All events listed below take place online. Please visit the organizers’ websites for details.

Makenna Goodman discusses “The Shame” with Kathryn Scanlan

What if you could change your life? Would you do it? How would you do it? Alma and her family live close to the land: they raise chickens and sheep, they make maple syrup. Every day Alma’s husband leaves for his job at a nearby college while she stays home with their young children, cleans, searches for secondhand goods online, and reads books by the women writers she adores. Then, one night, she abruptly leaves it all behind—speeding through the darkness, away from their Vermont homestead, bound for New York.

Free

Barney Scout Mann in conversation with Casey Schreiner

In Journeys North, legendary trail angel, thru hiker, and former PCTA board member Barney Scout Mann spins a compelling tale of six hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007 as they walk from Mexico to Canada. This ensemble story unfolds as these half-dozen hikers--including Barney and his wife, Sandy--trod north, slowly forming relationships and revealing their deepest secrets and aspirations.

Free

Greg Mania discusses “Born to Be Public” with LIndy West

Yes, that is his real last name. In his debut memoir, Born to Be Public, Greg Mania recounts his coming-of-age adventures in New York City’s wild, early-aughts nightlife scene. Written withthe charm and self-deprecating humor of the genre’s best—David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, Samantha Irby—for the first time Mania describes what is was like infiltrating the city’s socialite set online, posing with his sky-high coiffure, and eventually trading it all in for a life in comedy.

Free

Chuck Palahniuk discusses “The Invention of Sound”

A father searching for his missing daughter is suddenly given hope when a major clue is discovered, but learning the truth could shatter the seemingly perfect image Hollywood is desperate to uphold.

Purchase Required

Dr. Meera Shah discusses “You’re the Only One I’ve Told”

For a long time, when people asked Dr. Meera Shah what she did, she would tell them she was a doctor and leave it at that. But over the last few years, Shah decided it was time to be direct. “I’m an abortion provider,” she will now say.

Free

Fariha Roísín discusses “Like a Bird” with Tanaïs

Taylia Chatterjee has never known love, and certainly has never felt it for herself. Growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with her older sister Alyssa, their parents were both overbearing and emotionally distant, and despite idyllic summers in the Catskills, and gatherings with glamorous family friends, there is a sadness that emanates from the Chatterjee residence, a deep well of sorrow stemming from the racism of American society.

Free

Jacqueline Suskin reads from “The Edge of the Continent: The Desert”

This book is about California. Specifically, this third volume is about Joshua Tree—the dry, sparsely populated landscape known for its strange topography and spiritual pull. Jacqueline Suskin spent winters on a ranch at the far edge of the desert for many years, caring for mustangs and goats, walking the long sand roads in solitude.

Free

Sarah Mirk discusses “Guantanamo Voices” with Tracy Chahwan, Gerardo Alba, and Alexandra Benguez

In January 2002, the United States sent a group of Muslim men they suspected of terrorism to a prison in Guantánamo Bay. They were the first of roughly 780 prisoners who would be held there—and 40 inmates still remain. Eighteen years later, very few of them have been ever charged with a crime. In Guantánamo Voices, journalist Sarah Mirk and her team of diverse, talented graphic novel artists tell the stories of ten people whose lives have been shaped and affected by the prison, including former prisoners, lawyers, social workers, and service members.

Free

Miah Jeffra Milla reads from “The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic!” with Alanna Lin Ramage, Seth Fischer, Cheryl Klein, Claudia Rodriguez, and Linda Ravenswood

In The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic!, Miah Jeffra perfects apostrophe as canticle, a host of heroes beckoning the reader deeper into the waters of selfhood, Madonna, Mary Shelley, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Plato, and Jeffra’s mother among them. Jeffra explores the nature of gender, sexuality, aesthetics, and love, taking a tiny hammer to the stability of the limits of perception, troubling the tether between perception and memory.

Free

Voice the Vote: an online poetry night fundraiser with Amir Rabiyah, José Olivarez, Bridgette Bianca, Christopher Rivas, and Jessica Ceballos y Campbell

5 Poets. 5 Voices. 1 Goal: To make sure YOU vote in November! Artist Collective ART SAVE THE VOTE and Skylight Books have partnered for a special night of online art as activism. Join us FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th @ 5pm PDT/8pm ET as we present the following poets: Bridgette Bianca, Jessica Ceballos y Campbell, José Olivarez, Amir Rabiyah, and Christopher Rivas.

