As the days become shorter and the weather begins to cool, sometimes there is nothing better than snuggling up under a blanket and reading a good book. 

Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena’s local gem as well as Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore, is your one stop shop for all your bookworm needs. Vromons is located on Colorado Boulevard next to the Laemmle theater and situated conveniently behind Jones Coffee. No matter what your taste may be you can count on Vromans to have your back or book.

Since the transition from spooky season to Christmas cheer is still in motion, I suggest delving into a nostalgic read that puts you right back into the 80’s. Even if you weren’t around for the hairspray or cassette tapes, you can purchase your very own VHS tape with “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” by Grady Hendrix. The book is sized as a classic worn video tape, as the cover replicates what these vintage movies used to look like right down to the ‘be kind please rewind’ sticker. Hendrix successfully mixes comedy and fright with pop culture flare. The story takes you on a journey of two young high school girls but one of them ultimately becomes possessed by a demon who seeks to publicly humiliate those who cross it’s path. 

Have no fear if horror isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other fiction tales that are waiting to be explored.

For instance, if you’re into short stories, the late Anthony Veasna So’s “Afterparties” highlights the experiences of Cambodian-American immigrants as well as a queer perspective with comedy and truth. Based in Central California the stories can present a realistic view on the American dream and where it takes some of us. 

“Trained as a comic, So creates deadpan and intricate vignettes about the Cambodian American community that the uninitiated may find startling,” Thuy Dinh of NPR said

Delving into the trauma of the Cambodian genocide and displacement, So is able to capture the lives of his character’s with humor and more importantly relatability. In a time where change and acceptance is imminent, this book is a must read.

Since we are in the midst of longer nights, now is the perfect time to explore the supernatural world of fantasy. A genre that takes the reader on adventures that can only be found within the binding of books.

If you are a fan of fantasy reads and have been waiting for an otherworldly fiction to capture your fancy, fantasize no further with ‘Piranesi’ by Susanna Clarke. 

Since we now live in a world that knows what it feels like to be in lockdown, this particular story relates to the isolation of our collective experience. Although, Piranesi our protagonist replaces loneliness with mystery and a pure acceptance of his solitude. 

Living almost alone in a home that is vast and mysterious, he explores life within its labyrinth as he is only visited twice a week by the house’s other inhabitant Ketterley who seeks to harness the power that he believes the house has. The story progresses and bit by bit the imagery leads the reader through it’s magical mystery. 

“The pages in which we follow Piranesi in his life throughout the House have a slow, meditative pace, but they are immensely compelling. I kept picking up my copy of the book to read during breaks in the day and then finding myself unable to put it down when my time was up,” Constance Grady from Vox said.

Since the days are becoming shorter, the nights are beckoning to us to find that cozy spot under our cuddliest blanket and lose ourselves in a good book. I suggest putting your smartphone down and taking a short drive from PCC to Vromon’s Bookstore to find your next adventure.


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