Reading the Sunday reviews

Thomas Curwen in the L.A. Times Book Review and Thomas Mallon in the New York Times Book Review both weigh in on Joan Didion's dark take on a California spoiled, Where I Was From. It's the cover review with a color illustration in both sections -- side by side, I gotta go with the NYT on the illo. The LAT also reviews Governor Reagan by Lou Cannon and pans The Substance of Style by Virginia Postrel. Matt Miller's The Two Percent Solution busts onto the LAT Bestseller list at #5 -- Al Franken is still #1.

In the October issue of The Atlantic, besides the Benjamin Schwarz review of Didion's book mentioned here ten days ago -- he didn't care for it -- there is an enthused review of Jamesland, LA Weekly dining columnist Michelle Huneven's "irresistible second novel." L.A. author and performer Sandra Tsing Loh reviews a book on family life. And the issue carries a longer and more thoughtful review of Substance of Style than the LAT gave. The Atlantic site also has an interview with Postrel from August.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Books stories on LA Observed:
Bestselling books of the week in SoCal stores
The other horrible April 29 date in Los Angeles history
Expo Line misses book festival by that much
Portrait of a Bookstore to close on Tujunga Avenue
Fiction does have a winner at LA Times Book Prizes

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