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April Showers Bring Bestselling Authors

booksHemp, birds, and the alimentary canal—oh my! Bookshop Santa Cruz rolls out a slew of noteworthy book events

Bookshop Santa Cruz will be teeming with activity this April, as more than a dozen renowned authors are scheduled to stop by in promotion of their latest books. From poetry, to short stories, to nail-biting novels, to informative nonfiction, there’s an author event for every reader to enjoy.

Take a look:



ae GulpApril 2

Mary Roach, “Gulp”
Without curly orange hair, a magical school bus, and a name like “Ms. Frizzle,” you’d be hard-pressed to make the alimentary canal sound interesting. That is, unless you’re Mary Roach. The bestselling author, known for her side-splitting science writing, manages to do just that in her new book, “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.” Within its pages, Roach explores the tubular passage that extends from the mouth to the rear in a way that is somehow both interesting and entertaining. To do so, readers go on location to a pet food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal.

April 11

Emma Donoghue, “Frog Music”
Inspired by the still-unsolved 1876 murder of Jenny Bonnet in San Francisco, “Frog Music” is a historical drama told from the perspective of Blanche Beunon, a young French burlesque dancer, prostitute, and friend of Bonnet, who witnessed her murder. The latest from bestselling author Emma Donoghue—known for her wildly popular book from 2010, “Room”—“Frog Music” is one page-turner you don’t want to miss.

April 16

Sheila Himmel and Fran Smith, “Changing The Way We Die”
In our modern society, talking about death is somewhat taboo. And yet, it’s an event that everyone faces at some point in their lifetime. Rather than continue to dodge the subject, award-winning journalists and co-authors Sheila Himmel and Fran Smith have tackled it head on in their newest book, “Changing The Way We Die.” Meant to serve as a resource for anyone who wants to be prepared to face death, the book offers a broad look at the hospice landscape through stories of real patients, families, doctors, and the corporations that increasingly own the market.

ae hempApril 21

Doug Fine, “Hemp Bound”
Once the 4/20 festivities have come to a close, another often misunderstood plant will enter the spotlight at Bookshop Santa Cruz. In his new book, “Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution,” comedic investigative journalist and bestselling author Doug Fine embarks on an eye-opening journey with the innovators who are testing, researching and pioneering hemp’s applications for the 21st century. The book explains how hemp may help end dependence on fossil fuels, heal farm soils damaged by monocultures, and bring more taxable revenue into the economy than marijuana.

April 23

David Sibley, “The Sibley Guide to Birds: Second Edition”
When “The Sibley Guide to Birds” was released in 2000, author and illustrator David Sibley quickly established himself as one of the world’s leading experts on birding. The book is considered to be the most comprehensive guide to birds on the market, and now, Sibley has unveiled the highly anticipated second edition. The follow-up offers expanded and updated information, new paintings, new and rare species, and a new eye-catching design.

April 24

Barbara Ehrenreich, “Living With a Wild God”
Award-winning columnist, essayist and author of the pot-stirring “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America,” Barbara Ehrenreich has just released a memoir, entitled “Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything.” After uncovering a journal she had kept during her adolescence, Ehrenreich set out on a part-philosophical and part-spiritual journey to explore those teenage musings and, ultimately, find herself. “Living With a Wild God” documents that quest and its results.


ae barkbookAuthor Lorrie Moore dishes on her newest book of short stories, ‘Bark’

It’s been 15 years since Lorrie Moore released her beloved collection of short stories, “Birds of America.” Her follow-up, “Bark,” features eight tales of love, loss, death, friendship, politics, and parenting—all of which illustrate American life: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Moore’s poetic writing style, combined with her unique sense of humor and thought-provoking meditations on relationships, make “Bark” a must-read.

 

 

 

Here’s what she had to say about it:

GOOD TIMES: Do you feel as though your writing style has evolved since “Birds of America”?

Lorrie Moore: One can always hope and pray. But I don’t go back to old work and compare and contrast. So I don’t really know.

Did you write the stories in “Bark” individually and then group them together? Or did you write them with the purpose of featuring them in the same book?

“Bark” comprises 10 years of stories. They are all individually conceived of and prompted. But then put together—I suppose as siblings, if that makes sense. If there’s a family resemblance it’s both unintentional and inevitable.

Which of these stories is your favorite?

I always like the story that seems most overlooked. I have an idea which story that might be but am not precisely sure.

Some of the soul-searching in this book feels too real to be fiction. Do you see yourself in your characters?

No, I don’t see myself in certain characters, but I do draw from my own well a bit.

One line from the story “Subject to Search” that really stood out was “regrets are stupid, crumpled-up tickets to a circus that has already left town.” Do you agree with that statement?

I try never to agree or disagree with fictional characters but just let them have their moments and utterances.

While there are a lot of deep, sometimes depressing, themes covered in the book, there is also a lot of wisdom, humor and irony. How do you find a balance and maintain perspective in your own life, between the hard times and the good?

That is going to be my next book! So I can’t give it away just yet.

How did you settle on the title “Bark”?

I wanted an image that was both resonant and that ended in K. 


Join Lorrie Moore for a reading, signing and audience Q&A at Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6.

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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

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