The Reading List: June ’11

Every month LAmag.com compiles titles of local interest that are hitting the bookshelves. Here are some highlights
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo 

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies — How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as True
(Times Books, hardcover, $28)
By Michael Shermer
The skeptic, psychologist, science historian, and Claremont Graduate University adjunct professor explains the importance of irrational belief.
Out: Jun 1

 
pearman 

The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring
(Viking, hardcover, $27)
By Sugar Ray Leonard with Michael Arkush
The Hall of Fame boxer (and Pacific Palisades resident) recalls his remarkable career and reveals his personal struggles.
Out: Jun 1

 
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Noble 

Good Neighbors: A Novel
(Penguin, paperback, $15)
By Ryan David Jahn
The L.A. author bases his novel on a 1964 event in which a woman was attacked in the courtyard of her Queens apartment building, and none of her neighbors reacted to her cries for help..
Out: Jun 1

 
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Noble 

Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank Sinatra
(Crown Archetype, hardcover, $25)
By Barbara Sinatra
The Chairman’s adoring wife recalls the most romantic man she ever met as well as her life among celebrities.
Out: Jun 1

 
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Barris 

Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV
(Broadside Books, hardcover, $27)
By Ben Shapiro
The native Angeleno, cum laude graduate of UCLA and Harvard, and conservative columnist offers a history of the television industry.
Out: Jun 1

 
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.blessing 

Rancho Los Alamitos: Ever Changing, Always the Same
(Heyday Books, paperback, $35)
By Claudia Jurmain, David Lavender, and Larry L. Meyer
With an introduction by renowned historian Kevin Starr, this volume traces the history of the locale from its earliest recorded inhabitants, the Tongva people, through its days as the Bixby ranch and beyond.
Out: Jun 1

 
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.hakaka 

Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures of Hollywood’s Legendary Director 
(University Press of Kentucky, hardcover, $40)
By Marilyn Ann Moss
Walsh (who lost one eye in 1928) began in the movie business in 1915, playing John Wilkes Booth in The Birth of a Nation, before transitioning into a career directing such heavyweights as Bogart, Cagney, and Dietrich.
Out: Jun 1

Books.2011.Jan.Cover.hakaka 

Stein, Stung
(Tyrus Books, hardcover, $25)
By Hal Ackerman
A missing honeybee hive puts the investigator on the trail of a nefarious global force in the latest novel by the UCLA theater professor.
Out: Jun 1

BooksLennon 

Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World
(Vanguard Press, hardcover, $26)
By Lisa Bloom
We gals have fallen off the intellectual path (obsessing about celebrity and plastic surgery), and simply using our brains will make us happier, according to the television legal analyst and daughter of Gloria Allred.
Out: Jun 1

 citkowitz  

L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories
(Mulholland Books/Rockstar Games, e-book, $1)
The setting is 1947 Los Angeles in this video-game tie-in that includes stories by Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Jonathan Santlofer, Duane Swierczynski and Andrew Vachss.
Out: Jun 6

lopez 

East on Sunset: A Crime Novel 
(Minotaur Books, hardcover, $26)
By Ken Mercer
In this follow-up to Slow Fire, ex-LAPD narcotics detective (and former heroin addict) Will Magowan seems to have his life back on track after reuniting with his wife and taking a job in security for the L.A. Dodgers, but trouble from his past comes to find him.
Out: Jun 7

lopez 

I’m Kind of a Big Deal: And Other Delusions of Adequacy
(Gallery, $15, paperback)
By Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
The L.A.-based author of Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay, Naptime is the New Happy Hour, and It’s Not Me, It’s You is back with a new collection of tell-all essays about her (hilariously humiliating) brushes with fame.
Out: Jun 7

 
daum 

The Little Women Letters
(Touchstone, hardcover, $25)
By Gabrielle Donnelly
The great-, great-granddaughters of Jo March are three sisters that fight and fiercely love each other just like their distant relations in this imaginative sequel to Louisa May Alcott’s novel.
Out: Jun 7

 
fuentes 

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter
(Viking, hardcover, $27)
By Mark Seal
The Vanity Fair contributing editor tells the riveting tale of how a con-man duped denizens of America’s most exclusive communities into believing he was a true blue blood. See our review in the June issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Jun 7

 
michaels-ckbook 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
(Quirk Books, hardcover, $18)
By Ransom Riggs
After a horrific family tragedy, a sixteen-year-old boy journeys to a remote island off the coast of Wales where he finds a mysterious abandoned orphanage in this novel by an L.A. writer.
Out: Jun 7

