Author Archive


Royal Tea Party

Royal Tea Party

Is your little girl into being a princess? Maybe she’d like to meet some real ones… Future kings, queens, princes, and princesses, come dressed in your finery for a very special visit from the 2015 Tournament of Roses Royal Court, who will share their favorite princess stories and recent Tournament experiences. Bring a camera, your […]

The Grand Duchess of Nowhere

The Grand Duchess of Nowhere

When a novel opens with a two-page diagram showing generations of the Romanov family tree, I admit to being daunted. Yet The Grand Duchess of Nowhere by Laurie Graham is not daunting at all. Told in the chatty, first-person voice of the Grand Duchess Victoria (Melita) Feodorovna, it’s brisk and lively. I quickly came to […]

Primal Scene

Primal Scene

The church my family attended in our medium-sized, Midwestern town held an annual mother/daughter banquet. Every woman was expected to volunteer. My mother was a teacher and breadwinner before the feminist movement gave her permission; it wasn’t like her to make a casserole or decorate the church basement. She was a writer and had studied […]

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas

“Being a Jane Austen Mystery,” I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy this derivative work by Stephanie Barron. Baron’s Jane, a character based on her historical counterpart, solves murder mysteries. (No zombies.) Barron has captured Austen’s tone, if not Austen herself, with early 19th century humor and gentile snark. The story takes place in an English country […]

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

Early in Andrew Sean Greer’s The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, Greta walks with her beloved twin brother, Felix, near their childhood home, a brownstone in Patchin Place, Manhattan. It’s their 31st birthday and they’ve just left the party, happy in each other’s company. When a neighbor is outwardly unkind to them Felix asks her, […]

Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses

Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses shimmers with blue: the bright blue of a Norwegian summer sky, the dark blue of a moonless night, the blue-black of a flowing river, even the faded blue flowers on the cloth of a woman’s dress. From his perspectives as a 67-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy, Trond Sander tells […]

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” The opening sentence of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar reflects the ambivalence of her main character, a young and talented woman who’s discovering that what she wants (to be a great writer) […]

Wiggle Waggle 2014

Wiggle Waggle 2014

Every year, the Pasadena Humane Society’s Wiggle Waggle Walk unites families and dogs to raise funds in support of dogs that don’t have families. There will be a fashion show and a look-alike contest. I don’t much resemble Wilma except in lounging posture, and neither of us is ready to be in such a big crowd. […]

The Safety Godmothers

The Safety Godmothers

I wanted a fairy godmother when I was a young Cinderella. A fairy godmother has your happiness in mind. But fairies are hard to find. But now we have The Safety Godmothers, Ellen Snortland and Lisa Gaeta, who have our safety in mind. Their book, The Safety Godmothers: The ABCs of Awareness, Boundaries and Confidence […]

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Madame Michel, the concierge at an exclusive hotel particuliere in Paris, believes the rich people she serves think her ugly and dull. She’s wrong. They don’t notice her at all. Madame Michel, in Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, does her best to keep it that way by playing the stereotypical concierge. She wears […]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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