The Reading List: October ’11

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

 
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Los Angeles Stories
(City Lights, paperback, $16)
By Ry Cooder
This first effort at short fiction from the world-famous musician and L.A. native—yes, it’s that Ry Cooder—is heavy with noir-ish atmospherics.
Out: Oct 4

 
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Say You’ll Be Mine
(Grand Central, paperback, $14)
By Julia Amante
The author of Evenings at the Argentine Club adds a dash of ethnic spice to the familiar story of a woman who inherits a deceased relative’s young children.
Out: Oct 25

 
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Assumption
(Graywolf Press, paperback, $15)
By Percival Everett
The USC professor and author of the well-received I Am Not Sidney Poitier returns with a mystery set in a small New Mexico town. Catch our review in the October issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Oct 25

 
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The Night Eternal
(William Morrow, hardcover, $27)
By Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Humankind is on the brink of extinction in this conclusion to the writing team’s best-selling vampire saga.
Out: Oct 25

 
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Lucky Break: A Novel
(Bloomsbury, paperback, $16)
By Esther Freud
The British writer’s seventh novel centers on a trio of drama students navigating the intense world of acting.
Out: Oct 25

 

Biography

 
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Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood
(University of California Press, hardcover, $35)
By Emily W. Leider
This first-ever biography of the actress, best known for her performance in 1934’s The Thin Man, follows her six-decade career. 
Out: Oct 3

 
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Spencer Tracy: A Biography
(Knopf, hardcover, $40)
By James Curtis
At no fewer than 1,024 pages, this biography intends to be the definitive account of the Hollywood icon’s storied career. (But we won’t tell if you just skip to the stuff on Katharine Hepburn.)
Out: Oct 18

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Steve McQueen: A Biography
(Crown Archetype, hardcover, $26)
By Marc Eliot
This vivid portrait of the King of Cool is rendered in a brisk 368 pages—proof that biographies need not be encyclopedic to be effective.
Out: Oct 25

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Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark
(Viking, hardcover, $28)
By Brian Kellow
Meet the woman behind America’s brightest, brashest film criticism.
Out: Oct 27

 

Memoir

 
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Fiction Ruined My Family
(Riverhead, hardcover, $26)
By Jeanne Darst
The L.A. writer-performer isn’t kidding with that title—writing defined her legacy even as it threatened to undo it.
Out: Sept. 29

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The Girl with Three Legs: A Memoir
(Chicago Review Press, HC, $27)
By Soraya Mire
The Somali writer, who moved to Los Angeles in 1984, chronicles her painful childhood experiences with oppression.
Out: Oct 1

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It’s So Easy: and other lies
(Touchstone, hardcover, $26)
By Duff McKagan
You’ll read this memoir from the former Guns N’ Roses bass player for the sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but you’ll remember it for what comes after—recovery, family, and fulfillment.
Out: Oct 4

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It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing
(Touchstone, hardcover, $25)
By Luis J. Rodriguez
The Chicano writer continues where his best-selling memoir of his early years, Always Running, left off. Catch our review in the October issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Oct 4

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Sweet Judy Blue Eyes
(Crown Archetype, hardcover, $26)
By Judy Collins
Travel back to the ’60s with this icon of folk music.
Out: Oct 18

 
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My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $26)
By Mark Whitaker
The soul of this moving memoir from the executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide is found in the story of his parents and their stormy interracial marriage.
Out: Oct 18

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American Gangbang: A Love Story
(Gallery Books, hardcover, $25)
By Sam Benjamin
Dive into the sordid world of southern California’s sex industry with this memoir from an Ivy League graduate who found his calling in pornography.
Oct: Oct 18

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Double Life: A Love Story from Broadway to Hollywood
(Magnus Books, hardcover, $25)
By Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine
This dual memoir by a prominent gay couple in the entertainment world chronicles their 50-plus-year relationship.
Oct: Oct 18

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West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life
(Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, $28)
By Jerry West
Mr. Clutch opens up about his 40-year career with the Lakers.
Out: Oct 19

 

Art and Photography

 
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Marilyn: Intimate Exposures
(Sterling Signature, hardcover, $35)
By Susan Bernard
The daughter of Hollywood photographer Bruno Bernard collects some of her father’s most iconic images of the blonde bombshell—remember the white dress and the subway grate?—in this new photo book.
Out: Oct 4

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A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival
(Santa Monica Press, hardcover, $45)
By Harvey Kubernik and Kenneth Kubernik
The book features photography, memorabilia, and writings on the famous rock concert.
Oct. 15

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Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $60)
Edited by Rebecca Peabody, Andrew Perchuk, Glenn Phillips, Rani Singh, and Lucy Bradnock
Tour the post-World War II L.A. art scene in this first-of-it-kind book from the Getty Research Institute.
Out: Oct 18

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Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis
(It Books, hardcover, $40)
By David Wills
The L.A. photo collector catalogues Marilyn’s transformation from factory worker to Hollywood star in this second Marilyn photo book of the month.
Out: Oct 25

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Notes Toward a Conditional Art
(Getty Publications, hardcover, $35)
By Robert Irwin
The L.A. artist intimately reflects on modern art, his philosophy of teaching, and his own art practice.
Out: Oct 25

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Life Sucks and Then You Die
(Running Press, hardcover, $13)
By Todd Harris Goldman
Laugh at more than 125 of life’s suckiest moments in this illustrated book from the L.A. pop artist.
Out: Oct 25

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State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970
(University of California Press, hardcover, $40)
By Constance M. Lewallen, Karen Moss, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Anne Rorimer
The authors investigate California’s contribution to the progressive art of the 1960s.
Out: Oct 28