Purchase Required

D.J. Waldie reads from “Becoming Los Angeles” with Thomas Curwen

Becoming Los Angeles, a new collection by the author of the acclaimed memoir Holy Land, blends history, memory, and critical analysis to illuminate how Angelenos have seen themselves and their city. Waldie's particular concern is commonplace Los Angeles, whose rhythms of daily life are set against the gaudy backdrop of historical myth and Hollywood illusion. It's through sacred ordinariness that Waldie experiences the city's seasons.

Free

Yamile Saied Méndez reads from “Furia” with Maria Padian

A powerful, #ownvoices contemporary YA for fans of The Poet X and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams.

Free

Janna Ireland discusses “Regarding Paul R. Williams”

Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View is a photographic exploration of the work of the first licensed Black architect west of the Mississippi River. Known as “Hollywood’s Architect”, Paul Revere Williams was a Los Angeles native who built a wildly successful career as an architect decades before the Civil Rights Movement. He designed municipal buildings and private homes as well as banks, churches, hospitals, and university halls. He designed public housing projects and mansions for celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball. In 1923, Williams became the first Black member of the American Institute of Architects. In 2017, nearly forty years after his death, he became the first Black recipient of the AIA Gold Medal.

Free

Lara Ehrlich discusses “Animal Wife” with Amber Sparks

Animal Wife is composed of fifteen stories unified by girls and women seeking liberation from family responsibilities, from societal expectations, from their own minds. They address the complexities of transitioning from innocence to experience and take on the anxiety of motherhood. The majority of the stories are set in an off-kilter version of our world, where the fantastical can exist side by side with—and reveal the absurdities of—the mundane. They often include monsters, mothers, and monstrous mothers.

Free

Mark Gevisser discusses “The Pink Line” with Sarah Schulman

More than seven years in the making, Mark Gevisser’s The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers is an exploration of how the conversation around sexual orientation and gender identity has come to divide—and describe—the world in an entirely new way over the first two decades of the twenty-first century. No social movement has brought change so quickly and with such dramatically mixed results. While same-sex marriage and gender transition are celebrated in some parts of the world, laws are being strengthened to criminalize homosexuality and gender nonconformity in others.

Free

Okapi Tale with Jacob Kramer and K-Fai Steele

Now that the Phantastic Noodler is public property, Beaston is the perfect place for pasta parties. Creatures flock from far and wide. But things take a turn when a wealthy Okapi-talist sees an investment opportunity. With privatization come monopoly, exploitation, pollution, and poverty.

Free

William Loving reads from “City of Angles” with Ivy Pochoda

City of Angles is a darkly humorous story of hope, loss, family, and most of all, community, set in modern-day Los Angeles. In this re-imagining of the epic poem The Aeneid of Virgil, Homer V. Innes loses everything in a devastating series of calamities and winds up homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. Desperate to put his life back together and find his runaway son, Innes embarks on an epic journey across a Los Angeles that is both familiar and foreign. In the course of his misadventures, he encounters a diverse and eccentric cast of urban characters, from the homeless on Skid Row, to teenage runaways, drag queens, porn stars, and hookers, all of whom contribute to his ultimate epiphany as he seeks his place in the world.

Free

Phil Klay reads from “Missionaries” with Nate Dimeo

In the modern world, everything is connected, including how we kill. A group of Colombian soldiers prepares to raid a drug lord's safe house on the Venezuelan border. They're watching him with an American-made drone, about to strike using military tactics taught to them by U.S. soldiers who honed their skills to lethal perfection in Iraq. In his debut novel Missionaries, National Book Award-winning author and Iraq War veteran Phil Klay examines the globalization of violence through the interlocking stories of four characters and the conflicts that define their lives.

Free

Rebecca Roanhorse reads from “Black Sun”

From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

Free

V.E. Schwab discusses “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” with Taylor Jenkins Reid

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

Purchase Required

L.A. Times Festival of Books presents Ayad Akhtar in conversation with Reza Aslan

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced and author of American Dervish, an American son and his immigrant father search for belonging — in post-Trump America, and with each other. A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.

Free

Eileen Myles discusses “For Now”

In this raucous meditation, Eileen Myles offers an intimate glimpse into creativity’s immediacy. With erudition and wit, Myles recounts their early years as an awakening writer; existential struggles with landlords; storied moments with neighbors, friends, and lovers; and the textures and identities of cities and the country that reveal the nature of writing as presence in time.

