The Reading List: March ’12

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

Books Comments

Fiction
 
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This Vacant Paradise
(Counterpoint, hardcover, $25)
By Victoria Patterson
The debut novelist’s picture of mid-’90s Southern California isn’t pretty—status-obsessed, sexist, and defined by excess.
Out: March 1


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Losing Clementine
(William Morrow, paperback, $15)
By Ashley Ream
Clementine meticulously plans her suicide in this debut from the L.A. writer. Check out our review in the March issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: March 6


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The Next Right Thing
(Dial, hardcover, $26)
By Dan Barden
How’s this for a bad day: Your upstanding life coach, who saved you from your own demons, is found dead of a heroin overdose. Check out our review in the March issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: March 6

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Where It Began
(Simon Pulse, hardcover, $17)
By Ann Redisch Stampler
The L.A. writer’s YA debut starts with a familiar amnesia-inducing car crash but takes unexpected turns.
Out: March 6

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Poison Flower
(Mysterious, hardcover, $24)
By Thomas Perry
This seventh Jane Whitefield novel from the SoCal writer opens at the criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles.
Out: March 6

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Edge of Dark Water
(Mulholland, hardcover, $26)
By Joe R. Lansdale
May Lynn wants to be a Hollywood star before her remains wash up in a river. Her friend lights out to find them in this perverse transmutation of Huck Finn.
Out: March 25



 

Nonfiction

 
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High Fives, Pennant Drives, and Fernandomania: A Fan’s History of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Glory Years (1977-1981)
(Santa Monica, paperback, $17)
By Paul Haddad
Forget about the Dodgers’ woes of the moment and relive their glory days.
Out: March 1

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Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love, and Redemption
(Beacon, hardcover, $27)
By Jorja Leap
Studying L.A. gangs for nearly a decade taught the UCLA professor a lot about herself.
Out: March 6

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The Gumshoe and the Shrink: Guenther Reinhardt, Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker, and the Secret History of the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon Election
(Santa Monica, hardcover, $25)
By David L. Robb
After all these years—after all those books—there’s still more to say about this historical election, according to the L.A. journalist and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.
Out: March 15

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Imagine: How Creativity Works
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover, $26)
By Jonah Lehrer
The L.A. science writer and contributing editor at Wired dispels the myth of the “creative type” in his new book.
Out: March 19

 
Sci-Fi/Fantasy
 
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Matchbox Girls
(Candlemark & Gleam, paperback, $20)
By Chrysoula Tzavelas
Los Angeles is the setting for this contemporary fantasy about a woman and two children who get caught in a cosmic war.
Out: Feb 21

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Hemlock Grove
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, paperback, $15)
By Brian McGreevy
Rumors of werewolves circulate in this gothic novel from the L.A. screenwriter.
Out: March 27

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Three A.M. 
(Tor, hardcover, $25)
By Steven John
In the L.A. writer’s debut, the world is permanently shrouded in an oppressive grey mist.
Out: March 27

Memoir and Biography

 
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North of Hollywood
(BCH, hardcover, $24)
By Rick Lenz
The working actor dishes on his busy life.
Out: Feb 15

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Rocking the Pink: Finding Myself on the Other Side of Cancer
(Seal, paperback, $17)
By Laura Roppé
The UCLA theater grad and musician overcomes a devastating diagnosis.
Out: Feb 28

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The One: The Life and Music of James Brown
(Gotham, hardcover, $27.50)
By RJ Smith
More than 100 people were interviewed for this comprehensive bio of the Godfather of Soul.
Out: March 15

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Please God Let it Be Herpes: A Heartfelt Quest For Love and Companionship
(NAL, paperback, $15)
By Carlos Kotkin
The stand-up comic, who lives in Santa Monica, recounts his romantic conquests, great and disastrous.
Out: March 15

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Renegades: My Wild Trip from Professor to New Journalist with Outrageous Visits from Clint Eastwood, Reggie Jackson, Larry Flynt, and other American Icons 
(Tyrus, hardcover, $25)
By Robert Ward
The New York professor wakes up one morning and decides to become a successful journalist. Were it only so easy for the rest of us.
Out: March 17


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Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good
(Gotham, hardcover, $25)
By Kevin Smith
You could do a lot worse than Kevin Smith as role models go. His journey inspires in its own way.
Out: March 20


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Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16 
(Grand Central, hardcover, $25)
By Moshe Kasher
The breakthrough L.A. comic comes off as a doped-up, hyper-Jewish Holden Caulfield in this fabulously titled memoir.
Out: March 28


 

Other 

 
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The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten.: The Tweets of Steve Martin 
(Grand Central, flexibound, $16)
By Steve Martin
At press time, the do-everything funny man had 2,262,648 followers—see what all the fuss is about!
Out: Feb 21

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Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes
(Hyperion, paperback, $20)
By Joy Wilson
Bring out the Joy in cooking.
Out: Feb 28

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The California Casa
(Rizzoli, hardcover, $55)
By Douglas Woods; photos by Melba Levick
Woods and Levick, who collaborated on Classic Homes of Los Angeles, return with this broader survey of California houses.
Out: March 6


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Care To Make Love In That Gross Little Space Between Cars?: A Believer Book of Advice 
(Vintage, paperback, $15)
By The Believer magazine
Judd Apatow and Patton Oswalt introduce this collection of advice columns from some of our deepest-thinking, most esteemed teachers—including Zach Galifianakis, Bob Saget, Amy Sedaris, and Weird Al Yankovic.
Out: March 15


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Name That Movie: 100 Illustrated Movie Puzzles
(Chronicle, hardcover, $15)
By Paul Rogers
We couldn’t get all 100—can you?
Out: March 28


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