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The impossible quest of the fledgling novelist

martin-smith-group-medium.jpg Martin J. Smith writes about a book tour through the West in twin mini-vans. Plus David Ulin on The Offing, a new literary magazine in Los Angeles.

Author interview: Mort Zachter on Gil Hodges

gil-hodges-cover.jpg Zachter follows up 'Dough' with a biography of the Dodgers' 'Boy of Summer' -- 'a mensch who is unknown to most people under forty.'

The end of our outside in lifestyle

crestwood hills.jpg Will we look back on late 20th century LA--often thought of as the worst of times with the city's sprawling conquest of nature--as paradoxically the best of times when a style of architecture briefly prevailed that invited the outside in, and the inside out?

'The Swap' is a twisty, Hitchcockian tale of a vacation gone bad

TheSwapFrntCvr72dpi copy.jpg "The Swap: A Mystery," the first novel by our friend Nancy Boyarsky, has been voted as the top London mystery by the readers at Goodreads.

Chapter 23. Cafeteria

veronica.jpg "Veronica Street" is a novel of Los Angeles by Jenny Burman, serialized here at LA Observed.

Visiting with Luis Rodriguez, poet laureate of Los Angeles

luis-rodriguez-kcet.jpg This week's "SoCal Connected" on KCET features the author and founder of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore.

Village Books razed but not forgotten

Village-Books-Demolition-Jan-2015.jpg The block in Pacific Palisades is being torn down for Rick Caruso's newest shopping area. But Bob Vickrey remembers.

Big praise in NYT for Jill Leovy's 'Ghettoside'

ghettoside-cover-nyt.jpg The depth of reporting by LAT reporter makes 'Serial' resemble a book of poetry, says the reviewer.

Huntington curator on 'The Bard of LA'

AlMartinez-desk-2012.jpg A memorial for Al Martinez will be held Feb. 8 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

Hector Tobar, Miriam Pawel on National Book Critics Circle list

untold-stories-tobar-cover.jpg Books by the two former LA Times journalists are finalists for the prestigious American literary awards for 2014.

Ray Bradbury's Westside home is now a teardown*

bradbury-demolish-jkt.jpg The house is mostly gone already. Architect Thom Mayne may be the owner.

Chapter 22. The word for Henrik

veronica.jpg 'Veronica Street' is a novel of Los Angeles by Jenny Burman, serialized here at LA Observed.

Has postmodernism destroyed journalism and more?

culture-crash-cover.jpg Laid-off LA Times writer Scott Timberg's new book about the pressures on journalism and the creative class is out, reviewed by the Columbia Journalism Review.

Michele Serros, poet and writer about Chicana life, dies at 48

michele-serros.jpg Serros is the author of "Chicana Falsa," "How to be a Chicana Role Model" and "Honey Blonde Chica," among other works.

What will you pack for 2015?

Malcolm.jpg On the 40th anniversary of Heyday--an independent, nonprofit publisher dedicated to promoting California's many cultures, landscapes, and boundary-breaking ideas--Jon Christensen asks publisher Malcolm Margolin what he would pack for the future of California.

Chapter 21. Waiting

veronica.jpg He was lucky to be white.

Bill Cosby and rape go together at Skylight Books

cosby-skylight.jpg Photo: The staffers at Skylight Books in Los Feliz leave no doubt how they feel about Bill Cosby and the allegations of sexual drugging and rape piling up against the performer.

Chapter 20. On the gravel path

veronica.jpg There was something she knew, a certain kind of information.
watkinsplaza-getty.jpg Tyler Green, the arts critic and reporter who writes Modern Art Notes, has signed a deal to write a biography about Watkins for UC Press.

Sad but true: Sam Zell writing a book called 'Gravedancer'

sam-zell-labo.jpg The man who drove Tribune into bankruptcy plans a "personal and professional memoir [with] compelling stories about his biggest deals and share tips for entrepreneurs who want to follow in his footsteps.” Snicker.

LA needs a Department of Interstitial Spaces

AnotherCityThumb2.jpg Jeremy Rosenberg's new book "Under Spring" chronicles the extraordinary transformation of a very ordinary space under the North Spring Street Bridge. Revealing the possibilities alive in the past, it should attune us to the potential of 12,309 public places like "Under Spring" around LA--and the possibilities for activating "interstitial spaces" throughout the city.

