ON THE BOOKSHELF Educate yourself about our city; new book claims L.A. neither a desert nor full of airheads

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A new book out now titled This Is (Not) L.A.: An Insider’s Take On The Real Los Angeles, tackles the many misconceptions that surround the City of Angels, countering with expert facts on L.A. and its rich history.

Through humor, meticulous research and a dose of civic pride, writer Jen Bilik and co-author Kate Sullivan celebrate the second-largest city in America and the people, places, sights, sounds and even tastes that make it great.

Thanks to decades of surfer movies, over-the-top reality shows, and judgy reporting by our eastern and northern counterparts (hello NYC and San Francisco), Los Angeles is perhaps the most misunderstood — and projected upon — city in the world.

L.A. transplant of 20 years, Bilik worked with native Angeleno Sullivan to try to change that with This Is (Not) L.A. In the book (loaded with color graphics and photos), these L.A. experts and defenders tackle 18 common myths, claiming their city is neither a desert nor full of airheads, smog or crappy food. Eight spotlight sections offer both a deeper look into L.A.’s innovative history and culture, served up with a side of humorous civic introspection.

Originally from the Bay Area and thinking Angelenos were materialistic, selfish, and dumb, Bilik says: “I soon discovered that Los Angeles was an amazing place. It had culture. It had nature. It had smarts. It felt vibrant and dynamic.”

Visit ThisIsNotLA.com for more.

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