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Mar 05th
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Holiday Reads

ae_booksThe Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010
Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables
A Year of Adventures
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Charlie Chan
River House
Luka and the Fire of Life

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Bookshop Santa Cruz recommends

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010
Edited by Dave Eggers
Some of the best stories we’ve ever read have come from song lyrics, newspaper articles, craigslist ads and advertisements for toothpaste. Dave Eggers agrees, and in this spirit he founded The Best American Nonrequired Reading, a quirky annual series that celebrates the greatest stories you’ll never find on a required reading list. This year’s collection is particularly smashing.

Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables
by Joan Gussow
In her terrific new memoir, Joan Gussow (This Organic Life) chronicles the hard labor and tremendous rewards of growing her own year-round diet on 1,000 square feet in suburban New York while also dealing with the loss of her husband of 40 years to cancer. Salty, zesty, and wise.

A Year of Adventures: A Guide to the World’s Most Exciting Experiences
by Andrew Bain
Dedicated to living life to the fullest in 2011? Let Lonely Planet be your guide with this inspiring book that will take you all around the world in pursuit of extraordinary experiences—including snow biking in France, volcano boarding in Nicaragua, and kayaking with orcas in Canada.

Capitola Book Café recommends:
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
Heidi reminds us that sometimes the tragedies of disaster are best told by voices created in their honor. Her young adult novel “Sea” pays tribute to those affected by the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, weaving together a powerful story of love, loss, and the ability of people to heal each other. An important book, couched in a great story, this is crossover fiction at its best.

Charlie Chan
by Yunte Huang
Yunte Huang has written a powerful and absorbing first time history of the legendary Cantonese detective who inspired a series of fiction and movie characters that long defined America’s distorted perceptions of Asians and Asian Americans.

River House
by Sarahlee Lawrence
After nearly six years as a guide on some of the world’s wildest rivers, Lawrence returns home to her family’s ranch in eastern Oregon to build a log cabin and regain a sense of place. Her surfer father will assist but only if she “leads.” And lead she does.  A fresh voice and lovely celebration of hard work and family ties.

Luka and the Fire of Life
by Salman Rushdie
To those of you who have lived in the world of “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” all these years, “Luka and the Fire of Life” will be a sweet homecoming. To those of you who are not familiar with Rushdie’s stories in the lands of the Magical World, stop what you’re doing and read them both immediately.

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It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival. Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year. At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

 

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