The Reading List: L.A. Authors. L.A. Topics. October 09 Books.

Every month LAmag.com highlights titles of local interest that are hitting bookshelves. Here’s what’s new in October
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LAmag.com, October 1, 2009

The Black Body
(Seven Stories Press, paperback, $18.95)
Edited by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
The Los Angeles-based writer collects pieces from 30 black, white, and biracial contributors that celebrate the black body’s presence in American culture.
Out:  Oct. 1


Bluets
(Wave Books, paperback, $14)
By Maggie Nelson
Lyrical essays about personal suffering and the limits of vision and love as refracted through the color blue from a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts.
Out:  Oct. 1


Family Sentence:  The Search for My Cuban-Revolutionary, Prison-Yard, Mythic-Hero, Deadbeat Dad
(Beacon Press, hardcover, $24.95)
By Jeanine Cornillot
The Emmy-Award winning TV producer spent her childhood shuttling between suburban Philadelphia and Spanish-speaking Little Havana, where her father was incarcerated for political bombings.
Out: Oct. 1


Gore Vidal:  Snapshots of History’s Glare
(Abrams Books, hardcover, $40)
By Gore Vidal
This collection of photographs, letters and manuscripts creates a visual memoir of the writer’s fascinating life among the elite.
Out: Oct. 1


More is More: Tony Duquette
(Abrams Books, hardcover, $75)
By Wendy Goodman and Hutton Wilkinson
With star-studded commentary, this volume delves into the creative process and personal life of the American designer renowned for his fantastical artwork, sculpture, jewelry, gardens, film sets, and interiors.
Out: Oct. 1


O, My Ancestor:  Recognition and Renewal for the Gabrielino-Tongva People of the Los Angeles Area
(Heyday Books, paperback, $21.95)
By Claudia Jurmain and William McCawley
Members of the native culture reflect on the challenges of reclaiming their heritage.
Out:  Oct. 1


Planet Surf
(Thunder Bay Press, paperback, $22.95)
By Ryan A. Smith
The world of surfing and the history of the sport from the associate director of the California Surf Museum in Oceanside.
Out: Oct. 1


The Ravenous Audience
(Akashic/Black Goat Press, paperback, $15.95)
By Kate Durbin
The poet’s debut volume features gallons of bodily fluids in a unique rekindling of female villains and s/heroes.
Out:  Oct. 1


Red Hot Chili Peppers: Me and my Friends
(Abrams Image, hardcover, $24.95)
By Tony Woolliscroft and Chad Smith
A photographic record of the band, featuring never-before-seen images and anecdotes.
Out:  Oct. 1


The Stooges:  The Authorized and Illustrated Story
(Abrams Books, hardcover, $35)
By Robert Matheu
The Los Angeles-based rock photographer has compiled photographs, interviews, and articles about the legendary band.
Out:  Oct. 1


The American Leonardo: A Tale of Obsession, Art and Money
(Oxford University Press, hardcover, $24.95)
By John Brewer
An intriguing account of the authenticity dispute over La Belle Ferronniere by a Caltech professor.
Out:  Oct. 4


Heroes and Villains:  Essays on Movies, Music, Comics, and Culture
(Da Capo Press, paperback, $17.95)
By David Hajdu
With a centerpiece essay about the singer Billy Eckstein, this collection from the music critic and Columbia University School of Journalism professor ranges in topics from Beyoncé to Joni Mitchell.
Out: Oct. 5


Historical Atlas of the American West: With Original Maps
(University of California Press, hardcover, $39.95)
By Derek Hayes
A cartographical history of the region, from native inhabitants to today.
Out:  Oct. 5


Permission Slips:  Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Yourself a Break
(Grand Central Publishing, hardcover, $24.99)
By Sherri Shepherd
A memoir from the actress, mother, born-again Christian, and co-host of ABC’s The View.
Out:  Oct. 5


Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone
(BOA Editions Ltd., paperback, $16)
By Matthew Shenoda
After the award-winning Somewhere Else, the assistant provost at California Institute of the Arts has produced a new volume that spans ancient and contemporary Egypt.
Out:  Oct. 5


