by William Bradley
Los Angeles Union Station—opened on May 7, 1939, after days of celebration—was the last great train station built in the United States. Intended as a grand portal to a grand Los Angeles, it was an anomaly, built at a time when America was eager to drive or fly to its chosen destinations. Protected by early inclusion on the National Registry of Historic Places for its iconic architecture, Los Angeles Union Station has had an astonishing and unpredictable rebirth. As the city modernizes its public transportation system linking the culturally and geographically diverse communities of Southern California, Union Station—in all its Mission Revival glory—is suddenly the hub of the country’s newest light rail and subway system, serving hundreds of thousands of people each week. Where Pullman cars and Harvey Girls once served commuters, where the Super Chief and the Coast Starlight, Streamliners and Domeliners converged, Los Angeles Union Station is now a living-breathing center of transportation modernity. Author William Bradley relates a rich history of fierce battles, cultural relocation, and astounding financial risks culminating in one of California’s most important stories. Augmenting his words with vintage images, Bradley not only shares the tale of the terminal, but of the trains that rode its tracks—those 1939 tracks to the future.
by David Boulé
Cloaked in mystery and until modern times available only to the elite, the orange has been known as the fruit of the gods, the food of emperors, a token of gratitude, and the symbol of health, wealth, and love. The dream of California since its discovery by Europeans has been that it is a place of plenty, of potential, of personal opportunity. When the orange and California were finally linked, their partnership created a compelling fantasy and a fantastic reality. The Orange and the Dream of California takes a lively, literary, and extraordinarily visual look at the symbiotic and highly symbolic relationship between the Golden State and its "golden apple." Untold thousands of adventurers and health-seekers came West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, lured by postcards of orange blossoms juxtaposed to snow-capped mountains. Orange juice became the way to start every day after Sunkist spread the word that drinking a California orange was not only as sweet and delicious as eating one, but held the promise to a healthy life. The orange became a symbol of everything California promised, and California became the center of the Orange Empire. In 176 full-color pages and more than 250 images, author David Boulé shares the absorbing story of the orange and its impact on the culture—historic, financial, artistic, and even romantic—of California. And, he tells the tale of citriculture, the complex, captivating, and controversial world of growing the orange.
by Josh Kun
Culled from the Southern California Sheet Music Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library, this unprecedented anthology tells the story of Los Angeles through its songs. Featuring the elaborately designed covers of more than one hundred pieces of vintage sheet music, Songs in the Key of Los Angeles spans 1859 to 1959, offering a rare musical window into Southern California history—from mythic Missions to infinite oranges, from rumbling railroads to romantic Ramona . . . and there’s Hollywood history, too, harmoniously noted by its music and film industries.
by Jon Boorstin
It's 1912 in Hollywood, the birth of the Movies, and Mabel Normand, beautiful and funny, the model of the modern comedy star, is shocking the world. This intimate novel takes us inside the earliest days of motion pictures, and together with the Queen of Comedy—a flapper a decade before flappers, the first to have her name in the title of a picture—we become obsessed with motion pictures, in love with their mesmerizing power. As sharply observed as it is historically accurate, Mabel and Me is the tale of a young man's coming of age with the Movies, and his passionate, destructive, and ultimately liberating love for the queen of slapstick—Mabel Normand. Their story is the birth of our media age.
by Damon Willick