Long Beach Mayor Launches Book Club to Support Literacy, Community and Local Writers

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia introduced the Mayor’s Book Club today, which will aim to support libraries and promote literacy, as well as feature local writers and an annual conversation and event, according to the announcement.

Garcia selected longtime Press-Telegram reporter and columnist Tim Grobaty’s I’m Dyin’ Here: A Life in the Paper as the club’s first read. The Long Beach community is invited to finish the book, published by Long Beach-based Brown Paper Press, by September 15 when the club’s first event will take place.


“It tells the story of him, of his experience in this newspaper and the collapse of the newspaper around him,” said Brown Paper Press co-founder Wendy Thomas Russell back in February. “It’s an interesting story and it’s a story that is happening everywhere in this country.”

Sponsored by the Long Beach Library Foundation, the mayor will host a community conversation and interview with Grobaty on Thursday, September 15 at 6:00PM at the Beverly O’Neill Theater.

“I just loved I’m Dyin’ Here and thought it would be great to kick off the first Mayor’s Book Club,” wrote Garcia in his newsletter. “It’s an honest and extremely funny look at life in the newspaper business and here in Long Beach. I greatly appreciate Tim agreeing to participate in this event.”

I’m Dyin’ Here: A Life in the Paper is available for check-out at all Long Beach libraries, and can be purchased online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and the publisher’s website here. It can also be purchased locally at Brass Lamp, MADE in Long Beach, Fingerprints, Gatsby Books and Barnes & Noble.

The book can also be purchased at the community event, where Grobaty will sign copies after the discussion, according to the announcement.

The mayor will choose a book to read on an annual basis, and is open to suggestions, especially those of local authors. 

To RSVP for the September 15 event, click here.

The Beverly O’Neill Theater is located at The Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 300 East Ocean Boulevard. 

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.