Literary


The Buddha in the Attic

The Buddha in the Attic
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If I were to write a novel about the experience of a large group of people, I might choose to identify one or two characters and examine their lives in depth. I think most authors would go this way. But in her novel, The Buddha in the Attic, Pen/Faulkner Award winner and National Book Award […]

South Pasadena Author Victoria Patterson

South Pasadena Author Victoria Patterson

The prose is so accomplished, so effortlessly nuanced and suggestive, that more than once I had to check Patterson’s bio to make sure this was her first book. (It is.) —Michael Leone in 2009 writing for the San Francisco Chronicle about Victoria Patterson’s Drift. The Chronicle chose Drift as one of the best books of […]

Queen of Dreams

Queen of Dreams

Words are tricky. My mother had tried to teach me this. Once when I was persteringly insistent with my questions, she said, “Everyone breathes in air, but it’s a wise person who knows when to use that air to speak and when to exhale in silence.”   Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is […]

Tommy Lasorda’s “My Way”

Tommy Lasorda’s “My Way”

Tommy Lasorda believed that winning wasn’t about being the best, but about believing you are the best.¹ In My Way, Colin Gunderson, who worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 13 years, leads readers through the days, life, and legend of famed manager Tommy Lasorda. Gunderson travels back to Lasorda’s childhood in Norristown, Pennsylvania to […]

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

How do you put into words the anguish and ecstasy of first love? Dodie Smith managed that and much more in her 1948 novel, I Capture the Castle, a YA (young adult) novel of the first rate, written long before the term was coined. It’s 1930’s England. Teenaged Cassandra Mortmain lives with her impoverished though […]

Unprocessed

Unprocessed

“As a city-dwelling 26-year-old, Megan Kimble was busy and broke, without so much as a garden plot to her name. But she cared about food: where it came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body. So she set herself a challenge: she would go an entire year without eating processed […]

Amy’s Own – a Review

Amy’s Own – a Review

How does one find one’s center? Learn to love? Grow up? BE a good mother? BE a loving wife? How does one love a mother “on the warpath”? Amy’s Own is a wild and crazy road trip of a novel by Kat Ward. In the ins and outs, back and forth of Charlene and Amy’s […]

Some Luck

Some Luck

Some Luck by Jane Smiley is the first installment in a trilogy, the second of which, Early Warning, has just been released. In Some Luck, Smiley has chosen to have every chapter cover one year; the first year being 1920 and the last 1953; thirty-three years in 395 pages in which a couple marry, have […]

Classic Ray Bradbury

Classic Ray Bradbury

It’s too early to tell if the works of Ray Bradbury will last far into the future, but since his death in 2012 the idea has been tossed around, and not just by me. Certainly Bradbury was not considered a classic by the person who bought his home of 50 years and destroyed it last […]

Orphan Train

Orphan Train

Christina Baker Kline‘s novel Orphan Train was published in 2013. Still selling strong, it’s a favorite with book clubs and readers of historical fiction. When my book club decided to take it on, I was excited. Between 1854 and 1929, more than 200,00 East Coast orphans were sent to the Midwest by train to find […]

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