· A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by, Dave Eggers: “The man who made earnestness the culture of the 21st century still had a tiny bit of irony and a lot of humor in him when he wrote this book that I wish I had written, minus the personal tragedy stuff.”
· Chicago Poems by, Carl Sandburg: “Sandburg did the impossible: He produced poems
that are easier to read than prose, delighting American schoolchildren for generations.”
· Working by, Studs Terkel: “I haven’t read this, but I like that it consists of little oral histories from different people, which seems the sort of thing you can dip into over cocktails at a hotel.
· Selected Poems by, Gwendolyn Brooks: “As a white male, I sure picked a lot of books by white males. Then again, that’s kind of what we do as white males: Go on and on and expect people to listen. But in Chicago in the first half of the 20th century, other people got a voice, and while I don’t know much about poetry, I know Brooks is powerful, easy to read and kept many pieces short enough to read in a hotel room."
· Chicago Cocktail Pairing: River North Press Chicago - an original-meets-classic cocktail featuring Bourbon, Apple Juice, Lemon Juice, Ginger Ale and bitters.
· Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need by, Dave Barry: “If you’re traveling and have only a few minutes while your spouse* gets ready, this book by the former Miami Herald humor columnist might be the best for making fun of your spouse* when your spouse* is done…*I clearly mean “wife.”
· The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens by, Wallace Stevens: “I am a firm believer in reading poetry in hotels, since that’s all you have time for. It’s why the Gideons nailed it by putting the Bible near your bed.”
· The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise by, Michael Grunwald: “Have I read this book? That’s not important. The important thing is that it’s about Florida and was written by a really nice, talented guy I work with at Time magazine.”
· The Waves by, Virginia Woolf: “One of my favorite books. You can read it on the beach without worrying if it makes sense. Just let the words wash over you.”
· Miami Cocktail Pairing: Lime Daiquiri - a cocktail classic with some zest, featuring Pyrum Rum, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup and a lime wedge.
· What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by, Kirstin Newman: “Kristin, one of the funniest people I know, is a sitcom writer who uses all her money and time to travel the world, and as soon as she past international waters, she turns into a complete hussy,” said Stein. “This book makes you want to travel. And be a sitcom writer. And meet Kristin Newman.”
· Things the Grandchildren Should Know by, Mark Oliver Everett: “Mark is known as E, who is the band Eels. He grew up in a really weird family; his dad was a physicist who invented the idea of parallel universes. He’s also the best croquet player I know. This book gets at the feeling of what it’s like to move to L.A. to try to make it, and escape, and play croquet.”
· Einstein by, Walter Isaacson: “That’s right, Einstein lived in L.A. for a while. And this book, by my former boss, is a surprisingly fast read. Pick any few pages and you can impress people tonight at dinner. Not because you’ll know something about physics. But because you’re in LA and you read part of a book.”
· Inherent Vice by, Thomas Pynchon: “Is this the best Thomas Pynchon novel? Definitely not. But it is the easiest to read and you’re in a hotel. It’s Fletch redone by a genius. And it captures L.A. in the 1970s way better than a Carpenters song.”
· LA Cocktail Pairing: Studio Tonic - a unique original featuring Belvedere Vodka, Cointreau, Coconut Water, Tonic and an Orange Slice.
Guests can order up the books and the booze through the front desk or via the James Hotels' new app, Pocket Assistant. The books are complimentary, the drinks are not. If you take the book with you, a "small fee" will be charged to your bill.