Carolyn Kellogg is a displaced Angeleno getting her MFA in fiction at the University of Pittsburgh. She blogs about books at www.pinkyspaperhaus.com.
What Makes Sammy Run by Budd Schulburg. A classic Hollywood novel that was a surprise hit in 1941, it’s set in the thirties and plays as kind of a twisted Gatsby. And it’s remarkably contemporary; as the book’s screenwriters struggle for leverage with the studios, they sound a lot like the screenwriters striking today.
Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe. Set in a dystopian future, this retelling of the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia is actually a soft-hearted romance. If it includes a lot of blood, death and fear and a flaying or two, well, that’s historical accuracy for you. It’s funny, punny, brutal and sweet all at once.