In case you haven't heard, the year 2012 is getting a lot of attention these days, due in large part to the ancient Mayan calendar. The Mayan calendar comes to an end on December 21,2012, and this abrupt ending has been interpreted widely as a potential Doomsday or Apocalypse or, at the very least, a paradigm shift (whatever that means in this context). Lots of theorists have come forward to tie it to their favorite concept, from psychic evolution to the "end of civilization as we know it." Of course, Hollywood has made a new disaster movie on the subject, which will be released in November (Title? 2012, obviously). And, just as naturally, a flurry of books is being published on the topic as well. The library has the following selections, which should meet most anyone's personal preferences.
According to Publishers Weekly, Apocalypse 2012: An investigation into civilization's end by Laurence E. Joseph has less "kookery" and is a "reasonably straightforward guide to the theory." However, they say that right after saying "he comes off as exactly the sort of crackpot he claims to eschew." Personally, I don't think there is any such word as "kookery," and it sounds as if Joseph doesn't really handle the actual facts and science very well, connecting things that don't, actually, link up at all. However, he presents the various ideas clearly and he does it with humor, which can make anything more palatable. Accordingly, it may be one of the better books available.
The mystery of 2012: predictions, prophecies & possibilities is a collection of essays by a whole spectrum of New Age writers. Only a small portion of the book deals with the Mayan calendar: other sections address astrology, psychic phenomenon, magnetic field shifts, evolution of the human species, and further topics.
A reviewer says, "I admit it. I love a good crop circle. And there are plenty of them here along with all kinds of hippy dippy stuff." The reviewer is talking about the book 2012: the return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck. Pinchbeck is a well-known author of an autobiography on psychedelic drug use, and this book fits right in with all the others. Less about Mayan prophecies than his own experiences, this book might not be the most useful on the topic--especially for women, since, apparently, he hates us.
For a nice overview, we have ordered the Complete Idiot's Guide to 2012 by Synthia and Colin Andrews. This couple is expert in this field, and they give a thorough survey of the Mayan calendar issue and what its potentialities really are. The Andrews point out where the extremes are, for those who want to go there and for those who don't. One reviewer complained that it was "only" about the Mayan calendar--well, then, that's the book for me, since the 2012 furor is primarily caused by the Mayan prediction of world's end.
All of these materials are popular and usually checked out--we recommend that you place requests for them, to ensure that you get the opportunity to look at them before 2012 actually arrives.