This week’s book events showcase works by a globe-trotting music producer, an anachronistic technologist, a poet turned bestselling novelist, a former action movie scribe and more.
Here’s the rundown on can’t-miss book talks on the horizon.
Back to the future
In Lizzie O’Shea’s “Future Histories,” the Australian author makes the case that our technology-saturated world isn’t too different from the days of yore. Her book, shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, ruminates on when Parisian communes practiced collective knowledge exchanges, and Victorian utopians dreamed of a sharing economy. O’Shea discusses her book with Times tech reporter Sam Dean.
A history of action
Before becoming a novelist, Steven Pressfield got his start as a screenwriter on action films starring Steven Seagal and Dolph Lundgren. Then he had a big hit with his first book, “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” which later became the movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon. Pressfield has turned to mostly historical and military fiction. Pressfield, The Times noted, is “a former Marine [who] does his homework. He is no armchair theorizer.” At this signing, Pressfield will discuss his latest thriller, “36 Righteous Men,” which spins a tale of the Russian Mafia and Jewish mysticism.
Ocean Vuong’s journey
On Monday, bestselling novelist Ocean Vuong joins the Los Angeles Times Book Club to discuss “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” with Times reporter Carolina A. Miranda. Vuong wrote his book in the form of a letter from a son to his mother, who barely speaks English and will never read it. The novel, which takes its title from one of Vuong’s poems, meditates on themes of whiteness, masculinity, violence and America’s tortured relationship with Vietnam.
7:30 p.m. Monday, the Montalbán Theater, 1615 Vine St., Los Angeles. VIP tickets sold out; general admission tickets still available for $15; $10 for Times subscribers.
Out of Africa
Music producer Ian Brennan knows no borders: he has worked with musicians across the globe and mined archives of rare and disappearing genres. His work with Saharan rockers Tinariwen, recorded in the remote desert of Algeria, earned him a Grammy. For his Zomba Prison Project, he documented the music of prisoners at the maximum security prison in Malawi. Brennan’s book “Silenced by Sound: The Music Meritocracy Myth” recounts his field-recording projects and reflects on how a country’s wealth has little connection to the boundless creative spirit of its people. Brennan discusses his book with Tunde Adebimpe, artist, actor and Grammy-nominated singer.
5 p.m. Saturday, Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Free.
Searching for self
During the aftermath of the dotcom bust, Andre Perry lived in San Francisco, working in tech during the day and playing in indie bands at night. But it was in Iowa City where he discovered himself. Perry founded the Midwest edition of the Mission Creek Festival, a music and literature fête that is a nexus of the arts community. Perry’s debut collection of essays, “Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now,” charts a course into his past, offering a vision complete with imagined talk-show interviews, fragments of scripts and even multiple-choice questions. Perry will discusses his work with author Roxane Gay.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Free.
Murder in the O.C.
Joe Ide is back with a new adventure for Isaiah Quintabe, his intrepid private investigator also known as IQ. In his latest mystery, “Hi Five,” IQ moves beyond his East Long Beach turf and plunges into a Newport Beach murder case, where the primary suspect, Cristiana, is the daughter of a West Coast arms dealer. Strong-armed into accepting the gig, IQ navigates a unique dilemma: Cristiana’s multiple personalities. Ide discusses his new book on Wednesday.