Bruckman Rare Book Friends Talk: Kim Cooper and Richard Schave on "The Kept Girl"

Bruckman Rare Book Friends present Kim Cooper discussing and signing copies of her latest book, The Kept Girl, a 1920s mystery starring the young Raymond Chandler, his devoted secretary and the real-life Philip Marlowe all on the trail of a murderous cult of angel worshippers.

Accompanying Kim is her husband Richard Schave, her partner in Esotouric bus adventures and LAVA - the Los Angeles Visionaries Association, and the designer of this 1940s-inspired paperback, the debut publication of their L.A.-focused press, Esotouric Ink.

Kim's illustrated talk will draw on her years of research into the lost lore of Los Angeles, with a focus on the bizarre Great Eleven cult, which began just above the library on Bunker Hill and ensnared dozens of credulous Angelenos in their mystical rites before one disgruntled ex-believer brought the whole enterprise tumbling down. You'll hear about Raymond Chandler's pre-literary life as a downtown oil company executive, the idealistic L.A. policeman who is a likely model for Philip Marlowe, the real woman who inspired the character of Chandler's secretary Muriel, and the terrible secrets revealed by the fraud investigation in the Great Eleven's activities.

Richard will share insights into how he used cutting edge computing tools to evoke the look and feel of a mid-century book, and Kim will talk abut the deluxe Art Deco wraps created for the Subscribers, whose pre-publication support covered a big chunk of the print cost.  Copies of the paperback and deluxe Art Deco Subscribers' edition will be available for purchase after the talk.  

Read LAPL Librarian Robert Anderson's review of The Kept Girl here. Read Kim Cooper's love letter to Central Library here

Validated parking is just $1.00 with library card at Westlawn Garage, 524 South Flower Street. For ADA accommodations, call (213) 228-7430 at least 72 hours prior to the event.

Bouchercon edition of Esotouric's Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles bus tour

Looking for pre-Bouchercon activities for hard-core noir, pulp and mystery fans? You've come to the right place. This is a special edition of Esotouric's acclaimed Raymond Chandler bus tour of historic locations in Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, coinciding with the 2014 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention.

Advance reservations are suggested, as space is limited for this special event. Check-in is 8:30am at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach for a 9am sharp departure, and we will return to the hotel by 5pm.

Join us for a guided tour of Raymond Chandler's noir Los Angeles, including The Oviatt Building (The Gillerlain Company in The Lady in The Lake), The Bank of Italy (where Chandler was employed by The Dabney Oil Company), The Barclay Hotel (site of an icepick murder in The Little Sister), The Mayfair Hotel (where a suicidal Chandler kept his mistress), Paramount Studios, Raymond Chandler Square and other iconic locations from the life and work of the master of Los Angeles noir.

The excursion includes a no-host lunch stop, and a shopping visit to Hollywood's Larry Edmunds Bookshop, the famous cinema collectors store which directly descends from The Stanley Rose Book Shop, whose proprietor was the model for Geiger in The Big Sleep. (Please note that due to time constraints, there is no stop at Scoops on this special edition tour.)

Passengers desiring a souvenir will have the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of co-host Kim Cooper's mystery novel The Kept Girl, inspired by this tour and starring the young Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe on the trail of a cult of murderous angel worshippers, as well as a copy of the rare, out-of-print Raymond Chandler Mystery Map created by Aaron Blake in the 1980s. 

Haunts of A Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles

"[This tour is] a poetic journey full of rare insight into the life of a man who's come to represent the ghettoized contingency of the City of Angels.” - Tanja M. Laden, Flavorpill

"Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's LA" focuses on Bukowski’s great passions: writing, screwing and Los Angeles. We’ll take in the canonical locations of his life and myth: the Postal Annex Terminal where he gathered the material for “Post Office,” the De Longpre apartment where he briefly experimented with marriage and fatherhood, one of his favorite bars and liquor stores, and many other spots. Along the way, we’ll explore the people and ideas that made up the warp and weft of Buk’s rich inner life. This Esotouric bus adventure is hosted by Richard Schave.

The tour spans Bukowski's personal city, from Skid Row to once-genteel Crown Hill, to Bukowski's favorite East Hollywood liquor store, the Pink Elephant.

Esotouric has made its name with true crime bus tours (Black Dahlia, Pasadena Confidential) and explorations of literary LA (Raymond Chandler, John Fante, James M. Cain). Now they turn their creative attentions to Bukowski, the prolific poet, novelist and screenwriter whose rough-hewn tales of boozing, wild women and rotten jobs never obscure the deep vein of sweetness and hope that runs through all his work. 

