What We’re Reading


Chris Hayes: A Colony in a Nation

Chris Hayes: A Colony in a Nation

Let us build bridges, my friends, build bridges to human dignity across that gulf that separates black America from white America. Black Americans, no more than white Americans, they do not want more government programs which perpetuate dependency. They don’t want to be a colony in a nation. —President Richard Nixon This is an excerpt […]

A Piece of the World

A Piece of the World

Orphan Train brought her fame. A Piece of the World brings us Andrew Wyeth. Andrew Wyeth’s 1948 painting Christina’s World is the impetus for Christina Baker Kline’s new novel. She will be discussing and signing A Piece of the World at Vroman’s on March 17. As with her bestseller, A Piece of the World moves back […]

The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer

One City One Book programs take the idea of a localized book discussion club and expand it to cover a whole city, Michael Rogers wrote in 2002. The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller […]

Future Awake in Mouth of NOW

Future Awake in Mouth of NOW

Gerda Govine Ituarte is a woman we’ve come to know; initially over a bowl of soup at Euro Pane (the original) and subsequently via quick chats at events, some phone calls, and email. She’s a businesswoman, a consultant, an activist, a supporter, and a poet. We admit readily that we are not learned when it comes […]

Talking to Ourselves

Talking to Ourselves

My dog Wilma and I take a turn off the main drag onto one of the tree-lined blocks of our Pasadena neighborhood. Across the street a man walks in the opposite direction, talking to himself. I double-check: yes. No smartphone, no earbuds. He stops talking when he sees us. I pretend not to notice. As […]

Book Launch: Future Awakes in Mouth of NOW

Book Launch: Future Awakes in Mouth of NOW

    Gerda Govine Ituarte uses words like a painter employs a brush—with a strong definitive stroke heavy with paint, revealing grooves and ridges, depth and texture, or a flick of the wrist creating a wisp of an expression, a stipple light as air. Gerda’s poetry paints pictures previously unimagined… Mother Nature in pain. Throws new red shiny […]

Book Alley

Book Alley

This week we don’t have a book review or a promotion for an author’s event or book release. We have Book Alley. And as much as we love Vroman’s, Century Books, and Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, we’re just as happy to have Book Alley within reach. Even though it’s only 24 years old, Book Alley […]

Defender of the Realm

Defender of the Realm

It’s the dark, wee hours of a 12th century morning at England’s Dansford Castle, near the Welsh border. The castle is vulnerable, with only a small regiment of guards. To do their part, the men of the village each serve a shift as lookout from time to time. On this night, James, the village cobbler, […]

The Dragon Ring

The Dragon Ring

Ben Harper was once a poet, a musician, and a Renaissance Faire re-enactor. Now, he’s left all that behind to be a well-paid host on a British reality TV show. He’s happily married and enjoying fatherhood, yet he’s been denying himself—his talents, his desires, and yes, his actual Self. In Maggie Secara’s The Dragon Ring, book one […]

Looking for Will: My Bardic Quest with Shakespeare

Looking for Will: My Bardic Quest with Shakespeare

Who was Shakespeare, really? Greg Bell asks the question in his book, Looking for Will: My Bardic Quest With Shakespeare, a collection of poems, stories, and remembrances about the years Bell performed as the Bard himself, onstage and at popular Renaissance Faires. Besides being an author, Bell is (obviously) a Shakespearean actor. He currently facilitates […]

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