Murals of New York City Jan07

Murals of New York C...

Written by Glenn Palmer-Smith Photographs by Joshua McHugh Introduction by Graydon Carter Rizzoli Books In shops now The art and architecture of New York City is unrivaled in its majesty, and this new coffee table volume written by painter and muralist, Glenn Palmer-Smith is the next best...

Berlin’s Book Exchange Kiosk Jan10

Berlin’s Book ...

Well if this isn’t the most amazing thing: tree trunks re-purposed to become a pop-up library for strangers to share books.  Makes you wonder, if you could put just one book inside for strangers to read, what would it be? More photos at...

Caravaggio and His Legacy Jan08

Caravaggio and His L...

  Edited by J. Patrice Marandel Prestel In shops now Over the holiday I was finally able to see one of the most talked-about exhibits of the Los Angeles season. As you walk into the Resnick Pavillion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the...

Monumental Venice

Vendome by Jacques Boulay If you’ve been lucky enough to travel to Venice then you already know what a marvel it is to behold.  Next to walking along the Grand Canal yourself, the only way to take it all in is with a panoramic view. Jacques Boulay’s photographs capture two things...

Great Adventures

  Lonely Planet In shops now First of all, hot air balloons are on the bucket list, so I had to pick this one up.  Also the Northern Lights.  And also, swimming with a whale shark.  So here is the Lonely Planet guide to the high-octane travel adventures we sometimes forget are so bloody...

Variety: An Illustra...

Written by Tim Gray / Foreword by Martin Scorsese Rizzoli In shops now It’s hard to believe that Variety cost just five cents an issue when it was first printed in 1905.  I subscribe to it now and I can tell you that the price has gone up just a smidge. But there is no doubt that it...

The Complete Bocuse

Flammarion In shops now The Black Friday emails have already begun.  Though we have just passed the American election, it seems as though Thanksgiving Hannukkah and Christmas are already on top of us. One of the best items to file under “Kiss the Cook” for this season’s...

The Country Cooking ...

by Diane Kochilas Chronicle Books In shops now If you’ve seen the previous three titles “The Country Cooking of France,” “The Country Cooking of Ireland” and  “The Country Cooking of Italy,” then you know what a remarkable feat of publishing they...

Gran Cocina Latina

  by Maricel E. Presilla W.W. Norton & Company In shops now By this point it’s fairly well-known that I’m obsessed with cookbooks.  Despite calling Los Angeles home, however, I’ve never ventured all that deeply into the world of Latin cuisine.  But what enticed me most...

Banned Books Week Oct01

Banned Books Week

To honor the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, you’ll find 30 titles on this site that have been challenged, censored, banned, or even burned.  When you click on each title it gives a brief blip on why it was slapped on the list. Pretty fascinating...

In One Person Sep12

In One Person

by John Irving Simon & Schuster In shops now The first chapter in “A Widow for One Year” is called ‘The Inadequate Lamp Shade.’  If you haven’t read it, then you should be doing that instead of this, for it immediately throws you into the world Mr. Irving...

Paris in Color Jun12

Paris in Color

by Nichole Robertson Chronicle Books In shops now Nichole Robertson has joined the ranks of many an American author who arrived at that moment of being “over it.”  In the two pages of text that serve as the introduction to this book of photographs, she recounts that moment when...

Herb Ritts: L.A. Style May29

Herb Ritts: L.A. Sty...

Paul Martineau with an essay by James Crump Getty Publications In shops now The boulevards of Los Angeles have recently been covered in black & white banners announcing the Getty’s current Herb Ritts exhibit, L.A. Style.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade...

Bookshelf May21

Bookshelf

by Alex Johnson Thames & Hudson In shops now I have recently gone into a co-habitation phase.  I live in a great house with plenty of space but very little light (it’s not unlike a treehouse), so every available wall surface has been, or is about to be, a window or sliding glass...

The Song of Achilles Apr23

The Song of Achilles

by Madeline Miller Ecco In shops now I’m a little late to the party on this one.  It’s been a minute since I read “The Iliad” and I never did see Brad Pitt’s “Troy,” so most of the particulars of the Trojan War have escaped my head.  But when I saw...

