Now Read This: The May Edition - The Culture Files Blog - Los Angeles magazine
 
 

Now Read This: The May Edition

The Best Of L.A.

Railtown

The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy 
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, hardcover, $30)
By Christopher Isherwood, Don Bachardy, Katherine Bucknell
Through romantic letters to each other, Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy lived as an openly gay couple for more than three decades in the closeted world of Hollywood. But they used their letters to transport themselves into a diffrerent world intimacy: the world of the animals. Isherwood was Dobbin, a stubborn workhorse; Bachardy was a feisty white kitten named Kitty. This testimony gives the reader a touching glimpse into the secretive dialogue where their love could thrive. 
Out: May 13

Railtown

The Philosophy of J.J. Abrams (The Philosophy of Popular Culture) 
(The University Press of Kentucky, hardcover, $40)
By Patricia Brace, Robert Arp
Editors Brace and Arp assemble the first collection of essays that explore the inner thoughts, feelings, and leanings of the Hollywood giant's successful career, including TV shows such as Felicity, Alias, and Lost as well as his films Cloverfield, Super 8 and the Mission Impossible and Star Trek reboots. With reflections on morality, personal identity and craft, this collection is worth a read whether you’re a fan, a film buff or somewhere in between. 
Out: May 10

Railtown

Friday Was the Bomb: Five Years in the Middle East 
(DISQUIET, hardcover, $15)
By Nathan Deuel
Both reporters, Deuel and his wife Kelly moved to Saudi Arabia in 2008 to see for themselves what was happening in the Middle East. After having a daughter, Kelly left for Iraq to be a war correspondant for NPR while Nathan stayed in Saudi Arabia and later Beirut to care for their new daughter. In this collection of essays, Deuel intimately expresses the struggle of losing his father and his sense of identity all while grappling with the decision to live in such a volatile part of the world.
Out: May 13

The Best Of The West

Carthage

Ain't It Time We Said Goodbye: The Rolling Stones On The Road To Exile
(Da Capo Press, hardcover, $26)
By Robert Greenfield
Greenfield was the only journalist allowed to accompany the Stones on their last tour in 1971. Until now, there has never been a telling of that final year, but Greenfield uses first-hand experience as well as new interviews with many of the band members to create a vibrant, anticipated bookend to the first chapter of the Rolling Stones' career.
Out: May 13


Carthage

Weed Land: Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit
(University of California Press, paperback, $25)
By Peter Hecht
Weed Land takes a journalistic approach in following the transformation of weed in America. From the passing of California's Proposition 215, the nation's first medical marijuana law, to current arguments about cannabis' medicinal value, Hecht—an award-winning journalist—gives us a look at how pot has affected us socially, economically, and politically.
Out: May 13

Carthage

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
(It Books, hardcover, $30)
By Blake Harris
Talk to any gamer and you'll find that the console wars have been going on since the early '90s. Everyone has their own allegiances, but how did they start? In this work, Harris takes inspects how Sega, the joke of the gaming world, managed to take on powerhouse company Nintendo. 
Out: May 13

Carthage

The Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America
(Broadway Books, paperback, $15)
By Brian Kevin
When Hunter S. Thompson set out in 1963 for a journey across South America, he couldn't know that it would be the year he'd established himself as a reporter. This chronlicle follows his time on the front lines of the Cold War, in the streets of Rio, and in the mountains of Peru as he grows into the icon he is today.
Out: May 20

Carthage

The Painter: A Novel
(Knopf, hardcover, $25)
By Peter Heller
After shooting a man in a bar and the dissolution of his marriage, painter Jim Stegner wants to escape his life in Santa Fe. As he settles into a new life in Colorado, things begin to fall into place: His paintings sell, and he manages to keep his grief supressed. But one day, a brutal incident turns his life upside down, and he is forced to return to New Mexico where his past still lingers.
Out: May 6

Carthage

Snow in May: Stories
(Henry Holt and Co., hardcover, $25)
By Kseniya Melnik
Melnik's Snow in May intertwines history and fiction in a way that makes her characters come to life, each connected to Magdan, a town in Russia that acted as gateway for prisoners forced into Stalin's labor camps. Melnik develops storylines grounded in originality: a married woman is courted by an Italian footballer; a sick girl seeks the help of a witch doctor; a former Soviet boss tells his granddaughter about one of his rocky firendships; and many more. 
Out: May 13

Carthage

All The Light We Cannot See: A Novel
(Scribner, hardcover, $27)
By Anthony Doerr
When the Nazis invade Paris, Marie-Laure and her father escape to her uncle's home in the small town of Saint-Malo. In Germany, a young boy named Werner is placed with the Resistance. When Werner travels to Saint-Malo, his path converges with Marie-Laure. Here, Doerr weaves two stories together in a world where people are trying to survive and treat each other with kindness. The book, an effort that has been ten years in the making, turned out to be energy well-spent. 
Out: May 6

