Back To School Blues?

August is ending, September is beginning, and more importantly: School is starting. Between scrambling to finish summer reading assignments and scanning the internet for cheap textbooks, people may find that books are a touchy subject right now. On the other hand, the only thing more satisfying than buying fresh school supplies is buying a new book (especially when you still have a stack of unread books at home). Whether you’re driving to three schools every morning, driving your kids off to college, or driving yourself insane in school drop-off traffic, we’ve got a book recommendation for you!

Here are 5 books you need for this back to school season:

The Neurotic Parent’s Guide to College Admissions by J.D. Rothman

The only thing worse than sending your kids off to college is trying to get them accepted into one.

Admissions rates of 4.5%? Kids applying to 39 colleges? Sixteen-year-olds with more impressive resumes than Fortune 500 CEOs? Has the nation lost its mind?
Why yes, it has! The college admissions process now sucks approximately 1250% more time, money, and psychic energy than it did when today’s parents were going through the same process. It’s even leading some parents to criminal behavior and FBI investigations. Thank God author J.D. Rothman is here to shine a light on the insanity with laugh-out-loud wit and incisive anthropological observations.

Insta L.A. edited by Dorie Bailey

Going to college in Los Angeles? Whether you’re a So Cal native or a California Dreamer, this book will show you all the best photo spots in L.A. And if you’re really new to the Golden State, pick up a copy of Talk Like a Californian while your’e at it!

Compact, colorful, and loads of fun, Insta L.A. is your handy guide to the 101 best photo locations in and around Los Angeles.
Follow savvy Instagrammers as they showcase snappable spots that range from the iconic (the LACMA lamps, Disney Hall, the Santa Monica Pier), to the popular (Paul Smith’s pink wall, Hollywood Boulevard, the angel wings), to the under-the-radar (the Mosiac Tile House, Burlington Arcade, Ascot Hills Park) and more.
Organized by category and complete with precise locations for each spot, Insta L.A. is a must-have companion for L.A. locals and visitors alike.

Color Pasadena by Ali Zigerelli

The back to school season is stressful. Parent meetings, class schedules, insane traffic, oblivious students… the list goes on. Destress and reconnect with your local roots by coloring your way through Pasadena.

Featuring charming illustrations, quality paper, and perforated pages, this adult coloring book has 39 full-page images of Pasadena. Users can add their own artistic details to everything from the iconic city hall and the famous Rose Parade and Rose Bowl to such beloved local landmarks as Vroman’s Bookstore, the Del Mar jacarandas, Huntington Library, Old Town, the Norton Simon, the Rose Bowl, the many gardens (Huntington, Arlington, Descanso, Storrier Stearns…), and the city’s best food. As appealing to residents as it is to Rose Parade visitors (the perfect activity while camped out for the parade!), Color Pasadena will inspire Pasadena lovers of all ages.

The Urban Forager by Elisa Callow

The kids are away! A few hours of quiet around the house mean it’s the perfect opportunity to dust off your old hobbies, pick up a good book, or get back into the kitchen. Whether you’re a newbie or a foodie, Elisa Callow will guide you on a culinary exploration of L.A. Or, if you prefer baking, check out Little Flower Baking. Either way, your family (and your sanity) will thank you for the good food!

The Urban Forager showcases one of California’s richest and most rapidly expanding culinary cultures: the eastside of Los Angeles. Food makers representing the eastside’s diverse traditions share beloved personal recipes, ingredients, innovations, and neighborhood resources. A hands-on, stunningly photographed collection of inspiring recipes, profiles, and references for novice and adventurous home cooks and the culinarily curious, it includes conversations with Sumi Chang (Europane) and Minh Phan (Porridge and Puffs), as well as such acclaimed home cooks as Mario Rodriguez, Rumi Mahmood, and Jack Aghoian. Part cookbook, part guide to foraging the best LA has to offer, The Urban Forager is a compelling bridge to the unfamiliar, inspiring readers to enrich their culinary repertoire with delicious new discoveries.

Hometown Pasadena by Colleen Dunn Bates

Don’t get stuck driving down the same streets you see everyday (especially if you’re caught in school traffic)! Instead, take a detour to discover and rediscover the history, people, and places that make Pasadena the gem that it is.

Hometown Pasadena is a new kind of city book, written by longtime locals who dig deep to reflect the place they find so special. From Altadena to South Pasadena and Old Pasadena and La Cañada, this witty, richly colorful book unlocks the insider secrets of the San Gabriel Valley.