Feminist Book Club with Julia Callahan

“This club reads an intersectional variety of feminist lit – fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, etc. – led by publisher Julia Callahan of Rare Bird Books. Join us for fresh insights, perspectives and challenges, and – most importantly – fellowship.

Michelle Obama’s Becoming is our December book. From her childhood in Chicago to Princeton, from her law career to her time developing young leaders for public service – this memoir covers all of that – not to mention her relationship with the man to whom she would one day say, “Yes, ok, you can run for President”. She is one-of-a-kind, so this is the rarest of looks into the heart of a profound moment in the American story.”

Genre: Memoir

CANCELED | Discussion: Iraqi-American Women in the Arts: A Reading and Conversation

Note: this event has been canceled.

The Last Bookstore is pleased to present a reading and conversation between Iraqi-American author, Huda Al-Marashi, and stand up comedian and actress, Zain Shami. After a reading from Huda’s new memoir, First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story, Zain and Huda will share their unique perspectives on what it’s like to be members of a vibrant immigrant community while taking on the taboo topics of love, marriage, and sexuality in their art.

First Comes Marriage is an Iraqi-American memoir about immigration, love, and virgin sexuality. When Huda meets Hadi, the boy she will ultimately marry, she is six years old. Both are the American-born children of Iraqi immigrants, who grew up on opposite ends of California. Hadi considers Huda his childhood sweetheart, the first and only girl he’s ever loved, but Huda wants to be successful by both culture’s relationship standards–to honor her religious traditions while also experiencing the kind of love story that would prove to her American friends her marriage was not arranged. First Comes Marriage is Huda’s journey to reconcile her culture’s pragmatic ideas on marriage with Western notions of love and romance. And, with its tender and heartwarming portrayal of an Arab, Muslim family, it debunks stereotypes while challenging our ideas of what it means to fall in love.

Genre: Memoir

Brittany Ackerman, Siel Ju, & Nicelle Davis discuss and sign “The Perpetual Motion Machine,” “Cake Time,” & “The Walled Wife”

The Perpetual Motion Machine by Brittany Ackerman

Inspired by a brother’s high school science project–a perpetual motion machine that could save the world– The Perpetual Motion Machine is a memoir in essays that attempts to save a sibling by depicting the visceral pain that accompanies longing for some past impossibility. The collection has been a science project in its study of memory, in the calculation and plotting of the moments that make up a childhood. The preparation has been “in the field” in that it is built upon the gathering of lived experience; the evidence is photo albums, family interviews, and anecdotes from friends. The project has been one giant experiment–to see if they can all make it out alive.

Cake Time by Siel Ju

Daring yet aimless, smart but slightly strange, Cake Time’s young female protagonist keeps making slippery choices, sliding into the dangerous space where curiosity melds with fear and desires turn into dirty messes. In “How Not to Have an Abortion,” the teenaged narrator looks for a ride from the clinic between her AP exams. In “Easy Target,“ the now-college-grad agrees to go to a swingers party with a handsome stranger. A decade later, in “Glow,” she is suddenly confronted by the disturbing and thrilling fact of her lover’s secret daughter. Ultimately, this unflinching novel-in-stories grapples with urgent, timeless questions: why intelligent girls make terrible choices, where to negotiate a private self in an increasingly public world, and how to love madly without losing a sense of self.

The Walled Wife by Nicelle Davis

Nicelle Davis’s The Walled Wife unearths from the long-standing text The Ballad of the Walled-up Wife, a host of issues that continue to plague women in the contemporary world: the woman s body as sacrifice; the woman s body as tender or currency; the woman s body as disposable; the woman s body as property; the woman s body as aesthetic object; the woman s body unsafe in the world she must inhabit, and in the hands of the people she loves.”

SOLD OUT | Live Talks L.A. Discussion: An Evening with Sally Field

Note: this event has sold out.

Sally Field is a two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award winning actor who has portrayed dozens of iconic roles on both the large and small screens. In 2012, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2015 she was honored by President Obama with the National Medal of Arts. She has served on the Board of Directors of Vital Voices since 2002 and also served on the Board of The Sundance Institute from 1994 to 2010.

