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Jax's Reviews

Jax Caldwell-Dunn is a bookseller and buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz who loves table-top roleplaying in addition to books. She cannot resist the urge to make something (like a staff profile) more nerdy when given a chance.

 

The Making It Guide to Crafting by the Creators of Making It

Do you find yourself longing to be one of those DIY people who can make anything? Are you a crafter already wanting to branch out? Look no further than this charming book, the perfect inspiration to “Make It!” Fans of the show will enjoy the forward by Nick Offerman and the profiles on past contestants, and anyone interested in crafts will enjoy the various crafting techniques taught here. So get out there and create!

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The Making It Guide to Crafting Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781419743481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - April 21st, 2020

Chicano Eats Recipes from the Border by Esteban Castillo

What can I say? I love this queer Chicano chef and this cookbook! Castillo’s fun and delicious recipes are presented alongside stories of his life and family, making the book a joy to cook from. I also appreciated how easy the recipes were to use and how patiently Castillo explains how to do things. If you’ve never cooked Mexican food, this is the perfect primer, and if you’re looking for some playful variations on these flavors, you’re in for a real treat. 

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Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780062917379
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Design - June 30th, 2020

Spirits of Latin America by Ivy Mix

This ambitious book is the perfect starting place for anyone who is curious about spirits south of the border. Each section deals with a different source: agave, sugarcane, and grape. Mix gives the history behind these delicious drinks as well as information on the ethics of buying them, and doesn’t shy away from the less savory aspects of the drinks. While most of her cocktails match her status as world-class bartender, there are a few (hello, caipirinha) that are a simple and elegant, the perfect introduction to these amazing spirits. ¡Salud!

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Spirits of Latin America: A Celebration of Culture & Cocktails, with 100 Recipes from Leyenda & Beyond Cover Image
By Ivy Mix
$24.99
ISBN: 9780399582875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - May 26th, 2020

Good Boy My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan

In this new autobiography, the incomparable Jennifer Boylan defines the chapters of her life by the dogs she has owned. She writes of them and herself with overwhelming tenderness, hilariously wry skepticism, and brutally frank honesty. I loved meeting all of her dogs, and through them getting to know the different versions of herself she has experienced. If you’ve never read Boylan before, this is a wonderful introduction, and who doesn’t love a good dog?

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Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250261878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - April 21st, 2020

The New One Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad

Can something painful be funny? Can you really only have one slice of pizza? Can something that feels horrible turn out to be wonderful? Can fish text? Birbiglia asks these questions and more in his honest, funny, and emotionally fraught exploration of parenthood and what it has meant to him and to his wife. Fans of his will appreciate the new stories, as well as poems from his wife, and if you don’t know anything about this awkward sleepwalker, I encourage you to check him out.

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The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad Cover Image
By Mike Birbiglia, J. Hope Stein (Supplement by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538701515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 16th, 2020

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

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The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316509848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - March 24th, 2020

New York is a city on the brink of becoming something more, something self-aware and able to better care for its people. But an ancient evil is working against that birth, and it will take a ragtag, wildly diverse crew who call the city home to protect it. A love letter to (and a critique of) New York and its burroughs, a haunting exploration of the Lovecraftian racism we face today, and the most punk rock fantasy I’ve read in an age, this is one you can’t miss. —Jax


How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang

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How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525537205
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 7th, 2020

This debut novel bursts with an emotion and raw energy that mirrors her chosen setting—California’s gold rush. Her story is from a perspective oft forgotten, that of a Chinese immigrant family searching for a home. I felt as if I walked every step with Lucy and Sam, shared their sorrows and their triumphs, and saw a side to my home state I never imagined. This story has lingered with me, and I find myself sifting through Zhang’s words again and again, always turning up another sliver of gold. —Jax


How the Stars Came to Be by Poonam Mistry

To call this book beautiful is an understatement: this lovely fable’s illustrations are breathtakingly gorgeous, pulsing with such life and detail I felt I discovered something new each time I looked at them. The story itself—of how stars ended up in the sky—is simple yet elegant and has the cadence perfect for putting a young one to sleep. Take a look for yourself and you’ll discover the wonder of the night sky all over again.

 

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How the Stars Came To Be Cover Image
By Poonam Mistry (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781849766630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tate - March 24th, 2020

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Rivers Solomon seems to consistently bring something fresh and completely unprecedented to the genre in a most magnificent way. I’ll let you read the back of the book for the plot, as there’s so much going on—from the Middle Passage to magical mer-people to shared memories and the strength of one young person to save her people. Solomon pulls it all off with aplomb. It’s a little book that packs a lot of punch about historical trauma and the ways we integrate our history into our lives, and helps us think about what history we are responsible for carrying. I can’t stop thinking about this one. - Jax

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The Deep Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534439863
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - November 5th, 2019

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) has crafted an amazing cocktail of magic, secret societies, and the power of the written word. Moving between timeless fables and a very current story of a young queer man of color trying to understand his own story, it explores the thirst in us all for the fantastical. Take this leap; you won’t regret having drawn on your courage. - Jax

Read our interview with Erin Morngenstern in our 2019 Winter Newsletter.

Don't miss our event with Erin Morgenstern at a Literary Masquerade on November 12th, 2019.

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The Starless Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385541213
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Doubleday - November 5th, 2019

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