Chapter 19. Dear Reader/Corpse gets an assignment

veronica.jpg There were people in the Hahn Building who would protect her. Plus: A note from the author.

Bestsellers in SoCal (and U.S.) for your book shopping pleasure

amy-poehler-yes-please.jpg If your Christmas shopping list includes books, here is some guidance on what others are reading. As always, the differences between SoCal and national bestseller lists are curious.

Management change at Skylight Books

skylight-books-inner.jpg Co-owner and general manager Kerry Slattery told the staff last night she is retiring and turning over management of the store to Mary Williams, the events manager at Skylight.

Chapter 18. He holds the door

veronica.jpg He preferred the present. But that's not why they were here.

Amazon, Hachette put it all behind them

Gladwell poster copy.jpg Book selling giant Amazon and publisher Hachette announced this morning that they have signed a new multiyear contract, ending their bitter public dispute over book pricing.
Older books and authors posts > > >
Razed but not forgotten
Village-Books-Demolition-Jan-2015.jpgThe former Village Books has been torn down to remake Pacific Palisades. More
First edition: '12 Years a Slave'
12-years-a-slave-ucla.jpgUCLA Library's 1853 first edition of the Solomon Northup memoir. Christelle Nahas/UCLA. Gallery
Bookstore down
barnes-noble-shopper.jpg Barnes & Noble closes the Old Town Pasadena store. Read
Welcome to the Homogenocene
treesinparadise-cover.jpg"Trees in Paradise: A California History," by Jared Farmer, reminds us that biological and cultural diversity is increasing in most places, while the differences between places seem to be decreasing. Nature and culture are inextricably entwined. Christensen & Gold
Diesel Books of Malibu up for sale
diesel-books-malibu-tmt.jpgNine years after first opening in Malibu (at another location), the owners say they need to get out and focus on their other stores. Read
Wanda Coleman, poet was 67
wanda-coleman-2012.jpgThe Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman died after a long illness. The LA Times said Coleman "was a key figure in the literary life of Los Angeles....[and] helped transform the city's literature." Story
The autumn of my books
Thumbnail image for al-martinez-photo.jpgTrying to straighten out his cluttered office, Martinez agonizes over parting with any of his books. LA Observed column
Part two: LA and its water
otis-yaw-mulholland-csun.jpgHarrison Gray Otis, Ellen Beach Yaw and William Mulholland at the Nov. 5, 1913 dedication of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Book excerpt
Book excerpt: LA and its Owens Valley water
sfv-mission-horsemen.jpgA couple of the chapters in Kevin's book on the San Fernando Valley deal with the Los Angeles Aqueduct and how abundant water changed the city and the valley. Read
Author buys a billboard in the desert
billboard-in-the-desert.jpgSelling a book these days is hard. Marty McMorrow took a different tack to market his memoir of life in the 1960s and beyond. Read
Owner won't raze Dutton's site
duttons-wake.jpgFive years later, landlord Charles Munger drops big development plans for former Brentwood bookstore. More
Travel by bookstore
copperfields-hburg-lao.jpgFourteen California bookstores and eight record stores in nine days on the road. Books and authors
Elliott Erwitt visits Hollywood
IMG_4720sm copy.jpgWaiters at the Leica Gallery hold photos by photographer Elliott Erwitt, in town to launch his newest book. Iris Schneider
Photojournalism by masters
erwitt-provence-boys.jpgIris Schneider reviews big new books by Sebastiao Salgado, Steve McCurry and Elliot Erwitt. Native Intelligence
Ray Harryhausen, 92
Ray-Harryhausen-cyclops.jpgThe creator of stop-motion special effects in Hollywood pictures died in London. More
