Summer in Los Angeles: Summer reading list 2013

Hit the books during your summer in Los Angeles with our summer reading list of quintessential beach reads, new releases, classics and cookbooks.

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Summertime doesn't always mean pool parties, summer cocktails and summer concerts. Kick off your summer staycation with a lazy day at LA's best beaches or best rooftop bars. And to pack? Summer tomes to fill the sun-soaked days. Time Out staff round up their favorite reads from new fiction and coffee table reads to beach-read classics and guilty pleasures.

RECOMMENDED: See more Summer in Los Angeles

  • Photo courtesy Little, Brown and Company

    Summer reading list: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
    Available at Book Soup, $27.

    "I'm a Sedaris fan (re: a fan of the snarky, the satirical, the darkly funny and the true), so there's absolutely no doubt that his most recent collection would not be at the top of my summer reading list. It only takes about two days to giggle and gasp through a book of his. Plus, there's a story about the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy. Need I say more?"—Amanda Montell, editorial intern

     Buy Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls on Amazon
     Download Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Penguin Books

    Summer reading list: The Beach by Alex Garland
    Available at The Last Bookstore, $5 for used harcover.

    "This book is a great read for… you guessed it, the beach. It'll cure you of your wanderlust with white sand, blue waters, mystery, sex and a little bit of horror—and it's way better than the movie (sorry Leo)."—Kate Wertheimer, associate editor

     Buy The Beach on Amazon
     Download The Beach for your Kindle device

  • Summer reading: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    Available at Book Soup, $13.99-$16.95.

    "Not only a classic for Angelenos to read, but it's also appropriate to read because it actually feels that hot outside. Re-reading the book reminds me of when summer vacation was actually a thing, and the countless mandatory Thrifty's ice cream study breaks taken in between chapters."—Meghan Maloney, editorial intern

     Buy Fahrenheit 451 on Amazon

  • Photo courtesy Abrams Books

    Summer reading list: Paris Street Style by Isabelle Thomas and Frédérique Veysset
    Available at Skylight Books, $24.95.

    "Think of this tome as your bible for effortless-chic Parisian style and how to pull it off everyday (even in LA). This is a fun flip-through for serious fashion inspiration with photos of fashion icons and women on the streets of Paris, plus helpful tips on wardrobe essentials from fashion pros. You'll be ready for your summer trip to pa-reey!"—Ramona Saviss, managing editor

     Buy Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic on Amazon

  • Photo courtesy Random House

    Summer reading list: Grace by Grace Coddington
    Available at Chevalier's Books, $35.

    "In the summer, I get hooked on reading memoirs of artists and creative people—in this case, Grace Coddington, creative director of Vogue. This memoir is especially wonderful because Coddington has such a strong voice and personality, and I just love her illustrations."—Sara Fay, editor

     Buy Grace: A Memoir on Amazon
     Download Grace: A Memoir for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Knopf

    Summer reading list: Saving the Season by Kevin West
    Available at Chevalier's Books, $35.

    "In the summer, I want to do nothing but make preserves. Plums, peaches, berries...'tis the season for canning the season's glorious fruits. Who better to have in your kitchen for this DIY project than Kevin West, an ex-W editor who's also the canning whiz behind Saving the Season?"—Katherine Kims, associate editor

     Buy Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving on Amazon
     Download Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Elliot + Elliot Architecture

    Summer reading: Houses of Maine by Elliott + Elliott Architecture
    Available at Hennessey + Ingalls, $39.95.

    "The perfect summer isn't complete without a trip to Maine. Fantasize about cold Atlantic dips, lobster bakes and wild blueberry pies (with a side of serious real estate envy)."—Katherine Kims, associate editor

     Buy Houses of Maine on Amazon

  • Photo courtesy Macmillan

    Summer reading list: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
    Available at Diesel bookstore, $17.

    "As any two people who have ever dressed in matching pajamas will attest, it was surprisingly effective."—Jakob N. Layman, photo editor

     Buy The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay on Amazon
     Download The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay for your Kindle device

  • Summer reading list: Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson
    Available at Diesel bookstore, $27.95.

    "We want Phil! We want Phil! Any Angeleno knows how badly we want Phil. From the Bulls to the Lakers, comparing Jordan versus Kobe and managing all-star egos—if there's one NBA coach who's seen it all, it is Phil Jackson. The zen master's memoir of his 11—count 'em, 11!—championship seasons is a required pre-season read for Lakers fans and must-read for any sports enthusiasts."—Ramona Saviss, managing editor

     Buy Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success on Amazon
     Download Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success for your Kindle device

  • Summer reading list: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
    Available at Book Soup, $14.

