Estate Jewelers of South Pasadena



What We’re Reading


The Big Truck That Went By

The Big Truck That Went By

When the title of Chapter One is “The End,” you know this non-fiction work is going to be heavy-duty. It also turns out to be much more than that. Here is Hometown Pasadena’s first installment of a book review by a local book club. For this occasion—wonderfully, but atypically—the author of The Big Truck That [...]

J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

“The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.” Is that why there’s a profusion of the c-word, the f-word, and other popular profanities? As someone who can swear with the best of them, I have no objections to people cursing, but doing so amongst friends and reading conversations on the page that are [...]

The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

The Quickening Maze By Adam Foulds Who better than a poet to write a novel that deals with madness, creativity, and love? Adam Foulds brings a vividness of both diction and imagination to this story of Victorian nature poet John Clare and his time spent in an asylum which becomes ever more horrific as its [...]

NW by Zadie Smith

NW by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith knows London and, village by village, street by street, bus line by bus line, and tube stop by tube stop, she excels at dissecting the great city’s tiny moments, tribal loyalties, dialects and, most of all, anxieties. In NW, she draws a portrait of London via its North West post codes, well outside [...]

The Warmth of Other Suns

The Warmth of Other Suns

The Warmth of Other Suns By Isabel Wilkerson  The award-winning history The Warmth of Other Suns was urged on me while I was standing in line to see Michelle Obama at a fundraiser two years ago.  In San Marino, home of the John Birch Society, hundreds of black women lined up on the sidewalk, having contributed a [...]

The Gods of Gotham

The Gods of Gotham

The description of mid-1800s New York City at the time that they were attempting to institute a police force is masterful. This historical backdrop is bound by a story of a young man, his unrequited love for a woman, and his estranged, co-dependent relationship with his brother (his only living relative). After he loses his [...]

A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Another haunting tale of captivity, culture clash and love from Patchett, whose Bel Canto was a wonder of a novel. The Amazon, the main setting for this novel, is itself a State of Wonder, a sort of lotus-land jungle that combines the vaguely threatening with a golden haze of passivity and credulousness. Don’t miss the [...]

Wife of the Gods

Wife of the Gods

Many of the reviews of Wife of the Gods mention that if you “like” The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency then you’ll “love” Dr. Kwei Quartey’s first novel. Nothing against Alexander McCall Smith, but I think it’s a bit “apples and oranges.” Though Wife of the Gods contains all the markings of a standard mystery—the detective at [...]

The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell David Mitchell took a 180-degree turn from Cloud Atlas to write this straight-ahead historic novel that takes place around 1800 in Nagasaki. In the harbor lies Japan’s only outpost for foreigners: a virtual prison island for the Dutch traders there. Each culture fears, mistrusts, and exploits [...]

Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies”

Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies”

If possible, better than its predecessor Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel‘s Bring up the Bodies continues to follow the harrowing career of Thomas Cromwell as he orchestrates, navigates, and patiently out-waits and outwits everyone at the court of Henry VIII. Mantel does more interesting things with her narrative, a sort of third-person singular  from Cromwell’s point of [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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