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Nikole Hannah-Jones at center: Billie Jean King, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Barack Obama, Julie Andrews and Luis J. Rodriguez.
Clockwise from left, with Nikole Hannah-Jones at center: Billie Jean King, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Barack Obama, Julie Andrews and Luis J. Rodriguez.
(Jason Armond, Roger Erickson, Jay L. Clendenin, Pari Dukovic, Varon Panganiban, Ana Venegas.)

Welcome to the L.A. Times Book Club, an opportunity to see, hear and interact with world-class authors and newsmakers. When you sign up for this newsletter, you become part of our community book club. We’ll keep you updated on the latest reads and live events.

Every month, we share book club selections and invite all of Southern California to read along with us. Then we host a conversation with the authors. [Here are some of the best book club moments of 2022 and 2021.]

I’m your host and editor Donna Wares, and my goal is to get L.A. reading and talking. So tell us: What stories do you want to share? What authors would you most like to meet?

With your tax-deductible support through the new L.A. Times Community Fund we can keep going and growing. Thank you for helping us build something amazing.


July 2023

Author Luis Alberto Urrea and "Good Night, Irene," July 2023 selection of the L.A. Times Book Club.
(Nicole Waite / Little, Brown)


Who are the ‘Donut Dollies’? In his new novel Luis Alberto Urrea tells the story behind the front line WWII heroes.

On July 19 Urrea will discuss “Good Night, Irene” with Times editor Iliana Limon Romero at a live streaming book club night. Get tickets.

Phyllis McLaughlin de Urrea with fellow Red Cross volunteers
Urrea’s mom Phyllis McLaughlin de Urrea (left) with fellow Red Cross volunteers
(Courtesy of Luis Alberto Urrea)



Actor Elliot Page has written a memoir, "Pageboy," and joins the L.A. Times Book Club on June 8, 2023.
(Flatiron / Catherine Opie)

Join actor Elliot Page for a live, in-person conversation about his memoir “Pageboy.” This event is June 8 at the historic Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. Get tickets.



LeVar Burton takes a photo with Times readers at May 24 L.A. Times Book Club on State of Banned Books.
LeVar Burton takes a photo with Times readers at book club night.
(Varon Panganiban for The Times


On May 24 actor, author and “Reading Rainbow” founder LeVar Burton joined book club readers to discuss the State of Banned Books. Watch now.

Keep reading: The 15 most banned books in America this school year.



Gabrielle Zevin speaks about "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" at the Festival of Books
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

On April 22 bestselling novelist Gabrielle Zevin discussed “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” at the Festival of Books.

She also stopped by the Times studio to answer some Very Important Questions.




Annalee Newitz is the author of "The Terraformers."
(Sarah Deragon/ Tor)

Author Annalee Newitz joined book club readers March 28 to discuss “The Terraformers” with Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda. Watch.

In the acknowledgements, Newitz explains, “I wrote this book because I wanted to dream up a more hopeful world.”



Author Brendan Slocumb and "The Violin Conspiracy."
(Vintage / Glenn Fry)

Author Brendan Slocumb joined book club readers Feb. 23 to discuss his bestselling mystery, “The Violin Conspiracy,” with Times classical music critic Mark Swed. Watch now.


Slocumb is a musician and music teacher who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries. In his senior year of high school, Slocumb’s violin was stolen from his home. “It was the worst feeling in the world,” he says in an interview with Makeda Easter.


January 2023

Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder and the cover of his new book, "Rough Sleepers."
(Random House / Fran Kidder)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder joined book club readers Jan. 26 to discuss “Rough Sleepers” with Times columnist Steve Lopez. Watch now.

The bestselling author of “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” Kidder returns with a deeply researched exploration of the nation’s homeless crisis and the systematic failures behind it.

Kidder spent more than five years riding with Dr. Jim O’Connell and street team that navigates Boston in a van at night, providing medical care, wellness checks, socks and soup to the city’s unhoused population.


December 2022

Author Celeste Ng on the set of "Little Fires Everywhere."
Author Celeste Ng on the set of “Little Fires Everywhere.”
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)


“Little Fires Everywhere” author Celeste Ng joined book club readers Dec. 8 for a virtual conversation about her latest bestseller, “Our Missing Hearts,” with Times columnist Patt Morrison. Watch now.

