Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design (by Michael S. Smith, May 1, 2013; Rizzoli New York; $55)
Design enthusiasts should save the date for the release of Michael S. Smith’s latest book—a visually gorgeous exploration of an uninspired 1993 Malibu home that Smith transformed into a stunning architectural specimen. The book chronicles his collaboration with architect Oscar Shamamian, as well as the landscape designer, contractor, and all the skilled workers he interacted with to realize his vision. The photos serve as both renovation inspiration and detailed information on what goes into transforming a home. The book will release in May but Christie’s Auction House New York will be selling over 500 lots of art, furniture, and antiques seen in Building Beauty April 23-24. The auction will be available online at

Finding My Voice: My Journey through Grief to Grace: Living with the Loss of Don LaFontaine (by Nita Whitaker LaFontaine, April 1, 2013, Nitwit Inc.; $17)
Although you might not recognize his name, you’d know his voice in a second—Don LaFontaine was known as “The Voiceover King,” having voiced thousands of TV ads, promotions, and film trailers. In the five years since LaFontaine’s passing, his widow Nita Whitaker LaFontaine has penned a memoir that explores her life with Don and details her grieving process. The book provides a rare opportunity to see a behind-the-scenes LA legend from behind the scenes.

Rock & Vine (by Chelsea Prince, February 2013, Chelsea Print & Publishing; $29)
Back in the ‘70s, a group of wine pioneers put the Napa and Sonoma Valleys on the map. Now, a new set of trailblazers seeks to bring winemaking into the 21st century. Independent publisher Chelsea Prince explores this group in her new book Rock & Vine, a coffee-table hardcover that profiles 11 innovative industry leaders. Between Jordan Kivelstadt’s wine on tap, Ben Flajnik’s biodynamic wine, and Joe Wagner’s best-selling pinot noir, there’s plenty to pique the interest of even the most amateur oenophiles. As a bonus, the book supports a good cause—a portion of the profits will benefit Wine To Water, a non-profit organization that provides clean water to those in need worldwide.

3 California-Centric Books

| March 27, 2013 | Homepage Latest The Latest

From California’s lush landscape, to the area’s varied architecture, to its immersion in the film industry, there’s no shortage of inspiration for writers in our great state. Below, we examine three books out now or coming soon that highlight different aspects of the place we’re proud to call home.