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Reading by the Moonlight: Literary picks for the New Year

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There was some cloud cover this weekend, but if you looked up Saturday night you might have caught sight of the first full moon of 2016.

Which means,  it's time for reading by moonlight, our monthly literary segment with David Kipen of the Libros Schmibros Lending Library here to share his top picks for what to read. 

David's Picks

First up is a book with a very dramatic title...  "Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles" by John Mack Faragher. The book is about Los Angeles in the 19th century, just as it's beginning to form as a city. Unfortunately, the city it begins to form as is a bloody dystopia that has a new murder case everyday.

Next another work of non-fiction which isn't about L.A. but written by a local author, Erin Aubry Kaplan, who many might know as a contributing editor to the L.A. Times' op-ed section. "I heart Obama" is a look at President Obama's time in the Oval office and how he's cemented his status as folk hero.

Rounding out the list, a book that might be just in time for this election year: "Breakthrough: The Making of America's First Woman President" by Nancy L. Cohen. Cohen draws from many different interviews and conversations about women's leadership, equal pay and being on the cusp of the country's first potential woman president.


Now to some accolades for a few California writers. The National Book Critics Circle or NBCC has just nominated a few folks for awards. 

 "The Sell Out," by Paul Beatty which we have discussed before. The book is a satire of race relations in Los Angeles. It takes place on a farm in Compton.

Also getting a nod from the NBCC, former Los Angeles times reporter Sam Quinones. His book "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic" is about the rise of heroin in the United States.

For the aspiring writer

The  University of California at Riverside is hosting it's annual writers program this week. It takes place February 2-4.

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will be there on Feb. 2 and will speak at 7 p.m.

To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.