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The Reading List: August ‘13

Every month LAmag.com compiles titles of local and national interest that are hitting the bookshelves. Here, arranged by region, are some highlights

The Best Of L.A.
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Roman Polanski: A Retrospective
(Abrams, hardcover, $40)
By James Greenberg
Editor and film critic James Greenberg adroitly explores Polanski’s career, offering readers full-bodied insights into each of the director’s films.
Out: August 6

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Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $28)
By Jeff Guinn
New interviews with previously undiscovered relatives and hitherto unpublished photographs make this account of Charles Manson’s twisted life the most thorough yet.
Out: August 6

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Confessions of a Hater
(Feiwel & Friends, hardcover)
By Caprice Craine
Crane’s protagonist, the new-to-Hollywood Hailey Harper, is just trying to navigate the murky waters of high school. Through painfully honest observations, Crane’s newest novel deftly captures the dramas that plague teens today.
Out: August 27

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The Little Tokyo Informant
(The Overlook Press, hardcover, $27)
By Andrew Rosenheim
This historical thriller, the second in its series, examines the tense relationship between Japan and the U.S. in the days before Pearl Harbor. The story centers on Special Agent Jimmy Nessheim and his search for a local informant.
Out: August 29

The Best Of The West
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Tell No Lies
(St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, $16)
By Gregg Hurwitz
San Franciscan Daniel Brasher receives an anonymous death threat meant for someone else. He does some sleuthing, unwittingly putting himself and his family on the murderer’s radar screen.
Out: August 20

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 What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life
(Sasquatch Books, hardcover, $15)
By Gary Soto
Chicano poet and an author of children's and young adult fiction, Gary Soto examines the writer’s life in this lovely memoir, making observations on everything from the low place of poets on the proverbial totem pole to the surplus of time he spends with felines.
Out: August 13

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 Lake Como
(St. Martin’s Griffin, paperback, $16)
By Anita Hughes
San Francisco interior designer Hallie Elliot escapes to Lake Como, Italy after finding her fiancé and his boss in a compromising position. A new romance and a rekindled relationship with her half-sister set Hallie on a path of family secrets and self-discovery.
Out: August 13

The Best Of The Rest
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The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
(Simon & Schuster, paperback, $16)
By Enid Shomer
History tells us that Florence Nightengale and Gustave Flaubert traveled the Nile at the same time, never crossing paths. Enid Shomer reimagines the story in a work of historical fiction, dreamily imagining a friendship between two of history’s greatest minds.
Out: August 21

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The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $27)
By Michael Ruhlman
Reexamine recipes for old favorites like kugel, kishke, and kreplach while discovering new dishes that take advantage of this oft-overlooked fat.
Out: August 13

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The Truth
(St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, $25)
By Michael Palin
In Palin’s first novel since 1998, professional writer Keith Mabbit accepts an offer he cannot refuse: tackling the biography of elusive humanitarian Hamish Melville. His quest for the truth takes him all the way to India, where he discovers that things are not always as they seem; rather, they are what we make of them.
Out: August 13