Now Read This: The Week’s Best New Books, January 21st Edition

The Best Of LA


Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City
(University of California Press, paperback, $30)
By Ethan N. Elkind
Railtown recounts decades of Los Angeles history to tell the often confusing and fractured story of public transportation in the West’s “fragmented metropolis.” Generally known as the car-commuter capital of the country, Los Angeles has had a long and complicated relationship with public transportation, and Elkind, a faculty member at UCLA, has taken on the daunting task of mapping out the messy saga.
Out: January 22

The Agent 

The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals and Changing the Game
(Thomas Dunne Books, hardcover, $26)
By Leigh Steinberg
Steinberg, the alleged inspiration behind the film Jerry Maguire, guides readers through his 30-year career as one of the top agents in professional sports. High-stakes negotiations and the quest for sobriety inject enough drama into Steinberg’s memoir to entertain readers who may otherwise be uninterested in the world of representing professional athletes.
Out: January 21

The Best Of The West

The Days 

The Days of Anna Madrigal (Large Print Edition)
(HarperLuxe, paperback, $27
By Armistead Maupin
This large-print edition of the ninth installation of Maupin’s Tales of the City series follows transgender landlady Anna Madrigal on a road trip into Nevada that simultaneously leads her on a journey of discovery through her troubled past. First published in serial form by the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1960s, Maupin’s Tales of the City series is almost 50 years old.
Out: January 21

The Best Of The Rest


Carthage: A Novel
(Ecco, hardcover and paperback, $27)
By Joyce Carol Oates
One of the hardest-working American writers of the last century starts 2014 with a new novel about a small New York community searching for a young girl lost in the Adirondacks. Taking a hauntingly realistic view of the human psyche, Oates writes of the citizens’ suspicion of a disturbed war veteran and the nature of tragedy.
Out: January 21

Doctor Who 

Doctor Who: 11 Doctors, 11 Stories
(Penguin Group, paperback, $16)
By various authors
This collection commemorates the 50th anniversary of the eponymous hit series with a paperback compilation of eleven ebooks written by eleven authors, including Marcus Sedgwick, Malorie Blackman, and Neil Gaiman. Renowned writers who share a common passion for Doctor Who provide high-profile fan fiction to honor the celebrated show.
Out: January 21