Bhagavad Gita Study Class

The Bhagavad Gita, "Song Of God," is a fundamental text in the Hindu Upanishads, and a cornerstone in the body of ancient and timeless works upon which the Theosophical Movement is built. Predicated on the three fundamentals: a universal Brotherhood, an infinite, unknowable universe, and the cyclic pilgrimage of the soul through a multitude of lifetimes steered by the laws of Karma, this challenging, complex and multidimensional path to spiritual devotion is exemplified in the tightly woven, rich text of the Gita's 18 books. The Gita is a balm to the pilgrim's weary journey. This class, which is free and open to the public, meets every Wednesday at 1pm, and has been offered every week since 1915.   The translation used is by William Q. Judge, a founder of the Theosophical Movement, and it is the relevance of the Gita to Theosophy's fundamental principles with which the class discussion concerns itself. The United Lodge of Theosophy in Los Angeles celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2009, and has been in its current location since 1927.

All are welcome to attend its classes without charge. This Lodge's policy is "independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. It is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion. The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues. That work and that end is the dissemination of the fundamental principles of the Philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood."

Lecture: Bones, death, and other fun stuff with Paul Koudounaris at the Brand Library

For the past decade, Dr. Paul Koudounaris has been documenting famous macabre sites and researching our cultural relationship with death, producing two books, Empire of Death and Heavenly Bodies, which have found great acclaim and a cult following. Those books were mostly confined to Europe, however. His forthcoming book, Memento Mori, will be his most ambitious, expanding his subject matter to a global level and presenting little known macabre sanctuaries in Asia, Africa, and South America. He will give a peek at the new material tonight in a special lecture for the Brand Library, taking the audience on a world tour, from burial caves in Indonesia to gilded corpses in Taiwan to skull festivals in Bolivia to decorated skeletons in Germany . . . the world's most spectacular macabre sites will be opened up to the audience with a spectacular slideshow of his own photos.

Sisters in Crime discuss Noir Fiction

Dark Deeds...Harboiled Anti-heroes...and REVENGE! - A panel discussion of Noir Fiction with Sisters in Crime. Featuring...

CRAIG FAUSTUS BUCK (Moderator) is an L.A.-based journalist, nonfiction book author, TV writer-producer, screenwriter, short-story writer and novelist.  Among his six nonfiction books, two were #1 NYT bestsellers.  He wrote the Oscar-nominated short film Overnight Sensation.  He was one of the writers on the seminal miniseries V: The Final Battle.  His first noir mystery novel, Go Down Hard, which his agent is currently shopping, was First Runner Up for Killer Nashville's Claymore Award.  His  indie feature, Smuggling for Gandhi, is in preproduction.  Stark Raving Group published his novella, Psycho Logic in May, and the novella's prequel, his short story "Dead End," is a current Anthony Award nominee. 

KIM COOPER is the creator of 1947 project, the crime-a-day blog that spawned Esotouric's popular bus tours, including The Real Black Dahlia and Pasadena Confidential. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the cultural and forensic science salons of LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. Kim's books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of the band Neutral Milk Hotel. Her debut novel, the fact-based The Kept Girl ("Commendable" – Kirkus) stars the young Raymond Chandler and the real-life Philip Marlowe sleuthing a murderous cult of angel worshippers. 

CHRISTOPHER J. LYNCH has written for numerous local and national publications. He also is the author of the One Eyed Jack series about a professional blackmailer. The debut novel in the series was a 2013 Shamus Award finalist. He is currently writing an authorized biography of the iconic child actor Ken Osmond, (Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver). Christopher enjoys mountain climbing and once trained and led eleven blind hikers to the summit of 10,000 ft. Mount Baldy, the third highest point in Southern California. A documentary film is being made of the adventure.  

GARY PHILLIPS: Gary Phillips draws on his experiences ranging from teaching incarcerated youth, director of a political action committee to delivering dog cages in writing his tales of chicanery and malfeasance. His latest are the ebook novella The Essex Man: 10 Seconds to Death, a homage to ‘70s era paperback vigilantes; being co-editor and contributor to Black Pulp, an anthology of retro, revisionist pulp goodness; and has co-written episodes of Midnight Mover, a noirish webseries about a PTSD suffering Afghan war vet turned bodyguard-chauffer for an escort service of aging porn stars – what could go wrong?

(Postponed) LAVA's 41st Sunday Salon

An important message from LAVA - September 9, 2014

Dear friends,

It is with no small amount of regret that we are putting the monthly LAVA Sunday Salon and Broadway on My Mind walking tour series on hiatus, effective immediately. Both events take place at Les Noces du Figaro restaurant, which is closing down for several months of renovations.

We will be working closely with Jonathan Mgaieth of Figaro to determine a relaunch date as soon as the restaurant reopens, hopefully in early 2015. So stay tuned, and we hope to see you at other LAVA events in the meantime.