Venue: Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Genre: Memoir

Discussion and Book Signing: “From Pimp Stick to Pulpit” with Arch Bishop Don “Magic” Juan

At one time, Don “Magic” Juan was the most notorious pimp in Chicago. Today, he’s left that life behind him. Still, stories of his high-rolling years abound, and wild stories they are. From the Chicago ghetto to a life of unimaginable wealth, where he hobnobbed with celebrities of every sort. From Pimp Stick to Pulpit is told with candor and honesty. Perhaps the most honest retelling in print of a pimp’s life, this volume sheds the hot glare of brutal frankness on a lifestyle most people find appalling, but all too many people are drawn to…tragically.
Genre: Memoir

Release Party for Allan MacDonell’s “Now That I Am Gone: A Memoir Beyond Recall”

Come join LA’s most understated and illustrious deviant Allan MacDonell as he presents his latest book, the world’s first posthumous memoir “Now That I Am Gone”

“Allan MacDonell’s Now That I Am Gone is a beautiful, beautiful book of death. Like an L.A. version of Machado de Assis’s Epitaph of a Small Winner, this is a book that deals with pretty much the only subject matter in the world: our fast approaching end. Open it up and hear the impossible music from the world that awaits us all: tick tock, tick tock.” – Scott McClanahan- author of ” The Sarah Book”, “Crapalchia”, “Hill William”

Allan MacDonell is the author of Prisoner of X: 20 Years in the Hole at Hustler Magazine and Punk Elegies: True Tales of Death Trip Kids, Wrongful Sex and Trial by Angel Dust. MacDonell studied creative writing at San Francisco State University. He was a defining contributor to L.A.’s Slash magazine. Since the turn of the millennium, MacDonell has been separating real from fake on Internet platforms like Buzz Media, Spin Media, Participant Media, and marijuana news-and-lifestyle site Kindland. He is currently director of TheSkeeve.com.

Genre: Memoir

Discussion and Book Signing: “She Wants It” by Jill Soloway

In this poignant memoir of personal transformation, Jill Soloway takes us on a patriarchy-toppling emotional and professional journey. When Jill’s parent came out as transgender, Jill pushed through the male-dominated landscape of Hollywood to create the groundbreaking and award-winning Amazon TV series Transparent. Exploring identity, love, sexuality, and the blurring of boundaries through the dynamics of a complicated and profoundly resonant American family, Transparent gave birth to a new cultural consciousness. While working on the show and exploding mainstream ideas about gender, Jill began to erase the lines on their own map, finding their voice as a director, show creator, and activist.

She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy moves with urgent rhythms, wild candor, and razor-edged humor to chart Jill’s evolution from straight, married mother of two to identifying as queer and nonbinary. This intense and revelatory metamorphosis challenges the status quo and reflects the shifting power dynamics that continue to shape our collective worldview. With unbridled insight that offers a rare front seat to the inner workings of the #metoo movement and its aftermath, Jill captures the zeitgeist of a generation with thoughtful and revolutionary ideas about gender, inclusion, desire, and consent.

Genre: Memoir

Discussion and Book Signing: “50 Ways to Get Your Way” by Juliet Huck

In 50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY, Juliet Huck shares the lessons she learned while growing up on her family’s farm in rural Ohio—values such as being grateful, nurturing relationships, and listening intently, which she used to build a successful career as a persuasion strategist working with corporate clients and on high-profile legal cases. Huck teaches readers how to be persuasive in a manner that is honorable and respectful, while making genuine human connections.

The tools Huck shares in 50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAYare familiar, but the author notes that many of these values are missing in the current social climate. Using beautiful images (many photographed by the author) and conversational prose, Huck encourages readers to commit to a practice of awareness—of self and others—and guides them through the dance of building relationships that will help them achieve their goals.

While all of the pearls of wisdom presented in 50 WAYS TO GET YOUR WAY are essential ingredients for developing into a solid human being, several offer the building blocks for becoming an exceptional person who gets what he or she wants. Being empathetic by learning what other people find meaningful, paying attention to the effect that one’s tone can have on others, telling a compelling story, letting go of expectations to minimize disappointment, and understanding the importance of clarity when asking for assistance or sharing plans are just a few of the gems that Huck examines in her book.

Genre: Memoir

Discussion and Book Signing: “From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen” by Snoop Dogg

Meet Platinum recording artist, TV host and the original OGG Snoop Dogg when he joins us to celebrate his cookbook From Crook to Cook. You’ve seen Snoop work his culinary magic on VH1’s Emmy-nominated Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party and now Tha Dogg’s up in your kitchen … with his first cookbook. This event is a photo op with Snoop Dogg with purchase of a presigned book from this location.
Genre: Cooking, Memoir

POSTPONED | Book Club: Diane Leslie’s Book Group with Laila Lalami discuss “The Moor’s Account”

Note: This event has been postponed to an unspecified future date.

Diane Leslie’s Book Group with Author meets to discuss Laila Lalami’s novel, The Moor’s Account on Tuesday, November 27th at 5 pm. This book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize!

The best part? Laila Lalami will be joining in the discussion!

Seating is limited and reservations are required for this event. There is a $20 fee, and you must purchase your copy of the book from DIESEL.

Genre: Memoir