Summer's Best Books
by tanya jensen
Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
If you’re not taking a vacation this summer, a dive into Semple’s comedic melting pot of family dysfunction, hyperactive parenting, and mental unraveling offers a hilarious escape. You’ll find yourself rooting for the runaway parent in a narrative that is dark, funny, and completely human. The Seattle-based saga is told in the first-person through e-mails, letters, and official correspondence that magnetically pull you in to join the madcap cast of characters on their journey to find their matriarch, Bernadette.
I Brake For Yard Sales: and Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions, and the Occasional Dumpster, by Lara Spencer
“It’s all about the three following words: rescue, recycle, reinvent,” says Good Morning America coanchor Lara Spencer on the art of salvaging secondhand furniture. Spencer breaks down her favorite hunting grounds, including flea markets, thrift shops, yard sales, auctions, and even the odd dumpster, sharing her savvy skill set on how to spot a treasure.
The War at the Shore, by Richard D. “Skip” Bronson
In the 1990s, powerhouses Donald Trump and Steve Wynn found themselves in a property war as they fiercely fought over prime real estate in Atlantic City. Bronson’s memoir, The War at the Shore, interweaves the tycoons’ battle with his own personal journey from a Hartford housing project to mega-successful real estate developer embroiled in the center of the square off. Marked by casinos, boardrooms, and double-dealings, Bronson’s account is a vivid portrayal of Atlantic City’s revitalization.
Eat, Drink, and Be Married, by Rebecca Bloom
A Los Angeles Confidential alumna, Bloom’s third novel has all the ingredients of chick lit at its finest: the reunion of four former college roommates, a destination wedding, and motherhood, topped off with booze, baggage, and relationship woes. The women’s interiors are slowly exposed as they deal with love, family, and sex over 72 hours in Lake Tahoe.
The Rock Star in Seat 3A, by Jill Kargman
Novelist Jill Kargman returns to fiction with The Rock Star in Seat 3A, a modern-day Cinderella story with a rock ’n’ roll twist. Kargman’s uncensored style shines as she reveals the story of Hazel, an alternative heroine who has it all— the job, the looks, the doting boyfriend, and the New York City apartment. After sitting next to her rock-star idol en route to LA, Hazel ponders giving in to an affair that would put it all on the line. Kargman offers up the right amount of romance, regret, and realization as the protagonist weighs the cozy security of her present against exhilarating—and risky—future.
photography by william brinson; vertigo bokends, christofle ($772 for set); chridtofle.com
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.