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Who's Reading What

July 29, 1994|David Wharton

James Nottage, chief curator for the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum

"A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America," by Ronald Takaki.

"Takaki looks at a variety of groups--Irish, African Americans, Asians--primarily from their own voices. It looks at their perspective of American history in a way that's lively and emotional and also reminds us of some of the shameful episodes in our history. I think that, in L.A., it is a particularly great book for people who are conscious of the ethnic diversity around us."

Ronnie Mack, host of Ronnie Mack's Barndance, a weekly country music show at the Palomino.

"Teenage Idol: Travelin' Man," by Philip Bashe

"I always felt that Ricky Nelson was the most underrated guy in the history of rock 'n' roll. He was a rich Hollywood kid and he had that television show, so he got lumped in with insignificant teen idols. But the fact was, he was in gangs when he was a kid and his dad had to bail him out of jail a couple of times. He used to hang out with Eddie Cochrane. He was really a rocker at heart. And, later on, he made great rockabilly records."

James Anthony, Glendale police chief

"Night Prey," by John Sandford

"This is the newest in a series of murder mysteries. The first one was called 'Rules of Prey,' with a serial murderer who had these rules he'd follow, like 'Never murder anybody you know.' That caught my attention. The investigative work in Sandford's books is very good. Even though this is my job, it's an escape because I don't get so wrapped up in the cases."

"Night Prey," an excerpt

At three in the morning, the apartment hallways were empty, silent, smelling of rug cleaner, brass polish, and cigarettes. At the eleventh floor, he stopped a moment behind the fire door, listened, then went quietly through the door and down the hall to his left. At 11:35, he stopped and pressed his eye to the peephole. Dark. He'd greased the apartment key with beeswax, which deadened metal-to-metal clicking and lubricated the lock mechanism. He held the key in his right hand, and his right hand in his left, and guided the key into the lock. It slipped in easily.

Koop had done this two hundred times, but it was a routine that clattered down his nerves like a runaway freight. What's behind door number three? A motion detector, a Doberman, a hundred thousand in cash? Koop would find out . . . He turned the key and pushed: not quickly, but firmly, smoothly, his heart in his mouth. The door opened with a light click. He waited, listening, then stepped into the dark apartment, closed the door behind him, and simply stood there.

And smelled her.

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