What We’re Reading


Room Comes to Vroman’s

Room Comes to Vroman’s

If you haven’t read Emma Donoghue’s novel Room yet, you’re probably sleeping well—but we’re here to warn you that you’ll be staying up until the wee hours once you start reading it. It’s a gripping story of a most unusual mother-son duo, told solely from the 5-year-old boy’s perspective, and it’s both terrifying and uplifting. [...]

The Telling of the Irish

The Telling of the Irish

Spring, even in Southern California, provides exhilaration, variety and a great excuse to curl up with a cup of tea and read. Here’s a literary suggestion to complement a wet, cold weekend that follows a warm, mock-orange-scented week: Tana French’s three-novel cycle of crime and (not much) redemption. With French’s luminous writing, you are in [...]

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

If Miss Marple investigated social consciousness instead of murder mysteries, Agatha Christie might have written this book. Set in a charmingly upscale village on the Sussex downs, this novel is a charmingly upscale commentary on British snobbery as widowed, bookish and oh-so-English Major Pettigrew falls inevitably in love with the village’s Pakistani shopkeeper. Consequences ensue, [...]

Mudbound

Mudbound

Pasadena’s selection for the upcoming One City One Story program is Mudbound. This debut novel by Hillary Jordan is set in the Mississippi Delta just after World War II, as two families play out the South’s eternal conflicts over race, land and class. Six main characters alternate in telling the story, which begins with a burial [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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), [...]

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 [...]

The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge

I’ll cut right to the chase: The Invisible Bridge is a wonderful, captivating read, intimate and grand at the same time. This first novel by San Francisco writer Julie Orringer, many years in the making and her second work after her acclaimed book of short stories, How to Breathe Underwater, takes readers to 1930s Budapest [...]

Post Vacation Book Report

Post Vacation Book Report

It’s always inspiring at the end of summer vacation season to hear a friend rave about a book she read on the plane, on the beach or in the cabin. So we thought we’d share three novels that our Hometown Pasadena friends can’t stop talking about as summer draws to a close. Before everyone’s reading [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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