Bookmarked: The Aztec Calendar, The Polluters, and a Haitian Wedding

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Every day, new books arrive in the offices of Utne Reader.
It would be impossible to review all of them, but a shame to leave many
hidden on the shelves. In “Bookmarked,” we link to excerpts from some of
our favorites, hoping they’ll inspire a trip to your local library or bookstore. Enjoy!

Is the world coming to an end in 2012? According to the Aztec
calendar (different from the Mayan calendar), this is actually not the
case. The Dawn of the Sixth Sun (Blossoming
Books, 2012), by mystic and teacher of the Toltec/Aztec lineage Sergio
Magaña (Ocelocoyotl), discloses an in-depth understanding of the Aztec
calendar from a rich oral tradition. Magaña explains how the changing of
the Suns will end one era and begin another with great opportunity for
change in human consciousness. Read
Chapter 1, “How Did It All Start? The Sowing of the Name…

The Polluters (Oxford
University Press, 2010) is an unflinching story of the onslaught of
chemical pollution and the chemical industry’s unwillingness to face the
devastating effects. The research by Benjamin Ross and Steve Amter
reveals new documents that show industries knew of toxic hazards long
before they were public, and reveals the political conflicts in which
economic interests prevailed over environmental ones. Read Chapter 1, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentices.”

In a story that travels beyond borders and between families,
acclaimed Dominican novelist and poet Julia Alvarez reflects on the joys
and burdens of love–for her parents, for her husband and for a young
Haitian boy known as Piti. A Wedding In Haiti
(Algonquin Books, 2012) is an intimate, true account of a promise kept.
Alvarez takes us on a journey into experiences that challenge our way
of thinking about history and how it can be reimagined when people from
two countries–traditional enemies and strangers–become friends. Read Chapter 1, “Going to Piti’s Wedding in Haiti.”

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