The Reading List: July ’11

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

The Definition of Wind
(Bantam, paperback, $15)
By Ellen Block
In the sequel to the L.A. author’s The Language of Sand, heroine Abigail Harker seeks refuge in a North Carolina lighthouse after the tragic deaths of her husband and son.
Out: Jul 1


Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
(Union Square Press, paperback, $15)
By Dave Ihlenfeld
The L.A. author and television writer recalls the year he drove a 27-foot-long fiberglass hotdog.
Out: Jul 1


Found: A Daughter’s Journey Home
(William Morrow, hardcover, $26)
By Tatum O’Neal
In 2004’s A Paper Life, the actress shared the secrets of her dysfunctional Hollywood upbringing; here, she chronicles her continued efforts to navigate a sober life and to nurture her delicate reconnection with her famous father.
Out: Jul 1


Men, Women, and Children: A Novel
(Harper Perennial, paperback, $15)
By Chad Kultgen
The latest from the author of The Average American Male centers on a group of pre-teens and their dysfunctional parents.
Out: Jul 1


You’re Next
(St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, $25)
By Gregg Hurwitz
Mike Wingate has built a lovely family life for himself as an adult after spending his childhood in foster care in the latest from the prolific L.A. author and television writer. But something from Wingate’s past – a past he doesn’t remember – is threatening.
Out: Jul 1


Broetry: Poetry for Dudes
(Quirk, hardcover, $13)
By Brian McGackin
The L.A. poet waxes nostalgic about the Xbox, frozen pizza, and Bruce Willis.
Out: Jul 5


Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
(Touchstone, hardcover, $24)
By Thomas Lennon and Robert B. Garant
The creators of Reno 911! and Night at the Museum offer some practical advice.
Out: Jul 5


The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning
(W.W. Norton, hardcover, $25)
By Maggie Nelson
The CalArts professor and author of Bluets explores horrific images in both high and low-brow culture.
Out: Jul 11


Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives
(W.W. Norton, hardcover, $26)
By Dean Buonomano
For all its complexity, consider the brain’s many malfunctions – our memories are unreliable and we can be capricious, superstitious, and highly irrational. The UCLA professor explores the function of our brains’ glitches.
Out: Jul 11


Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery
(Random House, paperback, $15)
By Kwei Quartey
A novel about the slums of Accra from the author was raised in Ghana and is currently a doctor in L.A
Out: Jul 12


Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director
(It Books, hardcover, $30)
By Patrick McGilligan
The Rebel Without a Cause director once found his second wife (Gloria Grahame) in bed with his son from his first marriage; in this volume, the film historian plumbs the highs and lows of Ray’s adventurous life and legendary work.
Out: Jul 12


Stone Arabia: A Novel
(Scribner, hardcover, $24)
By Dana Spiotta
L.A. is the setting for the latest from the National Book Award nominee about an adult brother and sister who are tethered to each other in the most unique and subtle ways. See our review in the July issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: July 12


Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind
(St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, $26)
By Tim Groseclose
The UCLA professor has sent years researching the media and concludes there’s an overwhelming liberal bias.
Out: Jul 19


Pinch Me
(Touchstone, paperback, $15)
By Adena Halpern
A pinch delivers a magical and romantic twist in the latest from the L.A. author of 29.
Out: Jul 19


Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s
(Henry Holt, hardcover, $33)
By Hunter Drohojowska-Philp
The art critic looks back to a defining historical moment when L.A. had no art museums and few galleries and yet was inhabited by a pack of daring, young artists, including Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman, and John Baldessari.
Out: Jul 19


Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past
(Faber & Faber, paperback, $18)
By Simon Reynolds
We are obsessed with reunion tours and reissues and anything that harkens back to an earlier era. The music journalist asks why.
Out: Jul 19


Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human
(Spiegel & Grau, hardcover, $28)
By Grant Morrison
A preeminent graphic novelist who lives in L.A. takes an intellectual look at superheroes.
Out: Jul 19


Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
(Penguin, paperback, $15)
By Ben Loory
Talking televisions, apartment-dwelling sea animals, and wells that lead to space populate this volume of mind-bending original stories from an L.A. screenwriter.
Out: Jul 26


The Real Girl Next Door
(Gallery, hardcover, $26)
By Denise Richards
The former model and actress tells of life with Charlie Sheen, as well as the trauma of losing her mother to cancer and adjusting to life as a divorced single mom.
Out: Jul 26


With a Little Luck
(Bantam, paperback, $15)
By Caprice Crane
An L.A. radio DJ needs a little romantic good fortune in this novel from the screenwriter who’s also the daughter of Tina Louise (Gilligan’s Island’s Ginger) and Les Crane (the late-night talk show host).
Out: Jul 26