Posts tagged with the keyword: ‘book reviews by mel’

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Americanah by Adichie

Americanah by Adichie
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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie begins with Ifemulu’s journey to get her hair braided, navigating the African Diaspora in New Jersey. It’s an extended metaphor for finding one’s way in the world. Ifemulu and Obinze are lovers in Lagos, members of the lower middle class who meet in college and take very different paths. Ifemulu […]

The Circle

The Circle

I’m a little late to the party on this book, and it’s maddeningly shallow, but what a lucid, fast take on a timely, important subject. Extremely readable, if it weren’t for a few graphic sex scenes and liberal profanity it could (should?) be compulsory reading for every seventh grader. The book’s message is as crystal-clear […]

All the Happiness You Deserve

All the Happiness You Deserve

In All the Happiness You Deserve, Michael Piafsky tells the story of a life in small details and crystalline moments. Scotty, a dreamer and drifter, seems punished for every initiative, every step forward. Yet in the end Scotty’s story, precisely because it is, in its bleak ordinariness, rendered so lovingly, takes on a luminosity. It’s […]

The Stager

The Stager

With The Stager, Susan Coll has created a funny, crisp, self-aware farce that skewers Big Ambition, Big Pharma, and Big Housing Stock alike with the help of a literal-minded ten-year-old (Elsa), a rabbit who may or may not speak (Dominique), and a wry sense of English major humor and outsider wit. Elsa’s father Lars, a […]

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag

A handy how-to-clean handbook for mature audiences only, My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbags And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr is a breathless romp through cleanliness, which in this book is not next to godliness, but often a consequence of raunchiness. Kerr, a self-described “Clean Person,” dispenses plenty of solid — […]

Trash Can Days

Trash Can Days

A debut YA novel by whiz kid Teddy Steinkellner, Trash Can Days is an authentic slice of life as told by Jake Schwartz, whose trepidation facing middle school is well-founded; his older sister, Hannah, dominating, cool and definitely part of the in crowd; his best friend, Danny, who has grown up over the summer — […]

Skios

Skios

Michael Frayn, the author of the hilarious play Noises Off, has created the ultimate beach novel that is just begging for Hugh Grant to option it and turn it into a non-singing, all-charming summer movie. Set in the days before the internet gave us all instant access to everyone’s personal data, including photos, floppy-haired, feckless […]

The Cutting Season

The Cutting Season

Add another thoughtful, compelling look at American slavery to 12 Years a Slave and the Ani DiFranco/Nottaway conversation and cancellation: Attica Locke’s perceptive mystery novel, The Cutting Season. Set in the present day, but haunted by the past, The Cutting Season features a conflicted modern black woman, Caren Gray, who has returned to Louisiana to […]

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

This is a tale by Mohsin Hamid, set in Lahore, Pakistan, in which a charming local named Changez tells a story of immigration, assimilation, disillusion, and emigration in the course of a single afternoon and evening. His “guest” at the table in the bustling market restaurant might be a CIA operative, but is most certainly […]

The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling

This extremely likable debut detective novel by JK Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith) features an up-to-the-minute rant on celebrity, a standard-issue schlubby-but-brilliant detective-with-a-past with a twist, his winsome gal Friday, and a cast of well-drawn, semi-unsavory people as suspects/bad actors. The sympathetic characters get even better treatment, and everyone’s lives are satisfyingly messy, detailed, and […]

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Flintridge Books

Colorado Street Bridge Party

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena

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