Our Missing Hearts” is the story of a 12-year-old boy named Bird growing up in a near future overtaken by great fear and repression. Bird’s Chinese American mother, a poet, left the family and went into hiding years earlier. But when the boy receives a mysterious letter from his mother, he is drawn into a quest to find her.


November 2022

Author Percival Everett discusses "Dr. No" at the L.A. Times Book Club.
Percival Everett discusses “Dr. No” at the L.A. Times Book Club.
(Varon Panganiban for the Times)

On Nov. 16 Los Angeles author Percival Everett discussed his new novel, “Dr. No,” with Times columnist LZ Granderson at the Autry Museum of the American West, a special book club night featuring live music and browsing the museum after hours.

A USC English professor, Everett is the author of more than 30 books, including “The Trees,” shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize and “Telephone,” a 2021 Pulitzer finalist. If you’re a longtime fan, or just discovering his work, here are 5 books that showcase Everett’s style.


Author Percival Everett and columnist LZ Granderson at the L.A. Times Book Club on Nov. 16, 2022
Author Percival Everett and columnist LZ Granderson.
(Varon Panganiban for The Times

Before the book talk, we previewed “Washed Ashore,” a short doc from directors Ley Heimgartner and Cameron Neilson about an international team of marine biologists investigating the mysterious die-off of the Pacific gray whale. The film is part of L.A. Times Short Docs, a new monthly series from L.A. Times Studios.


October 2022

Novelist Lydia Millet is the author of "Dinosaurs." She joins the L.A. Times Book Club in October 2022.
(Norton/ Ivory Orchid Photography)

On Oct. 26 author Lydia Millet joined the L.A. Times Book Club to discuss “Dinosaurs” with Times reporter and novelist Jeffrey Fleishman at the Autry Museum.

Millet’s last novel, “A Children’s Bible,” explored climate change and was a 2020 National Book Award finalist. Now Millet returns with “Dinosaurs,” the story of a 40-something man who escapes Manhattan to seek solitude in the West after a breakup, only to find himself living next door to a family in a glass house. Publishers Weekly calls “Dinosaurs” a “brilliant story of survival.”

The author of more than a dozen novels, Millet lives in the desert outside Tucson, Ariz., where she works as an editor and writer at the Center for Biological Diversity. Last year, she wrote this piece for The Times: “Climate crisis is here; so is climate fiction. Don’t you dare call it a genre.”


Book cover for "Me and Paul" by Willie Nelson and author photo.
(Harper Horizon / Pamela Springsteen)

On Oct. 13, Willie Nelson joined the L.A. Times Book Club to discuss “Me and Paul,” the story of a 70-year-old friendship with drummer Paul English that inspired and saved his life.

Nelson was in conversation with Jaclyn Cosgrove, The Times editor who launched the newsroom’s yearlong mental health initiative, For Your Mind.


September 2022

FOB 2022: Silvia Moreno-Garcia Feature

On Sept. 27 bestselling novelist Silvia Moreno-Garcia discussed her science fiction thriller, “The Daughter of Doctor Moreau,” with Times editor Steve Padilla.

“The fictions of Silvia Moreno-Garcia abound in shapeshifters,” says reviewer Paula L. Woods. “And they are central to her latest novel, ‘The Daughter of Doctor Moreau,’ which reframes the classic H.G. Wells story of terrifying human-animal hybrids as a thrilling and romantic anticolonial adventure set in the Yucatán Peninsula.”

Watch now.



August 2022

Book cover for "California Soul" and chef Keith Corbin
(Random House )

On Aug. 23 chef Keith Corbin discussed “California Soul” with Times Food editor Daniel Hernandez.

In gritty, graphic detail, Corbin’s memoir shows readers his journey from teenage gangster to maximum-security prison inmate to co-owner of one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants.

This book club evening was presented in partnership with Arizona State University at the historic Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles. Watch now.

During a visit to The Times test kitchen visit, Corbin created and shared the recipe for Vegan California Gombo from the menu at Alta Adams, his restaurant in the West Adams neighborhood.

