It’s very simple, really. We are a city with an abundance of both writers and readers. Which is the reason for LA Weekly Books.

This month marks the launch of our new publishing enterprise, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press committed to bringing out fiction and nonfiction books that embrace our city’s culture, politics and people. Our fall list features three books: Counter Intelligence: Where To Eat in the Real Los Angeles by Jonathan Gold, Spontaneous by Diana Wagman and The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood by Diana McClellan.

Jonathan Gold is a restaurant critic like no other, using food as a way into the soul of the city. As much sociologist as traditional food writer, Gold chronicles the Vietnamese diaspora that brought broken rice to San Gabriel, the social etiquette of eating Chinese barbecue, the joys of a great hamburger. Now, for the first time, Gold’s favorite dives, ethnic restaurants and holes-in-the-wall are cataloged in a single volume.

Diana Wagman’s second novel, Spontaneous, takes place in an Echo Park bungalow inherited by two sisters after their Auntie Ned spontaneously combusts. Publisher’s Weekly described the book as being “at once in the tradition of ‘sisterhood’ novels and a bawdy, bloody-minded send-up of them all: Her fast-paced, bizarre and entertaining volume reads like a Mary Gaitskill story adapted for the screen by David Lynch.”

Diana McClellan wrote her column “The Ear” for the Washington Star and then the Post for nearly a decade. Now she’s turned her ear for gossip to Hollywood’s golden era and to the private lives of women like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead. Drawing from private correspondence, FBI files and other unpublished documents, McClellan reveals a chain of lesbian affairs long suspected and now fully documented.

We hope you’ll read these books. We think you’ll enjoy them.

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