The Reading List: February ’12

Every month compiles titles of local interest that are hitting the bookshelves. Here, arranged by genre, are some highlights



A Hole in the Ground Owned by a Liar
(Counterpoint, paperback, $27)
By Daniel Pyne
Most midlife crises result in buying a new car; Lee’s results in buying a literal gold mine in this novel from the L.A. screenwriter, director, and visiting UCLA film professor.
Out: Jan 17


Anne of Hollywood
(Gallery, hardcover, $25)
By Carol Wolper
What if Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn—that scandalous royal couple of 16th-century England—lived in 21st-century Hollywood?
Out: Jan 24

Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  No One is Here Except All of Us
(Riverhead, hardcover, $27)
By Ramona Ausubel
A remote Jewish village in Romania responds—uniquely, strangely—to the threat of war.
Out: Feb 2.
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Drifting House
(Viking, hardcover, $26)
By Krys Lee
Like the author, the characters in this short story collection of immigrant stories jump between the U.S. and South Korea.
Out: Feb 2
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Sonoma Rose
(Dutton, hardcover, $26)
By Jennifer Chiaverini
This Prohibition-era story begins on a Southern California rye farm, where a mother deals with the mysterious sickness of her children.
Out: Feb 21


Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women
(Soft Skull, paperback, $16)
Edited by Nura Maznavi and Ayesha Mattu
Twenty-five Muslim women share their stories about love in this stereotype-busting collection.
Out: Jan 24
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America
(Counterpoint, hardcover, $27)
By Nancy L. Cohen
The L.A. author examines that most fascinating, ever-changing interplay between sex and politics.
Out: Jan 31
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America
(Twelve, hardcover, $28)
By Christopher Bram
The author of Gods and Monsters explores the contributions of postwar gay writers like Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, and Allen Ginsberg to American culture.
Out: Feb 2
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Apocalypse on the Set: Nine Disastrous Film Productions
(Overlook, hardcover, $28)
By Benjamin Taylor
Disasters include The Twilight Zone: The Movie, Apocalypse Now, and The Crow.
Out: Feb 2
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life
(Atlantic Monthly, hardcover, $26)
By David Treuer
The L.A. writer and USC professor’s nonfiction debut centers on the realities and controversies of Native American reservation life.
Out: Feb 7
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Bright Side Up: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now
(Perigee, paperback, $15)
By Amy Spencer
Tips for those moments when you need a good old-fashioned (read: non-alcoholic) pick-me-up.
Out: Feb 7
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret
(Thomas Dunne, hardcover, $26)
By Kent Hartman
Fans of Top 40 music from the ‘60s and ‘70s might be surprised by the debt they owe to this group of influential studio musicians.
Out: Feb 14
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Writing in Pictures: Screenwriting Made (Mostly) Painless
(Vintage, paperback, $15)
By Joseph McBride
Who knows if we need another book on screenwriting—but McBride is a credible teacher.
Out: Feb 14

Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America
(City Lights, paperback, $17)
Edited by Joanne Griffith
The L.A.-based broadcast journalist traveled the country to interview black leaders about issues facing their community today.
Out: Feb 21


Memoir and Biography

Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Four Feet Tall and Rising: A Memoir
(Crown Archetype, hardcover, $25)
By Shorty Rossi
The four-foot-tall star of Animal Planet’s Pit Boss traces his journey from L.A. gang member to reality TV star.
Out: Jan 10
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart
(Knopf, hardcover, $27)
By Stefan Kanfer
Casablanca, Maltese Falcon, African Queen—need we say more?  
Out: Feb 1
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  The Rules of Inheritance
(Hudson Street, hardcover, $26)
By Claire Bidwell Smith
Grief is the subject of this memoir from the L.A. writer, whose parents were both diagnosed with cancer when she was just 14 years old.
Out: Feb 2
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Ali in Wonderland
(Harper, hardback, $26)
By Ali Wentworth
You may know this memoirist as the comedic actress, a former Oprah regular, and/or the wife of media pundit George Stephanopoulos.
Out: Feb 7
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars
(Grove, hardcover, $25)
By Scotty Bowers, with Lionel Friedberg
We thought we knew the rumors about the sex lives of Hollywood’s old guard, but this is something else. Tracy, Hepburn, Grant, Hudson, Dean—nobody’s safe.
Out: Feb 14


Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Code Blood
(MCM, paperback, $15)
By Kurt Kamm
A vampire fetishist is the disturbing villain in this L.A. noir from the Malibu writer.
Out: Jan 3
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo  Tribulations of the Shortcut Man
(Scribner, hardcover, $24)
By p.g. sturges
This follow-up to Shortcut Man from the Hollywood-born writer finds the titular problem-solver reluctantly helping out an old girlfriend—to disastrous effect.
Out: Feb 7

Before the Poison
(William Morrow, hardback, $26)
By Peter Robinson
A veteran Hollywood film composer becomes enmeshed in a 50-year-old murder mystery in his native Yorkshire.
Out: Feb 21


Celebrity in Death
(Putnam, hardcover, $28)
By J.D. Robb
The prolific novelist invents yet another scenario for Eve Dallas in this 35th go-around for the popular cop. 
Out: Feb 21


Threats: A Novel
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, paperback, $14)
By Amelia Gray
A man who’s recently lost his wife—or so he thinks—finds strange threats hidden around his house in this debut from the L.A. writer.
Out: Feb 28


Victims: An Alex Delaware Novel
(Ballantine, hardcover, $28)
By Jonathan Kellerman
The popular thriller writer returns with maybe his bloodiest police procedural yet.
Out: Feb 28