Can anyone recommend books written by LA writers, or set in the city?

I am planning a trip to Los Angeles … Can anyone recommend books written by LA writers, or set in the city?

77 Answers

  • Michael Connelly. His Detective Harry Bosch series. Think 1st book is called The Black Echo

  • Robert Crais lives in Los Angeles and I think many of his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike books are set in LA.

  • Noir is really fun to read in LA–Walter Mosley, Raymond Chandler. Day of the Locust is pretty classic. John Fante’s West of Rome.

  • Another vote for the Harry Bosch series…the Amazon tv series is superb ++

  • “Los Angeles has all the charm of a paper cup.”
    So much truer now than when Raymond Chandler wrote it years ago. But, his books are my faves set there.
    I also cannot recommend enough the Museum of Jurassic Technology while you’re there. And if you find yourself around Redondo Beach, the Redondo Beach Fun Factory is an amusement arcade straight out of Stephen King.
    I used to go to LA frequently before my mother-in-law passed, those are my two faves.
    Oh, and the Last Bookstore, and Soap Factory, two great book shops.

  • Joseph Wambaugh’s The Onion Field or any of his other LA cop stories.

  • Mike thanks for this! Redondo Beach is famous for Charles Bukowski’s last public reading.. I must go there!

  • Thanks to you all for the great suggestions!.. I am going to see Charles Bukowski’s haunts in LA and take along books recommended by our club.

    • Let me know if you plan to go to Lost Bookstore, I’ll meet you there!

  • I’ve just read all 20 of the Bosch series. Hard boiled detective in LA. The books really give a sense of place. Being relatively new to LA, it was exciting to recognize places that I’m getting to know.

    • This book tugged at my emotions the entire time I was reading it. So thought provoking!!

  • There’s a ton of books written about La and set in LA – but I want to recommend you try to make some time to visit “the Last Bookstore” in downtown – it is amazing! They have a book labyrinth and bridge if you go upstairs.. it’s a very unique and giant book store 😃 Also, if you want to check out a more Hollywood-ish type bookstore, check out “Book Soup” on sunset blvd. Have fun!

  • White Oleander by Janet Fitch. It’s sad but thought provoking and beautifully written.

    • Love Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlings books, just started the Leonid McGill series too…

  • Raymond Chandler’s mysteries. The Big Sleep is a classic.

    • Definitely Joan! She should be at the top of your list. Bret Easton Ellis captured LA well too.

    • These two books are thrillers and have a dog as the supporting character.. I love books with dogs in them 😊

    • Following Atticus is a friendship between Tom Ryan, the author, and his beloved dog, Atticus. They climb mountains together. Tom gains his peace and confidence while hiking the 48 summits of mountains in New Hampshire.

    • Dean Koontz’s memoir, A Big Little Life is a charming story about their dog, Trixie and charity works for dogs as well as his personal loving life with his wife/best friend, Elle.

    • Thank you so much Hyon, I’ve added both to my tbr and already ordered Following Atticus from Amazon. 😀

    • If you google my name and the Korea Times, my dog years , you can read my most recent column. I mentioned two books I told you about in it among other things related to dogs.

    • I read your column, it’s as if it was written for me. Thank you for sharing, it was beautiful. 🙂

    • I am grateful to find another reader who loves dogs. Two good combinations.

  • Haven’t been to LA in a long time, is the Bodhi Tree Bookstore still there?

  • Day of the Locust by Nathanael West is more of a novella, but it’s a classic. Also Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion.

  • Oh do try to visit the Last Bookstore in LA. Have heard a lot about it.

  • James Ellroy has a series of Noir Classics set in LA – I think LA Confidential is the best.

  • Stephen J Cannell, has several set in L.A., including “ Hollywood Tough”. Same guy who wrote for TV.👮🏻🌞

  • I really liked Harley Jane Kozak’s mystery series. She’s also an actress

  • LA Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi the chef who brought the gourmet food truck Kogi to life. Great memoir and awesome recpies

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