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by frazgo

The Kept Girl and other bits of Los Angeles

8:42 am in Books, Entertainment, Fictional LA, History, LA, Maps, People, Vintage, Which Side? by frazgo

Kim Cooper, author of The Kept Girl, click to embiggen

If you know me, by now you know  I’m a total fan of Raymond Chandler. Angeleno and author Kim Cooper has a wonderful book that stars him and and is set in 1929 Los Angeles. Its told in the tone of his books which makes it a very easy and entertaining read.  Its centered around the Great Eleven cult that was active in Los Angeles that year.  Its been historically researched and based on several characters that may or may not have met in real life.  For the sake of this piece of fiction they all crossed paths and their tale unfolds in “The Kept Girl“.

Kim Cooper and Richard Schave also run the Esotouric Tours.  These social historians research a topic or person then put together lively bus tours on that theme around historic Los Angeles.

This past Sunday was the monthly Sunday Salon presented by the Los Angeles Visionaries Association.  Kim Cooper was there to talk about her book.  Also present was the graphic illustrator Paul Rogers who did the cover art for The Kept Girl. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Small Business Saturday get out an meet some folks

11:27 am in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events, People, Photography, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping by frazgo

Authors and Artists, I have them both for you here in the SGV.

cover to Camelot and Vine

First up is a person I feel tickled to know, actor, writer, blogger and photographer Petrea Burchard.  She released her novel, Camelot & Vine this spring.  She’ll be at two, count ‘em two book signings today.  Petrea will be at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena from 11AM-1PM today.  Then she will move to Websters Fine Stationers in Altadena around 2PM for a few hours.

After that I think you would enjoy Old Town Monrovia, especially the area in front of Paint n Play 2 Art Studio and Gallery.  Several artists will be there from 6PM-10PM for an evening art walk.  Among the artists there will be author and photographer Steve McCarthy.  Steve has written a few books that he will have there and sign for you.  First is “Road Trippin’” and the other is his first novel, “Old Farts Spy Club”.

I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your shopping dollars in the hands of the small businesses in the community.  These small businesses keep their money in the community and help keep us strong and vibrant.  Whether it be my little corner of L.A or yours we all benefit from getting to know them, shop with them and make them strong as they give so much back to our communities.

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by frazgo

Found on Road Alive: Blue Meanie

10:00 am in Books, Driving, LA bloggers, People by frazgo

blue meanie

Blue Meanie, 1960 Triumph

Let me be up front, I see this car often as it belongs to a friend and fellow photographer, author and general bon vivant, Steve McCarthy.

The car is a 1960 Triumph named the Blue Meaniel.  Its a driver, more specifically a Road Trippin‘ car that he goes on excursions with and jots every twist in turn for his blog and in books.  Blue Meanie made it to Seattle and back last year, this last month it made it to Yellowstone and back.

I love living in the land that rust forgot, you see great little sports cars like this still in use and well loved.

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The Rattling Wall at Book Soup

10:00 am in Books, Entertainment by Chris Corning

Sometimes it can be tempting to think there isn’t a great deal of literary activity happening in LA, with all these film-related happenings taking place all the time. (Ahem – Academy Awards, anyone? Sorry, get your list of winners somewhere else.) Don’t get me wrong, I love film, but it can be a little frustrating when LA’s persistent film culture serves as a distraction from the fact that there are, indeed, literary events happening here in our fine city on a regular basis.

Read the rest of this entry →

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What’s Your Favorite Bookstore?

3:13 pm in Books, LA by Kevin Ott

I don’t own a Kindle. Or a Nook, or any of those other digital book-reader things. Maybe they’re more awesome than I think – I’ve actually never really even tried one – but nothing beats the feeling of walking out of a bookstore with a book in your hands.

That’s why I’m glad The Last Bookstore in LA had its grand re-opening last week, after vacating its former (and much tinier) spot at 4th and Main. Los Angeles may not be Seattle, but we’ve got our fair share of great little bookshops.

