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Barney’s Weekend Picks


OK, So You’re Weary. Beat from the holidays. No energy or will power to do anything strenuous. maria_callas.jpg

So I won’t suggest a bracing plunge at East Beach or fast trek up to El Camino Cielo. So what can you handle?

A play, maybe?

Theater: Master Class, the Tony Award-winning play by Terrence McNally will be presented Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Lobero by Santa Barbara Theatre at 8 p.m. Legendary opera diva Maria Callas coaches and harangues three students. Karen Kondazian teaches the “class.”

Music: Somos Son is due to take its Latin beat to SOhO Friday night. No, Itzhak Perlman isn’t coming to town this weekend, but here’s a heads-up: The virtuoso fiddler will give what UCSB is terming “an intimate recital” at Campbell Hall itzhak_perlman.jpgon Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. Earlier, at 11 a.m., he’ll take part in a free master class with UCSB students, open to public observation at Campbell Hall. The Arts & Lectures performance, sponsored by the Goleta Valley Voice, KCLU, Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort and Longoria Winery is (sorry) sold out. And curses to me for being too late.

Paging Into the New Year: Prowling a used-book store is akin to wandering around a seasoned home that’s been appreciated and has stood the test of time. In a new-book shop, you pretty much know what you’ll find, especially if you read the Sunday book reviews. But a store with previously owned lore on the shelves is a source of countless surprises: new finds and old, forgotten friends.

Luckily, Santa Barbara has a bunch of used-book shops, all with different personalities and treasures. To misquote Omar Khayyam, who was talking about wine: What is it that booksellers buy half so precious as what they sell? When I worked at the News-Press my favorite was Jerry Jacobs’ Lost Horizons, a nook in the 700 block of Anacapa Street across from the Paradise Café. I’ve bought and sold there over the years, sometimes selling, then regretting and buying back in a year or so.

When I head up Santa Barbara Street toward the public library or bank, I pass Karen Thrasher’s Thrasher Books, 827 Santa Barbara St., its windows full of candy-store-like temptations. What, buy another book when I have so many others waiting and half-forgotten, orphan-like on my bedside table? Too often I do. I like Karen because she likes books. Loves.

Ted’s Used Books, in the 2000 block of De la Vina Street, always jammed to the rafters, has moved across the street and become more manageable to customers. It still has a massive supply of reading matter for cold nights or summer reading.

Then there’s Eric Kelley’s Book Den, 15 E. Anapamu St. This is a class act and the oldest used-book shop in town at 73 years old. Among other things, it caters to local authors, including this one.

I’ll bet a gross of page markers that many a Santa Barbara bookshelves_1.jpgreadaholic has never heard of Again-Books, much less could find it if challenged. It’s down by the beach and easy to miss. I used to have a hard time finding it open. But now, I’m assured, it’s open Wednesdays through Fridays 1-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays 11-6 p.m. It’s at 16-A Helena Ave., and crammed with lore. I’m way overdue to visit, if the orphans on my bedside table allow me.

(Email Barney Brantingham or call him at 805-965-5205. He also writes at Tuesday on-line column for the Independent and a print column on Thursdays.)

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