READING LOS ANGELES, ONE BOOK AT A TIME
L.A. Times publisher Austin Beutner welcomes all Angelenos to join a new book club
In February, Los Angeles Times Publisher and Chief Executive Austin Beutner launched Reading Los Angeles, an open invitation to join him in reading and discussing books that can both inform and broaden our ways of thinking. Each month, Reading Los Angeles highlights a book intended to shed light on the challenges and opportunities of Angeleno life. Journalists and staff from the paper moderate discussions about the chosen titles. Those topics might range from dining to related arts and cultural experiences.
“If journalism is the first draft of history, then books are the final cut,” Beutner said. “Books not only inform us, they inspire conversations. Reading Los Angeles is part of our efforts to help build a greater sense of community in Los Angeles.”
To inaugurate Reading Los Angeles, Beutner selected Jill Leovy’s “Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America.”
Leovy is an L.A. Times staff writer who spent many years embedded in the LAPD’s 77th Street Division. “Ghettoside” has its roots in the L.A. Times’ groundbreaking Homicide Report blog, which Leovy started in late 2006.
Leovy has enjoyed broad acclaim for the complex, nuanced “Ghettoside,” which uses the true story of the killing of an LAPD officer’s son in South L.A. to explore what the author has called the historically astounding rate of homicide in black communities.
In March, Beutner and Leovy hosted a free, in-person discussion of “Ghettoside” at Chevalier’s Books on Larchmont Boulevard. The talk raised timely questions about policing in urban environments.
The second Reading Los Angeles selection is Roger Kahn’s 1972 nonfiction classic “The Boys of Summer.” A longtime baseball reporter, Kahn interweaves his childhood memories of rooting for the Dodgers with his father, stories from his years of covering the team during Jackie Robinson’s phenomenal years as both a player and civil rights ambassador, and interviews with legendary players.
Festival of Books attendees can learn more about Reading Los Angeles at the event’s L.A. Times booth, where readers can sign up for the club will receive a special gift. Alternatively, anyone can join the conversation anytime online at www.latimes.com/bookclub.