Introducing Alta’s California Book Club

Establishing a new California canon

california book club logo

Which books should be taught in schools? Whose stories get to be told—and who gets to tell them? It’s time to reexamine the literary canon, and Alta Journal believes we should start right here, right now. The California Book Club is a new monthly virtual gathering devoted to literature from and about the Golden State. Produced by Alta, the quarterly journal that celebrates the literature of the West, with support from public libraries and independent bookstore partners across the region, the CBC will examine a different title every month from a new wave of writers who are reinventing contemporary literature. A panel of distinguished literary figures across the state will choose the titles, which for too long have been overlooked by institutions of higher learning and the East Coast. Alta will reestablish the order by offering the world a new California Canon.


Maybe you grew up here. Maybe you visited and fell in love with the place. Maybe you just want to learn more about it. Introducing the California Book Club, debuting October 15 and brought to you by Alta. Each month, we’ll gather virtually to discuss a prominent work about the region—fiction, history, memoir­—in conversation with the book’s author. Sign up for free today and you’ll receive four custom-designed bookplates. A new wave of writers deserves a new kind of book club. Please join us.

FREQUENCY: Monthly on the third Thursday at 5 p.m. Pacific time

FORMAT: John Freeman will lead lively one-hour discussions each month with writers whose books are as richly varied as the state itself. Club members will have the opportunity to hear authors read from their works and to ask questions of them and featured guests. Produced by Alta for streaming on Zoom.

California native Freeman is the editor of Freeman’s (a literary annual of new writing), an executive editor of Alfred A. Knopf, former editor of Granta, and the author of numerous books and collections.

california book club bookplates


Sign up for free today and you’ll receive four custom-designed bookplates. Stay up to date on all the latest book selections and news.

Register now!