New and Used Books

We BUY, SELL & TRADE your paperback and hardcover books!
Book Again features a large selection of current best-sellers
as well as many hard-to-find & out-of-print titles!

Book Again is located in Torrance, California, at 5039 Torrance Blvd.,
just west of Anza (between Shakey's Pizza and McDonald's restaurant)
Book Again is open 11am to 4pm (CLOSED MONDAYS) (310) 542-1156

Happy Anniversary, Book Again!

This year marks our 25th anniversary of serving as your friendly neighborhood bookstore, but it couldn't be more bittersweet with the economy taking its toll on us all. It breaks my heart to see so many other book shops in the area closing their doors, but I can sure understand why. Although we've been hit hard like everyone else, we're lucky to have you as a loyal customer. Your continued support is the only reason we're still here, and in these tough times your support means even more than ever before! We thank you for that, and we hope to continue to serve you for many years to come.

Though we don't have a big sale in the next couple of months, there are still many ways to save big during your regular trips to Book Again. On top of our everyday low prices (which are generally half-off the cover price) we have our Daily Specials. Every day, 3 or 4 letters are chosen at random and are displayed on the board behind the counter. Any book whose author's last name begins with one of those letters is on sale for half-off that day! Add all this to the fact that our outside Bargain Books are always a fantastic value (15 books for $3), and you can truly see how there's a sale every day at Book Again! And don't forget, you also get a free paperback with every $10 purchase! So keep reading! I'll see you soon!


From the Editor:
  • General Fiction
  • Recent Paperbacks (within 9 months of publication)
  • Classics (no marks or highlighting)
  • Science Fiction
  • Westerns
Two Delights
By Sheryl

I just finished reading a couple of very delightful books. The first was I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg. What a wonderful, inspirational and downright hilarious story! Centering on the life of a former Alabama beauty queen (now a 60-year old disillusioned real estate agent), Flagg's characters are so quirky and delightfully 'Southern' that they kept me totally engrossed from the beginning to the end. But that's to be expected, however, as this book comes from the brilliant author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

The second delightful book that I recently finished reading was Ann B. Ross' latest, Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle. Like Flagg's book, it's set in the South, but the similarities really end there as this mystery story (the 12th in the Miss Julia mystery series) takes us on an adventure with the discovery of a dead body, and with Miss Julia, of all people, being hauled off to the police station! Having promised her husband that she would stay out of other people's affairs, Miss Julia finds herself in a dilemma as she just can't stop the nagging feeling that the main suspect might very well be innocent. A wonderful mix of mystery and humor, I really do love these Miss Julia books, and I strongly recommend you start with the first of the series, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind.

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Herb and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 2 heads of garlic cut in half crosswise through cloves
  • 1 T oil
  • 3 1/2 lb russet potatoes
  • 2 pkgs (4-5 oz each) reduced fat garlic & herb Rondele cheese
  • 1/2 C hot chicken broth or low-fat milk
  • 1/3 C minced chives
  • Mixed fresh herb sprigs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano (optional)

Brush cut sides of garlic with oil; place garlic, cut sides down, on a 4 by 10" sheet of heavy foil; Fold up edges of foil to form a shallow pan. Place garlic in oven and bake until golden brown on bottom and very soft when squeezed (40-45 minutes).

Remove roasted garlic from oven; let cool. Squeeze or pluck cloves from 3 head halves. Leave other half-head whole; set garlic aside.

Peel potatoes; cut into chunks. Place on a rack set over w-1" water in a 5-6 qt pan. Cover pan; bring water to a boil over high heat. Boil gently until potatoes mash very easily – about 30 minutes.

Drain potatoes, remove rack from pan. Add loose garlic cloves and cheese to potatoes in pan. Mash with a masher or mixer; add as much broth as needed while mashing to make mixture smooth and creamy.

Stir in minced chives; cover to keep warm. Immediately before serving, spoon butter over top.

(I picked this recipe to try out herbs from my newly planted herb garden.)

Want more delicious food ideas? Check out our Recipe Archive!


I have always been fascinated by secrets: the locked gate, the closed door, the secret garden... I suspect that many of you share this fascination.

For what is more delightfully mysterious than a book? It sits before you at first, newly acquired and unopened, its contents presumably a mystery, its characters as yet strangers, its secret draughts of laughter or tears as yet unknown and untasted -- and yet, in a remarkably short time, you and this thing of mystery will have quite probably become the dearest of friends.
Ah, that is magic indeed -- and the best sort of mystery.

All of which brings me to this month's tale: a tale of a secret place rife with rumor, and right at our collective doorstep... We return to the Portuguese Bend area of Palos Verdes.

