5 tasty book talks for the week ahead

Restaurant owner Bricia Lopez is the coauthor of "Oaxaca: Home Cooking From the Heart of Mexico."
Restaurant owner Bricia Lopez is the coauthor of “Oaxaca: Home Cooking From the Heart of Mexico.”
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

This week’s books lineup blends books, art and traditional Mexican fare — plus a sampling of locally made holiday gifts.

Here’s the rundown on five of the best book events coming up.

Meet local talent

Shop local this holiday season and meet Southern California authors and publishers at Book Soup’s L.A. Indie Small Press Day. The winter gathering includes refreshments and quality time with scribes from around town. The lineup includes Robert Landau (“Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip”) and Darrell Rooney and Mark A. Vieira (“Harlow in Hollywood”) from Angel City Press. Unnamed Press authors Alex Espinoza (“Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime”) and Jaya Nicely (“Offline Journal: An Illustrated Guide for a More Connected, Creative Life”) also will be on hand. Red Hen Press rounds out the roster with writers Kim Dower (“Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave”) and Douglas Manuel (“Testify”).

4 p.m. Saturday, Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. Free.


Make your own book

Try creating instead of consuming for the holidays. Angeleno artist Debra Disman, whose artistic practice focuses on making handmade otherworldly tomes, is teaching a family-friendly art class on how to make a sculptural book. The intergenerational class takes inspiration from LACMA’s expansive exhibition “The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China,” which casts light on the diverse artistic offerings from contemporary China. Preregistration is required; art materials are included. Ages 8 and older.

9 noon Saturday. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. $50 for museum members; $60 for general admission.

Book market and more

If you’re still in need of bookish gifts this season, Hauser & Wirth’s third annual holiday market has you covered. More than 40 L.A.-based makers will be offering goods, including Paper Chase Press, Words Uncaged and Not a Cult poetry press. The two-day market also will featurefree musical performances by White Fence, Rodrigo Amarante — formerly of Brazilian rock group Los Hermanos — and a retail pop-up by singer-songwriter and visual artist Devendra Banhart, who will also appear at a Saturday ticketed performance. Dancer Jasmine Albuquerque and performance artist Nao Bustamante perform on Sunday.

Saturday and Sunday. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Hauser & Wirth, 901 E. Third St., Los Angeles. Free; $35 for Banhart performance.

Taste Oaxaca

Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Oaxacans outside of the Mexican state, so it’s no surprise that our city enjoys a wealth of the region’s cuisine. The new cookbook “Oaxaca: Home Cooking From the Heart of Mexico,” by Bricia Lopez of the restaurant Guelaguetza and longtime L.A. food journalist Javier Cabral, shares the secrets to conjuring the vibrant flavors of southern Mexico. Times writer Gustavo Arellano will discuss the culinary riches of Oaxaca with Lopez, followed by a book signing and a chance to sample the region’s complex fare.

Saturday, 2 p.m. Alta Baja Market, 201 E. 4th St., Santa Ana. Free.


Explore L.A.’s roots

Long before Hollywood dominated the image of Los Angeles, farms and agriculture helped fuel the city’s growth into a megalopolis. Rachel Surls and Judith Gerber’s “From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles,” traces the roots of L.A., from the prime farmland that fed the world to the crops of suburban homes that eventually paved over the orchards and fields that had made the city an agrarian dream. Judith Gerber discusses and signs her book and shares how urban farmers are fighting back against mega-farms today.

10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Fred Hesse Jr. Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes. Free.