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Apr16

Los Angeles Times Fe...

Festival 21 + 22 April 2012 I arrived in Los Angeles as a New York book snob.  I missed The Strand and the (real) edition of the Sunday Times.  It took me a minute to discover the literati scene here.  Turns out, you can find a lot of it while listening to NPR on your way to the annual...

Exorcism: A Play in One Act Apr13

Exorcism: A Play in ...

by Eugene O’Neill Foreword by Edward Albee Yale University Press In shops now One of the most exciting things for academics and book nerds is to discover the lost manuscripts of our favorite writers.  Eugene O’Neill’s “Exorcism” is not a play he wrote and just...

The World’s Be...

Lonely Planet In shops now Apparently the food truck and street food fad isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Places like Los Angeles and Portland have wholly embraced the kind of dining that doesn’t require waiters or drive-thrus.  But there are delicious nublets all over the...

The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs Mar05

The James Beard Foun...

by Kit Wohl Foreward by Martha Stewart Chronicle Books In shops now Since 1990, the James Beard Foundation has bestowed an award each year to a chef who stands far apart from the rest of the pack.  As the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary, this book profiles each chef in the...

A Country Cook’...

by Alison Walker with photography by Tara Fisher Rizzoli In shops now To be clear, I receive a huge amount of cookbooks.  Very rarely do they stand apart from one another, but “A Country Cook’s Kitchen” is most certainly in a class by itself.  With gorgeous photography and...

Snow White Feb29

Snow White

by Brothers Grimm Illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia Harper Design In shops now With two Snow White feature films on the horizon, ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” and NBC’s “Grimm,” the appetite for fantasy tales on our screens has perhaps never been stronger. ...

11/22/63 Feb15

11/22/63

by Stephen King Scribner In shops now Yes, this book has been out for quite some time (currently in its 14th week on the New York Times best-seller list), and yes, the folks at Scribner were kind enough to send me an early copy.  It just takes me a minute sometimes. For those of you out...

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting Feb08

Bringing Up Bébé: On...

  By Pamela Druckerman Penguin Press In shops now Whenever I’m in Europe I can’t help but notice that the dogs are better behaved than most American children.  And whenever I’m stateside (especially in a confined space like a mall or an airplane) I can’t help but notice the little...

The History of Rome in Painting Feb02

The History of Rome ...

Edited by Maria Teresa Caracciolo and Roselyne de Ayala Abbeville Press In shops now A couple years back I got myself a copy of “The History of Paris in Painting,” which still sits in my office.  It’s an astounding volume, and now it has a friend.  A very heavy but...

Great Journeys Jan24

Great Journeys

Lonely Planet In shops now This book actually came out late last year, but the holiday season tends to squelch my desire to go anywhere or have new adventures.  So I’ve just now unwrapped this one and am letting the inspiration run its course. What “Great Journeys” provides...

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Jan12

The Statistical Prob...

by Jennifer E. Smith Poppy Books In shops now I don’t think I’ve read a young adult novel since the Harry Potter series, but this one managed to suck me in.  Jennifer E. Smith works as an editor in New York, and this, her third novel, proves that she knows how to spin a tale and...

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman Jan10

Catherine the Great:...

by Robert K. Massie Random House I must admit, historical biographies are not typically the type of fare I gravitate towards.  Once in a blue moon, however, books come around that not only pique my interest and capture my imagination, but also latch onto the academic in me which is usually...

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 Jan05

The Tiny Book of Tin...

by hitRECord & Joseph Gordon-Levitt itbooks In the world of tiny narratives like webisodes and Twitter feeds, tiny stories are rarely found in a tangible form.  “The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume I” is the first of a three-book series from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his...

The Louvre: All the Paintings Jan02

The Louvre: All the ...

Black Dog & Leventhal In shops now This is the way to start off your year.  I have only been to the Louvre once – on a rainy April afternoon a few years back.  I got lost and found myself among the Dutch folks – thus beginning my love for Pieter Breugel the Elder.  There...