    "What better way to loll away summer than lounging lackadaisically by the pool, spritzer in hand, reading about the drug-induced downfall of young '60s starlets?"—Kate Wertheimer, associate editor

     Buy Valley of the Dolls on Amazon
     Download Valley of the Dolls for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Taschen

    Summer reading list: Pucci by Taschen
    Available at Taschen, $69.99.

    "Nothing says summer yacht on the Riviera like Pucci's iconic prints. Browse through the hundreds of photos and sketches from the legendary fashion house's archive or decorate your coffee table with a pop of color."—Katherine Kims, associate editor

     Buy Pucci on Amazon

  • Photo courtesy Penguin Books

    Summer reading list: Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young
    Available at Skylight Books, $30.

    "Either Neil Young (one of my all-time favorite musicians) has an incredible, hands-off editor or this memoir is actually unedited. His book comes across as raw stream of consciousness and untouched in a great way. From talk of trains and cars to the Sunset Strip and his ranch, this is a real, immersive trip into Neil Young's brain."—Sara Fay, editor

     Buy Waging Heavy Peace on Amazon

  • Summer reading: Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
    Available at Book Soup, $13.99.

    "Though light on plot, Salinger's novel feels like one long conversation in excellent prose that leaves you feeling like you've made two new friends."—Gillian Glover, Time Out contributor

     Buy Franny and Zooey on Amazon

  • Summer reading list: The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey
    Available at Book Soup, $19.

    "Jack Handey, the man behind SNL's 'Deep Thoughts,' pens a very long, deep thought and, since I already know what Handey's voice sounds like from the sketches, I can imagine his serene reading along in my head. It's like a mental book on tape."—Jason Kessler, Time Out contributor

     Buy The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure on Amazon
     Download The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Alleged Press

    Summer reading: Fragments of Los Angeles 1969-1989 by Gusmano Cesaretti
    Available at the MOCA store, $50.

    Italian photographer Gusmano Cesaretti captures East LA in a raw but beautiful look at the city and its characters from 1969 to 1989.

     Buy Gusmano Cesaretti: Fragments of Los Angeles 1969-1989 on Amazon

  • Summer reading list: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
    Available at Vroman's Bookstore, $15.

    "I recently re-read the Lottery, which reminded me that I never read all of Shirley Jackson's stories, so, of course, I'm now falling into this awesome rabbit hole of all her work."—Tien Nguyen, Time Out contributor

     Buy The Lottery on Amazon
     Download The Lottery for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Crown Books

    Summer reading list: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    Available at Skylight Books, $25.

    "As a Law & Order obsessed fan that, admittedly, can guess whodunit after the opening scene, this book is a murder mystery that I couldn't put down. The plot thickens with every page and, midway through, you're dying (no pun intended) to find out what happened to the 'gone girl.'"—Ramona Saviss, managing editor

     Buy Gone Girl: A Novel on Amazon

  • Summer reading list: Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger
    Available at Book Soup, $25.99.

    "The sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, a sassy, bouncy, quick-witted piece of chick lit that I won't be embarrassed to be seen reading in public—the perfect summer read."—Amanda Montell, editorial intern

     Buy Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns on Amazon
     Download Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns for your Kindle device

  • Summer reading list: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Available at Skylight Books, $15.

    "Middlesex spans three generations from Greece to Detroit and is narrated by protagonist Cal Stephanides, a hermaphrodite. This is my favorite book of all time, and it still blows my mind how accurately and intimately author Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides) describes a girl’s preteen years in the novel. How does he know?! Although the novel is some kind of masterpiece, it’s addicting and readable enough to be read on the beach (it's part of Oprah's Book Club, so if soccer moms can eat it up, so can you). My personal recommendation: Read the book while listening to Radiohead’s In Rainbows album. You'll thank me later."—Danielle Nedivi, editorial intern

     Buy Middlesex on Amazon

  • Summer reading list: In the Body of the World of Eve Ensler
    Available at Book Soup, $25.

    The Vagina Monologues playwright pens her first memoir which is insightful, touching and best enjoyed with your best girlfriends.

     Buy In the Body of the World: A Memoir on Amazon
     Download In the Body of the World: A Memoir for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Stewart, Tabori & Chang

    Summer reading list: Home Made Summer by Yvette van Boven
    Available at Hennessey + Ingalls, $35.

