THIS FALL’S HARVEST from our homegrown authors is every bit as interesting and eclectic as Santa Barbara Farmers’ Markets. Here’s a peek at what some of our local scribes will have on the bookstore shelves this season.
Travel back in time with Joan Tapper to a time when it was possible to tour The Wild West on 5 Bits a Day (Thames & Hudson). Part travel guide, part historical journey, this clever tome invites readers to climb onboard a horse or a stagecoach and enter the world of colorful characters like Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill Cody. The book is written like an 1880 guide to traveling, eating,
drinking and surviving in frontier America, but with a fast-paced style to
satisfy today’s readers.
While Tapper’s book is rooted in the past, former Santa Barbara Writers Conference director Marcia Meier’s book, Navigating the Rough Waters of Today’s Publishing World: Critical Advice for Writers from Industry Insiders (Quill Driver), casts its view firmly toward the future, setting an investigative reporter’s eye on the book publishing industry, now “going through a revolution unlike anything since Gutenberg.” Meier interviews some of the top figures in the industry to provide an insider’s gaze into the crystal ball of the future of books.
Celeste Varner, owner of the charming yarn and fiber store Loop & Leaf recently published Shibui Baby (Shibui Knits), a so-cute-it’s-hardto-resist book of sweet, yet practical, baby patterns for knitters, designed especially to work well with the unique fiber and texture combinations in the Shibui Knits (Japanese translation: “elegant with a touch of bitterness”) lines of yarn.
Architects Russell Shubin and Robin Donaldson, whose partnership comprises the award-winning Shubin + Donaldson Architects, explore the inspirations and influences behind a number of local dwellings in their gorgeously glossy book Live + Work: Modern Homes and Offices: The Southern California Architecture of Shubin + Donaldson (ORO Editions), which showcases modern homes in Montecito, the Riviera and Toro Canyon, among others.
Inspiration often springs from unexpected sources, an idea psychotherapist Jennifer Freed explores with affectionate humor and surprising depth in her book Lessons from Stanley the Cat: Nine Lives of Everyday Wisdom (Penguin Group). Freed, who is best known locally as a marriage and family counselor, professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute and co-founder of the teen program AHA! (Academy of the Healing Arts), “translates” her beloved feline companion’s wit and wisdom into life lessons such as “Trust your instincts and stay away from people or creatures who smell like bad things or bad moods” and “Walk proud in the body you have and all will find you appealing,” then elaborates on these simple ideas with a professional’s insight and wisdom.
Dr. Maria Chesley Fisk, an educational consultant who specializes in training adults to work with children, takes almost the opposite approach of Dr. Freed. Fisk’s book Teach Your Kids to Think: Simple Tools You Can Use Every Day (That’s Good Thinking) dissects the complexities of the latest research on intelligence and converts it into a series of easy-to-use tools for parents to use in everyday conversations with their children.
Local artist Cathy Feldman of Blue Point Books has designed the book as a fast read for busy parents, while Fisk has stuffed it full of immediately useful takeaway tips on how to converse with your child, and at the same time, strategically develop their analytical, creative, social/emotional and practical thinking skills.