One of the questions that best-selling author Gregg Hurwitz answers this week in our Q&A is, How do you choose what to read next?
You’ll want to read on to find out what he says — it involves shelves — but it got me thinking about one of the books I’m immersed in right now, “Six Four” by Hideo Yokoyama.
The novel, a huge success in Japan, was published here in 2018 to much acclaim, but I’d missed it until seeing it on the shelves of one of our Southern California independent booksellers. I think that may have been the appeal: I didn’t know a thing about it or the author, but it was being recommended by a bookseller I trust, so I jumped in and haven’t regretted a moment of it.
Speaking of recommendations, this week we announced SCNG’s 10 Noteworthy books by Southern California authors that made an impact in 2021. As one of the editors who, along with Samantha Dunn and the SCNG team, worked on this list, I want to say how wholeheartedly I love this collection of books and authors. Scan the titles and you’ll be sure to find something to read and love.
Here’s the list with links to stories we ran on the authors:
Myriam J. A. Chancy“What Storm, What Thunder” (Tin House)
Natashia Deon“The Perishing” (Counterpoint)
Amanda Gorman“Call Us What We Carry” (Viking Books)
Naomi Hirahara“Clark and Division” (SoHo Crime)
Viet Thanh Nguyen“The Committed” (Grove Press)
Maggie Shipstead“Great Circle” (Knopf)
Matthew Specktor“Always Crashing in the Same Car: On Art, Crisis, and Los Angeles” (Tin House)
Claire Vaye Watkins“I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness” (Riverhead Books)
Anthony Veasna So“Afterparties” (Ecco)
Danny Trejo“My Life of Crime and Redemption in Hollywood” (Atria Books)
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There was other local book news this week, from my colleague Larry Wilson – who was one of my first editors and who shared good books with me, too – I learned that Southern California is home to the nation’s premier city for book lovers (and we have two cities in the top 10). According to Lawn Love, Pasadena is the nation’s No. 1 book-loving city, with Orange County’s Garden Grove coming in at No. 8.
While this is completely brag-worthy, I have no idea how rigorous the science behind this study is, though it is said to be “based on access to public libraries, bookstores, Little Free Libraries, book clubs, and events.” Sounds good to me.
So let’s get on with our Q&A with Gregg Hurwitz, the week’s bestsellers and more. Thanks, as always, for reading.
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Gregg Hurwitz clues us in to a mystery series worth revisiting
Gregg Hurwitz is a best-selling author and California native with multiple projects in development for the screen. His newest Orphan X novel, “Dark Horse,” comes out on Feb. 8, and he’ll be making appearances at Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood, Book Carnival in Tustin and Creating Conversations Bookstore in Redondo Beach as well as an upcoming benefit for the Friends of the Huntington Beach Public Library.
Q. Is there a book or books you’d like to recommend?
Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series is timeless and wonderful. He took the PI and placed him into the (then contemporary world), making him a whole human. I’m re-reading my way through now.
Q. What else are you reading?
At the recommendation of the wonderful Lisa Unger, I am starting “My Sister the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
Q. How do you choose what to read next?
I stare at my bookcases (plural, wings) and see which one reaches out and grabs me.
Q. Do you remember the first book that made an impact on you?
The Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series was so wonderful I was lost in each one. And then, shortly after, I got stuck in Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot.”
Q. Is there a book you’re nervous to read?
I need to reread “The Brothers Karamazov,” which I haven’t read since high school, and I know it’ll be a daunting but riveting enterprise. I need to have some room in my brain before I embark.
Q. Is there a genre or type of book you read the most — and what would you like to read more of?
Crime fiction, of course. I’ve been getting back into classic literature because: why do we read that mostly when we’re in high school and college?
Q. Do you have a favorite book or books?
“The Sound and the Fury,” “The Things They Carried,” “Red Dragon.”
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More stories on authors, books and the week’s best-sellers
Gerrick Kennedy’s “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” explores Whitney Houston’s legacy. READ MORE
This memoir tells how “The Golden Girls” and a chance meeting changed a few lives. READ MORE
We share some excellent recent graphic novels, including a bio of Leonard Cohen. READ MORE
The week’s best sellers
The top-selling books at your local independent bookstores. READ MORE