The Reading List: L.A. Authors. L.A. Topics. February '10 Books.

Every month highlights titles of local interest that are hitting bookshelves. Here’s what’s new
709, February 2010

huntBernard Picart and the First Global Vision of Religion
(Getty Publications, paperback, $65)
Edited by Lynn Hunt, Margaret Jacob and Wijnand Mijnhardt
UCLA professors Hunt and Jacobs (and Utrecht University professor Mijnhardt) present 15 essays about the text that transformed religion.
Out:  Feb. 2

welchIn My Sister’s House: A Novel
(One World/Ballantine, paperback, $14)
By Donald Welch
One twin has built her father’s restaurant into Philadelphia’s hottest nightspot, but the other twin –fresh from the slammer for her part in a botched robbery – has come to claim her share of the club in this novel from the L.A.-based author of The Bachelorette Party
Out:  Feb. 2 

masonThe Lost Books of the Odyssey
(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, hardcover, $24)
By Zachary Mason
This much-heralded debut novel by a writer who was born in L.A. re-imagines and delightfully transforms Homer’s epic.
Out:  Feb. 2  

spencerMeeting Your Half Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match (Running Press, hardcover, $23)
By Amy Spencer
The L.A. relationship guru describes how to become so happy yourself that your sweet other half is drawn to you – just don’t squeeze too hard.
Out:  Feb. 2 

riversRed Carpet Ready: Secrets for Making the Most of Any Moment You’re in the Spotlight
(Harmony, hardcover, $23)
By Melissa Rivers with Tim Vandehey
How to be the hit of every party, escape gracefully from a bad date, and generally shine in your everyday life from the woman who was born to be an arbiter of glamour.
Out:  Feb. 2

phillipsSome Like it Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder
(University Press of Kentucky, hardcover, $40)
By Gene D. Phillips
An overview of the work of the iconic filmmaker who escaped Nazi Germany and directed such classics as The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like it Hot (1959).
Out:  Feb. 2  

rupaulWorkin’ It!: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style
(It Books, hardcover, $20)
Chapters such as “You’re Born Naked and the Rest is Drag” will help you unleash your inner queen.
Out:  Feb. 2

zylaThe Color of Style: A Fashion Expert Helps You Find the Colors that Attract Love, Enhance Your Power, Restore Your Energy, Make a Lasting Impression, and Show the World Who You Really Are
(Dutton, hardcover, $26)
By David Zyla
He has dressed both Susan Lucci and Hillary Clinton for success and the celebrated stylist wants to do the same for you.
Out:Feb. 4  

kotkinThe Next Hundred Million: America in 2050
(The Penguin Press, hardcover, $26)
By Joel Kotkin
The nation’s strength resides in its soaring population according to the world-renowned political scientist who lives in L.A.
Out:  Feb. 4

japinDirector’s Cut: A Novel
(Knopf, hardcover, $28)
By Arthur Japin
A love story featuring a fictionalized Federico Fellini from the author of In Lucia’s Eyes (2005).
Out:  Feb. 9

puchnerModel Home: A Novel
(Scribner, hardcover, $26)
By Eric Puchner
In this highly anticipated debut novel from the Claremont McKenna professor, a family struggles against becoming a broken home while living in a model home.
Out:  Feb. 9

collinsPoor Little Bitch Girl
(St. Martin’s, hardcover, $27)
By Jackie Collins
From the grande dame of juicy L.A. novels, there’s no dearth of delicious sex or sleaze as four slick Beverly Hills High School alums reconnect upon the death of one of their mothers.
Out:  Feb. 9

lansensThe Wife’s Tale
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $25)
By Lori Lansens
The 302-pound heroine of this L.A. writer’s third novel journeys from Ontario to the L.A. suburbs and finds herself.
Out:  Feb. 10

russoAbout Face
(Pixie Press Worldwide, hardcover, $85)
By John Russo
More than 100 young, male actors and models posed in the same position in natural light and the result is a beautiful and thought-provoking volume.
Out:  Feb. 11

archerAs If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of the Revolution
(Oxford University Press, hardcover, $25)
By Richard Archer
A gripping narrative of the occupation of Boston by an emeritus professor at Whittier College who currently lives in Pasadena.
Out:  Feb. 11

matarazzoDrenched: Stories of Love and Other Deliriums
(Soft Skull Press, paperback, $15)
By Marisa Matarazzo
Jell-O becomes a love potion, a girl without hands is rescued from the sea by an oil-rig worker, and a sailboat mast is a site for sex in this series of fantastical interconnected shorts from an L.A. writer.
Out:  Feb. 14  

(Pegasus Books, hardcover, $25)
By Bill Guttentag
Hollywood’s underworld of teenage runaways are the subject of this debut novel by the two-time Academy Award winning producer.
Out:  Feb. 15 

durrowThe Girl Who Fell from the Sky
(Algonquin Books, hardcover, $23)
By Heidi W. Durrow
After a family tragedy in Chicago orphans Rachel Morse in this debut novel, the young mixed-race heroine must piece together the truth of her family and herself as she lives with her grandmother in a black neighborhood in Portland.
Out:  Feb. 16

jamesMe, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James and the Shondells
(Scribner, hardcover, $25)
By Tommy James with Martin Fitzpatrick
The story of the legendary musician who has been awarded 23 gold singles, including “Hanky Panky” and “Mony Mony.”
Out:  Feb. 16

becerraThis Time Tomorrow: A Novel
(Thomas Dunne Books, hardcover, $25)
By Michael Jaime-Becerra
Gilbert Gaeta must decide between buying a washing machine for his daughter and an engagement ring for his girlfriend in this debut novel from the award-winning writer who was born in El Monte.
Out:  Feb. 16

resnickStarstruck: Vintage Movie Posters from Classic Hollywood
(Abbeville Press, hardcover, $65)
By Ira Resnick
These 258 posters and 28 stills represent only a small portion of the film historian’s collection, but the volume provides a fascinating tour of the history motion picture advertising.
Out: Feb. 16 

abramsonSex Appeal: Six Ethical Principles for the 21st Century
(Oxford University Press, paperback, $20)
By Paul Abramson
The UCLA professor of psychology argues that wise choices will create a safer, saner, more sexually healthy society..
Out:  Feb. 18 

epsteinThe Hollywood Economist: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies
(Melville House Publishing, paperback, $17)
By Edward Jay Epstein
A new collection of reports about Hollywood financing from the veteran industry reporter.
Out:  Feb. 23

lazenbyJerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon
(Ballantine Books/ESPN, hardcover, $28)
By Roland Lazenby
The story of the complex man who has served as an emblem of the Lakers and the NBA in innumerable ways.
Out:  Feb. 23

lydenThe Photographs of Frederick H. Evans
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $50)
By Anne M. Lyden and Hope Kingsley
This volume includes the remarkable late nineteenth-century photographs of medieval cathedrals an accompanies an exhibition at the Getty from Feb. 2-June 6.
Out:  Feb. 23

gurwitchYou Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story
(Crown, hardcover, $24)
By Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn
A comedic and heartfelt memoir of 13 years of marriage from the pair of writer/actors.
Out:  Feb. 23

Photograph courtesy flickr/timetrax23