Dream of new adventures with this earthly travel book

Good morning, and welcome to the Los Angeles Times Book Club newsletter.

“Letter to a Stranger” contributors Colin Kinder, left, Maggie Shipstead, Michelle T, and Pico Ayer.

(Owen Murray; Maggie Shipstead; Jenny Westerhoff; Brigitte Lacombe)

The stories are short but powerful. In just a few pages they transport us to wildly diverse destinations: an Icelandic island escape, an abandoned mountain lodge in Peru, a research station perched on an ice field in Antarctica. Other authors remember connections made while backpacking through Asia, working on cruise ships, taking a taxi in Paris, or traveling in their ancestral homelands.

In all, 65 accomplished and well-traveled writers reflect on a fleeting encounter that made a lasting impression at this month’s book club, where they read, “A Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the People Who Haunt Us.”

“The concept is irresistible,” says the Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds. “Who can read about it and not think of a person and a place, perhaps a question without an answer, that remains in memory?”

Reynolds joins book clubs 26 May To chat with the authors pico air Maggie Shipstead And Michael teaThree of the book’s contributors, and Colin Kindereditor of “Letter to a Stranger”.

This intriguing group arrives as many of us dare to travel again, or at least dream of new adventures. Reynolds, who spent 40 to 50 days a year on the road before the pandemic, has cut back on work travel for the past two years, often focusing on destinations close to his hometown of California.

Kinder said the manuscript was completed in the fall of 2020 but it really felt like a time capsule. “The book definitely reminds me of moving through the world in a more vulnerable and open state,” she says in an interview. “Many of these articles evoke the pre-COVID era, when we didn’t even realize how free we were.”

Join us: The live broadcast of “Letter to a Stranger” book club night will start on 6 PM Pacific Time employment 26 May. Get your signed tickets and books here.

The novelist says, “We spend so much of our lives in the company of people whose names we will never know, and we will never meet again.” Leslie Jamison In the introduction to the book. “How seldom do we honor them. How seldom do we admit to ourselves the strange and unspoken ways in which they can assimilate within us.”

Book Notes: Maggie Shipstead

Before book club night, Novelist from Los Angeles Maggie Shipsteadauthor of “Great Circle” and the new “You Have a Friend in 10A,” shares some of his favorite writers and series.

Your next adventure: I got home from Fiji four days ago, so I hope I’m not going anywhere a bit! But I’ve been saying for a few years now that I’m going to take the long (270 miles) trek in the Swedish Arctic, hopefully in late summer.

The last book that kept you up at night: “The Cold Vanish” by John Bellmanwhich is about the strange and mysterious ways in which people hide in the wild and how others search for them.

The writers who influenced you the most: Oh my goodness, different writers at different times. In graduate school, the number of WASPs was as high as Cheever and Updike. Recently, most writers have been women: Hilary MantellAnd Mary GetskillAnd Chimamanda [Ngozi] AdichieAnd Ruth OzekiAnd Kate AtkinsonAnd Min Jin Lee.

Something you’ve discovered about yourself since the pandemic: I am actually able to live with someone else!

What’s Not On Your Resume (That Says A Lot About You): I love needlepoint pillows and give them to friends.

your next project: I’m working on another novel… but slowly.

What awaits us

Tag your calendar For a book club conversation next month with the bestselling author and historian The conclusion of the tenth CAD, who joined us in Los Angeles at USC’s Bovard Auditorium.

Kendi’s new book, “How to Raise an Antiracist,” is geared toward parents, teachers, and other caregivers. It asks questions such as: How do we talk to children about race and racism? How do we teach children to be anti-racist? How do children of different ages face race?

Get tickets for this June 22 up there.

the book

(One World | Stephen Voss)

We can teach you that

You know the weekend workout: Get up and research the new menus on coffee. Spend Saturdays wandering the open houses. You are discouraged by the multi-million dollar price tags on modest yardless stabilizer uppers and even the slightest charm. repeats.

The Latest We Can Tell You This event can provide much-needed assistance in finding your sanctuary amid the madness. Times crew Andrew Khoury And Pat Morrison join Yolandra McClinton Nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, dated May 19 For “Secrets of the Great SoCal House Hunt”.