Laurie Ochoa, general manager of Food at the Los Angeles Times, read from "California Soul" during book club night.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)



July 2022

Jennifer Grey is the author of a new memoir, "Out of the Corner."
(Brian Bowen Smith/ Ballantine Books)

On July 27 “Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Grey discussed her bestselling memoir, “Out of the Corner” with Times senior entertainment writer Amy Kaufman in Hollywood.

Watch now.

"Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey joined the L.A. Times Book Club on July 27, 2022 to discuss "Out of the Corner."
Jennifer Grey on stage with Times reporter Amy Kaufman at the Montalban Theatre.
(Varon Panganiban/ For The Times )


June 2022

Ibram X. Kendi is the author of "How to Raise an Antiracist." He joins the L.A. Times Book Club June 22, 2022.
(One World | Stephen Voss)

On June 22 author and historian Ibram X. Kendi discussed “How to Raise an Antiracist.”


Kendi also is the author of “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016, and “How to Be an Antiracist,” a 2019 bestseller.

His new book, “How to Raise an Antiracist,” is geared toward parents, teachers and other caregivers. Kendi addresses such questions as: How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race?

Ibram X. Kendi and Times columnist Sandy Banks at USC.
(Varon Panganiban)


May 2022

Los Angeles Times Book Club authors for May, 2022. From left, Colleen Kinder, Maggie Shipstead, Michelle Tea and Pico Iyer.
(Owen Murray | Maggie Shipstead | Jenny Westerhoff | Brigitte Lacombe)

On May 26 authors Pico Iyer, Maggie Shipstead and Michelle Tea and editor Colleen Kinder discussed “Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us” with Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds. Watch now.

“Letter to a Stranger” is a collection of travel stories that guides readers across the globe and through the mysteries of human connection. Iyer, Shipstead and Tea are among 65 writers who contributed essays about unforgettable encounters.



April 2022

Poet Amanda Gorman and the cover of her book, "Call Us What We Carry."
(Danny Williams/ Viking Books)

Inauguration poet Amanda Gorman stepped onto the national stage in January 2020 with that unforgettable yellow coat and a voice full of passion, showing millions of Americans the power of poetry and its deep relevance to all our lives. The first national youth poet laureate of the United States, Gorman was our April book club author.

Gorman joined Times readers April 23 at the Festival of Books to discuss “Call Us What We Carry” with Natalie J. Graham, Orange County’s poet laureate.

Watch: Gorman’s first public performance since the pandemic.

Orange County Poet Laureate Natalie J. Graham (left) interviews Amanda Gorman at the Festival of Books
Orange County Poet Laureate Natalie J. Graham (Left) interviews Amanda Gorman at the Festival of Books.
(Nick Agro / For The Times)

More: How Growing up in L.A. shaped Amanda Gorman’s poetry.

Reyna Grande is the author of "A Ballad of Love and Glory."
Reyna Grande is the author of “A Ballad of Love and Glory.”
(Imran Chaudhry


On March 29 author Reyna Grande joined Times editor Steve Padilla to discuss her historical novel, “A Ballad of Love and Glory.”

Set in 1846, Grande’s latest saga follows a Mexican Army nurse and a disheartened Irish soldier during the Mexican-American War.

Watch now.


February 2022

 Jane Goodall and book cover for "The Book of Hope."
(Celadon Books/ Andrew Zuckerman)

On Feb. 25 renowned naturalist, scientist and U.N. messenger of peace Jane Goodall joined book club readers to discuss “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times.”


In a conversation with reporter Dorany Pineda, Goodall also talked about the state of her research, the “Becoming Jane” exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and how each of us can make a difference to heal the planet.

Watch now.


January 2022

Author photo and book cover for Stephanie Land and"Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive."
(Legacy Lit/ Hachette Books)

On Jan. 25 bestselling author Stephanie Land discussed “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive” with Times reporter Paloma Esquivel.

“Maid” details Land’s journey from single mother and $10-an-hour domestic worker to college student with a budding writing career. Her memoir inspired a popular Netflix series.

Watch now.

Further reading: To learn more about the inequalities built into our economy and potential solutions, here are nine books to read after “Maid.”


