12 iconic L.A. spots to bask in a great read — and book pairings to match
Like anything that can survive a lifetime in the spotlight, Los Angeles has many angles, from its glamorous boulevards (Hollywood, Rodeo) to its rugged canyons (Runyon, Fryman).
Most of its best-known spots are places to see and be seen, but don’t let that reputation fool you — L.A. is a city of stories, and many of its landmarks are just as suited to sinking into a good book as they are to serving as the backdrop for the perfect selfie.
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With everything from dark bars to picturesque vistas as well as historic buildings and parks, the city has a locale for every literary mood, and we have the book suggestions to match each one.
A guide to the literary geography of Los Angeles: A comprehensive bookstore map, writers’ meetups, place histories, an author survey, essays and more.
Absorb the space-forward "We Light Up the Sky" at Griffith Observatory
The characters in Lilliam Rivera’s latest don’t have to wonder: They find themselves tasked with saving the world when an extraterrestrial arrives and takes the form of one of their friends. “We Light Up The Sky” may be speculative and space-forward, but it’s also grounded in our current reality, offering a meditation on the all-too-human experiences of racism and discrimination.
Order a Reuben while savoring "Spinning Silver" at Canter's
Dive into "This One Summer" on the Malibu coast
Sit outside at the Getty Center as the mysteries of "Mouth to Mouth" pull you in
Snack at Grand Central Market while savoring "The Way You Make Me Feel"
Settle in at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and read "Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession"
Watch the surfers at El Porto while peeking up from "Barbarian Days"
Let "Hex" and the Huntington Library put a spell on you
Channel your disdain for influencers at Lake Balboa Park with "Future Feeling"
Browse Olvera Street before digging into "Children of the Land"
Cheers to yourself at Musso & Frank with "U Up?"
Bookend an excellent afternoon in Leimart Park with "The Black Kids"
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