The Los Angeles Times Book Club’s next read is “Barking to the Choir,” a collection of street stories by Homeboy Industries founder Father Gregory Boyle.
Boyle, a Jesuit priest, will join Times readers Dec. 16 for a conversation over breakfast with author Hector Tobar about his experience running the Los Angeles nonprofit. Homeboy operates a number of business enterprises, including a 24-7 bakery staffed by former gang members that supplies fresh baked goods throughout the region.
“Barking to the Choir” is a follow-up to Boyle’s bestselling “Tattoos on the Heart.” Once again, he draws on his daily interactions with the men and women who find their way to Homeboy headquarters on the edge of L.A.’s Chinatown for job training, tutoring, parenting classes and tattoo removal.
“It’s been more than thirty years since I first met Dolores Mission Church as pastor and ultimately came to watch Homeboy Industries, born in that poor, prophetic community in 1988, evolve into the largest gang intervention, rehab, and reentry program on the planet,” Boyle says near the start of “Barking to the Choir.” He writes that Homeboy has helped launch 147 similar programs across the U.S. and more than a dozen global programs as part of the Global Homeboy Network.
Boyle received the California Peace Prize and has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame; in 2014, the White House named him a Champion of Change. He extols the power of community and the “holiness of second chances.”
“He preaches without preaching, trusting that there is no more powerful form of commentary than the telling of stories that shake our notion of who we are, or who the other guys are,” Times columnist Steve Lopez wrote earlier this year about “Barking to the Choir.”
“In Boyle’s heart, humility resides, and with the pen of a poet, he introduces us to the young men and women who stumble into Homeboy like soldiers from the frontlines, damaged by violence, abuse, abandonment, poverty, mental illness and the casualties inflicted by their own rage.”
Book Club: Father Greg Boyle
The L.A. Times Book Club welcomes Father Gregory Boyle, author of “Barking to the Choir,” in conversation with Los Angeles author and journalist Hector Tobar.
When: 9 a.m. Dec. 16
Where: Yosemite Hall at the California Endowment building, 1000 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles. Doors open at 8 a.m.
Books: Copies of “Barking to the Choir” and Boyle’s previous book, “Tattoos on the Heart,” will be available for sale and signing by the author.
Extra: After the book talk, tour Homeboy Industries, located nearby. A limited number of spaces are available for tours at 10:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a spot.
Book Club: Julie Andrews
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18
More info: latimes.com/bookclub