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LAist Interview: Robyn Kamimura

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Book people are the luckiest people in the world because they get to read what they love while on the job. So we envy Robyn Kamimura, the assistant Promotional Director at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. She organizes book signings for authors and gets to meet and greet the celebrated and the strange everyday. Robyn contributes to the books column in the Arroyo Monthly magazine. She also writes a kick-ass email newsletter for the store. You can sign up for her weekly dispatches here

While you are at it, check out Vroman's Blog.

Age and Occupation:
24. Assistant Promotional Director @ Vroman's Bookstore

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How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and which neighborhood do you live in?
I've lived here all my life, except for my years at U.C.S.D. I currently live in Pasadena.

Why do you live in Los Angeles?
This is where I grew up, so no matter where in the world I move to now, I'll always consider Los Angeles my real home. Of course, like any L.A. native, I've got a love-hate relationship with the city, but I've gotten used to all the chaos. And, really, when you live in the suburbs (or my Pasadena neighborhood; it's pretty calm around here), there's nothing that bad. What we call "news" these days only shows the negative side to situations. Just stay out of Hollywood & West Hollywood on weekends, at least late at night if you scare easily; lots of people and lots of traffic.

What are your favorite books this month?
It’s always so hard to pinpoint my “favorite” books, but I can tell you what I’m currently reading. I always read multiple titles at the same time, so what I’ve got on my nightstand (and also scattered on the couch & in the car) are Casanova’s Women: The Great Seducer and the Women He Loved (set to come out in October), Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die, The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific, and a graphic novel called The Left Bank Gang.

I also finished a book recently that really surprised me. It’s called World War Z by Max Brooks (Mel Brooks’ son), and it’s a story about zombies infiltrating the planet, so it wasn’t really something that appealed to me at first. Books like that usually aren’t my cup of tea, but upon the recommendation of our Merchandising Manager, Anne (who’d heard it was pretty good from a friend of hers, and I always trust her judgment), I picked it up and started reading it. I only finished about 45-50 pages that first night, but let me tell you, that was the first book in years that has actually given me nightmares…and I absolutely loved it! It’s surprisingly well-written, extremely intelligent, and it’s definitely not at all cheesy. Brooks addresses issues in such a well-informed way (everything from military procedure to psychological breakdowns of human behavior to actual environmental consequences of a mass world war) that you find yourself completely enthralled with the story from first page to last. He really knows how to pull you into the situation and make you feel like you’re experiencing it all firsthand. His descriptions of zombie encounters are absolutely eerie and bone-chilling…I’d definitely recommend this to horror lovers (although it's not your typical horror book), sci-fi/fantasy-esque fans, and general fiction readers. Basically, it's a great, well-written book.