July 2020

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

LAArtsOnline - Get it while its hot!


The Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys

  • By Debbie Emery

Racial equality, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement have been on the forefront of everybody’s minds lately, with many people striving to educate themselves more on complex cultural issues. Having been blown away by the Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Underground Railroad, I began reading his follow-up book on May 24 – one day before George Floyd was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Like its predecessor, The Nickel Boys is a fictional novel based on historical facts and explores the systematic racism that has been suffered by generations of African Americans for far too long.

Nickel Academy is inspired real-life Florida boys’ reformatory, the Dozier School, that ran an abusive and often deadly regime for over 100 years before being. The novel is set in the 1960s and revolves around Elwood, a studious young Black man with a sense of justice who unknowingly rides in a stolen car while hitchhiking to his university class. Elwood is arrested, sentenced and sent to Nickel — where his swaps listening to Martin Luther King Jr. speeches to witnessing the beatings, rapes, torture, and even murder of students by guards. While recovering from his own horrific beating, Elwood makes friends with Turner and forms a bond that will last their lifetimes and provide an impactful plot twist to the novel.

“The Nickel Boys” is currently available on

Shadow of the Wind

Shadow of the Wind

  • By Nina Sventitsky

Carlos Ruiz Zafón died of cancer a few weeks ago at the early age of 55. A native of Barcelona, Santa Monica was his home since the 1990s. He became successful as a writer of young adult novels; a book warehouse here in LA gave Zafón the inspiration he needed to write Shadow of the Wind, adding more books to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. Great writers tell great stories and Zafon excels in storytelling, weaving intrigue and Romance (in the old-fashioned sense) into a compelling blend of mystery, secret societies, the classics, and story-within-a-story. The characters are complex and there are many, each with their own sub-plots and backstories. Yes, there is a hero – more than one – and villains, the character villains and the whole of the Spanish Civil War with its atrocities and the aftermath in the decades of a dictator regime. With all of the scope of Spain’s history in the 20th century folded into this novel, Zafón keep us grounded with his characters, and every page wants us turning more. There are three more books in the series (a sequel and a prequel) that should keep you busy all Summer. Originally written and published in Spanish, Shadow of the Wind is the second most successful Spanish novel ever written after Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Quite the recommendation!

Available on Amazon.

White Fragility

White Fragility

  • By Caroline Lenher

“A necessary book for all people invested in Societal Change.“ – Claudia Rankine

As Americans unite protesting and demanding societal change, many seek a deeper understanding of how we reached this point. Sociologist and antiracism educator, Robin Diangelo’s New York Times bestseller, White Fragility, is one of many resources for your reading list. One barrier to national change is lack of knowledge, dialogue, and understanding of the Black experience in America historically and today. Ms. Diangelo takes on the elephant in the room for many White people; our inability to comfortably talk about race, race relations, and the Black experience. Coined by Diangelo as White Fragility is “the tendency among members of the dominant white cultural group to have a defensive, wounded, angry, or dismissive response to evidence of racism.” In her book, she defines white fragility, why it exists, the factors perpetuating the ongoing lack of dialogue and thoughts on facilitating productive conversations. Ms. Diangelo defines white privilege, provides the history and importance of recognizing that we unconsciously have it and the impact for non-White Americans. If we believe in change, it is important to recognize and understand our role in it; White Fragility is a great place to start or continue our education.

“White Fragility” is available now on Amazon.

How Not to Die

How Not to Die

  • By Kymberly Chase

From Dr. Michael Greger, the physician and internationally renowned nutrition expert behind the wildly popular website Nutrition Facts, comes How Not to Die, a book revealing the groundbreaking scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many causes of disease-related death. Published in 2015, the book was an instant New York Times Bestseller and has been hailed as, “thoroughly researched and potentially life-changing.” Explains Greger, “My grandma was given her medical death sentence at age 65. Thanks to a healthy diet and lifestyle she lived to be 96. Her near miraculous recovery inspired me to pursue a career in medicine.” In How Not to Die, Greger’s advice is backed up by strong scientific evidence and imparts valuable information regarding foods to eat and lifestyle changes to make for a longer life.

In addition to sharing a diet to help treat the top 15 causes of death, How Not to Die includes Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen — a checklist of the 12 foods we should consume every day. Full of practical, actionable advice and surprising, cutting-edge nutritional science, the information will help readers live longer, healthier lives. The How Not to Die Cookbook, published in 2017, is also highly recommended. Comprehensive and beautifully designed, it includes more than 120 recipes designed to help prevent and reverse disease … delicious plant-based meals, snacks, and beverages. This is definitely an essential tool for healthy kitchens!

Available for purchase on Amazon.

What's Hot!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted our content this month.

LAArtsOnline now features two NEW pages: BOOKS and EXTRA! We’ll look at what’s hot in the world of books and reading along with some suggestions of EXTRA! things to check out, read about, and do!

Stay positive, stay safe.

Paige Petrone
Founder / Publisher


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