Illustration of a craftsman's house with a key below.

(Rina Takahashi/For The Times)

Read on

Blitzer: This week’s Pulitzer Prize winning authors include the new Los Angeles Times Book Award winners: Poet Diane Seuss Won for “Frankness: The Sonnets,” which was cited by the Pulitzer Committee as “a masterful collection that innovatively expands the form of the sonnet to counter the chaotic contrasts of contemporary America.” Ada Ferrer Won for “Cuba: An American History,” a comprehensive account of the island nation and its complex relationship with the United States. Andrea Elliott She won non-fiction for “Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City,” which follows a girl who comes of age amid the homelessness crisis in New York City. Read more.

In Journalism Awards, Los Angeles Times reporter and foreign photojournalist Marcus Yam He received a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for his coverage of the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. The Times was also a finalist in the Breaking News category for its coverage of the murder of a cinematographer in an accidental shooting on the set of the low-budget western film “Rust.”

California History: Famous science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson He says he finished his deep space novels. His new book, “The High Sierra: A Love Story,” is Robinson’s first major nonfiction work. “I decided it was time to go straight to the topic of climate change,” he told the New York Times.

Haller and Bush return: TV critic Robert Lloyd Explains how the Netflix legal thriller “Meat and Potatoes” “The Lincoln Lawyer” could predict the future of the live-action operator. Manuel Garcia Rulfo playing the lawyer Mickey Haller In the series, one of the two New crime appears in Los Angeles for the first time this month based on Michael Connelly Bestselling novels. The other is “Bosch: Legacy”.

Antiques shop behind On Gold Mountain. author Lisa look She talks about her family’s epic research and opera adaptation journey this month for her work in the Huntington Library’s Chinese Garden.

Basic stories. Former Times Book Editor David L. Olin Reviews “The Hurtful Kind” by Ada lemon, “The poet of our only terrifying moment.” Elsewhere, Olin compiles a primer on Joan Didion’s seven essential readings for Alta Magazine.


After a two-year hiatus, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival is back – in a big way – on the USC campus on April 23-24. “It has been a remarkable year,” said the festival director. Ann Pennywho participated in the abstract.

Here is the 2022 festival, In numbers:

155000 attendees

628 Authors

274 Live events, from bands to book talks to poetry readings

8 external stages

14 Indoors

230 exhibitors

706 Volunteers, who helped keep things running smoothly.

And the book of festivals they come back Elsewhere this spring too, from Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, to Late Fest PasadenaAnd To the debut next week of the Santa Fe Literary Festival.

Young woman wearing a ripple leopard print dress.  Around her are fans and photographers.

Poet Amanda Gorman greets fans before her talk at the LA Times Book Club at the Book Festival.

(Nick Agro)

The last word

Contributor to “Letter to a Stranger” and author of Los Angeles Michael tea She shared her writing inspiration and latest work during the countdown to book club night in May.

Your next adventure: I am bringing my son to San Francisco, where he was born, next month.

The last book that kept you up at night: “Station Eleven”. devoured him!

The writers who influenced you the most: Eileen MilesAnd Violet LeducAnd Linda BarryAnd Jane Jane.

Something you’ve discovered about yourself since the pandemic: I’m not as social as I imagine myself. Or maybe I’m just incredibly adaptable?

What’s Not On Your Resume (That Says A Lot About You): What college did I attend, because I didn’t.

your next project: My book “Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My In / Fertility” is out this summer!

We look forward to seeing everyone On May 26. Please share your questions with our travelers: What do you want to ask Michael teaAnd Maggie ShipsteadAnd Pico AirAnd Colin Kinder And Christopher Reynolds? Send comments in an email to [email protected]

And if you enjoy our community events: Please consider becoming a recipient of the new Los Angeles Times Community Fund, which supports the Community Book Club and Annual Book Awards.

As always, thank you for reading and coming every month. And please tell us what you think of the books we are reading and what we should read together in the future.

Los Angeles Times Community Fund logo

(Parisa Hajizadeh Amini/Los Angeles Times)

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