Archive for the ‘Easing the Pain’ Category

June 6th: Stories to Lift the Cloud

May 28, 2010

Feeling a little dark lately?  Can’t seem to shake that image of a black, billowing cloud just over the horizon?  It isn’t just your imagination, dear reader.  That cloud is real, and there.  But what good are you doing, sitting in your chair  and reading the New York Times and getting pissed?   Either buy some rubber boots and a plane ticket, irate reader, or do something to take your mind off of it.  Come to Book Party, and get a little out of it and into the mind of someone else, for just an evening.

Ride your bike on over to the Mandrake and celebrate the small pleasures in life, like riveting stories and delicious drinks.  Patrick O’Neil will read from his memoir, Opacity, and Michelle Huneven will read from her newest novel, Blame. You might have heard of it.

From the New Yorker:  “In the short first section of this elegant, hair-raising novel, Joey, a precocious twelve-year-old, gets her ears pierced by her uncle’s girlfriend, Patsy, who seems like a minor character until Part Two, when she wakes up in jail and her story takes over. Patsy is a blackout drunk, accused of having run over and killed a mother and daughter in the driveway of her house. In prison, where she works at a firefighting camp, she is forced to join A.A., and guilt drives her not only to make amends but to do good. Released and sober, she takes an apartment with no associations, returns to her job teaching history, marries, and is negotiating a sticky web of relationships, when Joey, now in her twenties, reappears, with disorienting information. Huneven’s prose is flawless, with especially arresting descriptions of the Southern California landscape, and her strong but fragile heroine is mercilessly honest.”

Dark and Stormies will be on special, DJ Orb will be on hand to spin the literary set list, Blame just came out in a gorgeous paperback and will be available for purchase, and our city’s immense and varied literary talent will be on display.  Please come join us.

WHEN?  Sunday June 6th, 7:00 pm

WHERE?  Where else?  Mandrake – 2692 South La Cienega, LA CA  90034 (btwn Venice & Washington)

WHO?  Michelle Huneven & Patrick O’Neil

WHY?  Because you deserve it, dear reader.  Come and let a little light in for an evening, before things get darker.


September 13th: Shelter from the Fire

September 7, 2009


Hey, put down that extinguisher and come on over to the Mandrake on Sunday, September 13th.  We can promise with almost one hundred percent certainty that the bar will not be on fire.  Oh, but the night will be!  Dennis Fulgoni will start things off with new work and Richard Lange will follow that up with a reading from his new novel, This Wicked World, a Los Angeles literary thriller about some bad dogs, some even worse people, some good people, too and love and forgiveness.  This book can’t stop collecting praise.  Here is just a small sampling:

From the LA Times review of This Wicked World, “Lange is incapable of creating a character that isn’t memorable. Even the most minor are indelibly sketched. The hard-luck denizens of a high desert gas station linger long after the story has left them behind.”  And from the New York Times, “Where did they go, those lost souls that Richard Lange captured with such pitiful clarity in his 2007 story collection, Dead Boys? The cross-wired Los Angeles drifters and grifters from that book would fit right in at the Tick Tock restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard, where Jimmy Boone is tending bar in Lange’s terrific first novel . . .”

In honor of the dog days of Santa Ana season, we’ll have Greyhounds on special, DJ Orb will be kicking out the jams and Small World Books will be on hand with copies of This Wicked World. And did I mention cookies?  Yes.  There will be cookies.  And on top of everything else, we’ll have two incredible writers reading some amazing work.  So you’d be crazy not to be there, too, dear reader.

So, to review:

WHAT:  Book Party Fall Debut with Dennis Fulgoni and Richard Lange

WHEN:  Sunday, September 13th at 7:00 pm

WHERE:  The Mandrake, 2692 South La Cienega Blvd, between Venice and Washington (there is no sign- the building is on the east side of the street, white with blue trim)

WHY:  Because we’re crazy about good writing.  And because who doesn’t need a chance to think about something other than Los Angeles burning?  Besides, we all know what The Great Fire was really about.  So come and do as Shirley would do.   Use the fire as metaphor.