Free

Jessica Abughattas discusses “Strip” with Jeremy Radin and Olivia Gatwood

Winner of the 2020 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize, Jessica Abughattas's Strip is a captivating debut about desire and dispossession and that tireless poetic metaphor--the body. Audacious and clear-eyed, plainspoken and brassy, Abughattas's poems are songs that break free from confinement as they span the globe from Hollywood to Palestine.

Free

Kamala Puligandla reads from “Zigzags”

When Aneesha returns to Chicago for the summer, all she wants to do is write and carouse with friends. Maybe rekindle things with her old flame, Whitney, who has a serious new job and relationship. Aneesha weaves through dance parties, dive bars, and all-night Mexican joints on her bike, but keeping old friends is complicated in this charming debut novel from Kamala Puligandla.

Free

Rachel Kauder Nalebuff and Agnes Borinsky host a reading and writing workshop

Join Rachel and Agnes as they read from their recent works, Stages (Thick Press, 2020) + "The Seeing Place" (2020), and facilitate several short writing and dialogue-based exercises—designed to clarify the present and usher in subtle change. Can we notice new worlds into the here and now? Can we speak a care-centric world into being, by shifting the gaze, by shifting language?

Free

Megan Rosenbloom reads from “Dark Archives” with Caitlin Doughty

On bookshelves around the world, surrounded by ordinary books bound in paper and leather, rest other volumes of a distinctly strange and grisly sort: those bound in human skin. Would you know one if you held it in your hand? In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom seeks out the historic and scientific truths behind anthropodermic bibliopegy—the practice of binding books in this most intimate covering.

Free

Claire Cronin discusses “Blue Light of the Screen” with Colin Dickey

Blue Light of the Screen is about what it means to be afraid — about immersion, superstition, delusion, and the things that keep us up at night. A creative-critical memoir of the author’s obsession with the horror genre, Blue Light of the Screen embeds its criticism of horror within a larger personal story of growing up in a devoutly Catholic family, overcoming suicidal depression, uncovering intergenerational trauma, and encountering real and imagined ghosts.

Free

Lynell George discusses “A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky” with Louise Steinman

A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler offers a blueprint for a creative life from the perspective of award-winning science-fiction writer and “MacArthur Genius” Octavia E. Butler. It is a collection of ideas about how to look, listen, breathe—how to be in the world. This book is about the creative process, but not on the page; its canvas is much larger. Author Lynell George not only engages the world that shaped Octavia E. Butler, she also explores the very specific processes through which Butler shaped herself—her unique process of self-making.

Free

Chris Stedman discusses “IRL” with Joel Kim Booster

It’s easy and reflexive to view our online presence as fake, to see the internet as a space we enter when we aren’t living our real, offline lives. Yet so much of who we are and what we do now happens online, making it hard to know which parts of our lives are real.

Purchase Required

Marlee Grace discusses “Getting to Center” with Erica Chidi

Picking up where How to Not Always Be Working left off, Getting to Center is an empathetic offering to those who are looking for a roadmap for finding their way back to equilibrium. This book meditates on endings, grief and joy, ease, hope, addiction, and beginnings, pairing Marlee's own experiences and wisdom with practical exercises and tools for creating balance and understanding within the natural changes of life.

Free

ZYZZYVA: The L.A. Issue

Join us for a group reading to celebrate the launch of ZYZZYVA's LA Issue. ZYZZYVA was founded in 1985 in San Francisco with the goal of publishing a superb literary journal shining a spotlight on West Coast poets, writers, and artists from a wide range of backgrounds, many of whom were otherwise overlooked by established publications, and providing them with a much needed platform.

Free

Rachel Bloom discusses “I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are” with Gilli Nissim, Mano Agapion, and David Hull

Rachel Bloom hosts a compelling evening of storytelling in conjunction with the release of her hilarious collection of essays, I Want to Be Where The Normal People Are, with special guests Gilli Nissim, Mano Agapion and David Hull. Join Rachel Bloom as she probes her friends for a cathartic night of humiliating coming-of-age stories that are sure to delight anyone that barely made it through Middle School!

Free

Peter Bagge discusses “The Complete Hate” with Dana Gould

An archival collection of one of the bestselling alternative comic book series — arguably, the Great American Grunge novel — complete for the first time. Peter Bagge combined his signature cartoony drawing style with uncomfortably real Gen X characters, and created a series that resonated deeply with readers. The Complete Hate is a three-volume set that includes the original 1990-1998 30-issue run, the nine subsequent Hate Annuals, and tons of other Hate-related comics, illustrations, and ephemera created for books, magazines, comics, toys, and other merchandise.

Free

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