The Best Of The Rest

Carthage

The Sea-God's Herb
(Dzanc Books, paperback, $13)
By John Domini
In this unique and witty book, Domini presents a collection of reviews and essays about some of the most prolific artists and writers of the past 40 years. Domini wields some serious writing cred—he has been published in The New York Times, Ploughshares, GQ and others—to assure the reader that they are in very capable hands, from Steve Erickson to William Gass.
Out: May 1


Carthage

To Rise Again At A Decent Hour: A Novel
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $26)
By Joshua Ferris
Paul O'Rourke is awkward: he loves the world, but can't seem to navigate it. He also a tough time making up his mind—he's a Luddite who can't put his iPhone down, an extreme Red Sox fan who can't stand it when they win, and a dentist who likes his nicotine. But then someone begins to impersonate Paul online. Horrified that his privacy has been violated, Paul not only feels the need to look for who is impersonating him and why, but is also afriad that the virtual Paul might be a better version of the real one. 
Out: May 13


Carthage

The Possibilities
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $25)
By Kaui Hart Hemmings
In this follow up to her successful The Descendants, Hemmings delivers a plot driven by family relatinionships and explores the question of how far people are willing to go to keep their family members close. When Sarah St. John loses her 22-year-old son, Cully, in an avalanche, she feebly attempts to slog her way through grief. But when a young girl arrives on her doorstep with a secret that could change her life forever, she is forced to face her demons. 
Out: May 13


Carthage

The Three: A Novel
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $26)
By Sarah Lotz
When four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents, the world is in panic. The causes are unknown, and a terrorist attack or environmental factors are ruled out. The only thing connecting the events is that a single child survivor is found in three of the four crashes. When the children begin to exhibit disturbing behavior, their guardians being to question the children's survival and face a chilling revelation.
Out: May 20


Carthage

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
(Metropolitan Books, hardcover, $27)
By Glen Greenwald
When Glenn Greenwald left for Hong Kong in 2013 to meet an anonymous source claiming that the U.S. goverment had been spying on it's people, that source turned out to be Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor-turned whistle blower. Snowden's revelations would be whip the media into a frenzy and cause the American people to question their safety and privacy. Now for the first time, Greenwald recounts his trip to Honk Kong and the revealing information Snowden had to offer about the NSA's abuse of power.
Out: May 13


Carthage

Creativity: The Perfect Crime
(Riverhead Hardcover, hardcover, $28)
By Philippe Petit
Before he walked a tightrope strung up between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, Philippe Petit was already an artist. A magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, and writer, Petit was a creative poerhouse. In Creativity: The Perfect Crime, Petit reveals unconventional ways of creating art and locating inspiration, his insights applicable to all artistic types—from actors to writers to anyone with a powerful imagination.
Out: May 15


Carthage

Young God: A Novel
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, hardcover, $24)
By Katherine Faw Morris
A mashup of Winter's Bone and bare-bones writing, Young God tells the coming-of-age story of Nikki, a stark, rebellious 13-year-old who lives in the drug-ridden Appalachian Hills. Nikki may be young, but she's determined to aquire the inheritance she's been promised but can't seem to find. This novel has nothing but the essentials—bare, sharp text that cuts to the point and doesn't linger on the details.
Out: May 6


Carthage

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: A Novel
(Penguin, paperback, $18)
By Jöel Dicker
In 1975, 15-year-old Nola Kellergran is seen sprinting through the woods of Somerset, New Jersey, and then is never seen again. Thirty-three years later, novelist Marcus Goldman visits Somerset to see his mentor Harry, only to find that Harry is accused in Nola's murder because of their past affair. Though everyone is willing to convict Harry, Marcus starts investigating things on his own, trying to clear Harry's name, save his own career, and solve Nola's murder.
Out: May 27


Carthage

The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames
(Crown, hardcover, $26)
By Kai Bird
As a child, Kai Bird lived in the Beirut Embassy and was the neighbor of Robert Ames, one of the most important operatives in CIA history. Since then, Bird has been fascinated by Ames, collecting interviews from his widow, quotes from Ames’ private letters, and information from American, Israeli, and Palestinian intelligence officers. Follow the life Ames, a man who, if he hadn't been assassinated, could have bridged the rift between the West and Middle East
Out: May 20


Carthage

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $27)
By Sam Kean
In this mesmerizing work, Sam Kean dives into the depths of how the human brain has been studied throughout the years and points out extreme cases of abnormalities along the way: people who couldn't speak but could still sing, phantom limbs, memory-eating viruses, blind people who see through their tongues, and others. With a razor-edged wit and intriguing narrative, the pages are easily devoured, all while Kean explores the deepest labyrinths of the brain.
Out: May 6


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