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The best pockets of Los Angeles feel like small towns, and the quaint Larchmont Village is one of those areas. The neighborhood's charm is anchored by Chevalier Books, a cozy independent bookstore that has been open since 1940. Avid readers return for the well-curated shelves, the helpful staff's handwritten recommendations (ranging from Haruki Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes to the illustrated book Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen) and quiet reading nooks with plush armchairs accompanied by the occasional free cookie. Best of all, Chevalier's isn't simply a bookstore — it's a hub for the community, with a weekly Saturday morning story time for children, bookish brunches hosted by the Los Angeles Review of Books, and lively readings that include best-selling authors, up-and-coming novelists and events with local literary heroes such as MacArthur fellow Josh Kun and L.A. Weekly alum/award-winning crime reporter Christine Pelisek. We're lucky that the indie bookstore is in the center of L.A.; as one of Chevalier's Books co-owners has said, "Who wants to live somewhere that doesn't have a bookstore close at hand?"

LA Weekly