How to watch Ann Patchett discuss ‘These Precious Days’ at the L.A. Times Book Club

Bestselling author Ann Patchett will discuss “These Precious Days” with L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez.


Author and indie bookstore owner Ann Patchett joined the L.A. Times Book Club Dec. 9 to discuss “The Precious Days,” her bestselling new essay collection.

During our final book club night of 2021, Patchett talked about her LAPD detective dad, who was involved in the infamous Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan cases. She shared wisdom from such varied heroes as Homeboy Industries founder Gregory Boyle, children’s author Kate DiCamillo and Snoopy of the Peanuts Gang. She explained how an unexpected friendship and pandemic quarantine with actor Tom Hanks’ personal assistant, Sookie Raphael, inspired her book’s title essay.

You can watch Patchett in conversation with Times columnist Steve Lopez on YouTube or Twitter.

Author and indie bookstore owner Ann Patchett  in conversation with Times columnist Steve Lopez.
(Los Angeles Times)

Patchett is the author of seven novels, including “Bel Canto” and “The Dutch House.”

In “These Precious Days,” her second essay collection, Patchett traces her influences and inspirations from her birth in Los Angeles to a childhood in Nashville and an education at Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She also recounts her year of no shopping and her pandemic-inspired quest to rid herself of some worldly possessions.

Patchett says the pandemic has changed her. “I don’t really think I need to go anywhere anymore.

“Eudora Welty didn’t go anywhere. Emily Dickinson didn’t go anywhere,” she says in a recent interview with The Times. “The value of my life is that I can write books, and I’m going to get a lot more of them written in my house — and I have a great imagination.”

A woman sits crosslegged on a table in a bookstore, with a dog in her lap.
Author Ann Patchett and Sparky the bookshop dog.
(Heidi Ross)

Patchett has a unique vantage point on book promotion as an author who also co-owns a bookstore. She describes her Nashville bookstore as one of her life’s greatest accomplishments. “I believe I’ve done more good on behalf of culture by opening Parnassus than I have writing novels,” she writes. “I’ve made a place in my community where everyone is welcome.”


“These Precious Days” is the book club’s December selection. In January we’re reading Stephanie Land’s”Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive,” a bestselling memoir that is now a Netflix series. Land joins Times readers on Jan. 25.

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