A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

imagedbcgiThe Pasadena Museum of California Art kicks off Written in California, its new reading series co-sponsored by Vroman’s Bookstore, on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. Sarah Shun-lien Bynum will read from “Ms. Hempel Chronicles,” a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. “Ms. Hempel Chronicles” is a novel-in-stories about a seventh-grade English teacher and her students. The reading is free, and galleries will be open from 6-7 p.m. for $5 admission. Current exhibits feature work by Wayne Thiebaud, Frances Gearhart, and Ray Turner.

Shelby Hiatt

Shelby Hiatt, author of "Panama"

Shelby Hiatt, author of "Panama"

Shelby Hiatt will discuss and sign her novel “Panama” at Book Soup in West Hollywood on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. and at the Bookstar in Studio City on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 3 p.m. The former “General Hospital” actress and “Santa Barbara” writer also worked in the United Nations Office of Public Information. A trip to Panama got her storytelling wheels turning. After researching the history of the construction of the Panama canal, she crafted a love story about an American woman and a Spanish laborer that explores questions of social justice.

Pamela August Russell

thumbnailphpThe Better Off Dead Poets Society and ForYourArt host a book launch for “B Is for Bad Poetry” with a “bad poetry” open-mic night at the Mandrake on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. Pamela August Russell will read from her hilarious and irreverent collection of poems, with titles such as “But L’OREAL Said I Was Worth It” and “Love Is Like a Toilet Bowl.” Guests are encouraged to throw literary pretension to the wind and share their best bad poems. The Mandrake is at 2692 S. La Cienega Blvd., LA 90034.