Extra special thanks to sculptor Jamey Morrill for lending the incredible image from his performance piece at the top of the page, Bitch and Ball, to Book Party.  We are ever so grateful.

Book Party, Sunday February 8th

January 28, 2009




It’s February, and it might be tempting to put your head in the oven rather than face another day, but resist, dear reader! Relief is on the way!  Come on over to the Mandrake on Sunday, February 8th at 7:00 p.m. and feel the literary love.  Book Party has oh so much to give.  I mean, how could you possible resist. . .

  1. The drink special, the sophisticated Negroni, was created by an Italian Count.  This is a serious drink for serious times.  Except it’s red!  
  2. All the way from NYC. . . the musical stylings of DJ Scotch Tape.  
  3. Heart shaped cookies.  They will soothe your existential suffering and make you feel five again.   
  4. And of course, the reason Book Party exists. . . real! live! writers!   Come hear new work read by two incredible Los Angeles writers, Marlys West and Aimee Bender! 

So stop in, listen to something new, and enjoy yourself.  We promise, it will beat a February night at home in the kitchen.


Drinks and Books.  Sylvia approves.

Drinks and Books. Sylvia approves.



December 7, 2008



Is your 401k giving off bad Oliver Twist vibes?  Does it feel like the worst of times around your way?   Well come on over to Book Party, Sunday, the 14th of December and it will be the best of times all over again!   Why, do you ask?  What could Book Party possibly do for me?  What couldn’t we do for you!  First of all, we’ve got BOTH Brendan Constantine and Rob Roberge reading!  The fantastic possibilities are limitless.  Here are a few of the tantalizing things we promise you, dear reader, upon your prompt 7:00 arrival this Sunday.

  • The ubiquitous drink special.  Hard times call for hard drinking.  Or just a cocktail might help.  Dark and Stormies will be on special.  A dark and delicious drink to put you in the holiday mood.
  • Inspired beats for braniacs delivered by the one and only DJ Rob Kamm.
  • Homemade Holiday Cookies!  No you don’t have to drive all the way to grandma’s for the real deal!  And best of all, at Book Party, no one will ask you when you’re going to hurry up and have a baby!
  • Books.  Analog is cool.  Come buy a book and take it home and read it. 
  • Other people that like to read.  IN LA.  Yeah.  Lots of us exist.  Now let’s hang out.
  • And of course, come and you’ll be treated to first rate writers reading amazing new work.  Get out of your head and into someone else’s.  Brendan Constantine will redefine the way you think about poetry, and Rob Roberge will, yes, tell you a fabulous story.  

And HOW will you achieve all of this, fellow book worm?  By getting to MANDRAKE at 2692 South La Cienega (between Venice and Washington) , this Sunday at 7:00.  Just come, and we’ll make sure it’s the best of times.  At least for a little while.


October 10, 2008

We’ve diligently been making plans, dear reader. . . all especially for you.

Here are the specifics:

WHO:  DJ Orb will kick things off on the esoteric vinyl.  Rumors are swirling about Theresa Sotto and her poetic power point.  And Sarah Shun-lien Bynum will tell you a story.

WHAT:  First and perhaps most importantly, you’ll be drinking.  Are you feeling a little Raskolnikov-ish lately?  WAIT!  Before you knife that pawnbroker to pay rent this month, come to Book Party!  In honor of our country’s new leftist tendencies, Moscow Mules will be on special!  That’s sure to ease a little economic anguish.  So drink up.  Secondly:  You will be entertained.  See above.  Lastly, if you are moved, and so desire, you will visit Mary from Small World Books and buy a book.  We promise, if read it in bed at night or even on the sofa in the afternoon, it will make you forget all about your troubles, even if just for a little while.

WHERE:  At Mandrake, 2692 South La Cienega, between Venice and Washington (east side of the street).  The building is white with blue trim.  There is no sign, so don’t just drive down this enormous boulveard and look casually out the window for a giant blinking sign to scream MANDRAKE at you.  It won’t be there, no matter how much you need it.

WHEN:  This Sunday, October 12th, at 7:00 p.m.

WHY:  Because we love you.  So come.  Before things get drastic.

Fyodor can relate.

Fyodor can relate