Me, I’m a fan of Skylight and Wacko, mostly because both are walking distance from my apartment. I also love two Glendale shops right across the street from each other, the Brand Bookshop and Mystery & Imagination (whose sign outside actually reads “BookFellows”). And I know at least one of my fellow bloggers (as well as many of you, I’m sure) is a fan of Book Soup (and with good reason; that place rocks). And I know Travis is a fan of the Taschen shops; I like the one in the Farmers Market because I pass it on my way home from work every day.

But I’m sure there are a bunch I don’t know about. What’s your favorite bookshop in LA?

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by ruth666

Make it a GIRLVERT Wednesday!

1:48 pm in Books, Celebrity, Events, LA, Social issues by ruth666

Hey Kids – No wait, strike that – Hey Adventurous Non-Squeamish Over-18-Year-Olds!

The inimitable Ori (aka Ashley Blue aka GIRLVERT aka Oriana Small) has written a memoir that will twist your brain better than any Terence Malick movie ever could.

And guess what? She’s reading excerpts (and doing who knows what else) tonight at Largo at the Coronet!

Not sure if scanning the doo-dah in this image will work or not but do please find a way to attend. Knowing what I know, you’ll be talking about this for a while.

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Literary Break Brought to You by Sarah Labrie and This Recording

1:59 pm in Books by Travis Koplow

Sarah Labrie’s short piece “On (Not) Leaving Los Angeles” over at This Recording is really gorgeous. Go read it.

Lately, your life has been falling into place along a strange Los Angeles logic. That morning you got a $50 parking ticket, but last night you went to a party at Bret Easton Ellis’ house. The party was exactly what you expected, down to the minimalist monochrome décor, the celebrities famous for reasons no one could define. In an apartment overlooking Beverly Hills, you lived out the wildest dream of the college sophomore version of yourself. A gleam hovered over the fading film stars, the impeccable bartender, the party guests caught up in Bret’s orbit as he circled the room, glass in hand, imitating perfectly the person everyone assumes he is.

Thanks to Annie for the link.

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by ruth666

Tonight – The Story – KPCC

5:02 pm in Books, Celebrity, Filmmaking/Filmmakers, Movies by ruth666

My buddy Hank Rosenfeld has a piece airing tonight at 8 on KPPC.

He’s talking about Hollywood screenwriter Irv Brecher and I’m guessing a lot of this stuff is from his great book, The Wicked Wit of the West.

You should check it out -

(Main page for “The Story” is here.)

((ooh, so linky! I’m actually writing a post NOT from my phone ~))

 

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Book Signing @ The Grove! Hilary Winston’s – My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me

6:44 pm in Books, Comedy by Nicole Iizuka

Hilary Winston My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: And Other Stories I Shouldn't Share with Acquaintances, Coworkers, Taxi Drivers, Assistants, Job Interviewers, Bikini Waxers, and Ex/Current/Future Boyfriends But HaveStep aside Chelsea Handler, there’s a new IT girl on the street and her name is Hilary Winston.  Formerly head writer of the Emmy®-award-winning “My Name is Earl“, and currently a writer/producer on “Community“, the incredibly funny & talented Ms. Winston wrote a book.  Well.  Wrote a book in response to her boyfriend writing a book…

What? Who are these people who have enough time in their lives to have a full job, AND write a retaliatory book to the book their boyfriend wrote about them?  Oh, no sorry, you’re still confused about the whole “book being written in retaliation to a book” part.

Let’s start from the beginning.  Hilary, having just gotten out of a semi-serious relationship, and putting the piece of her life back together gets sucker-punched when she wanders into a bookstore to find that her Ex has written a novel.  A novel about their relationship.  One in which she’s referenced throughout as the “fat-assed girlfriend.”  True story.

From the ashes was born a phoenix. A hilarious book of a phoenix with, albeit one with  a broken vagina.

