How ever shall we entertain ourselves this summer? What about the Band Aid of our time, the album, "Instant Karma: the Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur"? Artists like Black Eyed Peas, U2, Jack Johnson, Lenny Kravitz, Corinne Bailey Rae, Christina Aguilera, Jakob Dylan,  Youssou N’dour and more join together on this mega-star John Lennon cover album. Yoko Ono has generously donated all music publishing royalties to the cause.

Okay, you’ve got FLY SOLO already and it’s tucked in your beach bag. But what hot, controversial, historic new release will wow guests with its presence on your coffee table? How about the newly released, unConventional, YearlyKos: Citizens, Focus and Action?

This first-ever blogger-based essay collection just hit virtual stands and contains fascinating essays by and portrait photography of immortal progressive bloggers and dedicated politicos like Ambassador Joe Wilson, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (founder of Daily Kos, the biggest progressive blog on the planet), Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid and cartoonist Tom Tomorrow. Oh, and I contributed a wee essay and edited the book. It’s a project I’m passionate about, but if you don’t share these views, I still love you! My daddy’s a big, ol’ conservative. It’s all good! :)

I’m taking Holly Payne’s, The Sound of Blue, with me to the Balkans next week. She is getting to be quite the Eastern European expert between this Balkan-set book and her previous Turkish tome, The Virgin’s Knot.

And the women of my Spark board are hosting a small book group around the mind-blowing title, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy

At the La Honda Faire and Music Festival last weekend, guess who I met? I met Neal Cassady’s daughter Jami Cassady Ratto! Her mom Carolyn wrote the book, Off the Road: My Life with Cassady, Kerouac, and Ginsberg. Here’s why you have to buy this book NOW: the next edition will not contain certain priceless letters due to a dispute with the Kerouac estate. So get ’em while you can! If you’re a big Beat person, why not also check out, Women of the Beat Generation?

Did you know that La Honda, CA, is where Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters hung out and tested themselves on acid? Where Hunter S. caught up with the Hell’s Angels? Nestled in the Santa Cruz mountain foothills, sleepy, hippie, bikery La Honda hasn’t changed much. What history! Hunter S. Thompson called La Honda, "the world capital of madness. There were no rules, fear was unknown, and sleep was out of the question." (from the Prankster History Project)

Don’t worry—packed among these hefty collections will be lots of trashy star gossip rags! Because it’s summa time. In fact, it’s the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love, yeah baby!

What are you reading this summer?

unConventional, YearlyKos, YKC   Instant Karma, U2, Amnesty International