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Sunday afternoon with books and Mr. Hearst

I love books. I also love historic architecture and gossip, especially gossip involving historic architecture. So I was delighted to mix all my obsessions at a reception celebrating the publication of George Snyder's novel, On Wings of Affection, in William Randolph Hearst's two-story, customized suite at the historic Los Altos apartment house near Hancock Park.

The novel is about a well-connected Angeleno immersed in the West Hollywood substance abuse-recovery scene who struggles to keep his social circles from intersecting when his young ward befriends a notorious gigolo kept by a Beverly Hills interior decorator who turns up dead. It's a sexy read and well-written.

The novel is like a West Hollywood version of Tales of the City crossed with the works of Ann Lamott and Dominick Dunne, if that's possible. Like the novel's narrator, the author lives in the Los Altos apartment complex and shared a bit of his lifestyle with his guests. It was a beautiful event, filled with interesting people and gorgeous waiters in white T-shirts bearing the novel's logline "Murder, Mayhem, Cocktails, Kept Boys, Rehab and Redemption in the City of Fallen Angels." It was a truly enchanting Sunday afternoon.

Below are some shots of the suite once occupied by William Randolph Hearst in the famous Los Altos apartment house on Wilshire Blvd. You can see more photos in my set on Flickr.
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