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

Starting this month, will be highlighting titles of local interest that are hitting bookshelves. Here’s what’s new in September
478, September 15, 2009

Bang Ditto
(Manic D Press, hardcover, $16)
By Amber Tamblyn
The General Hospital and Joan of Arcadia lead actress writes poems about the life of a child star.
Out: Sept. 1

(BOA Editions Ltd., paperback, $16)
By Cecilia Woloch
In her fifth volume of poetry, the award-winning poet and lecturer at USC reaches across both European and American landscapes.
Out: Sept. 1

Confessions of an Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha
(Akashic Books, paperback, $17.95)
By Melvin Van Peebles
The graphic novel version of the latest film by a pioneer in African-American cinema.
Out: Sept 1 

(Haymarket Books, hardcover, $18.95)
By Wallace Shawn
The actor and Obie-Award winning playwright discusses politics, privilege, the writing process, and more.
Out: Sept. 1 

Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour
(Ecw Press, paperback, $22.95)
By Ted Nichelson, Susan Olsen, and Lisa Sutton
A colorful romp through the misfortunes of the quintessential 1970s TV family when they attempted their own variety show.
Out: Sept. 1 

On the Line
(Grand Central Publishing, hardcover, $26.99)
By Serena Williams and Daniel Paisner
The tennis star’s account of her rise from the streets of Compton to the No. 1 spot in the world in her sport.
Out: Sept. 1

Palm Springs Holiday 
(Gibbs Smith, hardcover, $30)
By Peter Moruzzi
A photographic feast for connoisseurs of early Palm Springs, Moruzzi captures the spirit of the town’s golden years with vintage photographs and postcards.
Out: Sept. 1 

Secrets from the Casting Couch: On-Camera Strategies for Actors
(Methuen Drama, paperback, $14.95)
By Nancy Bishop
Tips from the Emmy Award-nominated casting director.
Out: Sept. 1 

Why School?: Reclaiming Education for All of Us
(The New Press, hardcover, $19.95)
By Mike Rose
The UCLA professor explores the nature and meaning of education in the United States.
Out: Sept. 1 

Blame: A Novel 
(Sarah Crichton Books, hardcover, $25.00)?
By Michelle Huneven
The Altadena author’s third novel centers on a history professor, a recovering alcoholic shouldering a heavy load of guilt in the sunshine of Los Angeles.?
Out:  Sept. 1

A Shadow Falls 
(Abrams, hardcover, $50.00)
By Nick Brandt, Peter Singer, and Vicki Goldberg
From Topanga Canyon-based Brandt, the photographer of On this Earth (2005), a new collection of African animal photographs.
Out:  Sept. 1

Who What Wear: Celebrity and Runway Style for Real Life 
(Abrams, paperback, $18.95)
By Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr
The best fashion tips and beauty advice from the creators of
Out: Sept. 1 

L.A. Bizarro 
(Chronicle Books, paperback, $19.95)
By Anthony Lovett and Matt Maranian
In 1997, Lovett and Marania published L.A. Bizarro, a travel guide to the city’s most “obscure, absurd, and perverse” attractions, showcasing everything from Angelyne to the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park (in other words, our favorite stuff). For this updated edition, the writers visited more than 100 new spots, including the Chicken Boy Souvenir Stand and the Pink Cheeks waxing and anal bleaching salon.  
Out: Sept. 2 

I Feel a Song Coming on: The Life of Jimmy McHugh 
(University of Illinois Press, hardcover, $35.00)
By Alyn Shipton
The definitive biography of the great American composer who wrote such tunes as “I’m in the Mood for Love” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”
Out:  Sept. 2

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children 
(Twelve, hardcover, $24.99)
By Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
The way we nurture children is backfiring, say two science journalists, San Francisco-based Bronson and Los Angeles-based Merryman.
Out:  Sept. 3

What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind 
(Putnam, hardcover, $24.95)
By Debra Ollivier
Dividing her time between Paris and Los Angeles, the author explains the alluring je ne sais quoi of French women.
Out:  Sept. 3

Character Driven: Life, Lessons, and Basketball
(Touchstone, hardcover, $24.99)
By Derek Fisher and Gary Brozek
The four-time NBA champion and 10-year LA Laker shares the highs and lows of his life on and off the court, including his infant daughter’s battle with cancer.
Out: Sept. 8 

Girl Mary
(Simon & Schuster, paperback, $15)
By Petru Popescu
The Beverly Hills novelist illuminates the Biblical world of Mary and Pontius Pilate.
Out: Sept. 8

Parallel Play: Growing Up With Undiagnosed Asperger’s
(Doubleday, hardcover, $26)
By Tim Page
A USC professor’s memoir of a childhood marked by both intellectual and musical genius as well as extreme social awkwardness.
Out: Sept. 8

Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror
(Universe, hardcover, $40)
By Michael Mallory
A compendium of biographies and photographs that document the studio’s penchant for horror from 1920-1950.
Out: Sept. 8 

Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World
(Oxford University Press, hardcover, $24.95)
By David L. Bosco
An account of the inner workings of the most powerful diplomatic body in the world by a political analyst whose works have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times.
Out: Sept. 10 

The Best American Crime Reporting 2009
(Ecco, paperback, $14.99)
Edited by Jeffrey Toobin
Chronicling grisly murder and nefarious mayhem, the collection includes Mark Arax’s “The Zankou Chicken Murders,” originally published in Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Sept. 15 

The Possibility of Everything:  A Memoir (Ballantine Books, hardcover, $25.00)?
By Hope Edelman
The Topanga Canyon mommy guru tells of bringing her three-year-old daughter to Mayan healers in Belize to help her bid adieu to her imaginary friend.?
Out: Sept. 15

I Only Roast the Ones I Love: Busting Balls Without Burning Bridges
(Simon Spotlight Entertainment, hardcover, $24.99)
By Jeffrey Ross
The “Roastmaster General” makes Los Angeles his part-time home and burns bridges from coast to coast.
Out: Sept. 15 

Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India
(Oxford University Press, paperback, $17.95)
By Stanley Wolpert
The former UCLA professor interrogates Britain’s disastrous disengagement from India.
Out: Sept. 17

Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $24.99)
By Tad Friend
A New Yorker writer’s memoir (he files the magazine’s “Letter from California” column) about the Wasp world, a love letter to the culture that once ruled America.
Out: Sept. 21 

Blood’s A Rover
(Knopf, hardcover, $28.95)
By James Ellroy
This crowning volume to his “American Underworld Trilogy” is set in the summer of 1968 and features the intersecting lives of a racist FBI agent, an ex-cop turned heroin runner, and a kid private detective within reach of assassins.
Out: Sept. 22 

Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil 
(Knopf, hardcover, $26.95)
By Peter Maass
The story of oil’s power to sully all who produce and possess it by the long-time foreign correspondent who was born in Los Angeles.
Out: Sept. 22

A Feast of Wonders: Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes
(Skira, hardcover, $60)
Edited by John E. Bowlt and Zelfira Tregulova
An illustrated catalog of artworks about the Saisons Russes between 1909 and 1929 edited by the USC professor and the curator at the Moscow Kremlin Museum, this volume accompanies an exhibition in Monte Carlo.
Out: Sept. 22 

Making the American Self: Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln and What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
(Oxford University Press, paperback, $19.95 each)
By Daniel Walker Howe
The Pulitzer Prize winning What Hath God Wrought illuminates the pivotal era in American history and Making the American Self delves into the construction of national identity.
Out: Sept. 22 (Making the American Self) and Sept. 23 (What Hath God Wrought) 

Evenings at the Argentine Club
(Grand Central Publishing, paperback, $13.99)
By Julia Amante
The personal experience of the author, who grew up in L.A. cheering for the Argentine soccer team and attending weekly meetings of the Argentine Club, is woven into this novel about the pursuit of the American dream.
Out: Sept. 25 

The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character (Oxford University Press, hardcover, $27.95)
By Dale Wright
A guide to the set of Buddhist teachings designed to transform human character:  generosity, morality, tolerance, energy, meditation, and wisdom.
Out:  Sept. 28 

Family Affair: A Novel (Bantam, paperback, $14.00)
By Caprice Crane
The television writer’s third novel about divorce and family.
Out:  Sept. 29 

The Sri Lankan Loxodrome 
(New Directions, paperback, $14.95)
By Will Alexander
A line that crosses all meridians at the same angle, a loxodrome is a path of constant bearing.  The poet and native Los Angeleno follows this theme with a Sri Lankan sailor who travels across the Indian Ocean.
Out:  Sept. 29

Wood Nymph Seeks Centaur: A Mythological Dating Guide 
(Bloomsbury, hardcover, $20.00)
By Francesca Lia Block
The Los Angeles-based author classifies men and women as various mythological creatures to help singles sort out the dating scene.
Out:  Sept. 29 

French General: Handmade Soirées: Simple Projects for Special Occasions
(Chronicle Books, hardcover, $29.95)
By Kaari Meng
Make organza chair covers, fabric wine covers, and other French decorations with the owner of the Los Angeles boutique French General.
Out: Sept. 30 

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Gifts, Decorations, and Recipes that Use Less and Mean More
(Chronicle Books, paperback, $24.95)
By Anna Getty
The environmental activist advises how to navigate the holiday season.
Out: Sept. 30


Photograph courtesy Flickr/timetrax23