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Books: Comedian John Hodgman, master fantasist John Crowley and Halloween books

I'm Carolyn Kellogg, books editor of the L.A. Times; welcome to this week's newsletter that highlights our online content and what's coming up in print on Sunday.

THE BIG STORY

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John Hodgman, the former "Daily Show" correspondent, published three books of fake facts — "When fake facts was something of a subversion, rather than the currency of everyday conversation," he told me in this Sunday feature — and has now switched gears. "Vacationland" is a funny and smart and also moving memoir, and we talked about its New England-ness, its universality (or multi-versality) and more. Hodgman comes to the L.A. Times Ideas Exchange Nov. 6 with special guest Nick Offermanget tickets here.

John Hodgman
John Hodgman (Bex Finch / Viking)

A MASTER OF FANTASY

John Crowley's new novel "Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr" is "a beautiful, often dreamlike late masterpiece," writes Elizabeth Hand in our review. Hand looks back at Crowley's 42-year writing career, including his Ægypt novels, exploring how his sometimes meta approach to storytelling, in worlds that are often adjacent to our own, sets his work apart.

An illustration from John Crowley's "Ka"
An illustration from John Crowley's "Ka" (Melody Newcomb)

A CAMERA AS BIG AS A TRUCK

During a photography class I took in high school, we made our own pinhole cameras: boards, tape, photographic paper and a pinhole we'd cover, then uncover, for light. Artist John Chiara has taken that idea to a huge extreme — his camera, which he pulls behind a truck on a trailer bed, is large enough to walk in. We take a look at the stunning, large-format photographs collected in his new book, "John Chiara: California."

"North Harbor Drive at Marina Way, Redondo Beach," 2013
"North Harbor Drive at Marina Way, Redondo Beach," 2013 (John Chiara / Pier 24 Photography/Aperture)

BESTSELLERS

Now in its second week on our bestseller list is Dan Brown's latest, "Origin," at No. 2 on the fiction list. It stars, of course, Robert Langdon, the Harvard professor of symbology who is drawn into another thrilling European intrigue as he undertakes an investigation into religion and meaning.

Dan Brown at the launch of "Origin" in Spain.
Dan Brown at the launch of "Origin" in Spain. (Alejandro Garcia/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

HALLOWEEN BOOKS

Agatha French has gathered 13 new Halloween books to thrill and chill you for Halloween. Have fun with your scary reading!

How about reading on this scary porch?
How about reading on this scary porch? (TNS)

We've got more book news and reviews online at our book blog, Jacket Copy.

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