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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Abandonment issues: Read it or leave it?


When one thinks of abandonment, it is likely to bring to mind being jilted by a lover, or being left alone as a child. Generally, it is not thought of as a good thing.

But I contend that sometimes, knowing when to leave – and then actually following through on it – can be a very good thing.

I am referring to the shameful behavior of choosing not to finish a book you started. There are those among us who would consider that downright promiscuous behavior, equating an uncommitted reader to that of an unfaithful lover. I am, however, not one of those people. Quite the opposite, really.

Of course I want to honor the author, who no doubt sacrificed much of his or her life charting a plot and carefully structuring sentences that might provoke readers to neglect their jobs and families so they can read just one more page. I have been that person, and I have read those books – but I could count them on one hand.

And the thing is – those riveting books are different for everyone. An engrossing page-turner for one person may provoke a ho-hum response from someone else. I have read some disturbing and totally unsatisfying best-sellers, like “The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle” (Ecco, 2009) by David Wroblewski, and also read some little-known books that changed my life, such as “The Difference Maker” (Nelson Business, 2006) by John C. Maxwell. It’s best not to judge people by what they like to read.

What do you do when you eagerly pick up a new book and want so much to fall in love with the story, but 100 pages into it, you still don’t feel that gush of euphoria you so desperately need to get you through your otherwise unhappy life? (That is a lot of pressure to put on an author!)

Well, my advice is to abandon it. And I don’t mean just drift away from it, wallowing in a mire of residual guilt. I mean decide that you will seek happiness elsewhere. Don’t keep it around the house as a constant reminder of your inability to commit and your wavering loyalty. That, my friend, is the gateway to years of therapy in an effort to resolve your eroding self-image.

I realize that there are at least two camps on this subject: those who will happily walk out of a bad movie or get rid of a book, with the attitude, “It’s bad enough I threw money at this, I am sure not throwing my time at it as well” (moi), and those dedicated to summoning the effort to complete everything they start, proudly displaying great intestinal fortitude.

I’m just saying … I really do applaud those never-give-up readers and in some ways wish I were more like them. It’s kind of a catch-22 – neither way seems totally admirable. In fact, the book “Catch-22” (Simon & Schuster, 1961) by Joseph Heller, according to the website Goodreads.com, is the book most commonly not finished by readers. I think that’s kind of ironic.

Sharon Lennox-Infante, a Los Altos resident, is contributing editor for Book Buzz.

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