Author Archive


Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog Kate Atkinson continues to mine England’s disaffected middle (the middle of the country and the middle class) for mysteries that are, at their heart, character-driven novels. Tracy Waterhouse, middle-aged, retired from the police force and working as a security guard at a local, depressing mall, makes an improbable decision. Both [...]

“Parsifal” & “On Canaan’s Side”

“Parsifal” & “On Canaan’s Side”

Parsifal by Jim Krusoe If you have a taste for the surreal, a wry, dark sense of humor that might not be getting enough exercise, and a high tolerance for ambiguity, check out South Pasadena’s own Jim Krusoe. His latest novel, Parsifal, is as cagey and laugh-out-loud funny as his previous books. Cagey: What exactly [...]

Franz Kafka Fits Right In

Franz Kafka Fits Right In

My son had to read this for his freshman year at college. I picked it up after he left and found it just as funny, sad, and absurd as the first time I read it (perhaps when I was in college myself). But, I found it a far more sinister metaphor these days, both as [...]

Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart

In Any Human Heart, William Boyd sets out to chronicle the 20th century from a rather ordinary person’s point of view. Logan Mountstuart is a bit of an outsider, a bit of an insider, a moderately successful, moderately interesting person who manages to utterly charm and intrigue the reader through seven decades of fictional diaries. [...]

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Science writer Rebecca Skloot uncovered much more than the history of a cell line when she set out to write a book about HeLa, a strain of human cells that figured in the development of significant advances in medicine. Her ten years of research brought her into intimate contact with the descendants of Henrietta Lacks, [...]

Antony and Cleopatra Kiss Away Kingdoms

Antony and Cleopatra Kiss Away Kingdoms

There is a line midway through Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra that neatly sums up the plot: “We have kiss’d away kingdoms and provinces.” Recently added to A Noise Within’s inaugural season, Antony and Cleopatra takes full advantage of the new theater, conjuring Imperial Rome, luxurious Egypt, and battles on land and sea. But the real [...]

Hoyt Street

Hoyt Street

Mary Helen Ponce grew up in a Pacoima barrio in the middle of World War II. Hoyt Street is her memoir of the times, the places, the people and the food as she experienced it as a sheltered, bratty, impish, bright, sassy, questioning young girl. She’s bilingual, raised in a household so overflowing with kids [...]

Fatty’s Lives!

Fatty’s Lives!

Eagle Rock’s venerable vestal of vegan cuisine, Fatty’s, has recently reopened after the owners took a long sabbatical. The intermission seemed endless—I would slowly drive by on my way down Colorado Boulevard, hoping that the strings of twinkly lights would be back on, glowing cheerfully through the big glass garage doors, illuminating happy diners noshing [...]

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a clever bit of restaurant-as-theater. The room’s high ceilings are shrouded in dark-painted timbers; it looks like there is an intriguing story—in both senses of the word—above the heads of diners. Large, cheesy paintings are offset by tasteful flowers and sensuous china. The menu is an actual scroll, and you get custom-made [...]

The Tiger’s Wife

The Tiger’s Wife

The Tiger’s Wife is an enigmatic, involving tale of life in the Balkans (the actual country is coyly, and rightly, never named). Interweaving the contemporary experience of Natalia, a young doctor, with that of her grandfather and, by extension, an unbroken line of folk memory stretching into the distant past, this first novel by Téa [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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