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

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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 […]

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Anthony Marra explores the extraordinary circumstances of war that bring both tragedy and humor, often in equal doses, in this complex tale of the Chechen wars (yes, there were two) that captures the fragmentation of war. This riveting novel follows three main characters (Akhmed, Havana and Sonja) whose lives intertwine via compassion, coincidence and violence. […]

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 […]

Cain

Cain

After giving the Pulitzer Prize committee a piece of my mind for The Goldfinch, I can only heap kudos on the Nobel people awarded the intoxicating, maddening, brilliant Jose Saramago the Prize for Literature in 1998. Saramago’s last book was Cain, a dark yet whimsical take on the human relationship with God that is literate, ironic, […]

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

Theo’s life turns upside down on a morning visit to the Metropolitan Museum with his mother, setting into motion events that are both traumatic and transcendent. Without giving away this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Donna Tartt, it’s impossible to say much more than this: a 400-year-old painting called The Goldfinch provides the anchor (in that […]

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 — […]

The Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things

Forget whatever you knew about Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) and prepare to fall in love with this unlikely novel about a nineteenth century scholar of mosses, Alma Whittaker, and her strange, compelling, complex life. Born into privilege in a great house on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Alma is brilliant, tall and plain-featured. […]

Fiore

Flintridge Books

Colorado Street Bridge Party

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena

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