Kip's Desert Book Club
Skywriter by Melinda Worth Popham
March 7, 2016

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The novel Skywater by Melinda Worth Popham is the featured book for the March 7th Book Club meeting at Pat's house. Set in the Sonoran desert, this novel is unique in that it deals with environmental, ethical, and spiritual issues from a coyote's perspective.

hdts gem/mineral expo & painted rock auction
at paramount ranch, January 30-31

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It’s time for High Desert Test Sites’ annual HDTS Gem/Mineral Expo and Painted Rock Auction! Inspired by the gem and mineral mecca, Quartzsite, Arizona, the HDTS Gem/Mineral Expo features our own vast array of gems, minerals, and crystals for sale at every price range, from $1 to $100.

Concurrent with the expo is the Painted Rock Auction—a silent auction of artist-painted rocks, inspired by Scott and Tyson Reeder’s project, General Store Rocks (originally featured in Amy and Wendy Yao’s Art Swap Meet at HDTS 2004). Bid on original “painted rocks" by some of our favorite artists and collaborators, and support HDTS. All proceeds from this two-part event go towards HDTS programing and operating expenses.

The event will take place at:
Paramount Ranch—2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
$10 admission (cash only), free for students
January 30–31, 2016, 11 am–5 pm

kip's desert book club
the wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton
february 1, 2016


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Before Thomas Merton's book, The Wisdom of the Desert, arrived in my mailbox, I knew very little about the author or the 4th century Christian monks that had retreated to the North Africa desert to live in caves. Don't feel intimidated by this translation of ancient texts, this thin volume is filled with short passages that are witty, sometimes funny, and always deeply relevant to a contemplative life in the desert.

1000 Faces, 1001 Nights
at the HDTS HQ
Luke Forsyth and Cyrus Smith

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Join Luke Forsyth and Cyrus Smith of the Joseph Campbell Discussion Group for 1000 Faces, 1001 NIghts, a display and performance exploring themes from 1001 Arabian Nights. Display will be up all weekend with performances taking place at noon on both Saturday and Sunday at the HQ at the Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley.

Kip's Desert Book Club
January: Death Vally in '49

616 The January 4th Book Club meeting will be featuring the book Death Vally in '49 by William Lewis Manly (and also be a party to celebrate my birthday on Wednesday!). This is a detailed chronicle of a man's migration from Virginia to the gold fields of California during the gold rush of 1849. What makes this bona fide desert literature is that the core of the book depicts the risky trip across Death Valley his wagon train attempted in the middle of winter. The ethical problems that rose to the fore will give us much to talk about. Keep an extra book mark handy so you can quickly refer to the excellent end notes, they are super informative. If you are pressed for time, chapters 9-14 are the ones you want to focus on for their harrowing desert survival stories.