08 Shonda Buchanan interview

Summer has finally arrived in sunny Los Angeles, and we hope you all had a wonderful Pride Weekend! Dan Lopez and Cody Sisco are here to dig deep into Michelle Obama’s runaway hit, Becoming, and Dan recommends books that fill his very particular current obsessions — LGBTQ YA and Sci-Fi! After that, enjoy Cody’s conversation with Shonda Buchanan that covers the history of World Stage Press, Leimert Park, and Shonda’s own imprint at Tsehai Books — Harriet Tubman Press. You won’t want to miss Buchanan detail her moving journey of self-discovery and owning her identity, and the cherry on top of this interview is a truly phenomenal reading of one of her poems. You can find out more about Shonda on her website, and while you’re exploring, be sure to check out World Stage Press and Eso Won Books. And finally, are you looking for events that don’t feature the typical glossy beach reads of the summer season? Shannon Eagen has you covered with some June book signings (and a book club!) celebrating slightly less mainstream genres. Enjoy!

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Books Mentioned:

American Lion by Jon Meacham

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

No Ashes in the Fire by Darnell Moore

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara

07 Roxana Preciado interview and more

June is just around the corner, and even though it’s been cold and gloomy in LA, it’s officially time for Summer Reading! Jump start your summer TBR with some wonderful recommendations from Cody Sisco, Sarah LaBrie and Irene Yoon. They also touch on trends in literary events attendance, and how reading to stay current on the news can cut in on the time you spend reading for pleasure. After that, Cody sits down with Roxana Preciado, to talk about her writing process and her incredible triumphs in the face of adversity. Roxana published her first book, Not a Fairytale in 2015, and has already released two more books of poetry, Not a Writer, and Hood Educated. She talks about finding her own community within the world of LA indie writers, and how she hopes to be a beacon for young, queer immigrants. Finally, June is Pride Month, and Shannon Eagen has selected some great events focused on LGBTQ authors for you to attend in the next two weeks.

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Books Mentioned:

Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

Hood Educated by Roxana Preciado

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

All Ships Follow Me by Mieke Eerkens

Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington

06 Julayne Lee interview and more

The first two weeks of May have been a flurry of literary excitement, but the BookSwell Intersections team feels like we’re STILL recovering from the LA Times Festival of Books… Listen to Managing Editor Cody Sisco and Co-Host Dan Lopez debrief on that festival, as well as Dan’s new job in publishing, and some theatrical literature featuring with LGBTQ characters that he’s recently revisited. The meat of this episode is a fantastic interview with author, poet, activist and inter-country adoptee Julayne Lee. Her recent memoir in poems, Not Your White Savior, deals with her journey from a South Korean orphanage to a Midwestern Christian family, and the myriad issues transracial adoptees face. Learn more about Julayne, her upcoming work, and the workshops she facilitates for writers of color at her website.  We finish our episode with an extended rundown of upcoming events from Shannon Eagen, including some specific panel recommendations for the LitFest Pasadena.

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Books Mentioned:

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Made in LA Anthology

The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez

Angels in America by Tony Kushner

Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley

Not My White Savior by Julayne Lee

Guesthouse for Ganesha by Judith Teitelman

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Frances Kane

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

03 Patrick Nathan interview and more

Episode 3 is here, and our listeners are in for a treat. To kick things off, Managing Editor Cody Sisco does a lighting round book roundup with Sarah Labrie. After that, enjoy an extended interview between Cody and rising literary star Patrick Nathan. His debut novel, Some Hell caught the attention of readers and critics alike. The heartbreaking coming-of-age/coming-out story was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and is a 2019 Lamdba Literary Award finalist. We’re so grateful Patrick took the time out of his busy schedule to chat about his career, his upbringing in small-town Minnesota, and the increasing demands placed on authors in the contemporary publishing landscape. Finally, we’re excited about all things Literary LA in April but as usual…the list is overwhelming. Lucky for you, BookSwell Contributor Shannon Eagen is here to give a roundup of some of the “can’t miss” events for lit fans that are looking to support underrepresented voices in our crowded literary scene.

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Books Mentioned

Baby of the Family by Maura Roosevelt

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Some Hell by Patrick Nathan

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

On Photography by Susan Sontag

The Civil Contract of Photography by Ariella Azoulay

There There by Tommy Orange

Grace by Natashia Deon

The Coiled Serpent

Lily and the Octopus by Stephen Rowley

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

02 Confessions from the Los Angeles literary scene

We’re back for Episode 2! Today, BookSwell’s Managing Editor Cody Sisco is joined once again by Irene Yoon, Sarah Labrie and Dan Lopez. Rachelle Yousuf is our latest addition to the Intersections crew, a book event coordinator with The Freya Project and YALLWEST. In this episode, they confess to skipping events to stay home and read, turning away from literary fiction and local authors who truly capture the spirit of Los Angeles in their work.

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Books Mentioned

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

Headcase edited by Stephanie Schroeder and Teresa Theophano

A Student of History by Nina Revoyr

Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr

False Calm by Maria Sonia Cristoff

Wired for Story by Lisa Kron

The Design and Engineering of Curiosity by Emily Lakdawalla

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke