Forum Book Club

Join Our Forum Book Club

KQED’s Forum Launches Book Club

Forum regularly brings listeners conversations with authors, but we decided to create a special offering: Forum Book Club. Our goal is to dive deeper into the books we feature on Forum and give readers a chance to ask questions and talk directly with authors about their work. Each month, we will select a work of fiction written by an author with California roots.

We’ll announce the latest selection a few weeks ahead of our live interview with the author to give listeners a chance to read the book and share questions and insights over social media using the hashtag #readwithForum. Readers can also share their comments and questions during the live show, as always. We’re excited to read with you!

How to participate:
1. Obtain the book via links provided by Forum or from your local library
2. Make note of your favorite characters, scenes, and reactions to the book
3. Post those reactions and any questions using #readwithForum or by leave us a voice memo at 415-553-3300.
4. Listen to the live show and submit questions and feedback:

5. Submit your suggestions for a book or California fiction writer we could consider.

July 2021 Selection: “Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces” by Maceo Montoya

Headshot of Maceo Montoya and cover of his book “Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces”
The first Forum Book Club pick for July 2021 is Maceo Montoya’s “Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces.” The book uses narrative storytelling, drawings and scholarly footnotes to tell the story of an aspiring painter who has grand ambitions of moving to Paris. This would-be artist faces several roadblocks: he is coming of age in 1940s New Mexico with no economic means to support his dreams and, instead of drawing or painting, he writes long notes for future works of art. Montoya takes readers along the narrator’s quest to become a celebrated artist — a journey that takes unusual turns including runs in with Chicanx historical figures such as activist Reies Lopez Tijerina and writer Oscar Zeta Acosta. In this comical and satirical tale, Montoya takes aim at what it means to tell a Chicano story, which Chicano narratives are elevated and who gets to become an artist.


We'll discuss the book at 10 a.m. July 22 with host Mina Kim.

You can buy the book here.

Readers, tell us:

  • What was your favorite illustration in Maceo Montoya's "Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces" and why?
  • What did you keep thinking about after you finished reading?
  • What were some of your favorite characters, scenes or passages
  • What did you think of Maceo Montoya's use of footnotes?