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Oct 13th
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Summer Reading

summer-readingNot sure what to read this summer? The staff at Capitola Book Café and Bookshop Santa Cruz reveal their favorite book picks of the season

Capitola Book Café:

“This is How” by Augusten Burroughs: The kind of wry, observational self help book that might have been written by a 21st century Mark Twain. Snarky hope for cynical optimists.

“Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams: This is armchair travel at its best, with all the exotic locales, physical challenges, off-beat humor and grand history anyone could ask for. Read it and look south. The mountains of Peru are waiting.

“The Age of Doubt” by Andrea Camilleri: This sharp, funny, inventive mystery series captures the light of Sicily as well as the darkness. People here eat, drink, and murder as they please, with inspector Montalbano in pursuit between courses.

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain: Ben Fountain manages to capture perfectly the bravado of soldiers, the intimacy of friends, the dark humor of hypocrisy and our collective hunger for wisdom at the expense of truth.

Bookshop Santa Cruz:

“The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach: In “The Art of Fielding,” baseball is simply a stage setting to the tiny soap opera of what it means to find one’s place in the world. Harbach’s subtle style of writing is hard to resist, regardless of one’s own feelings about our great American pastime.

“State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett: “State of Wonder” is an adventure story whose beauty lies in the description and, well, oddity of its setting, with deadly snakes, harrowing river rides, and malaria-induced nightmares, where breathtaking beauty stands side by side with wrenching loss. There is a moral tug-of-war that will make your heart pound, as well as the incredible beauty that Ann Patchett embeds in her writing.

“Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead” by Sara Gran: Six months after Hurricane Katrina, detective Claire deWitt arrives in New Orleans to investigate the disappearance of a well-known prosecutor. The best part of this novel is New Orleans itself, reeling and wounded from Katrina and its aftermath. Dark and richly atmospheric, this book is highly recommended.

“Maphead” by Ken Jennings: In a charming and witty tone, Jennings blends memoir, humor, anecdote, and serious research to talk about his devotion to the world of maps. Delightful, funny, and perfect for Bill Bryson fans.

“Area 51” by Annie Jacobsen: There’s nothing like a good secret—more satisfying than philosophical truth, more personal than a mystery. And it’s hard to find a secret bigger than Area 51. Jacobsen uses extensive, recently declassified documentation and interviews to unearth a (still operational) Cold War–era research, development, and testing site. Not all the secrets of 51 are here, but there are enough to make you hungry for more. The truth is still out there.

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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