Hello and welcome to the LA Times Book Club newsletter.

This month we read the author from Los Angeles Percival Everett “Dr. No,” a multi-genre spy caper that offers a much-needed escape from the rhythm of election season.

An English professor at USC, Everett’s books play with gender, language, and our assumptions about race and sex. In “Dr. No,” he turns to academia to create a brilliant math professor who teams up with a billionaire supervillain for a 007-style heist. “No one understands the slippery nature of identity like a spy, and Everett relishes the spy-thriller apparatus, wielding Bond tropes as if they were flamethrower bagpipes or cyanide cigarettes,” writes Jennifer Wilson in the Atlantic.

Kirkus Reviews calls “the novel” a “good place to start finding out why Everett has such a devoted cult following.”

Everett has received international accolades for his body of work: 34 books, including “The Trees”, shortlisted this fall for the 2022 Booker Prize, and “Telephone”, a 2021 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

November 16, Everett joins the LA Times Book Club for a conversation with a columnist LZ Granderson at the Autry Museum of the American West. Admission includes wine, live music by The Times editor Christopher Price and browse the museum after hours. Get tickets.

If you are a long time fan, or simply discover the books of Everett, writer Lorraine Berry shares five of his best novels that showcase his distinctive, often playful, literary style.

This week brought the news that Everett’s work is coming to the big screen. Deadline reports that the actor Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”) is set to star in a film based on the novel Erasure.”

“Wright plays Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison, an English professor and author who writes a satirical novel under a pseudonym, aiming to expose the hypocrisies of the publishing world.” Justin Kroll said. “The immediate success of the book compels Monk to become more involved in his assumed identity and challenges his intimate worldviews.”

What would you like to ask Percival Everett and LZ Granderson? Please share your comments and questions in an email to [email protected]

Percival Everett

(Courtesy of Percival Everett)

And after

December 8novelist Celeste Ng joins us to discuss his new bestseller, “Our Missing Hearts”, with the Times columnist Patt Morrison.

Critical Bethanne Patrick calls the book a “stunning” new dystopian novel. “The easiest way to put it without spoiling anything is to say that at the heart of Ng’s story – a 12-year-old boy’s epic quest to find his missing mother – is the overarching question of how we let’s communicate,” wrote Patrick. in time.

Ng’s previous novel, “Little Fires Everywhere,” was expanded into a hit Hulu series starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

Get tickets to December’s live book club event, which starts at 6:00 PM PT

Celeste Ng "Our missing hearts" takes place in the near future plagued by surveillance and xenophobia.

Celeste Ng’s “Our Missing Hearts” is set in a near future plagued by surveillance and xenophobia.

(Kieran Kesner/Buzzfeed)

keep reading

Next competition: Washington Post Literary Review Ron Charles points out that Tuesday’s election was just practice for the race to come next week. michelle obama (“The Light We Carry”) and Mike Pence (“So help me God”) publish memoirs on November 15. Both books respond to the same tragedy: the January 6 assault on the Capitol. “Obama said watching the insurgency on TV inspired her to find ways to deal with ‘uncertain times,'” Charles wrote in his newsletter. “Pence’s title alludes to his promise to defend the Constitution when President Trump incited a gang by chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’.”

Discovering Didion: Journalist Caroline A. Miranda walked through both the Joan Didion estate sale and the “Joan Didion: What She Means” exhibit at the Hammer Museum. His report.

In memory: Mike Davis’ family members built a Day of the Dead altar after losing the author. His wife Alessandra Montezuma shared what they put in his ofrenda, and what Davis left them, with the Times podcast editor Kinsee Morlan.

Hidden stories: Telling the story of the powers of under-documented communities Natalia Molina work, which won her a MacArthur Fellowship in 2020. She talks to Dorany Pineda about his latest book, “A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community”, and his next project, a book about the Mexican workers who built the Huntington Library, art museum and gardens Botanicals, where she is the acting director of research.

Navigation during the holidays: LA Times 2022 Holiday Gift Guide Includes Book Publisher’s Fiction and Nonfiction Suggestions Boris Katchka for the readers on your list. And don’t forget to check out the book club shop, a new selection of hats, bags and crewnecks.

Nikole Hannah-Jones in the middle: Billie Jean King, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Barack Obama, Julie Andrews and Luis J. Rodriguez.

Clockwise from left, with Nikole Hannah-Jones book club guests in the middle: Billie Jean King, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Barack Obama, Julie Andrews and Luis J. Rodriguez.

(Jason Armond, Roger Erickson, Jay L. Clendenin, Pari Dukovic, Varon Panganiban, Ana Venegas.)

If you like our book club: Civic engagement is the heart and soul of The Times’ literacy and literary programs. We launched the LA Times Book Club in 2019 to build on the Festival of Books and continue telling stories throughout the year. Last year, our community book club hosted guests such as inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, naturalist Jane Goodallancient President Obama, successful novelist Anne PatchettPulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyendirectors Ron Howard and Rodrigo GarciaNew York Times reporter Nikole Hannah Joneshistorian Ibrahim X. Kendi, National Book Award Winner Charles You, singer and songwriter Willie Nelson, actor Jennifer Gray and tennis champion Billie Jean King. Our book club continues to be a welcoming and safe place to discuss the most pressing and challenging issues of our time.

Many readers tell us how much they appreciate the chance to see, hear and meet world-class authors and journalists each month. We really appreciate your enthusiastic emails and survey responses. Now take the next step: as we head into Giving Tuesday, please make a tax-deductible donation to the new Los Angeles Times Community Fund to help us continue and grow in 2023.