Sunshine, high spirits, and a lot of book people: that’s what I remember from last year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, a beautiful spring weekend and a highlight of my year. Last year, the California Book Club asked 11 of our featured authors to sign books at our booth. That event was such a hit with our members that we’re thrilled to bring it back to the festival this year on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, with a lineup of 13 talented authors whose work defines the Golden State, including 5 past CBC authors—and 2 future ones! If you’re planning to attend, please come by Alta Journal’s booth (#111) to meet some of our CBC writers and contributors.
On Saturday morning, Rachel Howzell Hall, author of We Lie Here: A Thriller, will join us at 11 a.m.; Hall wrote the sinister fiction piece “Breakdown in the Right Lane” in the latest issue of Alta. We’ll welcome historian Kelly Lytle Hernández, author of the upcoming September CBC selection, Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands, to the booth at 11:30.
Starting at noon, at the top of each hour, we’ll bring you four back-to-back California Book Club authors to sign copies of their work: historian Natalia Molina, author of A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community, about her grandmother’s Echo Park restaurant; Rachel Kushner, author of the immersive novel The Mars Room and the essay collection The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000–2020; Andrew Sean Greer, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning comic novel Less; and poet Luis J. Rodriguez, author of the raw memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.
To close out day one, celebrated novelist Jane Smiley will join us at the booth to sign A Dangerous Business at 4 p.m. (If you can’t make it to L.A., Smiley will also join us virtually on Alta Live on April 26 and in person at the Bay Area Book Festival in May.)
On day two, we’re featuring authors and friends of the CBC who write about crime, capitalism, COVID-19, and craft. Novelist Naomi Hirahara, whose Clark and Division is the CBC’s August 2023 selection, will head to the booth at 10:30 a.m., while Cory Doctorow, a former Alta Live participant and the special guest for CBC author Kim Stanley Robinson, will sign his and Rebecca Giblin’s Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We’ll Win Them Back at 11. Next, for lovers of noir, June 2022 CBC author Steph Cha (Your House Will Pay) and the special guest for the event with Cha, Tod Goldberg (The Low Desert), will be signing their books at noon and 1 p.m., respectively. To close out the weekend, we’re ruminating on how things work with two Alta contributors. At 2, novelist and critic Charles Finch will sign What Just Happened: Notes on a Long Year, and at 3, poet Matthew Zapruder will sign his contemplative Story of a Poem: A Memoir.
We are thrilled to partner with Vroman’s Bookstore to sell titles by these authors, as well as every California Book Club selection thus far. If you haven’t picked up our May selection, the critically acclaimed Telephone, by Pulitzer finalist Percival Everett, or the June selection, Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu, which won the 2020 National Book Award, the Alta booth is a great place to grab them.
Plus, we’ll have Alta single issues and subscriptions available for sale, along with our brand-new California Book Club merch and our guide to the bookstores of California and the West, with our recommendations on where to stock up on the next CBC titles.
We’re looking forward to a weekend of sunshine, literature, and booklovers. See you in Los Angeles!•
Join us on April 20 at 5 p.m., when Claudia Rankine will appear in conversation with CBC host John Freeman and special guest Helga Davis to discuss her landmark book Citizen: An American Lyric. Please visit the Alta Clubhouse to discuss the book with your fellow California Book Club members. Register for the Zoom conversation here.
CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF HISTORY
CBC host John Freeman writes about Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and her themes across her work. —Alta
GRIEF AND HOPE
Alta contributor and critic Ilana Masad (All My Mother’s Lovers) reviews Ramona Ausubel’s The Last Animal. —Alta
Here are the top-selling books at independent bookstores across California for the week ending April 2. —Alta
CONVENING OF CRITICS
Alta contributor and critic Heather Scott Partington has been elected president of the National Book Critics Circle. —National Book Critics Circle
Senior television writer Yvonne Villarreal interviews Liz Tigelaar, who adapted Portland author Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things for Hulu. —Los Angeles Times
NEAR DECADE OF GROWTH
Cherilyn Parsons, the founder and executive director of the successful Bay Area Book Festival, is stepping down. —San Francisco Chronicle
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