Summer is finally here, and with it comes the much-anticipated launch of Paperback L.A. Book 1, A Casual Anthology! In true L.A. spirit, the launch took place at the legendary Last Bookstore a few weeks ago, and was packed with contributors, friends, fans, and even some unsuspecting tourists who happened to be at the right place at the right time. Lucky them!

Spotted: Paperback L.A. Book 1, upstairs at the fabulous Last Bookstore in DTLA.

The event celebrated a talented panel of contributors, featuring YA/graphic novelist Cecil Castellucci, writer-curator Victoria Dailey, author-photographer Robert Landau, organizer-photographer Justin Andrew Marks, novelist/ journalist Héctor Tobar, author/academic Victor Valle.

The panelists broke off from the usual signings to answer a series of in-depth questions about reading, writing, and living in Los Angeles—headed by PBLA editor extraordinaire Susan LaTempa on the mic, and our very own publisher Colleen Dunn Bates.

From left to right on the couch, it’s Héctor, Justin, Victor, Victoria, Cecil, Robert, and Susan on the microphone.

In addition to a wonderful launch event, Paperback L.A. has received some excellent press in the last few weeks. Los Angeles locals are raving about the book’s interpretation of their hometown. One reviewer celebrated the book’s “amazing range of experience in that vast, diverse megalopolis,” while another reader was impressed by the chance “to see the city I’ve lived in all my life through the view of a wide spectrum of writers!”

Curious about what the book has in store? Check out this excerpt on LitHub from contributor Victoria Dailey. If you are intrigued by this dark literary past of Los Angeles, make sure to see how things have changed in the city’s modern publishing world in Susan LaTempa’s essay for the L.A. Review of Books.

Finally, if you’re still unsure of how to get into your summer reading, PBLA editor Susan LaTempa has a witty breakdown of where and what to read! (Hint: having these storytellers take you through the boozy past of book dealers, Hollywood’s golden age, the punk culture takeover isn’t a bad place to start!)


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