Tea Obreht at Bookshop Santa Cruz

Tea Obreht will appear at Bookshop Santa Cruz on January 13.

Téa Obreht’s first novel had not even been published when she was named one of the 20 best writers under 40 by the New Yorker at the tender age of 24. Those squirrelly Manhattanites were on to something, though—upon its publication nearly a year later, The Tiger’s Wife scooped up the Orange Prize for Fiction and was named a finalist for the National Book Award.

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The Brain Games

Michael Gazzaniga knows your brain is a liar.

Neuroscience has not been kind to the concept of free will. In recent years, the field has given us a picture of the conscious mind that isn’t very flattering—it often looks to be quite an underachiever compared to the unconscious mind, and it’s also disturbingly willing to take credit for work it didn’t do.

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Midnight in Santa Cruz

Coming out of the Art Deco darkness of the Del Mar after the late show I note it is past midnight and Pacific Avenue looks oddly twisted, the street wiggled down to one lane curling snakelike among dense foliage like the old Garden Mall and, amazingly, it is.

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Corny Fun and Good Harmony in ‘Plaid Tidings’

The Plaids do their holiday take on 'Matilda' in Plaid Tidings. Photo by Jana Marcus.

Not everything went well for Mom on this holiday trip out West. First there was the missed flight, and then there was the other missed flight, and then the fellow passenger who blabbed all the way to Chicago. But Saturday night at the Cabrillo Crocker Theater, things started to look up. That’s when the four stars of Plaid Tidings launched into “Strangers in Paradise,” followed closely by “Sh–Boom,” “Mambo Italiano” and a slew of jazzed-up holiday numbers as only a quartet of clean-cut fraternity brothers from 1950s middle America could perform them.

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