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Aug 28th
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Literature

A&E - Literature

A Rare Bird

A Rare Bird

Favorite local author James D. Houston pens another engrossing novel

When James D. Houston walks into your office and kindly asks if you might be willing to review his latest book, the answer, of course, is yes. Houston, a long-time local scribe who has achieved national acclaim for his writings, is a master of the written word. His books, including the recent release, “Bird of Another Heaven,” are gems. In addition, the fact that Houston is a down-to-earth gentleman puts yet another gold star in his grade book.

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A&E - Literature

Hollywood in the Hills

Jane Smiley takes on Tinesltown

Last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley slipped into a UC Santa Cruz class. While she might be a bit older than the general stock of students, no one paid attention to her. Week after week, Smiley sat in on Loren Steck’s class about Hollywood, how the showbiz industry works and the movies that it makes. Smiley, a famous author, with her signature light hair, big glasses and wide smile, took notes. If only the students had known who was amongst them—Smiley was attending a class about movies to do research for a book she was writing about Hollywood and the people who make movies.

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A&E - Literature

V for Vendela

V for Vendela

Identity issues surface in Vendela Vida’s captivating new read

Dad has just died. Mom split when she was just 14. Her brother is “mentally challenged.” Clarissa Iverton has had a rough life. But things are about to get even more gritty for the thirtysomething woman. Growing up in a dysfunctional household has hardly prepared her for a cross-continental trip that will tear back years and layers of family secrets, as well as invent a few new ones.

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A&E - Literature

Mountain High

Mountain HighRevered author Charles Frazier comes down off the mountain for
a talk in Santa Cruz about his new book, ‘Thirteen Moons’


There are few big league writers who can score something like an $8 million advance for their sophomore book. Charles Frazier is among the select few. He might even be the one-and-only. In 1997 his first book, “Cold Mountain,” was published. The novelist was quickly ushered into the A-list. His book became a massive bestseller, he won the National Book Award for it and the story went on to hit the big screen, starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renee Zellweger, who won an Oscar. Now, in 2006,
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A&E - Literature

His Lobotomy

Howard Dully writes a mind-bending memoir about his lobotomy

The year was 1960. Dr. Walter Freeman shoved two ice picks through 12-year-old Howard Dully’s eye sockets and scrambled his brains. Dully was known to be the youngest person to ever receive a transorbital lobotomy by the controversial doctor. And that was just one of Dully’s problems.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.