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May 22nd
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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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As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

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