 10 books to help you understand inequality
(Harvard University Press; Legacy Lit/ Hachette Books;Doubleday/Random House;Crown;Twelve Books;The New Press;Knopf;Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


December 2021

Best-selling author Ann Patchett will discuss "These Precious Days," with Times columnist Steve Lopez on Dec. 9, 2021
(Heidi Ross/Harper)

On Dec. 9 bestselling author Ann Patchett joined book club readers to discuss “These Precious Days” with Times columnist Steve Lopez.

Patchett reflects on family, friendships and writing this deeply personal collection of essays. Watch now.

Born in Los Angeles, Patchett now lives in Nashville and co-owns Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore. She also has written seven novels, including “The Dutch House,” “Bel Canto” and “Commonwealth.”


November 2021

kevin Merida
(James Estrin/One World/Kirk McKoy / LA Times)


Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones discussed “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” with Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida on Nov. 30.

Authors Terry McMillan and Nafissa Thompson-Spires read their contributions at the California African American Museum.

Watch highlights.

 Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Nafissa Thompson-Spires and Terry McMillan.
Kevin Merida, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Nafissa Thompson-Spires and Terry McMillan at book club night.
(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Read columnist LZ Granderson’s interview with Hannah-Jones here.


October 2021

Ron Howard and Clint Howard at the L.A. Times Book Club
Ron Howard and Clint Howard get ready for an evening with L.A. Times Book Club readers at L.A. Live’s Rooftop Terrace.
(L.A. Times Today TV)


Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard joined book club readers Oct. 15 to discuss “The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family” with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mary McNamara.

Update: the book club video is now available online: Watch now.

This special book club evening, at L.A. Live’s Rooftop Terrace atop the Grammy Museum, was our first in-person event since Feb. 2020. The Howards also sat down for pre-show chat with L.A. Times Today.

“The Boys” brings readers inside “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Happy Days,” “Gentle Ben” and other iconic TV shows of the 1960s and 1970s. Ron and Clint Howard talked about why they wrote the book in a recent Times interview.

"Happy Days" actress Marion Ross was a surprise guest at book club night with Ron and Clint Howard.
“Happy Days” actress Marion Ross (front row in white, striped jacket) was a surprise guest at book club night with Ron and Clint Howard.
(Varon Panganiban)


September 2021

Book cover for "Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Lines of California's Wildfires" by Jaime Lowe.
(MCD/Farrar, Strauss and Giroux/ Jeff Montgomery)


Journalist and author Jaime Lowe joined book club readers Sept. 28 to discuss “Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Lines of California’s Wildfires” with Times columnist Erika D. Smith.

Watch now.


August 2021

Billie Jean King and her memoir, "All In: An Autobiography."
(Roger Erickson | Knopf)

On Aug. 24, tennis legend Billie Jean King joined book club readers for a conversation with Times executive sports editor Christian Stone about her memoir, “All In.”

Watch now.

Read Sports columnist Helene Elliott’s interview with King. Read an excerpt.



July 2021

Rodrigo Garcia is author of "A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes."
(Rodrigo Garcia/HarperVia)

Filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia joined book club readers July 29 to discuss “A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes” with Times editor Steve Padilla.

Watch here.

Garcia’s book is a remembrance of his father, renowned author Gabriel García Márquez, and his mother, Mercedes Barcha. The director chronicles life, death, family and celebrity in a memoir sprinkled with personal photographs and snippets written by his father, whose books include “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Bonus: Here’s a Gabriel García Márquez reading guide.

Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha in the late 1960s, from "A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes" by Rodrigo Garcia.
(Courtesy of the Garcia Marquez Family Archive)



June 2021

Michele Harper is the author of "The Beauty in Breaking."
(Riverhead Books/ LaTosha Oglesby)

Michele Harper joined book club readers June 29 for a conversation with Times reporter Marissa Evans about “The Beauty in Breaking,” her bestselling memoir about life as an ER doctor.

Watch now.

“When I was in high school, I would write poetry,” Harper says in an interview. “Then I started the medical path, and it beat the words out of me.”

Harper’s memoir is featured in the final installment of the United We Read series, Heather John Fogarty’s yearlong reading journey through every U.S. state. Here’s the complete reading list.


