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Jan 27th
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Spring Reading Picks

ae_booksBookshop Santa Cruz and Capitola Book Café recommendations.
BSSC
Unfamiliar Fishes

by Sarah Vowell
The wry Sarah Vowell sets out to examine the history of Hawaii in her latest book. From independence to American annexation, Vowell presents the views of the
islanders, as well as the invaders, with the verve that only she can.
Blood, Bones and Butter
by Gabrielle Hamilton
Who are we to argue with Anthony Bourdain, who calls this book, “Magnificent. Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever. Hamilton packs more heart, soul, and pure power into one beautifully crafted page than I’ve accomplished in my entire writing career. Blood, Bones & Butter is the work of an uncompromising chef and a prodigiously talented writer.” The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
One of the most powerful exposés we’ve read in years is now available in paperback. The cells of Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer, were taken without her knowledge—and went on to become one of the most important tools in medicine. A riveting look at racial and ethical issues in medicine.

The Imperfectionists
by Tom Rachman
Tom Rachman’s acclaimed debut novel (now in paperback) follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters and editors of an English-language newspaper in Rome. We were flat-out stunned by Rachman’s ability to turn an entire story on its head with one or two brutal lines.

Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend
by James Hirsch
Willie Mays, arguably the greatest player in baseball history, is still revered for the passion he brought to the game. Revisiting Mays’ incredible career, as well as his life beyond the ballpark, is the perfect way to start the new season and to revel in the San Francisco Giants’ first World Series championship.

Capitola Book Café recommends:
Started Early,
Took My Dog

by Kate Atkinson
Kate Atkinson specializes in mystery as tapestry. She weaves character, plot and wit so seamlessly that you might not notice the most important ingredient in her writing: truth. Her “life as we know it” take on characters like the detective Jackson Brodie makes their quirks all the more compelling and their points of view all the more familiar.

The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe
by Peter Godwin
In 2008, journalist Peter Godwin returned to Zimbabwe, his homeland and setting of his memoir “When a Crocodile Eats the Sun,” to find a country caught in the paradox of terror and hope. Clear-eyed and deeply personal, “The Fear” is a testament to those who survive in the midst of destruction, and who rise above it.

A Visit from the Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan
Told in interconnected stories, spanning continents and generations, “A Visit from the Goon Squad” is an exploration of time, how it marches on, and how it affects relationships.  Truly unique and daring in her storytelling, Jennifer Egan both elevates and equalizes the human experience—creating a masterpiece. Now in paperback.

The Genius in All of Us
by David Shenk
As we ponder the future of an increasingly unstable planet, we’d do well to shake off the myth of our genetic limitations and embrace the power of individual potential. In lively, compelling language, David Shenk cuts through popular belief to let science make the argument: you own more possibilities than you realize. Make them work.

Zita the Spacegirl
by Ben Hatke
A delightful book for readers of all ages. Zita jumps through a portal to rescue her friend and ends up far across the universe. Ben Hatke’s illustrations in this graphic novel match the tone and story so well—something truly magical is born.
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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.