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Hector Tobar on L.A. Literature

In search of the "Los Angeles novel": New York City is teeming with writers -- journalist, novelists, poets, essayists -- all hoping to catch their big break. So it's no surprise that many of our greatest American novels are set in Gotham. Yet there's something refreshing about a fantastic Los Angeles novel as well. The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tobar, which will be featured as a B&N Discover Great New Writers pick this holiday season, is the newest addition to that list. In honor of the publication of his captivating new L.A. novel, we asked Hector to provide his own list of favorite L.A. works. 

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July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.