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G.a.

How to Be Jane Austen

To transpose for a moment people’s personas onto those of long-dead British authors, some of us are Brontës (as in Charlotte, Emily and Anne) — all stormy, dark and moody, like psychotic divas on a bender. Others are light, well-mannered, impeccable and wry, just a bit flirty, perpetually trying to......
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the Host and His Protégée

Tyson Cornell is the events organizer and publicity guy for Book Soup, and in that capacity one evening before an author reading, he found himself in the shop’s tiny upstairs office area drinking Chivas Regal with Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro. Thompson, having also......
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the Optimistsjohn Evans and Alison Reid, Malibu Diesel

Every 10 days, John Evans and life partner Alison Reid travel back and forth between Oakland and Malibu and the two Diesel bookstores they own. It’s unusual, the two cities, two work and living spaces, joined like long-distance Siamese twins, all the more so because Evans and Reid aren’t some......
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the Professor

“My father was the original hand seller,” Doug Dutton likes to say. “The art of hand selling is being able to sell someone on a book you particularly like by explaining why you like it. We do it with each other all the time.” Knowing exactly what young Doug would......
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the Familydavid Kramer, Sammy Harkham and Tahli Harkham

At Family bookstore on Fairfax, co-owner David Kramer shows me a poster for a music magazine he writes for. There’s a picture of a svelte Japanese girl — long black hair, almond eyes, creamy white skin — naked and doused in blood.“Yeah,” says Kramer, “she’s in a band. She works......
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the Kids in the Hall

On a recent night at Skylight Books in Los Feliz, attendees were treated to a reading by best-selling author Jonathan Lethem from his new novel You Don’t Love Me Yet, one song played by Skylight clerk Arlo Klahr’s band, and a boy in a kangaroo mask. Klahr, one of a......
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the Translator

When you are shopping for books for an entire city of people, it is less like browsing for your next batch of great summer reads and more like acquiring volatile tech stocks on the NASDAQ. “How do you know what books people are going to buy?” is the defining question......