Estate Jewelers of South Pasadena



What We’re Reading


Black Water Rising

Black Water Rising

There’s a place somewhere between the overdone, show-off prose of some “literary” fiction, and the merely serviceable, pulp genre stuff. In either case, the language can kick you out of the story. “That’s a beautiful sentence!” you think. Or “This is godawful stuff.” It doesn’t matter which, because the same thing happens. For a moment, [...]

Jasmine and Fire: A Bittersweet Year in Beirut

Jasmine and Fire: A Bittersweet Year in Beirut

Salma Abdelnour spends a year in Beirut, the city she fled with her parents at age nine, contemplating the meaning of “home” as she ponders whether to resettle there. The book begins tilted much towards an Eat Pray Love style personal confessional but gradually gives way to a broader picture of Beirut, the Middle East [...]

Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon

Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon

A taut thriller set in Istanbul just after WWII, Istanbul Passage features a compelling compact narrative, an intriguing multinational and fully drawn cast of characters, and moody musings on morality and patriotism. The clipped dialogue, à la Robert MItchum, may be a deal breaker for some, but it’s worth sticking with as the action becomes [...]

Americashire

Americashire

Lately I’ve been reading memoirs. It surprises me that I like them so much because I tend to read novels, and because I write fiction. I can’t imagine writing my own memoir. Too many people are still around to find out about it and hate me for it. I suppose I could sugarcoat it but [...]

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

We tried to explain the appeal of satirist/essayist/absurdist David Sedaris to our Turkish guide as our family exploded with laughter while passing around his latest book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.  Every time one of us put the book down, having just finished a chapter that dealt with his observations on China, or his father [...]

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, concerns the disappearance of a semi-dysfunctional mother (aren’t we all?) as told through the eyes of her super-smart eighth grade daughter, Bee. Bernadette is as smart as her daughter, but considerably more acerbic and decidedly misanthropic. It turns out she has been on the [...]

Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors

A memoir by Augusten Burroughs Born into an already troubled family— —wait. Let’s tell it like it is. Because in Augusten Burroughs’ memoir, Running With Scissors, he tells it like it was. And it was weird. Born into a totally screwed-up family, with an alcoholic father and a psychotic mother who fought raging battles on [...]

Camelot & Vine by Petrea Burchard

Camelot & Vine by Petrea Burchard

“I hadn’t planned on a mid-life crisis…but I was gripped by the urge to run.” “As soon as the plane took off I knew I’d made a mistake.…The pilot chattered away over the intercom. It would take something like nine hours to get to London. Nine hours of panic in economy class was just plain [...]

Royalist Rebel

Royalist Rebel

Regardless of the story inside, recent covers of historical novels are all about the bodice. A hint of cleavage indicates a hint of romance, maybe even lust. These books are obviously aimed at women, but when the character’s head is cut out of the picture, I wonder what kind of women those cover designers are [...]

Old Filth

Old Filth

Like a bracing draught of quinine water, the beautifully written Old Filth by Jane Gardam is both astringent and purifying; it’s good for you and, it turns out, has more than a little kick. If you are fascinated by the effects of the Empire on Britain and its subjects, this novel will be like adding gin to [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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