Dancing with Butterflies: A Novel
(Washington Square Press, paperback, $16)
By Reyna Grande
A second novel from the award-winning Los Angeles-based writer who immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was 9 years old.
Out:  Oct. 6


Evidence: An Alex Delaware Novel

Out: Oct. 6


How to Raise the Perfect Dog:  Through Puppyhood and Beyond
(Harmony Books, hardcover, $25.99)
By Cesar Millan and Melissa Peltier
Advice from the dog expert about creating an appropriate environment and training your dog.
Out:  Oct. 6


I Am Not a Psychic!:  A Novel
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $24)
By Richard Belzer
A follow-up to I Am Not a Cop! by the comedian-actor who plays Detective John Munch on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Out:  Oct. 5


Images in the Margins (The Medieval Imagination)
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $19.95)
By Margot McIlwain Nishimura
This volume, which accompanies the current exhibit at the Getty Museum (through Nov. 8), examines marginalia on medieval manuscripts, finding a surprising mix of mundane, playful, absurd, and monstrous creatures.
Out: Oct. 6


Seeing the Getty Center:  Collections, Buildings, and Gardens
(Getty Publications, paperback, $24.95)
This boxed set collects three volumes for the first time: Seeing the Getty Collections at the Getty Center, Seeing the Getty Center, and Seeing the Getty Gardens.
Out: Oct. 6


29 Gifts:  How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life
(Da Capo Press, hardcover, $19.95)
By Cami Walker
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a Hollywood woman discovers the interior benefits of looking outward.
Out:  Oct. 6


Without Fidel:  A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana, and Washington
(Scribner, hardcover, $28)
By Ann Louise Bardach
An award-winning journalist and trusted source on Cuban/Miami politics explores Fidel Castro, his long farewell from the world stage and what it portends, from the perspectives of three different locales.
Out: Oct. 6


John Cage:  Zen Ox-Herding Pictures
(George Braziller, hardcover, $34.95)
Edited by Stephen Addiss and Ray Kass
This book brings together 50 previously unpublished watercolor images from the Los Angeles-born composer and artist.
Out:  Oct. 7


Penny Saving Household Helper:  Five Hundred Little Ways to Save Big
(Chronicle Books, hardcover, $12.95)
By Rebecca DiLiberto
Buy the whole chicken rather than individual cuts, add salt to the washer to keep your darks from fading, and other tips from the Los Angeles-based writer.
Out:  Oct. 7


Cornflakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Life
(Rodale, hardcover, $24.95)
By Robert Hilburn
The former Los Angeles Times music critic reflects on his behind-the-scenes and professional interactions with the most iconic rock figures of our time — Elvis, Dylan, Springsteen, Jackson and many more.
Out: Oct. 13


A Game Plan for Life:  The Power of Mentoring
(Bloombury USA, hardcover, $25)
By John Wooden and Don Yaeger
The ninth book by the Wizard of Westwood contains portraits of the people who influenced him (Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, his wife) and interviews with the people he influenced (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton).
Out: Oct. 13


The Intellectual Devotional Health:  Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Digest a Dose of Wellness Wisdom
(Rodale, hardcover, $24)
By David S. Kidder, Noah D. Oppenheim, and Bruce K. Young.
A fact-a-day about the human body by Oppenheim, an Emmy-Award winning television producer, Kidder, co-founder of Clickable, and Young, a professor at New York Medical School.
Out:  Oct. 13


The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet
(Rodale, hardcover, $29.99)
By Alicia Silverstone and Neal Barnard
Get inspired to do good things for yourself and for the earth with a plant-based diet and the actress’s tips.
Out:  Oct. 13


My Dead Body: A Novel
(Del Rey, paperback, $14)
By Charlie Huston
Another in the Joe Pitt series about a New York City ruled by vampire clans.
Out:  Oct. 13


Rembrandt in Southern California
(Getty Publications, paperback, $9.95)
By Anne T. Woollett
Southern California has 14 Rembrandts in five museums – this volume, from the associate curator of paintings at the Getty, addresses each of them.
Out: Oct. 13


