Category Archives: Books and Authors

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide: A Brief History of the Tom and Jerry

A recipe for the Tom and Jerry from the San Francisco Call, June 30, 1912. Note: This is an encore post from 2013. Over on Facebook, Christopher McPherson asked whether the Tom and Jerry was named for the MGM cartoon … Continue reading

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Dec. 25, 1947: The Times Christmas Poem

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. The Times’ front-page Christmas and Easter poems are as forgotten today as their author, James M. Warnack. I’ll leave it to my theological betters to parse … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is an encore post from 2020. Many years ago, the editor of the Los Angeles Times book review section (yes, the really, really odd one) insisted that publishers send him advance review copies and unbound galleys rather than … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Raymond Chandler, Retro | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is an encore post from 2011. I picked up “The Big Picture,” Melba Levick and Stanley Young’s 1988 book about Los Angeles murals, not realizing what a terribly sad book it would be. As Young notes: “Most artists … Continue reading

Posted in 1988, Architecture, Art & Artists, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Downtown, From the Stacks, Hollywood, Latinos, Photography, Preservation, San Fernando Valley, Sports, Zoot Suit | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Al Martinez, a Dying Boy and Some Peaches — A (Non) Christmas Story

Note: This is an encore post from 2015. Jim Romenesko, for those who aren’t in the news business, runs an essential blog that serves as a clearing house for information, gossip, bad headlines and assorted gaffes. A Jan. 6 post … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is an encore post from 2018. I only recommend books that I have read, which is why I haven’t listed Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book” or Stephen Gee’s “Los Angeles City Hall: An American Icon.” I look forward … Continue reading

Posted in 2016, African Americans, Books and Authors, History | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

“Angel’s Flight” by Leo Politi. Note: This is an encore post from 2014. Another of my favorite books about Los Angeles is Leo Politi’s “Bunker Hill Los Angeles: Reminiscences of Bygone Days,” published in 1964. Copies are listed on Bookfinder … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is a repost from 2013. True style never goes out of date, after all. We are being bombarded by stories about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with videos of long lines at stores and the attendant consumer frenzy. … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is an encore post from 2014. “The Los Angeles Book,” with text by Lee Shippey and photos by Max Yavno is one of my favorite books on Los Angeles – but only for Yavno’s photographs. The text is … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is an encore post from 2014. In February, I ran a series of posts by James Curtis about producer David Lewis. This isn’t a new book but I found it remarkably insightful. “The Creative Producer” can be found … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is an encore post from 2017. Paul Bryan Gray was recently mentioned in the Los Angeles Times as the author of “A Clamor for Equality,” the biography of Francisco Ramirez, who published Los Angeles’ first entirely Spanish-language newspaper, … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Gladwin Hill’s “Dancing Bear: An Inside Look at California Politics,” published in 1968, is a new addition to my annual holiday gift suggestions. I’m generally cool toward books on California politics (the result of reading a zillion stories out of … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is an encore post from 2017. Virtually everyone who writes about Raymond Chandler cites this book by Philip Durham, but very few people seem to have read it. Writing in 1963, four years after Chandler’s death, Durham produced … Continue reading

Posted in 1963, Books and Authors | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is a repost from 2013. You might have to hunt a bit for Don Normark’s 1999 book “Chavez Ravine, 1949,” but your search will be rewarded. The photos are terrific and the residents’ recollections make the book even … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is a repost from 2013. Glen Creason’s book on maps of Los Angeles shows the many ways people have viewed the city over the years. I interviewed him for The Times in 2012 and fortunately for all concerned, … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

Note: This is a repost from 2013. Whenever I’m asked about my favorite books on Los Angeles, my first recommendation is “Nuestro Pueblo,” a selection of features by Times artist Charles Owens and writer Joseph Seewerker that appeared in The … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

I generally dislike “true” crime books, but Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five is an exception. Rubenhold explores the lives of five victims of Jack the Ripper, chronicling their lives up to the moments before they are killed. Rubenhold was criticized by … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Cold Cases | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

I generally don’t recommend books I haven’t read, but the Brain Trust has weighed in on two new books that you might consider: The Boys, by Ron Howard and Clint Howard, comes highly recommended, as does Hayley Mills’ Forever Young: … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

I’m happy to recommend Bunker Hill Los Angeles: Essence of Sunshine and Noir, by my Crime Buddy Nathan Marsak, published in 2020 by Angel City Press. The book is full of historic photos and vintage ephemera, and the text is … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

This is an unusual suggestion (especially a “retro” suggestion) for the holidays: Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker’s Life by James Curtis won’t be available until February. But you can pre-order it, which is what I’ve done. Yes, there is another Keaton … Continue reading

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