Alta’s California Book Club is delighted to announce that our selection panel has chosen three outstanding books to kick off 2021. Each is by a distinguished author with an original voice and quintessential California story. These books promise to engage, distract, and entertain.
Here are the books:
America Is Not the Heart, by Elaine Castillo
Set in the Silicon Valley suburb where Castillo grew up, this debut novel depicts the Filipino American experience across three generations. It’s a family saga that’s full of heart and humor, shining a rare light on Filipino life in the United States. America Is Not the Heart was named one of the best books of 2018 by, among others, NPR, Literary Hub, and the Boston Globe.
When: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 5 p.m. Pacific time
The Sellout, by Paul Beatty
Beatty’s blisteringly funny novel is a lacerating takedown of racial stereotypes and much of American culture. Taking place in Los Angeles, where Beatty was raised, the book centers on an unnamed character who embarks on a mission to have his “ghetto community,” Dickens, reinstated on the map. The Sellout won Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize, the first-ever American novel to receive the award.
When: Thursday, February 18, 2021, 5 p.m. Pacific time
Southland, by Nina Revoyr
Jackie Ishida, a young Japanese American woman, sets out to solve a decades-old crime in Los Angeles in this inspired detective story that spans generations. Revoyr’s nuanced telling shows readers a side of an ever-evolving city, in all its diversity, that is seldom seen. The winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a finalist for an Edgar Award, Southland was named one of the Los Angeles Times’ best books of 2003.
When: Thursday, March 18, 2021, 5 p.m. Pacific time
In the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars for upcoming CBC discussions with Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us, on November 19, and with Walter Mosley, author of Devil in a Blue Dress, on December 17.
To sign up for Alta’s California Book Club for free, click here.