Discussion: “Tough Case” by Judge Ahnn & Judge Wesiberg

In Tough Cases, judges from different kinds of courts in different parts of the country write about the cases that proved most difficult for them to decide. Some of these cases received international attention: the Elián González case in which Judge Jennifer Bailey had to decide whether to return a seven-year-old boy to his father in Cuba after his mother drowned trying to bring the child to the United States, or the Terri Schiavo case in which Judge George Greer had to decide whether to withdraw life support from a woman in a vegetative state over the objections of her parents, or the Scooter Libby case about appropriate consequences for revealing the name of a CIA agent.

Others are less well-known but equally fascinating: a judge on a Native American court trying to balance U.S. law with tribal law, a young Korean American former defense attorney struggling to adapt to her new responsibilities on the other side of the bench, and the difficult decisions faced by a judge tasked with assessing the mental health of a woman accused of killing her own children.

Relatively few judges have publicly shared the thought processes behind their decision making. Tough Cases makes for fascinating reading for everyone from armchair attorneys and fans of Law and Order to those actively involved in the legal profession who want insight into the people judging their work.

Genre: Nonfiction

Discussion and Book Signing: Julian David Stone, “No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer”

The Last Bookstore is pleased to present author and photographer Julian David Stone and his new book, No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer. Julian will discuss all the wild adventures he had back in the 1980s, where as an obsessed youth he began sneaking his photo equipment into concerts, eventually building up an archive of over 10,000 photos. If they were big in the 1980s, chances are Julian shot them, and each of the 250 never-before-seen photos in this stunning oversized coffee table book has a great story behind it.
Genre: Nonfiction

Jo Ann Allen Boyce & Debbie Levy discuss and sign “This Promise of Change”

In 1956, a year before the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, 12 black students in Clinton, Tennessee, integrated a public high school. Based on Boyce’s experience as one of those students, this is the first children’s book about a forgotten moment in history featuring archival materials and notes from the authors.
Genre: Nonfiction

CANCELED | Discussion and Book Signing: “Team Human” with Douglas Rushkoff

Note: this event has been canceled.

Team Human is a manifesto—a fiery distillation of preeminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together—not as individuals. Yet today society is threatened by a vast antihuman infrastructure that undermines our ability to connect. Money, once a means of exchange, is now a means of exploitation; education, conceived as way to elevate the working class, has become another assembly line; and the internet has only further divided us into increasingly atomized and radicalized groups.

Team Human delivers a call to arms. If we are to resist and survive these destructive forces, we must recognize that being human is a team sport. In Rushkoff’s own words: “Being social may be the whole point.” Harnessing wide-ranging research on human evolution, biology, and psychology, Rushkoff shows that when we work together we realize greater happiness, productivity, and peace. If we can find the others who understand this fundamental truth and reassert our humanity—together—we can make the world a better place to be human.

Genre: Nonfiction

Robert Inman discusses his new book “An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles”

The map may not be the territory, and the word may not be the thing, but An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles is as close as it gets. Originally authored over fifty years ago by renowned architectural historians Robert Winter—described by Los Angeles Magazine as both the “spiritual godfather” and “father” of L.A. architecture—and the late, great David Gebhard, this seminal vade mecum of Los Angeles architecture explores every rich potency of the often relentless, but sometimes—as captured here—relenting L.A. cityscape.

From its first publication by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1965, this veritable “Bible” of built L.A. has been revised and edited extensively for a sixth edition by award-winning L.A. urban walker and Winter’s trusted collaborator Robert Inman. Nathan Masters, historian and Emmy award-winning host, producer, and managing editor of KCET’s Lost L.A., writes the foreword.

More than an effort of exploration, the guide is an outfit of discovery. The much-anticipated revision, long since a classic standard of the Los Angeles architecture, has been updated rigorously with more than 200 new entries cataloging every crease, region, and style of Los Angeles County’s metropolitan sheath, from the missions of Spanish California to present day.

An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles has always been a live-wire read, equal parts thorough and informational, written with a rich, droll tone of vim and vigor tempered by relentlessly honest opinions. Dilettantes and experts, practitioners and students, aficionados and osmotic natives alike: all are blood type-compatible with this
tongue-in-cheek critical reference for architecture enthusiasts. Enjoy your transfusion.

Genre: Nonfiction

Discussion and Book Signing: “Hanadai” by Evelyn DeWolfe

In the early 1960s, freelance reporter Evelyn De Wolfe and her photojournalist husband Leonard Nadel were assigned a newspaper series on a geisha of Kyoto’s cloistered Pontocho district. “More recently, my restless fingers reached for the keyboard, poised to rewrite the life story of Mamechiyo. It had been decades since my younger self frantically gathered enough facts to satisfy the expectations of an editor who knew even less than I did about Japan. Why this urge to relive it from my present perspective?” Over their three-week conversation, preconceived notions on both sides fell away.
Genre: Nonfiction

Live Talks L.A. Discussion: Marc Freedman in conversation with Michael Eisner

The secret to happiness, longevity, and living on is through mentoring the next generation. Marc Freedman is CEO and president of Encore.org, an organization he founded in 1998. Freedman is a member of the Wall Street Journal‘s “Experts” group, a frequent commentator in the national media, and the author of four previous books. Originator of the encore career idea linking second acts to the greater good, Freedman cofounded Experience Corps to mobilize people over fifty to improve the school performance and prospects of low-income elementary school students in twenty-two US cities. He also spearheaded the creation of the Encore Fellowships program, a one-year fellowship helping individuals translate their midlife skills into second acts focused on social impact, and the Purpose Prize, an annual $100,000 prize for social entrepreneurs in the second half of life. (AARP now runs both Experience Corps and the Purpose Prize.)

Venue: Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Genre: Nonfiction

Ian S. Port discusses and signs “The Birth of Loud”

In the years after World War II, music was evolving from big-band jazz into the primordial elements of rock ‘n’ roll–and these louder styles demanded revolutionary instruments. When Leo Fender’s tiny firm marketed the first solid-body electric guitar, the Esquire, musicians immediately saw its appeal. Not to be out-maneuvered, Gibson, the largest guitar manufacturer, raced to build a competitive product. The company designed an “axe” that would make Fender’s Esquire look cheap and convinced Les Paul–whose endorsement Leo Fender had sought–to put his name on it. Thus was born the guitar world’s most heated rivalry: Gibson versus Fender, Les versus Leo. While Fender was a quiet, half-blind, self-taught radio repairman from rural Orange County, Paul was a brilliant but egomaniacal pop star and guitarist who spent years toying with new musical technologies. Their contest turned into an arms race as the most inventive musicians of the 1950s and 1960s–including bluesman Muddy Waters, rocker Buddy Holly, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton–adopted one maker’s guitar or another. By the time Jimi Hendrix played “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969 on his Fender Stratocaster, it was clear that electric instruments–Fender or Gibson–had launched music into a radical new age, empowering artists with a vibrancy and volume never before attainable.
Genre: Nonfiction