Issue: Fall 2013

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Special Book Reviews


Whether it's the built environment, the latest scandal or a fun night out, these books should satisfy the most dedicated Hollywoodophile. 

Hollywood Then and Now by Rosemary Lord is a fascinating comparison of the orange groves and bean fields of yesterday with the slick urban streets of today, taking a step back to observe changes in the town’s landscape. Featuring early photographs matched with contemporary images of the same sites—including Sunset Boulevard, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood sign and Paramount Studios—the book illustrate the remarkable development of this extraordinary place over the last 100 years. Alongside the photographs, this compendium also shares short history lessons on how Hollywood came to be.

Rosemary Lord has spent more than 20 years working in Los Angeles, acting in theatre, films and television as well as working as a senior publicist for Columbia Pictures. She is also the author of Los Angeles Then and Now.

For those readers seeking more thrill than nostalgia, Room 1219: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia Rappe. and the Scandal That Changed Hollywood  by Greg Merritt explores the original Hollywood murder-mystery scandal and the stunning fall of silent film star Fatty Arbuckle.

In 1921, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was on top of the world. The comic actor lived an extravagant Hollywood lifestyle. He was at the pinnacle of his career. Although Arbuckle was ultimately found innocent, his career was in tatters and his reputation would never recover. Room 1219 peels back layers of lies, exaggerations and legends surround this original Hollywood scandal, and author Merritt delves into the aftermath including long-enduring censorship battles.

Greg Merritt has an MFA from the American Film Institute and is a senior writer with Weider Publications. He lives in suburban Los Angeles.

Lastly, British journalist James T. Bartlett’s Gourmet Ghosts - Los Angeles is a history and mystery guide that features 274 pages of ghosts, murders and mysteries at over 40 bars and restaurants in Hollywood, West Hollywood other L.A. locales.

Illustrated with photographs, newspaper archive clippings, eyewitness accounts and never-before-published pictures and stories—as well as food and drink recommendations—it’s a fun look into L.A.’s historical past, and finds out that many of the tales are based on real events…

Available on Amazon, iTunes, Nook and at 12 bookstores across Los Angeles, with further details at  and on Facebook and Twitter @GourmetGhosts DH