theater in Los Angeles. VIP tickets are sold out, but general admission tickets still are available here.


Author and Times critic at large Adriana E. Ramirez writes: “Whether the immigrant is from Ireland in 1870 or Syria in 2019, there is something profoundly amazing in undertaking the journey to start life somewhere new and foreign.”

That’s why Ramirez decided to compile a reading list of her favorite immigration stories, including novels, nonfiction, poetry and children’s stories. These writers, she says, all grapple with similar questions: Who is America for, if not the immigrant and the children of immigrants?

Check out Ramirez’s reading list.

Then tell us: What books would you add? Message or comment in the L.A. Times Book Club Facebook group.



One of the joys of reading great crime fiction is the way it can draw us into novel worlds and perspectives, transforming the seemingly familiar into something new, mysterious or surprising.

This week, Paula L. Woods previewed four new and upcoming crime books that illuminate life and crime in Los Angeles and the West. Her list includes Michael Connelly’s “The Night Fire,” the October L.A. Times Book Club pick.

On Oct. 21, Connelly will be in conversation with Times reporter and novelist Jeffrey Fleishman at the Montalbán Theater in Los Angeles. Book clubbers will be the first ones to hear about “The Night Fire” (which will be published on Oct. 22) before Connelly starts a national and international book tour.

“The Night Fire” is the latest installment in Connelly’s bestselling Los Angeles crime series featuring Det. Harry Bosch. The novels inspired the “Bosch” TV series, now in production for Season 6.

Info: Get tickets here. Copies of “The Night Fire” will be on sale at the event. Yes, we have some surprises planned.

Michael Connelly
Author Michael Connelly and his upcoming novel, “The Night Fire.”
(Little, Brown and Company)


Building on the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Times has launched a community book club to keep the conversation and storytelling going year-round.

Every month, the L.A. Times Book Club shares a book, publishes stories exploring the topic and invites you to read along. We also host events with the featured author and invite you to join that too. The book club gives readers the opportunity to see, hear and interact with world-class authors, celebrities and newsmakers.

We want to get people talking again by making your newspaper not merely something to read every day but also something to experience. Something that regularly brings us together.

Read along. Attend events. Join the growing L.A. Times Book Club Facebook group. It’s a great place to discuss favorite stories and compare notes with fellow book lovers.

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