Please know that your continued thoughts and good will are the rock upon which LAVA builds its house.

With thanks for your understanding, we remain,
Richard Schave and Kim Cooper
LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association


Join LAVA for our revived free monthly Sunday Salon series. We return to South Broadway, to the mezzanine of Les Noces du Figaro, which was recently opened by the family behind Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. This handsome space was formerly Schaber's Cafeteria (Charles F. Plummer, 1928), and the mezzanine features wonderful views of the Los Angeles Theatre.

On the last Sunday of each month, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another. If you're interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the eclairs.

Read about the original Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria.

Presentation One: Jean Harlow Part 2

The name resonates. Blonde Bombshell. Platinum Blonde. The labels applied by press agents during Jean Harlow's seven-year career still carry a charge seventy years later. Harlow created the mold: the first blonde sex symbol who captured the attention of a nation, then touched their hearts with her genuine warmth and candor. At a time when Harlow's star shone its brightest, Los Angeles and the movies gave birth to a district that exists as much in the mind as on the map. Hollywood historian Darrell Rooney is co-author of Harlow In Hollywood. He returns to the LAVA Sunday Salon to pick up where he left off at his January 2014 presentation, with Jean Harlow's story following the mysterious death of her husband Paul Bern.

Presentation Two: Preserving the Legacy of Wurdman & Beckett's Animal Hospital in West Hollywood

West Hollywood residents and area historians Kate Eggert and Krisy Gosney of Dead History Project fell into historic preservation activism when two 110-year-old bungalows on their street were threatened with demolition. Everyone said they wouldn’t win... until they did. Recently, they went to a West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission meeting on a whim. The Commission discussed a 1938 Wurdeman & Becket streamline moderne animal hospital and a 1959 Barry Berkus mid-century modern office building, both slated for demolition and the site for redevelopment. They were told these buildings were a lost cause. But as a little research revealed the significance of the site, they knew they would fight. Their grassroots preservation campaign has garnered significant media attention and the support of the Los Angeles Conservancy, Art Deco Society, the family of architect Welton Becket and hundreds of passionate citizens. Responding to the rising community outcry, the developer has begun suggesting ways in which the Wurdeman & Beckett structure can be integrated into a modern building. This LAVA presentation is about the process through which Kate and Krisy are tackling the biggest preservation fight of their careers, the highs and lows, and the delicate dance of politics, ego, money and information that impacts any community when developers seek to build on an historic site.

Femme Fatales, Hardboiled Dames and Dragon Tattoos: Examining and Expanding the Female Archetype in Noir panel

WeHo Reads' A Day of Noir celebrates National Literacy Month with a panel "Femme Fatales, Hardboiled Dames and Dragon Tattoos: Examining and Expanding the Female Archetype in Noir" moderated by Paula Woods ("Strange Bedfellows") and featuring authors Steph Cha (“Beware Beware”), Kim Cooper (“The Kept Girl”), Christa Faust (“Money Shot”) and Rachel Howzell Hall (“Land of Shadows”). Take a fascinating look at the complexity of female characters in Noir through the eyes of a dynamic and eclectic group of women authors. Authors sign their books following the panel. Panel runs from 5:30pm-6:15pm, with other events from 1pm-7pm). Visit website for full schedule.

100 Not-So-Famous Views of L.A. + Drink: Los Angeles Book Party & Art Exhibit

Prospect Park Books will celebrate two recent publications at Future Studio Gallery:

100 Not-So-Famous Views of L.A.--100 paintings by Barbara A. Thomason, inspired by Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. Barbara has painted scenes that only locals might know--beautiful images and a great test for LA nerds. A selection from the originals will be on view.

Plus, it's publication day for Drink: Los Angeles--The Beverage Lover's Guide to Los Angeles. It's a companion book to Prospect Park's popular Eat: Los Angeles series.

It's North East Los Angeles's Second Saturday Gallery Night, so there will be a lot of other galleries open. A great opportunity to check out Highland Park's grooviness, and maybe start your holiday shopping with some LA-centric books and “Souvies of L.A.” at Chicken Boy's Souvenir Stand inside the gallery.



Lowriting: the Photography of Arturo Meza

Art Meza was born and raised in Los Angeles. His photography infuses elements of his daily surroundings—his love for classic car and Lowrider culture, and pride of his Chicano upbringing—to produce images with “Chicano Soul.” Art will share images from his book, Lowriting: Shots, Rides and Stories from the Chicano Soul. The book also includes essays and poetry by contributors including Luis J. Rodriguez, Luis Alberto Urrea, Lalo Alcaraz, Gustavo Arellano, and Alvaro Rodriguez.

This free program is presented by Photo Friends LAPL and generously sponsored by Christy & Stephen McAvoy. Feel free to bring your lunch.