Sizzlin’ Summer Picks

From apps to movies—two local tastemakers share some favorites.

Natalie Dreyfuss

The Secret Life of the American Teenager
North Hollywood

Summer movie

World War Z. I wasn’t expecting to like it, and it surprised me. I am going through a bit of a zombie phase (The Walking Dead)!


I really love Lennon and Maisy. They are the two little girls from the TV show Nashville, and they have a ton of stuff on YouTube.


I just started using a Samsung Galaxy; it has so many apps. If I say to my phone something like “games” or “Chinese food,” all kinds of apps pop up automatically!

Beach Reading

I will try and read pieces of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. I do that in different times of my life, because it reminds me how to stay present.

Rand J. Chortkoff

Delta Groove Music, Inc.

Summer Movie

Star Trek. The special effects were great, and I love the music.


My Own Holiday. I am about to produce their new album. They’re a young, aggressive duo—guitar and drums.


Mailbox. It is a great way to organize my emails and contacts all on my iPad and iPhone.

Beach Reading

Tell My Sons: A Father’s Last Letters . It is a story of courage in the face of fear and devastation. It is non-fiction, which I enjoy.

Made in the Valley

Saving The Season:

A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving

Kevin West, Altadena

Wondering what to do with all those summer peaches and tomatoes? Journalist (and instructor at Institute of Domestic Technology) Kevin West crossed the country in search of regional recipes for jams, pickles, cordials, cocktails and candies. Here he shares them—along with gorgeous color photographs. From Pickled Asparagus with Tarragon and Green Garlic to Scotch Marmalade, you’ll savor this book all year long.

Velvet Fire

Jennifer Hope, Studio City

It’s no wonder that Jennifer Hope’s beautiful voice caught the eye of Eddie Van Halen, who funded her new CD, Velvet Fire. The classically trained musician’s unique version of alternative pop rock is irresistible. This CD offers nine original tunes as well as a terrific rendition of U2’s “With Or Without You.”

Final Sentence

Daryl Wood Gerber, Encino

This is the latest fun page-turner in the “A Cookbook Nook Mystery” series. Protagonist Jenna Hart leaves the world of advertising to open a bookshop/café. Back with her family in their California coastal town, the 20-something seems to have all the right ingredients for a fresh start—until someone adds a dash of murder. Long-time writer Daryl Gerber chucks her alter ego, Avery Aames, with this summer’s release and reveals herself as author. We’re damn glad.