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

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >

The Circle

The Circle
TumblrEmailOther Share Options

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Flight Behavior

Flight Behavior

An extended metaphor saved by Kingsolver’s brilliant writing, Flight Behavior sets up the wayward migration of Monarch butterflies, drawn off-course by global warming, as an echo of the situation of Dellarobia Turnbow, an Appalachian farmer searching for something less confining than her existence as a mother and wife in a remote mountain hamlet. When Dellarobia […]

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 […]

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 […]

Fiore

Flintridge Books

Colorado Street Bridge Party

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena

Search