Author and TV writer Charles Yu discussed "Interior Chinatown" with film critic Justin Chang.
(Los Angeles Times)


May 2021

Our May book club pick is “Interior Chinatown,” Charles Yu’s 2020 National Book Award-winning novel about into pop culture, Hollywood and Asian stereotypes.

Yu joined us May 27 for a conversation with Times film critic Justin Chang. Watch now.

Keep reading: Author interview, book club newsletter, Yu’s Quarantine Diary.

Former President Obama joined with filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
(Los Angeles Times)



April 2021

Former President Barack Obama joined the Los Angeles Times Book Club April 21 to discuss his bestselling memoir “A Promised Land” with filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
Watch here.

Read about the discussion.

Read a book excerpt.


March 2021

Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of "The Committed."
(Grove Press)

Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of “The Committed,” joined book club readers March 10 for a conversation with Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda. Watch here.

Nguyen’s novel is a sequel to “The Sympathizer,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2016. “The Sympathizer” told the story of a conflicted double agent in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The sequel follows Nguyen’s protagonist to Paris. “I wasn’t done with his story,” Nguyen says.



February 2021

"Migrations" author Charlotte McConaghy.
(Flatiron Books)

Australian writer Charlotte McConaghy, author of the novel “Migrations,” joined us from Sydney for a Feb. 24 conversation with Times reporter Rosanna Xia. Watch now.

“Migrations” has drawn praise from reviewers for its powerful discussion of climate issues. The novel’s plot twists have attracted Hollywood, too: Claire Foy and Benedict Cumberbach are adapting “Migrations” for film.

“I wanted to energize people and myself and come out of the other side of despair and apathy and into a place of hope, love and action,” McConaghy says in a Times interview.


January 2021

Lisa See, author of "The Island of Sea Women."
(Scribner/ Patricia Williams)


Bestselling author Lisa See shares the stories behind “The Island of Sea Women” with Times culture columnist Mary McNamara on Jan. 25. Watch here.

Read an interview with Lisa See.


December 2020

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, “The Undocumented Americans," Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, “Children of the Land"
(One World/ HarperCollins)

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, author of “The Undocumented Americans,” and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of “Children of the Land,” shared their stories of a hidden America. They talked about immigration and family with Times editor Steve Padilla. Watch here.

More: Interviews with Cornejo Villavicencio and Castillo, and the book club newsletter.



November 2020

Science fiction writer Octavia Butler stands near some of her novels at a bookstore in Seattle in 2004.
(Noé Montes/ Angel City Press

The L.A. Times Book Club explores the legacy and prolific writing of science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler. Step inside her L.A. world with this interactive map.

Journalist Lynell George, author of “A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler,” and Times reporter Julia Wick joined book club readers on Nov. 18. Watch now.

Lynell George is the author of "A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler."
(Noé Montes/ Angel City Press

Giveaway: This event included the book club’s first book giveaway, made possible with a donation from the estate of Octavia E. Butler and literary agent Merrilee Heifetz. The giveaway featured five of Butler’s books: “Kindred;” “Parable of the Sower;”“Parable of the Talents;” “Wild Seed;” and“Fledgling.” The other books are: “Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora,” edited by Sheree R. Thomas; “Binti: The Complete Trilogy” by Nnedi Okorafor;“An Unkindness of Ghosts” by Rivers Solomon; “Pet” by Akwaeke Emezi ; and “How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?” by N.K. Jemisin. Update: All 700 books have now been claimed!


Today's black speculative fiction authors include Octavia Butler, Rivers Solomon and N.K. Jemisin.
(Grand Central Publishing, Beacon Press, Aspect, DAW, Akashic Books, Make Me A World, Orbit.)

