Little Free Library

Apr 9, 2014

IMG_0316Taking a walk in our neighborhood last week, we came across a “Little Free Library.”

Painted in the colors of the attendant house, this box full of books welcomes passerby to “Take a book, return a book.”

So, we indulged, perusing the baker’s dozen on display and settled on Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost that is proving interesting but dense; not a single-sitting tear-through—which is a good thing as we often (too often) allow ourselves to lose a whole day reading, turning a blind eye to the day’s “Must Do” list.

This morning, we sorted through a growing stack of books and offered our own donations. So, for anyone in the area, here are the worthwhile authors we have forced ourselves to share…


Kwei Quartey is a Pasadena doctor and author. Murder at Cape Three Points is the third installment of his Darko mystery series (we loved and reviewed Wife of the Gods and Children of the Street). Another local author, Naomi Hirahara, is represented by Blood Hina and Strawberry Yellow, part of her popular Mas Arai mystery series. Anyone willing to share her Murder in Bamboo Lane, a new series starring bike cop Ellie Rush? Email us if you do; we want to be first in line, promising to merely borrow and return.

To receive an introduction to local authors, try Pasadena’s Prospect Park Books’ Literary Pasadena that includes short pieces by Hometown Pasadena contributor Petrea Burchard and locals Ron Koertge, Lian Dolan, Denise Hamilton, Michelle Huneven, Jervey Tervalon, and Jill Alison Ganon, among others.

For light reading (a single-sitting tear-through), try The Dead in Their Valted Arches, the latest installment of the Flavia de Luce mystery series that began with the marvelous Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. A more serious read, an odd and engaging read, is Amanda Coplin’s debut novel The Orchardist.

Little Free Library:  at the corner of Oxley Street and Avon Place, South Pasadena, between Mission Street and Monterey Road (north and south) and east of Marengo Avenue.

There are eight officially registered Little Free Libraries in Pasadena, two more in South Pasadena, two in Altadena, one in Claremont, three in Glendale, one in La Cañada Flintridge, one in Monrovia, one in San Gabriel, and one in Sierra Madre. See full listing and details of locations here.

Read about Todd Bol and Rich Brooks of Wisconsin who started the movement in 2009 at

What are your neighbors reading…




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