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Nicholas Beyelia


  • Read Me, Los Angeles

    by Orphan, Katie

    July 13, 2020

    Call Number: 810.9 O74

    Read me, L. A.: a book lover’s celebration of Los Angeles by Katie Orphan explores L.A.’s literary heritage and the people, places and events that gave it life. Orphan, a writer and manager of a local bookstore, has written a book that is ostensibly marketed as a literary tour guide of the city, but functions as a paean to Los Angeles’ portfolio of literary assets and the writers who lovingly contributed to it.The book’s central focus is exploring the work of both contemporary and long-departed writers who made Los Angeles a central character within their stories. It alternates... Read Full Review

  • The big goodbye : Chinatown and the last years of Hollywood

    by Wasson, Sam

    April 6, 2020

    Call Number: 791.1 C539Wa

    Sam Wasson, a Los Angeles writer specializing in film and theater, has written a book that examines the making of Roman Polanski’s film, Chinatown.  This book stands as the most comprehensive examination of the film’s production, and will please cinephiles, as well as others.  Wasson focuses on four men, who were pivotal to the development of the film: writer Robert Towne; producer Robert Evans; actor Jack Nicholson; and director Roman Polanski. Wasson contends that these four men shaped the creative and intellectual life of the film, constructing one of the most... Read Full Review

  • Dreamers and schemers : how an improbable bid for the 1932 Olympics transformed Los Angeles from dusty outpost to global metropolis

    by Siegel, Barry, 1949-

    January 21, 2020

    Call Number: 796.321 O53 1932 Si

    This book follows the machinations of Los Angeles real estate mogul William May Garland as he attempts to bring the 1932 Olympic Games to Los Angeles. Barry Siegel, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and UC Irvine Professor, rewards the reader with an enjoyable account of a winsome individual with a dogged determination to bring an international spotlight to a city that was still struggling for recognition.William Garland, like most early Angelenos, was a transplant, in this case from Maine. He arrived in Los Angeles around 1890 and became involved with the real estate business which segued... Read Full Review

  • Fay Wray and Robert Riskin : a Hollywood memoir

    by Riskin, Victoria,

    July 8, 2019

    Call Number: 812.09 R595

    Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir is a meticulous and heartfelt account of the lives of the titular couple that was written by their daughter, Victoria Riskin. The book is a traditional biography, however the author’s relationship to the subjects gives the book resonance and depth that few show business bios can approach.The book is structured so each chapter alternates its focus between Riskin and Wray before it leads up to their meeting and marriage in the 1940s. It then follows Wray’s efforts to support her family following Riskin’s death in 1955. Along the way, we... Read Full Review

  • The real Lolita : the kidnapping of Sally Horner and the novel that scandalized the world

    by Weinman, Sarah,

    December 3, 2018

    Call Number: 364.92 H816We

    Sarah Weinman examines the plight of 11-year old abductee, Florence “Sally” Horner, and how her predicament helped to shape Vladimir Nabokov’s infamous 1955 novel, Lolita. Weinman, a writer and journalist makes astute use of the Nabokov papers, recently made available for research by the Library of Congress, to deliver a well-researched and absorbing book that is equal parts literary analysis, history and true crime story.Weinman’s book shifts back and forth between Sally’s story and the development of Nabokov’s novel. The book... Read Full Review

  • The mirage factory : illusion, imagination, and the invention of Los Angeles

    by Krist, Gary,

    July 15, 2018

    Call Number: 979.41 L881Kri

    The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination and the Invention of Los Angeles examines three historical figures who forged the development of Los Angeles as a metropolitan epicenter between 1900 and 1930. Krist, a journalist for the New York Times and Esquire, argues that three “visionaries” from L.A.’s storied past (city engineer William Mulholland, film director D.W. Griffith and evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson) ultimately ignited the technological, artististic and spiritual zeitgeist that became the foundation of this modern city.The book pursues a chronological... Read Full Review

  • The girl on the velvet swing : sex, murder, and madness at the dawn of the twentieth century

    by Baatz, Simon,

    April 22, 2018

    Call Number: 364.9747 B111

    The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century by Simon Baatz examines the murder of New York’s premier architect of the Gilded Age, Stanford White by Harry Kendall Thaw. Baatz, an Associate Professor of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, examines the events surrounding the murder with a legal historian’s eye, paying particular attention to the trial and its aftermath. Baatz provides a fascinating and provocative analysis of an event that has been largely purged from popular consciousness.Today, the name Evelyn Nesbit has... Read Full Review

  • Miriam Hopkins : life and films of a Hollywood rebel

    by Ellenberger, Allan R., 1956-

    January 29, 2018

    Call Number: 812.092 H795El

    Allan Ellenberger's biography of Miriam Hopkins is a nuanced and in-depth look at one of the most dazzling and provocative personalities from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The book follows Hopkins’ rise to stardom; her participation in some of Hollywood’s most revolutionary films; the fascinating events and people that marked her personal life as well as her inexplicable disappearance from the public eye. Most astonishing, Ellenberger’s book is probably the first biography ever written on Hopkins.Hopkins was a Georgia-born southern belle, raised by a domineering mother, with whom she regularly... Read Full Review

  • Miss D & Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis

    by Sermak, Kathryn,

    November 27, 2017

    Call Number: 812.092 D261Se

    This is a memoir written by Bette Davis’ former assistant, Kathryn Sermak, who spent nearly a decade working for Davis and developed an unlikely friendship with the screen legend. It took Sermak nearly thirty years to write this book and it stands as a tribute to Davis’ bravery and resilience. In 1979 Sermak was a recent college graduate living with her strict parents in San Bernardino. College had given her a taste of independence and she was doing her best to avoid graduate school. She fell into a job that utilized the foreign language skills she had mastered in college, and spent six... Read Full Review

  • March 1917 : on the brink of war and revolution

    by Englund, Will,

    October 30, 2017

    Call Number: 940.373 E58

    March 1917: On the Brink of War and Revolution by Will Englund examines international social and political conflicts leading up to the titular date. Englund, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at the Washington Post, surveys how a cast of historical figures traversed through the upheaval leading up to March 1917, placing emphasis on the United States’ entry into World War I, and on the Russian Revolution.Drawing upon a wealth of primary and secondary resources, Englund reveals how notable personalities including writer H.L. Mencken, Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin,... Read Full Review

  • Judy and I : my life with Judy Garland

    by Luft, Sid,

    September 11, 2017

    Call Number: 812.092 G233Lu

    This autobiography from Judy Garland’s third husband, Michael Sidney “Sid” Luft was published nearly 12 years after his death. The book details Luft’s childhood, early years prior to meeting Garland, and his life with the legend leading up to her death in 1969. Luft never finished writing this book, having stopped around 1960 when he was excluded from his wife’s life by Judy and her new handlers. The remaining portions of the book were cobbled together by Randy L. Schmidt (with the permission of the Sid Luft Living Trust) using interviews, tape recordings and other resources that Luft left... Read Full Review

  • The road to Jonestown : Jim Jones and Peoples Temple

    by Guinn, Jeff,

    August 14, 2017

    Call Number: 289.9P35 G964

    The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn examines the events leading up to the 1978 mass suicide of over 900 Americans living in Guyana. Guinn used FBI reports, interviews and recently declassified government material to reconstruct exactly how a charismatic preacher who originally endorsed egalitarian ideas and civil rights, spiraled into a paranoid despot who led his followers down a path to a tragedy of biblical proportions. Guinn examines a very difficult, grim, aspect of modern history, and the reader is rewarded with a well-researched, up-to-date... Read Full Review