Bookshelf


The Interactive Age

Reflecting on six years of publishing Sunroom Desk, established October 28, 2008, and on Michael J. Arlen’s Book The Camera Age, published in 1981: Among my goals in creating this site: experiencing the shift to online publishing (✓); reviewing books with local angles (✓). In 2008, most people read blogs […]


OurOwnDayHere

Our Own Day Here

Urbanist, cyclist, and sustainable transportation advocate Richard Risemberg wrote these essays between 1997 and 2014, focusing on urban life and community. Most, though not all, have to do with Los Angeles, and many were first posted on his website Sustainable City News.

An LA native, Risemberg’s observations on automobile culture, consumer culture, the Great Recession, the LA River and many other topics will resonate strongly with those who have lived awhile in Southern California, even if they disagree with some of his conclusions. The comments, anecdotes, and scenes are sharp, on point, and still relevant […]


5 x 3 2

Glendale native Paul Ignatius has published a new book, 5 x 3, featuring five creative works by three of the most prominent Armenian writers in English of the early to mid-20th century. Ignatius was acquainted with all of them, and in his short book he gives readers an insider’s view of each writer’s life, works, and impact […]

5x3

ThisAngelicLand

This Angelic Land

I stack up books from September to June and place several on the Sunroom Desk virtual bookshelf during summer. This year, the stack from Glendale Public Library events with Armenian experience as a theme stretches back two years. I got Aris Janigian’s book This Angelic Land at his Glendale Public Library appearance back in 2012, shortly after the book’s publication marking the twentieth anniversary of the LA Riots. Unfortunately, events of 2014 in Syria and Iraq provide Armenians more context with which to consider this book’s exploration of the tenuousness of personal and cultural survival in a violent, unstable environment […]


Smogtown:
The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles
6

by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly Overlook Press, 2008 Smogtown isn’t a new book, but the conflicts covered in its last chapters are still breaking news. The LA Times’ Trash talk and the real dirt on a toxic tour of Los Angeles, just featured one of Smogtown‘s history makers, […]

Smogtown

BirdsWithoutWings

Birds Without Wings

by Louis de Bernières Alfred A. Knopf, 2004 Welcome to guest reviewer David D. Bogosian, and thanks for sending in the following: Growing up in the Armenian community, my knowledge of events in Asia Minor during the early years of the 20th century is probably better than most. Nonetheless, I […]


Mistrial

An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works . . . and Sometimes Doesn’t by Mark Geragos and Pat Harris 2013, Gotham Books Hardcover, 274 pages, with index Arrested by the Glendale Police Department and detained for eight months even as it became evident he had nothing to […]

Mistrial

Citizenville

Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government

by Gavin Newsom Penguin Press, 2013 249 pages with index, Hardcover $25.95 Ebook formats also available In his book Citizenville, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom posits that making data governments collect widely available can improve civic life and bolster citizen engagement. Getting past bureaucratic impediments (or defensiveness) is a huge […]