Reading Club Newsletter: Life after Mayberry and Opie-shaming

Hello and welcome to the LA Times Book Club newsletter.

In their new memoir, “The Boys”, Ron and Clint Howard explain what it was like growing up in some of the most popular TV shows of the 60s and 70s. At the age of 6, Ron became a familiar face on “The Andy Griffith Show” and then moved on to “Happy Days”, while Clint has appeared on numerous shows, most notably with a giant brown bear in “Gentle Ben”.

Ahead of the book club night, Oscar-winning director Ron and actor Clint spoke to the LA Times reporter Michel Ordoña about their life as child actors and why they finally decided to write about it.

Here are some nuggets.

useful advice: Ron had been approached over the years by editors looking for an autobiography, but he hadn’t wanted to. Frequent collaborator Tom hanks said, “You probably should, but focus entirely on your childhood.” This is what interests everyone. And he was right, ”Ron said.

Their interim coach: Their father, a veteran actor Rance howard, trained his sons on their stages not as if they were child actors but fair actors: He didn’t teach them how to play cute for the camera, but to listen and respond. He took them to films such as “The Wild Bunch”.

Memorable moment: Clint was 7 when he appeared as Cmdr. Balok on the original “Star Trek” series. “I don’t seem very happy to have a skullcap, but it was better to shave my head,” he recalls.

In this photograph from “The Boys”, Clint Howard is equipped with a cap for his role as Cmdr. Balok on the original “Star Trek” series.

(Courtesy Ron Howard and Clint Howard)

Life after Mayberry: One of the surprises of the book is that Ron had many fights as a child, facing bullies seeking to take Opie down. “I watched Ron sail around being ‘ashamed and harassed,’ Clint said.

October 15, Ron and Clint Howard will join Times columnist Mary mcnamara for the first time in person at the LA Times Book Club since February 2020.

Get tickets on Eventbrite to attend the 7 p.m. event and enjoy a cocktail at LA Live’s rooftop terrace. You can also go online to watch from home.

What would you like to ask Ron and Clint Howard? Send your questions and memories of watching their shows in an email to [email protected]

Photos of Ron Howard, left, and Clint Howard frame the cover of their new memoir, "The boys"

Filmmaker Ron Howard, left, and actor Clint Howard will discuss their new memoir, “The Boys,” with LA Times columnist Mary McNamara.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times; William Morrow / JeanPaul San Pedro)

november book

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole hannah jones will join us November 30 to discuss his next book, “The 1619 project: a new origin story», With the editor of The Times Kevin Mérida.

“The 1619 Project” develops Hannah-Jones’ New York Times Magazine project who reframed American history to place slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. The book includes expanded essays as well as new fictions, poems, and photographs that explore the legacy of slavery in America today.

Contributors include Michelle alexandre, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Jamelle Bouié, Nikky finney, Francois Viévée, Yaa Gyasi, Terrance Hayes, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Robert jones jr., Ibram X. Kendi, Kiese Laymon, Darryl Pinckney, Claudia rankine, Jason reynolds, Danez Smith, Tracy K. Smith, Bryan Stevenson and Jesmyn district.

Next month, Hannah-Jones will also publish a children’s book, “The 1619 Project: Born on Water”.

This Book Club-Ideas Exchange event will take place at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood at 7:00 p.m. PT on November 30. Get tickets.

Photos of Nikole Hannah-Jones and Kevin Merida frame the cover of Hannah-Jones' book

(James Estrin / One World; Kirk McKoy / LA Times)

Justice, climate change collide

Journalist Jaime Lowe joined the book’s clubbers on September 28 for a revealing chat with the Times columnist Erika D. Smith on “Breathing the Fire: Inmates on the Frontlines of the California Wildfires”.

If you missed it, you’ll want to watch it here.

And stay tuned for an upcoming Times documentary by a video reporter. Claire Hannah Collins on what happens to inmates who try to pursue a career as a firefighter after release from prison.

Times columnist Erika D. Smith, left, and reporter Jaime Lowe

Times columnist Erika D. Smith, left, and reporter Jaime Lowe discuss Lowe’s book “Breathing Fire: Female Inmates on the Front Lines of California’s Wildfires”.

(Los Angeles Times)

Keep reading

S is for Say What? Santa Barbara author Sue Grafton has sworn that she will never sell her blockbuster alphabet series starring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in Hollywood. She passed away in 2017. ”Many of you also know that she was adamant that her books would never be made into movies or TV shows, and in a similar vein, she would never allow a writer ghost to write in his name, “his daughter Jamie Clark wrote at the time. “Because of all of these things, and out of a deep and unwavering love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we are concerned in the family, the alphabet now ends with Y.” This week, A + E Studios announced a TV contract for the mystery series, with Steve Humphrey, Grafton’s husband of 40 years, as executive producer.

Find an exit ramp: “A venerable friend stops one day to recommend a poem. He’s about to fish in the Colorado River, which flows between our homes, but instead steers his old truck down our gravel driveway, apparently for a singular purpose. So begins author Martin J. Smith essay on leaving southern California for a quieter life “by the side of the road. “

Notes from a native son. In his new “Inter State” collection, José Vadi untangles California from within. “I marveled” writes Sophia Stewart in Alta Magazine, “To see California captured with such specificity: the tradition of the Disneyland Alumni Night; the special hell (and the occasional bliss) of highways; the Getty refuge and the Telegraph record stores; commune on In-N-Out late at night or make carne asada quesadillas scarves near Lake Merritt.

Read the West: Alta compiles an overview of 13 books for October. New releases include the pseudo-autobiographical novel by UC Irvine professor Claire Vaye Watkins, “I Love You But I Chose Darkness.” “It’s a beautifully arranged tackle box of everything Watkins does best – a story through the bones of family apocalypses; personalized mix of the historic, the unimaginable and the impossible; enchanting and terrifying encounters with the American West, ”wrote Hillary Kelly in The Times.

Struggles on the screen: In 2019 Stephanie Land life memory of a single mother, “Housekeeper: hard work, low wages and a mother’s will to survive,made that of Barack Obama Summer Reading List. This month, “Maid” made her debut as Netflix series, with land as executive producer.

American road trip: Novelist Amor Towles returns with “The Lincoln Highway”, an old-fashioned, twisting tale of two orphaned brothers in search of a future.

Book price: Tanzanian writer Thursday Abdulrazak Gurnah won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Discover his work with these five books. Earlier this week, the novelists Lauren Groff, Anthony doerr and Hanif Abdurraqib are among the finalists nominated for the 2021 National Book Awards.

Murals capture our stories: Mike Sonksen, aka Mike the Poet, writes about 12 SoCal public art projects that explore stories of race and marginalization, via

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