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

Every month highlights titles of local interest that are hitting the bookshelves. Here’s what’s new
833, June 28, 2010


32 Candles
(Amistad, hardcover, $25)
By Ernessa T. Carter
A young girl escapes an abusive home with a lesbian trucker and lands in Hollywood in this debut novel by the Altadena author.
Out: Jul 1


The Beaufort Diaries
(Melville House Publishing, hardcover, $16)
By T Cooper
Alex Petrowsky illustrates this parable about a down-and-out polar bear who hits it big in Hollywood.
Out: Jul 1


Charles Bukowski’s Scarlet
(Sun Dog Press, paperback, $16)
By Pamela Wood
She has been known in his works as “Scarlet” and “Tammi,” and here the famous girlfriend provides a revealing peek at L.A.’s legendary boozer bard.
Out: Jul 1


The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina
(Thomas Dunne Books, paperback, $15)
By M. Padilla
Female friendships are put to the test in this debut novel from the West Hollywood writer and winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize.
Out: Jul 1   


Go, Mutants!
(Ecco, hardcover, $24)
By Larry Doyle
The Emmy-Award winning former writer of The Simpsons and author of I Love You, Beth Cooper (2007) imagines a high school that includes aliens from 1950s sci-fi movies.
Out: Jul 1 


Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter
(Chicago Review Press, hardcover, $27)
By Randy L. Schmidt
Dionne Warwick provides a forward to this biography of the 1970’s icon who died at age 32 after struggling with anorexia nervosa.
Out: Jul 1


The Malibu Miracle: A Memoir
(Pepperdine University Press, hardcover, $30)
By William S. Banowsky
The president emeritus tells the saga of transforming the school from a struggling, inner-city college into a preeminent Christian university on that staggeringly beautiful ocean-view plot.
Out: Jul 1


Speed-Speed-Speedfreak: A Fast History of Amphetamine
(Feral House, paperback, $20)
By Mick Farren
Pill-poppers and non-junkies alike will delight in the musician’s capsule-shaped volume that traces the cultural and criminal history of the narcotic.
Out: Jul 1


Stein, Stoned
(Tyrus Books, paperback, $15)
By Hal Ackerman
Those who keep a bong or a roach clip in their bags may be most impressed by the hero’s encyclopedic knowledge of bud in this soft-boiled detective by the UCLA theater professor.
Out: Jul 1


The Walker Brothers: No Regrets
(John Blake, hardcover, $25)
By John Walker and Gary Walker
Two founding members tell the story of the 1960’s L.A. pop group that delivered hits like “Make it Easy on Yourself” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.”
Out: Jul 1


Twentynine Palms
(Counterpoint Press, paperback, $15)
By Daniel Pyne
Murder and adultery crackle in the heat of the desert town in this literary thriller from the screenwriter of The Manchurain Candidate and Fracture.
Out: Jul 5


Conserving Outdoor Scultpture: The Stark Collection at the Getty Center
(Getty Publications, paperback, $75)
By Brian Considine, Julie Wolfe, Katrina Posner, and Michel Bouchard
How does a museum preserve a valuable collection with which it is entrusted? In this case, it took a lot of research.
Out: Jul 6


Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge
(Bloomsbury Press, hardcover, $23)
By Kevin Starr
The preeminent California historian and USC professor tells the fascinating story of one of the state’s most famous icons.
Out: Jul 6


Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic: 2,336 Ingenious Cleanups Using Brand-Name Products
(Rodale, paperback, $19)
By Joey Green
The L.A. guru of weird-uses-for-brand-name-products delivers a new volume of suggestions for household chores.
Out: Jul 6


The No Om Zone: A No-Chanting, No-Granola, No-Sanskrit Practical Guide to Yoga
(Rodale, paperback, $20)
By Kimberly Fowler
Conventional athletes put-off by chanting and foreign terminology will enjoy hitting the mat with this no-nonsense manual from the fitness maven.
Out: Jul 6


They’re Watching
(St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, $25)
By Gregg Hurwitz
A Hollywood screenwriter has been fired from his movie and begins receiving DVDs indicating someone is filming him in his home in this latest thriller from a master of suspense.
Out: Jul 6