The Union of Their Dreams:  Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez’s Farm Worker Movement
(Bloomsbury Press, hardcover, $28)
By Miriam Pawel
The former Los Angeles Times editor chronicles the rise of the UFW in the 1960s and 70s.
Out:  Oct. 13


What Would Susie Say?:  Bullsh*t Wisdom About Love, Life and Comedy
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $25)
By Susie Essman
Life advice from and the life story of the Curb Your Enthusiasm actress.
Out:  Oct. 13


Glimmer:  How Design Can Transform Business, Your Life, and Maybe Even the World
(The Penguin Press, hardcover, $27.95)
By Warren Berger
Along with celebrated designer Bruce Mau, the journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times explores how great designers think, and how that understanding can transform the world.
Out:  Oct. 14

 

Irving Penn:  Small Trades
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $49.95)
By Virginia Heckert and Anne Lacoste
This volume by the Getty photography curators accompanies the current exhibit of Penn’s work at the Getty Museum (through Jan. 10).
Out:  Oct. 15


The Lives of the Brain: Human Evolution and the Organ of Mind
(Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, hardcover, $39.95)
By John S. Allen
The USC research scientist explores the evolution of the organ that sets us apart from other apes and primates.
Out:  Oct. 15


Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors, 1946-Present
(Texas University Press, paperback, $39.95)
By Douglas Brode
A sourcebook for fans and scholars of the “Golden Age” of the TV Western and beyond.
Out:  Oct. 15 


The Tao of Wu
(Riverhead Books, hardcover, $24.95)
By The RZA
A memoir from the mastermind behind the Wu-Tang Clan, a journey from the Staten Island projects to international fame.
Out: Oct. 15


Whores:  Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment
(New Chapter Publisher, hardcover, $26.95)
By Larry Klayman
The founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch describes his battles with the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Out:  Oct. 15 


Erotic City:  Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco
(Oxford University Press, hardcover, $29.95)
By Josh Sides
An historical accounting of how San Francisco became a potent symbol of both sexuality and the culture wars by the Director of the Center for Southern California Studies at California State University Northridge.
Out:  Oct. 19 


Goddess of the Market:  Ayn Rand and the American Right
(Oxford University Press, hardcover, $27.95)
By Jennifer Burns
The first of two Rand biographies out this month, Burns’s is based on unprecedented access to Rand’s private papers.
Out:  Oct. 19 


The Tyranny of Email:  The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox
(Scribner, hardcover, $25)
By John Freeman
The average corporate worker receives nearly 200 emails per day; the literary critic and journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times examines the effect of this revolutionary technology on the way we think, work, and communicate.
Out: Oct. 19 


The California Missions:  History, Art, Preservation
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $39.95)
By Edna E. Kimbro, Julia G. Costello, and Tevyy Ball
Illustrated with historical paintings, archival photographs, and recent photography, this volume traces the Mission restoration movement.
Out:  Oct. 20 


The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer
(Knopf, hardcover, $65)
Celebrating the centennial year of the four-time Academy Award winning songwriter, this volume collects standards such as “Jeepers Creepers” and “On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe.”
Out:  Oct. 20 


I Am the New Black
(Random House, hardcover, $25)?
By Tracy Morgan and Anthony Bozza?
A memoir of the comedian’s life from the Coney Island projects, where he watched his father die of AIDS, to the Harlem comedy scene, Saturday Night Live, and 30 Rock.
Out:  Oct. 20 


Kanye West:  Glow in the Dark
(Rizzoli, hardcover, $62)
By Kanye West and Nabil Elderkin
A photographic tour of West’s life, the volume includes a CD of previously unreleased instrumentals from the show.
Out:  Oct. 20


Knockout:  Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer – And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place
(Crown, hardcover, $25.99)
By Suzanne Somers
Provides expert testimony about alternative therapies, stories of survivors, and advice about making cancer prevention part of your lifestyle.
Out:  Oct. 20 


Pedro: The Angel of Olvera Street
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $14.95)
By Leo Politi
In honor of what would have been the centennial birthday of the favorite children’s author, the museum is reprinting four books set in Southern California, including Juanita ($16.95), Emmet ($16.95), and Song of the Swallows ($16.95).
Out: Oct. 20


