Here is a list of GUARDIAN readers holding forth on what they consider to be Essential books about Los Angeles:
I agree with the choices of CITY OF QUARTZ and MY DARK PLACES.
And some of the other volumes on the list (particularly Michael Connely's Bosch series) seem worthy of adding to a must-read list.
But I detect iconoclasm for its own sort-of-bratty sake--particularly the consignment of Raymond Chandler to the dustbin.
Some recommendations of Los Angeles authors/poets:
F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE PAT HOBBY STORIES--sardonic tales of the bottom rungs of the ladder during Hollywood's Golden Age.
Horace McCoy's I SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME--the best Hollywood novel I've read to date.
James Ellroy's HOLLYWOOD NOCTURNES.
Poetry by Wanda Coleman, Ellyn Maybe, Amy Uyematsu, the late Scott Wannberg, David St. John, Suzanne Lummis and Daniel McGinn--to name a few.
Novels by Terrill Lee Lankford (also a producer of Michael Connelly's Amazon series BOSCH).
Patton Oswalt's SILVER SCREEN FIEND.
Add the above to the GUARDIAN readers' list for a more well-rounded sampling of what literary Los Angeles offers to readers.