You know what?  Hilary could do a much better job making sense of the absurdity that is her life… and wouldn’t you know it, you’re in luck!  She’s doing a book signing on THURSDAY MAY 19th at the Grove Barnes & Noble, where you can ask her any and all of the questions you have about her fat ass, broken vagina, bikini waxes & community paintball.

Hilary Winston Book Signing
Thursday May 19, 2011 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble @ The Grove at Farmers Market
189 Grove Drive Suite K 30
Los Angeles, CA 90036
http://hilarywinston.com/home/

And you can buy the book HERE.  Perfect for that book club you’ve always been meaning to start…

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Free Comic Book Day is Tomorrow!

9:00 am in Art, Books, Entertainment, Events by Jodi Kurland

Free Comic Book Day

Since 2002, the first Saturday of May has been a special day for comic book fans everywhere. Free Comic Book Day is a worldwide event in which participating independent comic book specialty shops do what the name implies and give you free comic books. No, this does not mean that you can take any book off the shelf. There are designated titles up for grabs. Some locations also have special guests, signing, giveaways and other activities throughout the day. Not surprisingly, food trucks seem to be a popular addition this year!

There are many participating comic book shops in Los Angeles and surrounding cities. A few of my personal favorites are:

House of Secrets, 1930 W Olive St. Burbank, CA 91506. Appearances by Tom Kenny and Walter Koenig.

Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046. Original statues from The Dark Crystal will be on display and The Grilled Cheese Truck will be making a special appearance.

Golden Apple, 7018 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90038. Lots of special guests, sales, giveaways, free food and even a bounce house for the kids.

Check out the Free Comic Book Day Store Locator to find out if your favorite shop is participating. Insider tip: Go early if you want to choose from a good selection of books.

 

 

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by Burns!

John Waters Perverts Los Angeles

3:34 pm in Books, Events by Burns!

Actor, author, artist, auteur…provocateur John Waters is coming to Los Angeles this week. On Wednesday evening he’ll be at Largo at the Coronet, in conversation with Jeff Garlin.

Waters, the legendary filmmaker (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Pecker, among others) is on a book tour promoting the paperback release of Role Models, his essays about people he finds inspiring. Subjects range from Tennessee Williams and Johnny Mathis to Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten.

This is bound to be a fascinating (and funny) evening. Get your tickets now, and I’ll see you there.

What: John Waters in conversation with Jeff Garlin.
Where: Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
When: Wednesday, 4 May 2011. 8:00pm.
Tickets available online.

Arrive early. You don’t want to miss a moment. By the way, if you’ve never been to Largo, it’s important to remember the rules; they’re pretty strict about them. No late entry, no cell phones/texting, no photos, no talking. Break the rules and you’ll likely be given the boot. Follow the rules and you’ll likely have a delightful evening.

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The Rattling Wall: New LA-based Literary Journal

11:34 am in Books, LA by Travis Koplow

Skylight Books Sign in Los Feliz

I’m not one of those Angelinos who will claim that our literary culture rivals that of New York (sorry people, it just doesn’t–we can still love LA and concede secondary status on pizza and publishers). Nonetheless, we do have a pretty vibrant community of writers and readers. I’ve written about Chaparral and What Books Press here before, and I’m always happy to see news of a new journal or press.

On that note, The Rattling Wall is set to launch this month, and the inaugural issue looks delightful with offerings from Albert Reyes, Tony Hoagland, James Frey, and Neal Pollack, among others. They’re having a release party at the Hammer a week from tomorrow. If Hoagland were reading, I’d be there in a heartbeat, but alas he is not. Nonetheless,the slate is full of talent: Joseph Mattson, Michelle Meyering, James Greer, Neal Pollack, Allison Burnett, Stacey Waite, Eloise Klein Healy, Sam Dunn, Matthew Zapruder, Lou Mathews. It should be a great reading.

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We Do So Read! LA Times’ Festival of Books

4:49 pm in Books, Events by Travis Koplow

the bumper of my car

When you ask people what’s great about LA, they might say the weather or the beach or the sushi or art walk or the New Bev or Umami Burger… but they almost never say “the literary scene.”   Yknowhatimsayin?