Reading guide: How to chose your next Octavia E. Butler book
Book excerpt: ‘A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky’ reveals Octavia E. Butler’s early life in Pasadena
Book club newsletter: Octavia E. Butler’s Pasadena and giveaway



Amaud Johnson, Ashaki M. Jackson, Robin Coste Lewis
Top row, from left: Amaud Johnson, Ashaki M. Jackson, Robin Coste Lewis, Khadijah Queen, jayy dodd, Natalie J. Graham, Kima Jones, Douglas Kearney.
(Victoria Smith/Jason Gutierrez/K. Miroire/Michael Teak/jayy dodd/Maya Washington/Kima Jones/Bao Phi)

On Sept. 24 the L.A. Times Book Club hosted Black Poets in a Time of Unrest, featuring National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis, the Los Angeles poet laureate, in conversation with reporter Makeda Easter.

Lewis joined a lineup of poet performers sharing their experiences in verse: Natalie J. Graham, Ashaki M. Jackson, Douglas Kearney, jayy dodd, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Khadijah Queen and Kima Jones, the co-host of the event with the L.A. Times Book Club. Watch.

"The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett
(Riverhead Books)


The August book selection is” The Vanishing Half,” Brit Bennett’s bestselling novel about twin sisters, identity and family secrets. “You can escape a town but you can not escape blood.”

Bennett joined book club readers Aug. 25 for a conversation with Times writer Carla Hall. Watch here.

Keep reading: book review, book club newsletter.

Bonnie Tsui is the author of "Why We Swim."
(Lynsay Skiba/ Algonquin Books

“Why We Swim” by Bonnie Tsui is the book club’s July selection.


Tsui, a Bay Area journalist, surfer and former competitive swimmer, joined Times reporter and masters swimmer James Rainey July 28 for a virtual meetup. Long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox shared her favorite passage during the event.

“Why We Swim” is a mix of memoir, history and swim adventure that journeys from the California Coast to Iceland’s swim culture to the “Hawaii” of the South China Sea.

"The Compton Cowboys"

“The Compton Cowboys,” a true story about identity and belonging by Walter Thompson-Hernández, is the June selection.
The book traces the history and fragile legacy of black cowboys in a Los Angeles bedroom community. The cowboys’ credo: “Streets raised us. Horses saved us.”

Thompson-Hernández joined us June 24 for a conversation with Times reporter Angel Jennings. Here are 5 Things to know about The Compton Cowboys.


Keep reading: Interview with the author, a book excerpt and the book club newsletter.

Emily St. John Mandel and her novels," Station Eleven" and "The Glass Hotel."
(Sarah Shatz; Knopf)

Emily St. John Mandel, author of the bestselling pandemic novel “Station Eleven,” joined the Los Angeles Times Book Club on May 19. Her new book, “The Glass Hotel,” revolves around another issue of great current concern — a financial crisis.

Watch Mandel in conversation with Times reporter Carolina A. Miranda.

Mandel and other authors, including Susan Orlean, T.C. Boyle, Marlon James, Charlie Jane Anders and Jess Walter, helped us put together this end-of-the-world reading list.

Writer Fanny Singer and her mother, renowned chef Alice Waters, will join Los Angeles Times Book Club readers on April 21 for a virtual meet-up from Waters’ home kitchen in Berkeley.


During April we read “Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes & Stories,” Fanny Singer’s memoir about growing up at an epicenter of California cuisine. Singer is the daughter of Alice Waters, the chef behind Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley and the founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project.

Singer and Waters joined the L.A. Times Book Club on April 21 to discuss food and family with Times arts and entertainment editor Laurie Ochoa. Watch their conversation here.

Singer’s memoir with recipes strikes just the right note for this strange time of sheltering in place. “It feels like a moment to redefine how we relate to the things that we consume,” Singer says in an interview. Her favorite roast chicken recipe is here.

(L-R)- Maria La Ganga, Milo the basset hound and Steph Cha live during the Los Angeles Times Book Club virtual event
(L-R)- Maria La Ganga, Milo the basset hound and Steph Cha live during the Los Angeles Times Book Club virtual event
(Los Angeles Times staff)

On March 30, the L.A. Times Book Club rebooted with its first virtual event: novelists Steph Cha and Joe Ide joined Times reporter Maria L. La Ganga to discuss the new world of L.A. noir.

Cha is the author of the bestselling 2019 thriller “Your House Will Pay.” Ide’s new mystery is “Hi Five,” the fourth book in his “IQ” detective series set in East Long Beach. The book club conversation streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.


