Events
6 Best Book Clubs in Los Angeles

6 Best Book Clubs in Los Angeles

If you long to discuss books you love — in real life, outside the confines of Amazon reviews and Goodreads comments — make joining a local book club a resolution. Here are five to check out — For girls who brunch: L.A. Girly Book Club With most of the regulars in their twenties and thirties, this book club usually reads novels by female authors, ranging from the more literary to chick-lit-ish to thrillers. The L.A. chapter’s organized by Janie, who picks out a different fun bar or restaurant for each meeting. Expect a lively conversation over appies and drinks, a raffle for a copy of the following month’s book, and lots of fun post-discussion socializing. One extra fun aspect of the Girly Book Club is the followup event — a brunch, a movie screening, a cookie break — planned between the book club meetings. Often, the events tie in to the latest book. Cost: $5 a month. More: L.A. Girly Book Club: Fiction, food, and fun excursions For the cocktail aficionado: The Edison Book Club This book club offers an intimate chat about a fantastic book over specialty drinks in a speakeasy-style bar — sometimes with a chance to talk […]

L.A. Girly Book Club: Fiction, food, and fun excursions

L.A. Girly Book Club: Fiction, food, and fun excursions

What is a book club without appies and drinks? Well, I guess it would still be a book club, technically. But if you prefer your literary discussions to take place over wine and cheese plates at a fun spot in the city, join the L.A. Girly Book Club. The Girly Book Club’s actually a global group, with groups meeting from Seattle to Singapore, all discussing the same book. Most of the novels are by female authors, ranging from the more literary to chick-lit-ish to thrillers like Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot. Last month, the pick was Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (my microreview here)! The L.A. chapter’s organized by Janie, who picks out a different fun bar or restaurant for each meeting. I joined eight other girls at Vinoteque in West Hollywood for a lively conversation about identity and singing and feminism and work. At the end of the meeting was a raffle for a copy of the following month’s book — then we chatted and socialized over more drinks before calling it a night. With most of the girls in their twenties and thirties, this book club skews much younger than say, the West Hollywood Women’s Book Club. And — thanks […]

#90X90LA: Summer heats up with daily lit events

#90X90LA: Summer heats up with daily lit events

Lit lovers in Los Angeles are going to be busy this summer, because a season-long series is set to bring the city 90 literary and cultural events in 90 days. Yes, an event a day for 90 days, starting July 5! Called #90X90LA, this series is put together by local indie press Writ Large Press and friends. This is actually the second summer Writ Large has done this. The press organized its first 90 in 90 series back in 2014. For 2017, #90X90LA returns “with more focused goals and vision in a crucial time of change in our neighborhoods and in the world at large,” according to the event website. Events will happen mostly in downtown LA, Little Tokyo, and South Central — with sattelite events planned across the country. And all are invited! It all kicks off with an opening reception Wednesday, July 5 at 8 pm at Cielo Galleries/Studios. Attendees are invited to bring things to share — food, drinks, reads — and there will be music. Events will happen nightly after that. There’s a zine workshop and a community design jam and even something called Digging on Sade! You can still propose events, or volunteer to help […]

Pen Center USA:  Bookish cocktails and literary community

Pen Center USA: Bookish cocktails and literary community

How to enjoy your favorite book as a cocktail: Go to a PEN Center USA party at The Edison! At the Member Mixer last week, book lovers drank In Cold Blood (a black Manhattan), The Sound and the Fury (mezcal margarita), and The Age of Innocence (gin, prosecco, and elderflower) — while supporting a literary nonprofit. I actually gave my drink tickets away — Hope you enjoyed your cocktails, Laura and Julia! — and had a fun time! Here I am with Libby Flores, PEN’s director of literary programs. J Ryan Stradl (Kitchens of the Great Midwest), Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief; below), and Julia Fierro (The Gypsy Moth Summer) all gave lovely toasts to get drinkers to become members of PEN. PEN Center USA is a literary and human rights organization, committed to “cultivating and expanding a diverse and engaged literary community in the western United States.” It does everything from provide fellowships to emerging writers to give out literary awards to organize dozens of local readings to publish a literary journal. Oh, and Pen also “advocates for imprisoned, censored, and persecuted writers throughout the world.” Plus, PEN throws fun parties! Members at the mixer got to display their […]

Cake Time on the East Coast (and one reading in LA!)

Cake Time on the East Coast (and one reading in LA!)

The West Coast tour happened in April, but the East Coast mini Cake Time tour is still coming up! But first, I have one reading in Los Angels before flying east. I’ll be one of the guest readers at Lauren Eggert-Crowe’s Bitches of the Drought Chapbook Release Party. It’s free, it’ll be fun, and all sales of chapbooks will go to support progressive causes: Bitches of the Drought Chapbook Release Party Monday, June 5, 2017, 8 pm Stories Books and Cafe, 1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles Then I’ll be in Brooklyn, New York — where I’ll get to read with fellow Red Hen Press authors Ellen Meeropol and Amy Hassinger: An Evening with Red Hen Press (Facebook event page) Thu, June 8, 2017, 7:30 pm Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., Brooklyn Then I’ll be visiting Philadelphia for the first time, to read with poet Celeste Gainey: Siel Ju reads with Celeste Gainey (There will be cake!) Sunday, June 11, 2017, 2 pm Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Ln, Philadelphia I’d love to see you there! I’ll also be in Toronto mid-June visiting my writer friend Marilyn Duarte and doing tourist things and am planning a small meetup and […]

Live Talks Los Angeles: Literary conversations with popular authors

Live Talks Los Angeles: Literary conversations with popular authors

Ever wonder how novelists are treated at the Oscars? At a Live Talks Los Angeles event on Monday, Colm Tóibín dished on his experience attending an Academy Award after his novel Brooklyn was made into a film. “If you’re a star up for an Oscar, you go in one door, and if you’re a just a novelist … you go in another door. And it’s not just the red carpet. There’s no carpet!” Colm Tóibín was paired with arts and cultures writer Scott Timberg for a wide-ranging conversation that covered everything from Brexit to Miro to Irish history to Elizabeth Bishop to Colm’s own latest novel, House of Names. It was a pretty inspiring time — and my first time at a Live Talks Los Angeles event, a speaker series that’s been bringing authors and other thought leaders to L.A. for seven years. And conveniently for me, most of the events happen on the westside; Colm’s event was at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre at New Roads School. Sadly I learned of the series only recently — or I would have gone to the conversation between Jami Attenberg and Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney earlier this year! Founded and produced by […]