Richard Meier:  Architect Volume 5
(Rizzoli, hardcover, $80)
By Richard Meier
Documents 30 residential, commercial, and civic projects since 2004, including the Broad Art
Center at UCLA.
Out: Oct. 19


Robert Altman: The Oral Biography
(Knopf, hardcover, $35)
By Mitchell Zuckoff
The director of M*A*S*H who ushered in a new era of American filmmaking has his life on full display as told by his closest relatives, friends, and colleagues.
Out:  Oct. 20 


Big Man: Real Life and Tall Tales
(Grand Central, hardcover, $26.99)
By Clarence Clemens and Don Reo
The television producer reveals never-before told tales about the musician, such as the time Clemens and Bruce Springsteen gave a ’69 Chevy to a waitress – named “Rosie.”
Out:  Oct. 21 


Dirty Rotten Strategies:  How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely
(Stanford University Press, hardcover, $24.95)
By Ian I. Mitroff and Abraham Silvers
The USC emeritus professor and former Cal State Los Angeles professor offer a bipartisan call for rethinking the way individuals and groups solve problems.
Out:  Oct. 21 


How to be a Movie Star:  Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade, hardcover, $26.00)
By William J. Mann
Taylor inspired the sexual revolution, battled the studio system, and practically invented the business of celebrity star making, according to this biographer.
Out:  Oct. 21 


Katharine Hepburn:  A Life in Pictures
(Chronicle Books, hardcover, $45)
Edited by Pierre-Henri Verlhac
With a forward by Charles Higham, this volume traces the classic star’s career with a mix of celebrity and casual snapshots.
Out:  Oct. 21


The Book of Basketball:  The NBA According to The Sports Guy
(ESPN, hardcover, $30)
By Bill Simmons
The LA-based ESPN columnist settles all bets:  from the best player to the best team of all time, with an introduction by Malcolm Gladwell.
Out:  Oct. 26


Ayn Rand and the World She Made
(Nan A. Talese, hardcover, $43)
By Anne Heller
The second of the two Rand biographies out this month, Heller’s is based on original research in Russia, interviews with Rand’s acquaintances, as well as archival documents.
Out: Oct. 27


Child Sense:  From Birth to Age 5, How to Use the 5 Senses to Make Sleeping, Eating, Dressing, and Other Everyday Activities Easier While Strengthening Your Bond with Your Child
(Random House, hardcover, $25)
By Priscilla J. Dunstan
How to communicate better with your child from the internationally-recognized parenting expert who lives in Los Angeles.
Out: Oct. 27 


In and Out of Hollywood
(University of Wisconsin Press, hardcover, $29.95)
By Charles Higham
The biographer of Hollywood greats tells the story of his own life and of interactions with icons such as Bette Davis and Walt Disney.
Out:  Oct. 27


Last Night in Twisted River: A Novel
(Random House, hardcover, $28)
By John Irving
The twelfth novel from the Oscar winner begins in the cookhouse of a logging settlement in northern New Hampshire, where a twelve-year-old boy becomes a fugitive.
Out:  Oct. 27 


The Opposite Field: A Memoir
(Crown, hardcover, $25)
By Jesse Katz
A memoir about running the Monterey Park Little League by the Los Angeles magazine contributing writer.
Out:  Oct. 27 


Swans and Pistols:  Modeling, Motherhood, and Making It in the Me Generation
(Bloomsbury USA, hardcover, $25)
By Léon Bing
The memoir of a Los Angeles woman who has been a model, mother, journalist and confidante to dangerous men.
Out:  Oct. 27 


Hollywood’s War with Poland, 1939-1945
(University of Kentucky Press, hardcover, $60)
By M.B.B Biskupski
How and why Poland was depicted in such a negative light during World War II.
Out: Oct. 30


Paul McCarthy’s Low Life Slow Life
(CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, paperback, $75)
By Jens Hoffman and Paul McCarthy
Packaged as a box of Tide detergent circa 1973, this tome documents the range of works that have influenced the career of Los Angeles-based McCarthy.
Out: Oct. 31

 

Photograph courtesy Flickr/timetrax23