The Reading List: September ’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

 
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Phyo 

Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts
(5-Spot, paperback, $14)
By Claire LaZebnik 
Treat your literary sweet tooth to this L.A. author’s story of a crazy, collapsing family of eccentrics and the one normal daughter who tries to piece it back together.
Out: Sept 1

 
pearman 

Tilly the Trickster
(Abrams, hardcover, $17)
By Molly Shannon; illustrated by Ard Hoyt
The SNL funny woman’s next audience is children with her book about a girl who likes plotting mini acts of mischief.
Out: Sept 1

 
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Goddess of Vengeance
(St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, $27)
By Jackie Collins
Lucky Santangelo infuriates a sinister businessman when she refuses to sell him her high-class Vegas hotel-casino in this latest from the top-selling Beverly Hills author.
Out: Sept 13

 
Books.2011.Jan.Cover.Barris 

The Two Krishnas
(Magnus Books, paperback, $15)
By Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla
Worlds collide and break apart in this second novel from the L.A. author and LGBT activist, in which the mother of an Indian family in Los Angeles discovers that her husband has fallen in love with another man—an illegal Muslim immigrant the same age as their son.
Out: Sept 20

 
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The Barbarian Nurseries: A Novel
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, hardcover, $27)
By Héctor Tobar
Live-in Mexican maid Aracelia is left to care for two young boys deserted by their parents in this socially relevant novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A. Times columnist. Read an excerpt in the September issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Sept 27

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The Funny Man
(Soho Press, hardcover, $24)
By John Warne
A mediocre comic finds his shtick when he starts performing with his fist in his mouth, but stardom proves destructive in this culture-skewering novel from a longtime editor of McSweeney’s.
Out: Sept 27

 

Biography

 
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The Maid’s Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream
(NYU Press, hardcover, $28)
By Mary Romero
Two decades of research culminate in the real-life story of a Mexican-American girl navigating issues of class, race, and identity in contemporary Los Angeles.
Out: Sept 1

 
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Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordinary Son
(NAL Trade, paperback, $15)
By Tom Fields-Meyer
This memoir from the L.A.-based writer chronicles his special journey with his son Ezra, who was diagnosed with autism at age 3.
Out: Sept 6

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More Notes of a Dirty Old Man
(City Lights, paperback, $17)
By Charles Bukowski; edited by David Stephen Calonne
The L.A. newspaper columnist died in 1994, but his writings—poetic tributes to his many excesses—remain widely read today. This book compiles previously uncollected stories and essays.
Out: Sept 13

citkowitz 

Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, hardcover, $30)
By Hal Holbrook
The Emmy-winning actor best known for his one-man show as Mark Twain recounts the early obstacles on his way to success.
Out: Sept 13

lopez 

Upper Cut: Highlights of My Hollywood Life
(Atria Books, hardcover, $26)
By Carrie White
The “First Lady of Hairdressing” has styled countless Hollywood celebrities, from Elizabeth Taylor and Goldie Hawn to Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt, but her candid memoir details a decidedly un-glamorous life.
Out: Sept 20

lopez 

Life is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to A Lovely Lady and Beyond
(Center Street, hardcover, $26)
By Florence Henderson, with Joel Brokaw
Unlike her TV children, the former Brady Bunch mom wasn’t a product of a warm and stable family—the starting point for her memoir on everything from her impoverished childhood to her years in show business and the difficult process of aging.
Out: Sept 20

 
daum 

Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant
(It Books, hardcover, $26)
By Dyan Cannon
The Hollywood actor-director—the first woman Oscar-nominated in both of these roles—dishes on her stormy marriage to screen icon Cary Grant.
Out: Sept 20

 
fuentes 

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend
(Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $27)
By Susan Orlean
The staff writer for The New Yorker did everything short of interviewing her subject for this tribute to dogkind’s most famous German Shepherd(s), the immortal movie star Rin Tin Tin.
Out: Sept 27

fuentes 

John Huston: Courage and Art
(Crown Archetype, hardcover, $30)
By Jeffrey Meyers
The biographer of such icons as Ernest Hemingway and Humphrey Bogart returns with the story of the celebrated filmmaker, whose special talent for adapting written works to the screen resulted in masterpieces like The Maltese Falcoln, The Asphalt Jungle, and The African Queen.
Out: Sept 27

fuentes 

Drama: An Actor’s Education
(Harper, hardcover, $27)
By John Lithgow
The award-winning actor pulls back the curtain on his theatrical life, focusing on the influence of his father, Arthur.
Out: Sept 27

fuentes 

Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond
(Knopf, hardcover, $26)
By Michael Lindsay-Hogg
The director recounts his early childhood in Santa Monica—where he encountered Hollywood’s elite, courtesy of movie star mother Geraldine Fitzgerald—to his successes in British TV, stage, and beyond. Catch our review in the September issue of Los Angeles magazine.
Out: Sept 27

 

Suspense

 
michaels-ckbook 

Damage Control
(Scribner, hardcover, $27)
By Denise Hamilton
Enter the high-stakes world of damage control in this stand-alone “surf noir” from the former L.A. Times reporter, in which crisis consultant Maggie Silver works to contain the fallout from the recent murder of a big-shot California senator’s young female aide. Catch our review in the September issue of Los Angeles  magazine.
Out: Sept 6

 
BrownBook 

Baited Blood (A Madison Rose Vampire Mystery)
(Midnight Ink, paperback, $15)
By Sue Ann Jaffarian
If you’re not dead-tired of vampires yet, try out these Los Angeles fangers. The scariest is Annabelle Fogle, who might be killing her brethren for revenge in this second Madison Rose Vampire Mystery.
Out: Sept 8

batt 

Lassiter: A Novel
(Bantam, hardcover, $25)
By Paul Levine
In his long-awaited return to the Jake Lassiter thriller series, the L.A. author puts his titular attorney in the unenviable position of having partied with a teenage girl the night she disappeared into the South Florida sex trade.
Out: Sept 13

batt 

A Rhumba in Waltz Time
(Five Star, hardcover, $26)
By Robert S. Levinson
Is there a better place to set a noir than Depression-era Hollywood? Here, LAPD detective Chris Blanchard encounters blackmail schemes, Nazi sympathizers, and notorious gangsters on his way to ferreting out the truth behind two murders.
Out: Sept 17

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L.A. Mental: A Thriller
(Harper, hardcover, $25)
By Neil McMahon
Denizens of Los Angeles are out of control in this science fiction-tinged thriller from the coauthor of James Patterson’s Toys .
Out: Sept 27

 

Politics

 
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The New Deal: A Modern History
(Free Press, hardcover, $30)
By Michael Hiltzik
In the midst of the current recession, the Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A. Times business columnist looks to the past for answers in this 500-page reevaluation of FDR’s New Deal, the former president’s radical response to the Great Depression.
Out: Sept 13

batt 

Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America 
(W. W. Norton, hardcover, $28)
By Adam Winkler
The professor of constitutional law at UCLA traces the explosive debate over gun control in the United States, from the time of the Founding Fathers to the present day.
Out: Sept 19

 

Food

 
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The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles’s Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria
(Knopf, hardcover, $35)
By Nancy Silverton, Matt Molina, and Carolynn Carreno
Create restaurant-ready Italian cuisine—like fried squash blossoms with ricotta, a fennel sausage pizza, and olive oil gelato for dessert—with this new cookbook from the award-winning chef of L.A.’s Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza and her two food-loving coauthors.
Out: Sept 27