Poet Luis Rodriguez speaking at the Colony Theatre in Burbank during the L.A. Times Book Club event.
(Varon Panganiban)

On Saturday, Feb. 15, former Los Angeles poet laureate Luis J. Rodriguez discussed “From Our Land to Our Land,” a new collection about race, culture and identity, with Times reporter Daniel Hernandez at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

More: Does Poetry Matter? L.A.’s former poet laureate explains why it’s life changing. Read an author interview.

Ocean Vuong joined book club readers at The Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.
(Varon Panganiban)

On Jan. 27, author Ocean Vuong shared his debut novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” with Times arts and culture reporter Carolina A. Miranda at the Montalban Theatre.

Father Gregory Boyle got a standing ovation during his book club conversation author Hector Tobar.
(Ana Venegas/For The Times)

On Dec. 16, the book club welcomed Homeboy Industries founder Gregory Boyle for a breakfast conversation with author Héctor Tobar about “Barking to the Choir.” Read our interview with Boyle and five things to know about his book and his work. For school groups and book clubs, here’s a discussion guide to “Barking to the Choir.”


Julie Andrews discussed her memoir with Mary McNamara at the Orpheum Theatre.
Julie Andrews discussed her memoir with columnist Mary McNamara at the Orpheum Theatre. The event drew a crowd of 2000. people attended.
(Ana Venegas/Ana Venegas/For The Times)

On Nov. 18, Julie Andrews shared stories from “Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years” in a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning Times columnist Mary McNamara at the Orpheum Theatre.

Read The Times’ interview with Andrews and review of her new memoir, plus film critic Justin Chang’s commentary.

Pulitzer prize winning author Ronan Farrow discussed "Catch and Kill” at The Orpheum Theatre downtown.
Pulitzer prize winning author Ronan Farrow discussed “Catch and Kill” at The Orpheum Theatre downtown.
(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

On Oct. 22, Ronan Farrow discussed surveillance, counter-surveillance and the stories behindCatch and Kill,” his new book detailing sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men. Read The Times’ interview with Farrow.


Michael Connelly discussed “The Night Fire” at the Montalbán Theatre.
(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

On Oct. 21, best-selling crime writer Michael Connelly joined book club readers for the launch of “The Night Fire.” He also previewed two upcoming books and talked about living with the same character for 27 years.

Keep reading: Here’s a look at 15 iconic Harry Bosch haunts across L.A., plus 20 essential L.A. crime books, and this special report on why L.A. is the perpetual dark heart of crime writing.

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

On Sept. 10, actor and author George Takei discussed They Called Us Enemy,” a graphic memoir about his childhood years in Japanese American internment camps during World War II. Watch a segment from the event on LA Times Today.
For book clubs and school groups, here is a discussion guide.


Laila Lalami joined book club readers at the Skirball Cultural Center.
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Author Laila Lalami joined Times reporter Lorraine Ali for a conversation about “The Other Americans, ”a mystery and family saga set in the Southern California desert.

Here’s an interview with Lalami and five things to know about “The Other Americans.”

Author Susan Orlean, left, in conversation with Times Deputy Managing Editor Julia Turner.
Author Susan Orlean, left, in conversation with Times Deputy Managing Editor Julia Turner at the first Los Angeles Times Book Club meetup, at the Barnsdall Art Park Theatre on June 25, 2019.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

In June we read “The Library Book” by bestselling author Susan Orlean and hosted a community forum where Orlean and readers shared library stories. We also took a deep dive to explore what L.A. is reading right now and showed book lovers how to read for free with library apps.


The L.A. Times Book Club builds on the success of America’s largest literary event, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which attracts 150,000 people every April. Our community book club keeps the storytelling and conversation going year-round.


Get in touch

Want to be part of the book club? Sign up for our newsletter in the subscription box above, and we’ll keep you in the loop about book club news and upcoming events.

Want to share an idea? On Twitter, you can reach us @latimesbooks. To suggest a book, please include a brief summary and link to the publisher’s website in an email to We’ll follow up if we need more information.

The L.A. Times Book Club Facebook group is a chance to share your thoughts and compare notes with fellow book lovers. Please join the discussion there too.