The Reading List: December ’12

Every month compiles titles of local interest that are hitting the bookshelves. Here, arranged by genre, are some highlights

Books Comments

Memoir and Biography

Yip Harburg: Legendary Lyricist and Human Rights Activist
By Harriet Hyman Alonso
(Wesleyan, hardcover, $29)
The man who wrote all of the songs for The Wizard of Oz was also known as “Broadway’s social conscience” and fearlessly fought for human rights.
Out: Dec. 3 


The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of ‘Hallelujah’
By Alan Light
(Atria Books, hardcover, $25)
Music journalist Light unearths the unlikely—and unlucky—past of a song that has been covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Justin Timberlake and has appeared in countless movies and TV shows.
Out: Dec. 4 


Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland
By Amanda Mackenzie Stuart
(Harper, hardcover, $35)
The first full-length biography of the former Vogue editor-in-chief reveals a visionary figure who changed the way people thought about the magazine and fashion industries.
Out: Dec. 4 


Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips
By Michael G. Ankerich
(University Press of Kentucky, hardcover, $40)
Ankerich charts the actress’s early days as a Ziegfeld Follies dancer and her ascent in Hollywood movies to her decline into virtual obscurity.
Out: Dec. 20 

Art and Photography

John Wayne: The Legend and the Man: An Exclusive Look Inside the Duke’s Archives
By John Wayne Enterprises
(powerHouse Books, hardcover, $45)
The first authorized photographic record of Hollywood’s favorite cowboy not only presents Wayne’s onscreen persona but also the warm and spirited man off-screen.
Out: Dec. 4 


Photographing Shadow and Light: Inside the Dramatic Lighting Techniques and Creative Vision of Portrait Photographer Joey L.
By Joey L.
(Amphoto Books, paperback, $30) 
Commercial and fine art photographer Joey L. has a knack for lighting and a fresh approach to portraiture, which he shares through 15 behind-the-scenes looks at his photo sessions. 
Out: Dec. 4 


Stay Up!: Los Angeles Street Art
By G. James Daichendt
(Cameron + Company, hardcover, $35)
Told from the point of view of L.A. artists, the book explores the global phenomenon of street art through the lens of the L.A. scene.
Out: Dec. 11 


Good Junk: A Cliff St. James Novel
By Ed Kovacs
(Minotaur Books, hardcover, $26)
Kovacs, who splits his time between Asia and a hangar in a Southern California airport, returns with another private detective St. James novel of murder, espionage, and conspiracy in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Out: Dec. 11 


Burning Man
By Alan Russell
(Thomas and Mercer, paperback, $15)
LAPD cop Michael Gideon and his police dog partner Sirius catch a serial killer in the midst of a blazing fire and are asked to head up the new Special Cases Unit, where they are handed a truly bizarre case. Check out our review in the December issue of Los Angeles magazine. 
Out: Dec. 11 


Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See
By Juliann Garey
(Soho Press, hardcover, $25)
Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive, has kept his bipolar disorder a secret for 20 years—but no longer. He leaves his wife and daughter and travels the world for a decade.
Out: Dec. 26

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