6 Novels Set In and Around Los Angeles to Read in 2022

It’s not just about Hollywood

Claire Handscombe
4 min readJan 19, 2022


Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Mention LA to anyone, and they will likely think of Hollywood and the film industry. And that’s part of the city, of course — acting and fame are of course represented in novels that are set in this part of California. But that’s not all there is to the diverse, vibrant city. These novels, all of which were published in 2021, explore different facets of Los Angeles.

Girl, Unstrung by Claire Handscombe

This one is my own — the story of a high school freshman intent on becoming a professional violist. She didn’t get into LACSHA this year, but that’s just a minor setback — she’s definitely going to make it in next year. She’s definitely not going to let herself be distracted by Tim, the Scrabble geek with the swoopy hair at her Pasadena private school.

Good Company, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The author of the bestselling novel The Nest is back with another book — a portrait of a happy marriage that is rocked when Flora discovers a wedding ring that she’d been told was long lost. She and Julian lived on a shoestring budget in New York City for years, raising their daughter and pouring everything they had into their theater company. Since they’ve lived in Los Angeles, they’ve found professional succes and enjoyed their longtime friendship with a TV star. But the discovery calls everything into question. “The vivacious and tender second novel by the bestselling author of The Nest is an absorbing, wise, and tender tale of a marriage in mid-life,” says O, the Oprah Magazine.

Great Circle, by Maggie Shipstead

The author of Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me is back with her latet novel, Great Circle, which tells the story of an actress and the woman she is portraying in her latest Hollywood movie. The woman is Marian, who disappeared…



Claire Handscombe

Editor of WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives; author of the novel UNSCRIPTED and of CONQUERING BABEL: a Practical Guide to Learning a Language.