Picks and Pans Review: Depth Takes a Holiday: Essays from Lesser Los Angeles
The frayed outskirts of Southern California paradise may not be familiar territory, but you'll recognize the inhabitants. Born too late for the affluent '80s, the rapidly aging post-gen Xers in these trenchant, bittersweet and very funny dispatches stumble toward the millennium in Payless shoes, plugging away at soul-deadening temp jobs until they can line up that lucrative, consulting-over-the-Internet-on-a-part-time-basis deal.
When she's not defining her demographics by degree of IKEA-lust, L.A. native Tsing Loh—a Buzz magazine columnist and NPR commentator—focuses her high beams on current phenomena, from Baywatch to cyber-sex to Nintendo Power Magazine, tempering even her most barbed observations with rueful, self-deprecating humor. If life has been all downhill since you were labeled a gifted child, let this wicked wit of the West tickle your reluctantly adult psyche. (River-head, $22.95)