 
BrownBook 

Punching Tom Hanks: Dropkicking Gorillas and Pummeling Zombified Ex-Presidents — A Guide to Beating Up Anything
(St. Martin’s Griffin, paperback, $15)
By Kevin Seccia
From the author and apparent pugilist who splits his time between L.A.and New York, a tongue-in-cheek volume about how to spar.
Out: Jun 7

batt 

Stories My Father Told Me: Notes from The Lyons Den
(Abbyville Press, hardcover, $35)
By Jeffrey Lyons
Leonard Lyons was a legendary columnist who covered the New York celebrity nightlife scene for the Post from 1934-74. Lyons’ son has compiled selections from his father’s columns and included a few of his own celebrity interviews in this volume.
Out: Jun 7

batt 

The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $24)
By Shawn Green
The former L.A. Dodger and All-Star discusses the spiritual practices that led him to success on the field.
Out: Jun 7

batt 

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes
(Dutton, hardcover, $26)
By Marcus Sakey
A man wakes up disoriented on a beach in Maine and must go looking for his identity in Los Angeles in this Chicago author’s novel.
Out: Jun 9

batt 

Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: “Race to Death Valley” (Vol. 1)
(Fantagraphics, hardcover, $30)
By Floyd Gottfredson
Reacquaint yourself with the real Mickey as Fantagraphics launches its effort to reprint the entire strip by the famous L.A. cartoonist.
Out: Jun 15

batt 

At the Devil’s Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel
(Random House, hardcover, $27)
By Wiliam C. Rempel
The former L.A. Times investigative reporter had exclusive access to cartel insider Jorge Salcedo, who risked his life to take down one of Columbia’s most powerful drug lords. Rempel’s account of Salcedo’s ordeal is a harrowing non-fiction thriller.
Out: Jun 21

batt 

Disturbance: An Irene Kelly Novel
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $25)
By Jan Burke
The news reporter heroine is once again pitted against treacherous serial killer Nick Parrish (and his band of Moths) in the L.A. author’s sequel to Bones.
Out: Jun 21

batt 

The Graduate Student
(AmazonEncore, paperback, $14)
By James Polster
A graduate student hangs out with a tribe in the Amazon – but doesn’t get much research done in the latest by the L.A. author. The new AmazonEncore imprint, launched in 2009, has also reprinted Polster’s previous novels, A Guest in the Jungle (1987), and Brown (1995) this spring.
Out: June 21

batt 

Groundswell
(Gallery, hardcover, $25)
By Katie Lee
Art imitates life in this debut by Billy Joel’s ex-wife, in which a regular girl marries a famous actor and enjoys the celebrity lifestyle – until her husband has an affair and she flees to a sleepy Mexico surf-town.
Out: Jun 21

batt 

Witches of East End
(Hyperion, hardcover, $24)
By Melissa de la Cruz
L.A.’s YA sensation (Blue Bloods) makes her first foray into adult fiction with this novel about a group of secret witches living in the Hamptons.
Out: Jun 21

batt 

White Shotgun: An FBI Special Agent Ana Grey Novel
(Knopf, hardcover, $25)
By April Smith
In the Santa Monica author’s latest, her government-agent heroine is sent to Italy to investigate a half-sister she never knew she had.
Out: Jun 23

batt 

The Deal from Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers
(Public Affairs, hardcover, $29)
By James O’Shea
The former L.A. Times Editor gives his insider perspective on the industry’s collapse.
Out: Jun 28


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