This River
(Phoenix Books, hardcover, $24)
By James Brown
His first memoir (The Los Angeles Diaries) described his mother’s arson, his two siblings’ suicides, and his own drug addiction, and here the Cal State San Bernardino professor tells of his more recent struggles to maintain his sobriety and to be a better father.
Out: Jul 6


David Choe
(Chronicle Books, hardcover, $45)
Graffiti, murals, paintings, sketchbook pages, photographs, toys, t-shirts, collages, artwork created with blood, and more fill this monograph by the L.A. artist.
Out: Jul 7


Fabulous Parties
(Ryland Peters & Small, paperback, $25)
By Mark Held, Richard David, and Peggy Dark
The former Los Angeles magazine Best of L.A. winner continues to deliver spectacular arrangements, and we couldn’t resist noting that this lush 2008 volume is now out in soft cover.
Out: Jul 8


Home Lands: How Women Made the West
(University of California press, paperback, $15)
By Virginia Scharff and Carolyn Brucken
Women have shaped the Western landscape through the homes they created – from pueblos to homesteads to suburbs — and this volume about female pioneers accompanies an exhibit at the Autry National Center through Aug 22.
Out: Jul 8


Aftermath: A Guide to Preparing For and Surviving Apocalypse 2012
(Broadway Books, hardcover, $24)
By Lawrence E. Joseph
After predicting doomsday three years ago in Apocalypse 2012, the science, politics, and business reporter tells us what we can do about it.
Out: Jul 13


Good-bye To All That: A Novel
(Touchstone, paperback, $15)
By Margo Candela
A gutsy marketing assistant tries to play ball with the big boys while also pedaling wildly to keep her neurotic family afloat in this breezy novel from the L.A. writer.
Out: Jul 13


(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $25)
By Don Winslow
Hairpin plot turns, a vicious wit, and plenty of blood splatter the L.A. author’s latest thriller about a couple Laguna Beach pot dealers resisting the advances of a Mexican drug cartel.
Out: Jul 13


Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker
(Avon, paperback, $15)
By Syrie James
The L.A. author and queen of nineteenth-century re-imaginings (The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen) presents the untold story of the original forbidden love.
Out: Jul 20


Engaged Observers: Documenatry Photography Since the Sixties
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $50)
Edited by Brett Abbott
A new brand of critical photojournalism emerged after World War II, and the Getty’s photographs curator provides an overview in this volume, which accompanies an exhibit at the museum through Nov 14.
Out: Jul 20


The Faeries’ Guide to Green Magick from the Garden
(Celestial Arts, paperback, $18)
By Jamie Wood and Lisa Steinke
Those common herbs you’re tending in your backyard pots each have a “faerie” inside, and in this volume you can get to know all of them (as well as find recipes for natural healing remedies, earth-friendly beauty products, and tasty treats).
Out: Jul 20


Sick City: A Novel
(Harper Perennial, paperback, $14)
By Tony O’Neill
Two junkie friends try to unload a celebrity sex tape in L.A. in this latest by the former heroin addict and musician.
Out: Jul 20


The I Hate to Cook Book
(Grand Central Publishing, hardcover, $23)
By Peg Bracken
This 50th anniversary edition reminds us of the pioneers of the “get out of the kitchen” movement and includes a forward by Peg’s daughter, Jo Bracken, who lives in Long Beach.
Out: Jul 26 


(Del Rey, hardcover, $26)
By Todd McCaffrey
For readers of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series comes a sequel by McCaffrey’s son, who lives in L.A.
Out: Jul 27


Hollywood Savage
(Washington Square Press, paperback, $15)
By Kristin McCloy
A New York writer sojourns in Hollywood to adapt his novel, but a suspicion that his wife back east is having an affair plunges him into dereliction. Check out our full review in the July issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Jul 27


It was the Best of Sentences, It was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer’s Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences
(Ten Speed Press, paperback, $14)
By June Casagrande
The Pasadena author who hates grammar snobs can show you how to make your sentences twinkle.
Out: Jul 27


The War that Came Early: West and East
(Del Rey, hardcover, $27)
By Harry Turtledove
The alternative historian who lives in Chatsworth imagines what might have happened if British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had stood up to Hitler in 1938.
Out: Jul 27

Photography courtesy Flickr/timetrax23