    Yvette van Boven's follow up to Home Made and Home Made Winter, this summer edition takes you through everything you'd want to enjoy on a summer day: elderflower Collins, buttery corn risotto, spicy ratatouille, strawberry shortcake...

     Buy Home Made Summer on Amazon
     Download Home Made Summer for your Kindle device

  • Summer reading list: Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl
    Available at Vroman's Bookstore, $8.99.

    "The beloved children's book writer turns the mischief up a notch in his stories for adults, most of which will leave you awed (if not a little uncomfortable) and wanting more—luckily, the guy was pretty prolific."—Kate Wertheimer, associate editor

     Buy Skin and Other Stories on Amazon
     Download Skin and Other Stories for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy William Morrow

    Summer reading list: How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto by Eric Asimov
    Available at Diesel bookstore, $24.99

    "Having held a love-hate relationship with Asimov over the years, partly because he's a mystery man—and who wants wine advice from a mystery man?—his book sheds some light on his personal journey into wine. I have immense respect for Asimov for being the voice of wine for the New York Times."—Jonathan Cristaldi, Time Out contributor

     Buy How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto on Amazon
     Download How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Ten Speed Press

    Summer reading: Modern Art Desserts by Caitlin Freeman
    Available at Diesel bookstore, $25.

    "I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of this genius combination two of life's greatest joys (and my two personal loves): modern art and dessert. (Cindy) Sherman ice cream float? 'nuff said."—Katherine Kims, associate editor

     Buy Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art on Amazon
     Download Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art for your Kindle device

  • Summer reading list: Taipei by Tao Lin
    Available at Vroman's Bookstore, $14.95.

    "People love to hate on Tao Lin, the author of Shoplifting from American Apparel—he’s an expert self-publicist, attached to hipstery online publications such as Vice and Thought Catalog. But his writing comes pretty close to defining today’s cynical internet culture, and this third drug-fueled and semi-autobiographical novel is widely considered his best yet. Who doesn’t love a good controversy?"—Danielle Nedivi, editorial intern

     Buy Taipei on Amazon
     Download Taipei for your Kindle device

  • Photo courtesy Phaidon

    Summer reading list: Sicily by Phaidon
    Available at Hennessey + Ingalls, $39.95.

    "I admit, I have a cookbook addiction. And while I collect hardbacks on pastas, meats, grilling and baking, I don't actually use them much less bring them in the kitchen. I love to flip through pages to discover new flavor combinations, share authors' notes and drool over glossy photos. This summer, I'm dreaming of Sicily and this Phaidon title takes you through the sights and flavors of the Mediterranean islands."—Katherine Kims, associate editor

     Buy Sicily on Amazon

  • Photo courtesy Ten Speed Press

    Summer reading list: The Perfect Peach by Marcy, Nikiko and David Mas Masumoto
    Available at Chevalier's Books, $22.

    What's better than biting into the perfect peach at the height of summer? Get schooled on this stone fruit from Fresno's Masumoto Family Farm who share how to prepare sangria, pickles, cobblers and more.

     Buy The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm on Amazon
     Download The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm for your Kindle device

  • Summer reading list: Fantasy Life by Matthew Berry
    Available at Vroman's Bookstore, $27.95.

    "Summer almost has it all. The one thing missing, of course, is football. And for 35 million folks across the country, fantasy football. Fight those withdrawal symptoms and get a head start on your fantasy football draft preparation with this recently released page-turner from Matthew Berry, the guy on ESPN who tells you when to start Peyton Manning and when to bench Tom Brady. It's not necessarily a primer that will guarantee you this year's first place trophy, but it will definitely get you in the mood to escape your real summer and start thinking about the fake team that will consume your fall."—Michael Chen, managing online producer

     Buy Fantasy Life on Amazon
     Download Fantasy Life for your Kindle device

Photo courtesy Little, Brown and Company

Summer reading list: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
Available at Book Soup, $27.

"I'm a Sedaris fan (re: a fan of the snarky, the satirical, the darkly funny and the true), so there's absolutely no doubt that his most recent collection would not be at the top of my summer reading list. It only takes about two days to giggle and gasp through a book of his. Plus, there's a story about the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy. Need I say more?"—Amanda Montell, editorial intern

 Buy Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls on Amazon
 Download Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls for your Kindle device

Follow Katherine Kims on Twitter: @katherinekims


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