In a narrative interwoven with fairytales, the lines that divide memories from dreams blur in the fourth book of the Wordcraft of Oregon Fabulist Novella Series, Mama & the Hungry Hole, by Johanna DeBiase. Julia is 4-years-old and her Mama has stolen her away to the mountains of northern New Mexico where everything is unfamiliar and everyone is unknown. Lonely and often forced to take care of herself during Mama's many "quiet times," Julia befriends a tree. Tree has been around longer than anyone and witnessed the village change from thriving ranching town to hippie commune to bedroom community. When Julia's Nana comes to visit and a traveling Circus moves in next door it seems like everything will change for the better, but Tree is the first to notice the eerie sensation of nothingness deep beneath its roots.
8818 Sunset Blvd, Austin, CA 90069
Before he collided with a limousine, Gabriel, an Anna's hummingbird with a head and throat cloaked in iridescent magenta feathers, could spiral 130 feet in the air, dive 60 miles per hour in a courtship display, hover, and fly backward. When he arrived in rehab caked in road grime, he was so badly injured that he could barely perch. But Terry Masear, one of the busiest hummingbird rehabbers in the country, was determined to save this damaged bird, who seemed oddly familiar. During the four months that Terry worked with Gabriel, she took in 160 hummingbirds, from a miniature nestling rescued by a bulldog and a fledgling trapped inside a skydiving wind tunnel at Universal CityWalk, to Pepper, a female Anna's injured on a film set. In their time together, Pepper and Gabriel form a special bond and, together, with Terry's help, learn to fly again. Woven around Gabriel's and Pepper's stories are those of other colorful birds in this personal narrative filled with the science and magic surrounding these fascinating creatures. A heartwarming account of the trials and triumphs a hummingbird rehabber encounters while caring for her tiny, fragile patients.
8818 Sunset Blvd, Austin, CA 90069
"In her arresting debut novel, Edan Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future, then masterfully exploits its dramatic possibilities." ---Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant. Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust. A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind's dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love. (Back Bay Books)
9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
One night last October, Lianne La Havas' life changed on a dime. The 22-year-old London-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist had been asked to appear on the influential British music show Later… with Jools Holland (a rare invitation for an unknown artist), and she made sure to take advantage of her moment. Cutting a striking figure in a white pleated skirt and side-swept poof of hair, with a radiant smile spread across her face, La Havas performed "Age"—a playful tune about a dalliance with an older man—with effortless grace and charm. When the show aired, the reaction was instantaneous and unanimous: Lianne La Havas was on her way to becoming a star. "With her electric guitar strung high, and her beautiful, smoky, vibrato-rich croon of a voice enunciating every word, she seems to be confiding in you directly, with no filter in between—a strange (and rare) mix of fragility ... and impregnable, ensnaring confidence," raved the UK's Sunday Times about the performance.
Following La Havas' performance on Later…, her London club residency sold out in a few hours and she was tapped by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who had also appeared on the program that night, to open his band's North American tour in December 2011. She was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012—an annual poll of music critics and industry figures to find the most promising new musical talent (past winners include Adele and Jessie J).
The daughter of a Greek father and a Jamaican mother, La Havas fell in love with music at a young age and cites her parents' tastes as a huge influence. Her dad, who played accordion, piano, and guitar, favored jazz artists like Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, while her mother loved female soul-R&B singers like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Mary J. Blige. La Havas remembers wanting to sing herself at age seven after watching Lauryn Hill belt out a gospel tune in Sister Act 2. She enrolled in college to study art but dropped out to pursue a career in music after joining a circle of friends who wrote and recorded music while attending London's famed performing arts institution The BRIT School. One of those friends asked La Havas to accompany her at a gig and also introduced her to British singer Paloma Faith, with whom La Havas toured as a back-up singer. She also performed in bands, put her music up on MySpace, and found management, which led her to Hales and her future. Now La Havas is ready to take center stage herself and win over American audiences with the August 7 U.S. release of Is Your Love Big Enough? by Nonesuch Records.