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Bookshop Santa Cruz staff recommendation:

The following books are recommended by our staff as great choices for book groups. Sign up for our Book Ends email newsletter to receive more great book group recommendations.

The Sweetest Fruits, Monique Truong is a brilliantly fictional retelling of the life of the Greek-Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn told through the stories of the three women, across multiple continents, who changed the direction of his life. This book is the best type of storytelling- one that connects to all senses, through journeys in time and place, and where the decisions and reflections of these women speak to the push and pull of women’s needs throughout time. A creative and beautiful tale. - Casey

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The Sweetest Fruits: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735221017
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 3rd, 2019


Alternating between four different perspectives, The Dearly Beloved delves into the lives of two ministers and their wives, each with different views on religion, family, and purpose. I love a book like this; one that shows the way we are all interpreting (and misinterpreting) our interactions with one another. Though I sometimes wished Wall had just stuck with her delightfully complicated female protagonists, I was fully carried away by this engaging novel. With so many themes to interpret and explore, The Dearly Beloved is the perfect book club pick. - Emma

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The Dearly Beloved: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982104528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 13th, 2019


Emma Donohue (best-selling author of Room) proves her prowess as a multi-talented author in her newest novel.  Whereas Room was powerful for its gut-hitting plot and heart-racing psychological story, Akin stands out for its humor and intimate character development. When widowed, elderly Noah gets a call from Social Services, he is thrown overnight into being the sudden guardian for his 11-year old great nephew Michael. Through a series of twists and turns, the two find themselves in Nice, France, Noah’s long ago child hood home. What follows is a delightful tale of intrigue and adventure, but what stands out, is Donohue’s gentle use of humor and heart, as we watch these two, old and young, forge a bond that they are each in desperate need of. - S.M.C.

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Akin Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316491990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 10th, 2019


This is the first story to surprise me with a twist in a very long time; the writing is visceral and merciless. It follows multiple storylines, and every character feels fleshed out and real. It’s definitely sci-fi, with a Japanese steampunk-esque twist. You will be confronted with the age-old question: What does it mean to be truly human? And honestly, I don’t think my answer would have been the same before I read it. - MJ

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Automatic Eve Cover Image
By Rokuro Inui, Matt Treyvaud (Translated by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781974708079
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Haikasoru - August 20th, 2019


This is a novel of urgent and aching beauty. It’s a story about coming of age, triumph in the face of tragedy, and the power of magic, love, and dreams—and holding on to those dreams even when the stately order of the world threatens to crush them beneath its grinding wheels. This is a stunning and gorgeously written debut historical fantasy with a ferociously beating heart, and its fabulously drawn characters, outstanding plotting and pacing, and gorgeous world-building will sweep you effortlessly into its story. - Stuart

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316421997
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - September 10th, 2019


Sarah Broom’s memoir of her family in New Orleans—and the house that defined them while it was standing and as it was torn apart during Hurricane Katrina—is a searing portrait of identity, politics, race, and class. The urban history of New Orleans seeps both literally and figuratively through their family’s home and their tale of survival is a powerful story of displacement and connection throughout generations. This book is a must-read biography of our time. - Casey

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The Yellow House: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802125088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - August 13th, 2019


Ady Barkan is a force to be reckoned with, both before he received his devastating ALS diagnosis at the age of 32, and even more so now, three years in and bringing power and honesty to his roles as political activist, husband, and father. Writing with incredible intimacy, vitality, and humor, Barkan lays it all out in this memoir, his career as an organizer and his journey with illness. He has written a gift that is not just inspiring, but real. - Melinda

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Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982111540
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - September 10th, 2019


From the very first line, Silver, Sword & Stone instantly drew me in and transported me to a Latin America I never knew: from the heights of the Peruvian Andes, into the depths of violent revolutions, and into what it means to be a Catholic in Central America. Widely published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and National Geographic, among others, Marie Arana describes the lives of contemporary Latin Americans with exacting prose and a conversational tone. - Aric

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Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501104244
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 27th, 2019


I loved Naomi Novik’s Uprooted so much that I have spent years awaiting Spinning Silver, and it did NOT disappoint. Spinning is not a sequel to Uprooted, but it follows in a similar style: adventure fantasy loosely inspired by a classic fairy tale and set in medieval Eastern Europe. Different from Uprooted, however, Spinning is told from the rotating viewpoints of a sizeable cast of characters, centering around three strong but very different female characters. Novik does a fantastic job of building excitement and constantly accelerating the plot. Overall, even though it’s set in winter (too much winter!) in a cold region, I found it the perfect summer read.

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Spinning Silver: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780399180996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - May 7th, 2019

I loved Naomi Novik’s Uprooted so much that I have spent years awaiting Spinning Silver, and it did NOT disappoint. Spinning is not a sequel to Uprooted, but it follows in a similar style: adventure fantasy loosely inspired by a classic fairy tale and set in medieval Eastern Europe. Different from Uprooted, however, Spinning is told from the rotating viewpoints of a sizeable cast of characters, centering around three strong but very different female characters. Novik does a fantastic job of building excitement and constantly accelerating the plot. Overall, even though it’s set in winter (too much winter!) in a cold region, I found it the perfect summer read.



This is my favorite flavor of Ondaatje. Atmospherically reminiscent of The English Patient, Warlight stands on its own as a uniquely great coming-of-age story wrapped in a riveting spy mystery. Immerse yourself in London’s criminal underworld and the shadowy figures of postwar espionage. Taking you from the depths of the Thames to the heights of London’s rooftops, Warlight takes you on a delicious journey.  —Clara

 

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Warlight (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525562962
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 2nd, 2019


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