Still, we read. Well, some of us do, anyway, and many of those some of us will be at LA Times’ Festival of Books this weekend. I’ll admit I’ve never been there myself (though other b.la’ers have). Somehow it always gets trumped by a work event or a trip or something. This year, though, may be the year for me. I would love, love, love to see Jennifer Egan on Saturday*, though given her recent award, that panel will no doubt be packed plus I have a time conflict with a three-year-old’s birthday party in Ventura (Does the J.Egan panel promise a bouncy house? I think not!). Read the rest of this entry →

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Tina Fey in Conversation with Steve Martin, April 19

11:36 am in Books, Celebrity, Comedy, Downtown, Events, LA by Queequeg

People often ask me if Tina Fey is gay.  This is because, I think, and unfortunately for me, I’m the only gay person they know, and they assume that we all know who the others are, like Cylons or something.  The larger takeaway, though, is the implication behind the question: that very few women can have the strength of her talents, defy as many conventions, and not talk incessantly about how she should be defined as a mother first, unless she were a lesbian.  There’s a whole lot wrapped up in that implication, too much to deconstruct here, so I’ll just say: that is a terrible work of fiction that no one wants to read but for some reason keeps getting checked out.

For those of you (gay, straight, boy, girl, in between, on the fringe) looking for a little inspiration a la Fey, Live Talks LA is hosting the writer/producer/actress/comedian at the Nokia Theater on Tuesday, April 19.  Fey will discuss her upcoming memoir, Bossypants, with Steve Martin.  Tickets just went on sale on Friday; get them here.  My guess is that these will sell out, soon, so you better get on it, now.

For those curious about Fey’s essaying abilities (because being head writer at SNL, the creator/writer of 30 Rock, and the writer of Mean Girls isn’t quite enough), check out the last few issues of The New Yorker. An essay  first appears in the same issue as the fantastic article on Scientology, about “juggling” her career and her – blahblah – family (“What is the rudest question you can ask a woman? ‘How old are you?’ ‘What do you weigh?’ ‘When you and your twin sister are alone with Mr. Hefner, do you have to pretend to be lesbians?’  No, the worst question is: ‘How do you juggle it all?’”).

The second essay, in this week’s issue, is on the lessons she learned from Lorne Michaels (“Never tell a crazy person he’s crazy.” – I’m assuming she’s talking about Tracy Morgan here, but I may be projecting).  I hope Tina Fey and Rudy Giuliani do a book exchange, BossyPants for Leadership, just to compare and contrast styles.  If you have nothing going on – and, heck, even if you do – go to the newsstand, flip to page 22, and just read it.  It’s great.  It makes you want to buy the book or e-book.  And, yes, see her live from Los Angeles, on a Tuesday night.

An Evening with Tina Fey in Conversation with Steve Martin, Tuesday, April 19 at 8:00pm at the Nokia Theatre. Tickets are $29 (seat only)/$49 (premier seating plus Fey’s book)/$119 (prime seating plus Fey and Martin’s books). A signing will follow the talk.

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Swap Your Borders Rewards Plus Card for a Vroman’s Gift Card

11:25 pm in Books, LA by Queequeg

How’s this for a role reversal: instead of begging you to support the indepenent bookstore, Vroman’s in Pasadena is going out of its way to support you. The Pasadena independent bookstore will give you a $20 gift certificate to the store in exchange for your Borders Rewards Plus Card.  You know, that red card you bought for $20 because you thought it meant you would receive a discount on things, but now, in light of the Borders bankruptcy, is just another mini-card making your keychain look like a prison guard’s keychain, if the prison guard worked at a prison with cardkeys for keys (how fancy!).  Note that the offer is limited to the first 200 Borders Rewards Plus Card-carrying people, so go on, swap card for card, and maybe pick up a book with your new treasure.  Maybe this one?

Photo by Clinton Steeds and used under a Creative Commons license.

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