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Sep 02nd
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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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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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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.