Now, those who recall our last foray into this area may be forgiven for assuming that I am about to regale you with yet another haunted tale. And indeed, you would apparently not be far wrong, for, to hear many of the locals tell it, some spooky things have gone on at the site of the old Vanderlip Mansions...

Now, it was Frank Vanderlip, known as the "Father of Palos Verdes", who bought the Peninsula in 1913 and began building a series of houses in Portuguese Bend. The Vanderlip family was well heeled and had property elsewhere, and these Palos Verdes homes were intended as summer retreats, where the family could escape to quietly and anonymously. So it was that, though Vanderlip and his sons would play a dominant role in the development of the Palos Verdes area, they would nevertheless keep as low a profile as possible. This may have backfired, as it was not terribly long before rumors began circulating about dark deeds transpiring behind the gated estate.

For, just as you and I cannot wait to open that new book, or wonder what lies behind the locked door or walled garden, so too did nearby residents attempt to discover what lay behind the gates that kept the Vanderlips away from prying eyes.

Rumors began to circulate, and not only have you probably heard them before, but they are also remarkably similar to the legends surrounding that other haunted Portuguese Bend area called the "Spike", enough to make me question the whole tale.

For one of the most persistent rumors was that, just as with the other story, a Vanderlip (the wife in this case) went crazy, chopped the whole family to bits, and then hung herself. One must assume that this tale was the source of much amusement to the very much alive and well wife, as well as the supposedly butchered family members.

Another rumor was apparently transported, unchanged and unchecked, from the Old South of nearly two centuries ago, wherein one of the daughters fell in love with a slave, and driven first to madness and then death. As there are not a lot of reports of institutionalized slavery in 20th Century California, we must discount that one as well.

Ah, but later tales began to circulate of an ancient white-haired ghost who wandered the grounds at night with a pack of silent dogs. This tale, undoubtedly started by youthful trespassers, is actually based in fact. Vanderlip's son Kelvin had married a Norwegian girl named Elin in 1946, and they settled in the Vanderlip mansion called "Villa Narcissa".

Elin's father emigrated from the "old country" to live with them, and was fond of taking the dogs out at night for walks. As he would often take along a shotgun, and as he was prone to going off clad in his nightgown, he must have been quite a sight. Add to that the fact that the dogs had had their voice boxes removed some time previously, and you have all the fixings for a most ghostly apparition, indeed.

No, as it turns out, the oddest apparition Elin Vanderlip would ever experience took place when she first visited the mansion, and found that nearly all the antique chairs seemed to harbor paintings of the most impossibly unusual creatures she had ever seen.

It seems that her husband-to-be had invited a friend to "summer" at the mansion. The paintings were for a book that brings to mind a Palos Verdes memory of my own -- so we'll get back to that.

Let it be said that, contrary to rumors, the Vanderlip grounds are host to three lovely houses and some rather marvelous gardens, albeit gated and thus secret to the world at large. Elin remained after her husband's untimely death, and among other accomplishments brought both Marineland and Marymount to Palos Verdes. She stayed in Villa Narcissa until her death, weeks after her 90th birthday, in July 2009.

As for my own tale, it is quickly told. The original Palos Verdes library at Malaga Cove, happily still in operation, hosted a special "reading time" for tots every Monday morning in the early 1960's. We would all gather in a circle in an otherwise unused room downstairs, and librarian Mrs. Barclay would introduce us to a delightful variety of stories.

One such story was a particular favorite of mine at the time, but I confess that I had forgotten all about it until I began to research this column. It was a story about a boy who determinedly fishes from a small pond that everyone tells him cannot possibly hold fish, but which he imagines is actually secretly connected to the sea, and hence to all the wonders of the Deep Ocean.

So, you see, we have another "secret garden", and one of my first mysteries: the idea of a tiny puddle having Great Depth beyond reckoning. I remember being particularly impatient to check that one out of the library, and so everything comes back to the magical mystery of books, and everything is now neatly tied together.

Or, at least, it's about to be.

For it was the author of that very book who had been staying at Villa Narcissa, and it was the original artwork for that very book that Elin had seen scattered over all of the antique chairs. The book was McElligot's Pool, and the author was none other than Dr. Seuss...

I would in conclusion like to commend all those who correctly identified the originals sources of my little parodies in the last newsletter. The were, in order, Poe's The Raven, the soliloquy from Shakespeare's Hamlet, and the opening lines from Melville's Moby Dick and Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.
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"My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter."
—Thomas Helm

We are located in Torrance, California, at 5039 Torrance Blvd.,
just west of Anza, between Shakey's Pizza and McDonald's restaurant.
Book Again is open 11am to 4pm (CLOSED MONDAYS) (310) 542-1156

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