The Reading List: November ‘12

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

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Memoir and Biography
 
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Reel Life Lessons…So Far
(Celebra Trade, paperback, $16)
By Rico Rodriguez and Laura Morton
Rodriguez, who plays Manny Delgado on ABC’s Modern Family, shares the wisdom he has learned—in stories—about growing up, overcoming challenges, and focusing on family.
Out: Nov. 6

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How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs
(Lyons Press, hardcover, $25)
By Kevin Pollak and Alan Goldsher
Pollak, the stand-up comedian and actor known for his roles in The Usual Suspects and A Few Good Men, reveals stories about Hollywood heavyweights like Robert De Niro and Bruce Willis—plus how he took a gamble when he turned down Johnny Carson.  
Out: Nov. 6

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Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir
(Weinstein Books, hardcover, $26)
By Melissa Francis
Despite the charmed life Francis supposedly led as a 1980s child actor, most notably for her role on Little House on the Prairie, she faced pressure from her competitive stage mother. 
Out: Nov. 6

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To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion
(Perigee Trade, hardcover, $24)
By Philip GreeneIf you have ever wanted to know the specifics of Hemingway’s drinking habits and learn how to make the cocktails from his novels, this is the drinking buddy you’ve been missing.
Out: Nov. 6

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The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century
(Riverhead Hardcover, hardcover, $29)
By Margaret Talbot        
The daughter of early Hollywood actor Lyle Talbot tells his tale, from his days performing in carnivals to starring in movies with Humphrey Bogart, all the while paralleling his career with the arc of the entertainment industry.
Out: Nov. 8

 

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Being Santa Claus: What I Learned About the True Meaning of Christmas
(Gotham, hardcover, $20)
By Sal Lizard and Jonathan Lane
Lizard, a man who has played Santa Claus every day of the year for 20 years, breaks from his duties to express what he has learned about the true meaning of Christmas and where to find that magic.
Out: Nov. 8

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Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
(Thomas Dunne Books, hardcover, $26)
By Alan Eisenstock
In 1982, 11-year-old Chris Strompolos and 12-year-old Eric Zala decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark line for line. It took them seven years to complete and involved everything from casting their friends to making the fiberglass boulder. The result was a true fan’s dream realized.  
Out: Nov. 13 

 

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The Dude and the Zen Master
(Blue Rider Press, hardcover, $26)
By Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman
This book uses the framework of a dialogue between Oscar-winning Bridges and his spiritual guru Glassman to tackle various topics, like being in films and how to do good in the world.
Out: Nov. 13

 

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Real Man Adventures
(McSweeney’s, hardcover, $22)
By T. Cooper
The transgender novelist takes us on a journey—told through art, interviews, and letters—as he identifies as male, marries his wife, and becomes a stepfather.
Out: Nov. 13

 

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Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies
(The University Press of Kentucky, hardcover, $45)
By Christel Schmidt (Editor)
This photograph-based biography of cinema’s first great star reveals Pickford as a savvy and creative person as well as a gifted actress and philanthropist.
Out: Nov. 22 

 

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Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You
(Putnam Adult, hardcover, $20)
By Dolly Parton
An expansion of Parton’s famous commencement speech at the University of Tennessee, the book details her hopes for everyone: Dream more and ultimately be more.
Out: Nov. 27 

 

Fiction
 
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Masha’allah and Other Stories
(Heyday, paperback, $15)
By Mariah K. Young
East Oakland comes to life when populated by Young’s hardworking characters, including a day laborer and a cleaning lady, told through nine stories.
Out: Nov. 1 

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The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets
(Ig Publishing, paperback, $16)
By Diana Wagman
Don’t let the title deceive you: This is not a manual for exotic pet care but a psychological thriller about a woman with celebrity connections who is kidnapped by an unstable reptile enthusiast. Check out our review in the November issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Nov. 13 

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The Black Box (Harry Bosch Series)
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $30)
By Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch links a bullet from a new crime to the 1992 killing of a female photographer during the L.A. riots, showing her death was more than a random accident. Check out our review in the November issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Nov. 26 

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City of Dark Magic: A Novel
(Penguin Books, paperback, $16)
By Magnus Flyte
Music student Sarah goes to Prague to work at the Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, but she finds herself tangled up in a mystery and encounters hell portals, a 400-year-old dwarf, and time-warping drugs. 
Out: Nov. 27 

Nonfiction
 
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The Socialite Who Killed a Nazi with Her Bare Hands and 163 Other Fascinating People Who Died This Year: The Best of the New York Times Obituaries, 2013
(Workman, paperback, $13)
By William McDonald (Editor)
Steve Jobs, the inventor of the Dorito, and Nancy Wake (of the book’s title)—who really did kill a Nazi with her bare hands—are just some of the people whose obituaries are highlighted in this collection.
Out: Nov. 1

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The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World
(Dutton Adult, hardcover, $28)
By Sean Carroll
Caltech physicist Carroll gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the discovery of the Higgs Boson—the key to understanding why mass exists—and the Large Hadron Collider project at CERN.
Out: Nov. 13 

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Peppermint Twist: The Mob, the Music, and the Most Famous Dance Club of the ’60s
(Thomas Dunne Books, hardcover, $26)
By John Johnson, Joel Selvin, and Dick Cami
This is an intriguing history of the mob-run and rock and roll-ruled Manhattan club the Peppermint Lounge during its ‘60s heyday, when starlets, rock stars, and their fans all converged there.
Out: Nov. 13



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