Author Archive


Loving Frank

Loving Frank

The first time I heard of Frank Lloyd Wright, I was standing in the living room of the Hollyhock House, transfixed by my Occidental College professor Bob Winter. He was re-enacting the suicide of Mrs. Barnsdall’s goldfish. The tyrannical genius architect Wright (I believe the epithet Winter used was “Napoleonic”) had designed an indoor fishpond […]

9 Great Kids’ Books for Holiday Gifting

9 Great Kids’ Books for Holiday Gifting

San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe employs some of the savviest elves in town, ever ready to help with the eternal question, “What should I get for my niece/cousin/neighbor in the (fill in the blank here) age group?” The large and airy space on Huntington Drive is a mecca for birthday and holiday shoppers, because […]

Cherie Twohy, Cook, Author & Trader Joe’s Maven

Cherie Twohy, Cook, Author & Trader Joe’s Maven

Cherie (pronounced shuh-ree) Twohy has earned a cult-like following for her two cookbooks, the I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook and the new I Love Trader Joe’s Party Cookbook, both available at Vroman’s and pretty much everywhere. A trained chef, she teaches classes and does corporate bonding events at Chez Cherie, a cooking demonstration space on Foothill […]

At Home

At Home

For the price of a good bottle of wine, you can gift your holiday hosts and hostesses with a book they won’t be able to put down. But careful, because Bill Bryson is probably a more charming party guest than you can ever hope to be. I will read anything Bill Bryson has written. I […]

Yes, Virginia, There Are Great Books About Winter Holidays

Yes, Virginia, There Are Great Books About Winter Holidays

Winter abounds with holiday traditions, and unless your family is an equal-opportunity celebrator, you may be as stumped as I am when asked simple questions like “what does Hanukkah celebrate?” Or “What’s on the sixth night of Kwanzaa?” or “Why are there Christmas trees?” I remember one Christmas morning (we are  nominal Protestants, and that’s […]

Two Degrees of KPCC Separation

Two Degrees of KPCC Separation

Cruising out on a Wednesday morning toward the Arroyo Seco, tuned to KPCC as nearly always, I was listening to the pledge drive. Demi-desperate, very funny host Steve Julian and general manager Bill Davis were pitching a membership challenge from supporter Tom Hanks, who told an amusing little story about how he first heard about […]

Georgie Kajer, Architect

Georgie Kajer, Architect

Georgie Kajer has had her own firm since 1989, specializing in residential architecture. In that time, Kajer Architects has handled the minor (re-designing friends’ laundry rooms in the early years), the major (Pasadena Showcase House architect of record, 2003) and everything in between. Georgie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona and went solo after commercial architecture […]

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

If you’re looking for a great holiday read, something to pick up and put down easily, to get a bit lost in, and to make you look at life and your relatives in a whole new way, get The Art of Racing in the Rain. Amusing, cogent and undemanding (a bit like Enzo, the narrator), […]

Eating Through Eagle Rock

Eating Through Eagle Rock

In the spirit of local, seasonal Eagle Rock, we set out to sample the fall offerings of that stretch of Colorado Boulevard bounded by Eagle Vista to the east and Eagle Rock Boulevard to the west. In the last decade, many a restaurant has popped up there, anchored by Fatty’s at one end and Camillo’s […]

The Secret Scripture

The Secret Scripture

Sebastian Barry’s novel The Secret Scripture takes us to the contemporary west of Ireland, to a decrepit, ancient asylum that is about to be torn down. This poses a dilemma for the director, Dr. Grene, who must unearth the history of his oldest patient, 99-year-old Roseanne McNulty. Was she committed against her will? Is she really […]

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