Book club: Silvia Morena-Garcia reinvents a science fiction classic


Hello and welcome to the LA Times Book Club newsletter.

This month we escape to a remote Caribbean outpost with ‘Doctor Moreau’s Daughter’, the new thriller from Silvia Moreno Garcia.

Like its previous bestsellers, the story is a glorious crossover of genres, an atmospheric, makeover historical sci-fi novel. He reinvents the HG Wells classic moved to the rainforests of the Yucatan Peninsula.

In the tradition of Wells and other early science fiction writers, Moreno-Garcia also explores social upheaval in her work, but with probing and contemporary questions about fairness and equality. “Unlike them, she is much more attuned to those who have long been excluded from these conversations (and these books),” says the Times reviewer. Paula L. Woods.

“‘The Daughter of Doctor Moreau’ shifts readers’ gaze to those who are often marginalized or completely ignored in literature and history – whether it is an independent-minded girl absent from the original story , hybrid creatures of Doctor Moreau or those Mayan rebels of 1870s Mexico.”

Says a Washington Post reviewer Carole Memmot“What Moreno-Garcia is really doing, however, is exploring who the real monsters in the world are.”

On September 27, Moreno-Garcia will join book club readers for a virtual conversation with the Times editor Steve Padille from 6 p.m. PDT. Join Eventbrite to watch links and autographed books.

In addition to reading “Doctor Moreau’s daughter”, consult the author by Alex Espinosa book list for more suggested readings for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Espinoza, who grew up in La Puenta reading books filled with poor English orphans and neglected Victorian wives, shares 11 books – stories from well-known Latinx authors such as Hector Tobar and by Yxta Maya Murray and others by writers he has discovered more recently. “Of course, no playlist is ever complete, no list is ever able to capture the range of our collective experiences as people,” says Espinoza. “But I chose these, a mix of conventional and unorthodox narratives, to illustrate the breadth of our literary abilities.

Book clubbers: tell us what other books and authors you would do add to this Latinx playlist. Email your comments to [email protected]

Photographic illustration by Jérôme Adamstein / Los Angeles Times

Q&A: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Born in Mexico and now living in Vancouver, Silvia Moreno-Garcia shared some of her favorite reads and entertainment ahead of book club night.

The last books that kept you up at night: “Some rise by sin” by Sion Scott-Wilson“Helpmeet” by Naben Ruthnum

The writer or writers who have influenced you the most: HP Lovecraft, Flaubert

Favorite novel: “The Age of Innocence”

Favorite book you read as a child: “The Stories of Ray Bradbury”

Your favorite place to read? Bed

Should I watch TV? The criterion channel

Favorite music right now: July Talk

Next adventure: Write a script and see if I can sell it

Next project: “Silver Nitrate”, a horror novel released in 2023

Art for the top of the fall preview digital book lists/

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times; Manuel Muñoz; Todd Cooper / For The TimesLettering by Angela Southern, For The Times

keep reading

Fall Preview Picks: Check out 30 books we can’t wait for this fall, plus 10 new ones for your September reading list.

His jazz history: LA writer Laura Warren talks about the music and heartbreak that inspired her debut novel, “Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm.”

Reservation price: author from Los Angeles and professor of English at USC Percival Everett is one of six novelists who made the Booker Prize shortlist this week for his 2021 book, ‘The Trees’. In a new interview, Everett talks about his upcoming book, “Dr. No.”

Fight against book bans: As Libraries Under Threat, National Book Foundation’s Annual Literary Prize Goes to Watts-Raised Librarian Tracie D. Hall. “My grandparents both struggled with low literacy, and because of that, they were eager for me to be a reader and a lover of books and ideas,” says Hall, now executive director. of the American Library Assn. “It felt like a full-loop moment.” This will be the second consecutive year that the Literary Prize will be awarded to a librarian; last year’s winner was the Seattle author and librarian Nancy Pearlwho launched the common reading movement.

Book ban wave: Join the author George M. Johnsonstudent activist Madison Clevengerparent and lawyer Brooke Harper and historian Michael Hines for a virtual discussion on education censorship in Southern California. Journalist Patt Morrison will host the September 20 event, presented by the Times Idea Exchange and PEN America.

New Release: Paula L. Woods interviews with ‘South Central Noir’ contributors Gary Phillips, Antananarivo Due, Gar Anthony Haywood, Naomi Hirahara, Emory Holmes II and Roberto Lovato on how the new anthology came together and captured the region’s rich history.

The Adele of audio books: If you’re a fan of audiobooks, you might already know the voice of Julia Whelan. The Palm Springs author and actress recounts Gillian Flynn thriller “Gone Girl”, Tara Westover thesis “Educated” and Taylor Jenkins Reid novels “Malibu Rising” and “Carrie Soto Is Back”, among more than 400 other titles. The New Yorker calls Whelan “the Adele of audiobooks.” In August, she released a new novel, “Thanks For Listening,” about a former actress turned bestselling audiobook narrator. Guess who reads it?

Appreciation: Barbara Ehrenreichthe groundbreaking author of “Nickel and Dimed,” who passed away this week, showed us how much it costs to be broke.

RIP Peter Straub: The influential author of horror and Stephen King collaborator died this week at age 79.

Reserve: New LA Times Book Club merchandise has arrived and includes hats, socks, crewnecks and more.

California Soul Stories

Chef Keith Corbin, right, discusses "california soul" with Daniel Hernandez, editor of the Times Food.

Chef Keith Corbin, right, discusses “California Soul” with Times Food editor Daniel Hernandez.

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Chief of Los Angeles Keith Corbin joined the LA Times Book Club on August 23 to discuss his memoir, “California Soul: An American Epic of Cooking and Survival.” Corbin opened up about family, food, addiction, gangster life and the power of second chances in a conversation with the Times Food editor Daniel Hernández at the ASU center in California.

“My love for food started spending time with my grandmother in the kitchen,” Corbin told the audience. “It was about great cooks and feeding the block.”

ICYMI: Watch Book Club Night now.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives on day three of the 2018 Royal Ascot horse racing meeting.

Queen Elizabeth arrives at the Royal Ascot horse racing meeting in 2018. Horse racing is a favorite for her.

(Tim Ireland/Associated Press)

Read the Royals

After Great Britain queen elizabeth who died Thursday at 96, patrons of the Los Angeles Public Library rushed to read about the Queen and the history of the royal family.

Readers checked out 30 royal titles on Overdrive on Thursday and Friday, the library spokesperson said Justin Pearson. A sample: Five copies of “Queen of Our Times” had gone missing and were listed as “coming soon,” while 12 copies of “Diana, William and Harry” had an eight-week wait. All eight copies of “The Dark Queens” were also missing. However, two of the six copies of “Prince Charles” were still available Friday afternoon.

‘Queen Elizabeth leaves behind an unparalleled legacy,’ says City Librarian John Szabo. “And our patrons have certainly shown immense interest in this subject, as evidenced by the sheer volume of material they are borrowing on this subject.”

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