I discovered a new reading series last night (new to me, relatively new to LA) called Book Party, that (mostly) convenes on the 2nd Sunday of the month, at Mandrake, an easy-to-miss bar at 2692 South La Cienega in Culver City. Started in October of last year, the series has already welcomed writers like Aimee Bender, Chris Abani and Rob Roberge. Last night’s show featured J. Ryan Stradal and poet Patty Seyburn (who was so good I bought her latest, Hilarity).
The bar is small but does a nice job with the show. They have a separate room for such events behind the bar, with plenty of seating, and a small outdoor patio beyond that. One minute it’s loud and everyone’s drinking; then they cut the music, pretty much everyone files in and takes a seat, and the reading begins. A dj spins tunes during a short break. It was a good crowd–nearly 30 people.
They’re taking the summer off, but will be back in style in September with Richard Lange (whose story collection Dead Boys wowed critics and helped win him a Guggenheim) with his first novel, This Wicked World.