South Pas Books


The Glimpses of South Pasadena Book
A collection of original photos
by Laurie Allee

Thanks to everyone who has asked me about this!  

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Glimpses of South Pasadena Blank Books:

If you want to write your own book about South Pasadena (or anything else, for that matter) check out my collection of hardbound journals and spiral notebooks, each with original Glimpses of South Pasadena photographs on the covers.  I'm a journal-writing blank book nut, and I just had to make a collection featuring some of my favorite views of our fair city.  You can even pick whether you want lined paper, graph paper or blank paper.  Hurray!
Get them at my Redbubble Gallery.

I'm extremely pleased with the printing and manufacturing quality of all my RedBubble photo items -- including more than just traditional art prints. (Be sure to take a look at the acrylic blocks.)  I recently put up a series of greeting cards and postcards.  

New in 2020:  I'll have a choice of calendars for the new year, including the reader favorite: Vintage Cars of South Pasadena -- with previously unseen photos added.  Stay tuned! 

Wondering about books by South Pasadena authors? Check out my recommendations in this post and also this one.

Looking for books about South Pasadena and its close neighbors?  These are my favorites:

South Pasadena, CA, Images of America
by Rick Thomas

I absolutely love Rick Thomas's books.  They're like looking back into a time machine, with loads of vintage photographs and interesting stories from the past.

From the book description:

South Pasadena is a small city among giants, sandwiched between the great metropolis of Los Angeles and its nationally famous namesake neighbor, Pasadena. Described as a modernday Mayberry and a Norman Rockwell painting come to life, South Pasadena thoroughly represents the very idea of "Main Street America." 

South Pasadena, a Centennial History
by Jane Apostol

This is the definitive history of South Pasadena, in a beautiful hardback edition.  This book is a treasure trove of inside information, history, photographs and stories from one of South Pasadena's most beloved residents.

South Pasadena's Raymond Hotel
by Rick Thomas

Another winning history from Rick Thomas.  Ever wonder what it was like back in South Pasadena's resort heyday.  (South Pasadena was a resort?! Yes!) This book has fantastic images of the several versions of South Pasadena's posh Raymond Hotel.  Alas, there is nothing left now but a small bit of stone from a retaining wall and the gorgeous palms that once lined the drive.  Dive into this book for a look at the former glory.

From the book:

Built in lavish Victorian style in 1886 atop Bacon Hill, the Raymond Hotel was the most regal feature on the skyline in the San Gabriel River Valley--a sundown silhouette of the wealth and prominence that had coalesced in the Pasadena area. It became the base of activities for Eastern tycoons' families enjoying the balmy Southern California climate, even fostering the development of the winter mansions on Orange Grove Avenue. After the original 200-room hotel with 80 chimneys burned down on Easter Sunday in 1895, the second 300-room Raymond Hotel opened in 1901. 

South Pasadena's Ostrich Farm, CA, Images of America
by Rick Thomas

Yes, South Pasadena used to have an ostrich farm, but it was much more than that.  At one point, people paid to watch ostriches swallow oranges.  Seriously!  This book offers a fascinating study of South Pasadena's quirky former attraction.

From the book description:

Edwin Cawston courted the early-20th-century public's fascination with exotic foreign creatures when he began raising ostriches, for more than the use of their feathers in the clothing industry. When Cawston brought the enormous, flightless, African birds onto prime real estate in the Arroyo Seco of South Pasadena, Los Angeles County, more than a few observers thought that the looniest bird might be him. But Cawston was determined to showcase struthio camelus, the biggest bird in the world at 8 vertical feet and 350 pounds. The Cawston Ostrich Farm soon became one of the most popular Southern California attractions...

by David Ebershoff

I became utterly lost in this epic, multilayered historical novel set in and around Pasadena.  Locals will love the details of Pasadena, the surrounding San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles.

From the book description:

From the award-winning author of The Danish Girl and The Rose CityPasadena tells the story of Linda Stamp, a fishergirl born in 1903 on a coastal onion farm, and the three men who change her life: her jealous brother, Edmund; Bruder, the orphan Linda’s father brings home from World War I; and a Pasadena orange rancher named Willis Poore. The novel spans Linda’s adventurous and romantic life, weaving the tales of her Mexican mother and her German-born father with those of the rural Pacific Coast of her youth and of the small, affluent city, Pasadena, that becomes her home. Pasadena is a novel of passion and history, about a woman and a place in perpetual transformation.

On Old Racho San Pascual; The Story of South Pasadena

This is a wonderful reprint of a publicity pamphlet, originally printed in 1922.

From the book description:

This reproduction was printed from a digital file created at the Library of Congress as part of an extensive scanning effort started with a generous donation from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Library is pleased to offer much of its public domain holdings free of charge online and at a modest price in this printed format. Seeing these older volumes from our collections rediscovered by new generations of readers renews our own passion for books and scholarship.

Greetings From Pasadena
by Mary L. Martin and Kim Hufford

While not South Pas specific, this collection has some amazing vintage photographs and postcards of Pasadena and surrounding areas.

From the book description:

Take a historical journey to Pasadena, California, through rare views of vintage postcards spanning the early 1900s through the 1960s. See how this city in the suburbs of Los Angeles offered Californians entertainment, beautiful sights, and a place to call home...

Know of any other great books set in the area?  Let me know! I'd love to check them out, and share them with others.