Paris Photo comes to Hollywood
Thumbnail image for paris-photo-paramount-iris.jpgFrance's annual photography fair chose Paramount's studio lot for the first U.S. event. Native Intelligence
Harold Robbins' typewriter
The late novelist's machine joins the LA collection of Steven Soboroff. More
Goodreads acquired by Amazon
Barely a year earlier, founder Otis Y. Chandler hailed Goodreads' "independence" from Amazon's technology. More
Obituaries
Gone but not forgotten
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Books and author links
SoCal authors A-K
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Alex Abella
Christina Adams
Shilpa Agarwal
Devin Alexander
Richard Andreoli
Mark Arax
Carlye Archibeque
Ken Baker
Steven Barnes
Henry Baum
Bruce Bauman
Cari Beauchamp
Andy Behrman
Aimee Bender
Francesca Lia Block
T.C. Boyle
Ray Bradbury
Janelle Brown
Margo Candelas
Hillary Carlip
Stephan Clark
Cole Coonce
Darcy Cosper
Joie Davidow
Paul Davidson
Gwen Davis
B. DeMarco-Barrett
Frances Dinkelspiel
Jonathan Dobrer
Brian Doherty
Tom Drury
Samantha Dunn
Patrick Ecclesine
Harlan Ellison
Chris Epting
María Amparo Escandón
Chris Farnsworth
David Ferrell
James Flanigan
David Fuller
John Gabree
Kate Gale
Mel Gilden
Barry Glassner
Lisa Glatt
Lee Goldberg
Tod Goldberg
Ken Gonzales-Day
Lori Gottlieb
Kate Hahn
Mark Haile
Adena Halpern
Denise Hamilton
Bob Harris
Tom Hayden
David Hernandez
Robert Hilburn
Naomi Hirahara
Edward Humes
Michelle Huneven
Charlie Huston
Barbara Isenberg
Lynn Isenberg
Tara Ison
Chip Jacobs
Allison Johnson
Nadine Jolie
Burt Kearns
David J. Kilpatrick
Jonathan Kirsch
Susan A. Kitchens
John Klima
Joel Kotkin
Rochelle Krich
SoCal authors L-Z
Laila Lalami
Terrill Lee Lankford
Peter Lefcourt
Laura Levine
Robert S. Levinson
Brad Listi
Aimee Liu
Kerry Madden
Michelle Markel
Scott Martelle
Steve Martin
Christopher Meeks
Jack Miles
Matt Miller
Sandra Ann Miller
Yxta Maya Murray
Justine Musk
Jessica Kehinde Ngo
Geoff Nicholson
Norman Ollestad
Daniel Olivas
T. Jefferson Parker
Gary Phillips
Charles Phoenix
Robert Pielke
Max Pierce
Neal Pollack
Daniel Price
Sam Quinones
Stephen Randall
David Rensin
Rachel Resnick
Nina Revoyr
Laurie Viera Rigler
David Ritz
Luis J. Rodriguez
Jim Ruland
Mark Sarvas
John Scheibe
Erika Schickel
Brad Schreiber
Matthew Scully
Carolyn See
Geoff Shackelford
John Shannon
Kathleen Sharp
Andrea Siegel
Jen Sincero
Patricia Smiley
April Smith
Martin J. Smith
Jerry Stahl
Julia Stein
Louise Steinman
Deanne Stillman
Eric Stone
Jessica Stover
Mark Sundeen
Katherine Taylor
Tom Teicholz
Nichelle D. Tramble
Marcos Villatoro
D.J. Waldie
Sarah Weinman
Wendy Werris
Jon Wiener
Amy Wilentz
Antoine Wilson
Paula L. Woods
Deidre Woollard
Mark Porter Zasada
Media, blogs, agents, etc
12:12
Aloud
Betsy Amster
Bibliocracy
Booksquare
Bookworm
Calif. Literary Review
Connie Martinson
Counterbalance
C-SPAN Booknotes
C-SPAN Book TV
Downtown Book Blog
Electronic Literature
Galley Cat
Jacket Copy
Kate Gale blog
Charlotte Gusay
Carolyn Kellogg
La Bloga
LAPL Events
LA Times Books
LAT Festival of Books
Like Water Burning
Live Talks LA
Los Angeles Review
Los Angeles Review of Books
PEN
Pen on Fire
Poetix
Poetry LA
Process
Publishers Lunch
Publishers Weekly
SoCal Bookscene
SoCal IBA
The Elegant Variation
The Millions
UCLA Live
Vermin on the Mount
Vroman's blog
West Hollywood
  Book Fair

Write Girl
Writers Bloc
Writers on Writing
Zocalo Public Square
Booksellers
Book Soup
Chevalier's Books
Dawson's Bookshop
Diesel Bookstores
Downtown Books
Eso Won Bookstore
Ivanhoe Books
Libros Revolucion
Metropolis Books
Mystery Bookstore
Skylight Books
SoCal Booksellers
Traveler's Bookcase
Vroman's
Publishers and agents
Angel City Press
Balcony Press
Boryanabooks
Feral House
Les Figues Press
Prospect Park Books
Red Hen Press
Santa Monica Press
Taschen

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