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Jocelyn's Reviews

Jocelyn began working at Bookshop Santa Cruz in 2010 after graduating from UCSC with degrees in Literature, History, and Theatre. She left in 2012 to attend graduate school in New York, but was happy to be able to return to work part-time during breaks. She has been working full time again at Bookshop after graduating with an MFA in 2015, and now wears multiple hats including IT, Magazines, Marketing, and more. You're most likely to find her reviews on nerd-things, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, as well as theatre, history, technology, and social justice.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh has returned! Childhood shenanigans, stories of dogs, anecdotes of life’s weirdness abound, and reveal with aching (and hilarious) vulnerability the health crisis, heartbreak, tragedy, depression, grief, and existential ennui that led to her Internet disappearance in 2013. It also goes into the fortitude to survive some of the worst things the world can throw at you, or that you can throw at yourself. Allie Brosh has survived and is finding her way, with a snicker and pencil-drawn cartoons, and will help you survive, too. — Jocelyn

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ISBN: 9781982156947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - September 22nd, 2020

Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre

Ben Macintyre draws from a wealth of declassified reports, memoirs, and interviews to paint a vivid portrait of Ursula Burton, née Kuczynski, daughter of a German Jewish bourgeois family, mother of three, life-long champion of communism, and USSR spy “Sonya.” Sonya’s cause drew her across the world, where her information networks allowed her to facilitate some of the most significant missions of WWII, part of the start of a history that has shaped so much of today’s world. A fascinating read for any historian. — Jocelyn

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Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593136300
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - September 15th, 2020

The Daughters of Ys Written by M.T. Anderson Illustrated by Jo Rioux

The Daughters of Ys is a modern reimagining of an ancient Breton legend about a wealthy city sunk into the sea by magic and vice. Jo Rioux’s dreamy palette and illustrations have, like M.T. Anderson’s story, a deceptive simplicity that pulls you deeper into the complex currents of duty and desire, love and loyalty, loss and responsibility, and family and nation, amidst a tale of dark magics and miracles. The depths of this may haunt you...but in the best way. — Jocelyn

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By M. T. Anderson, Jo Rioux (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781626728783
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - August 11th, 2020

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

This modern-day Latinx rom-com was so fun, smart, and sexy! Jasmine and Ashton both have a lot on the line as stars of Carmen in Charge—a telenovela remake for a mainstream US audience—and aren’t looking for love. The immediate tension (sexual and otherwise) between the two plays out against each other’s ambition (and secrets) in the real-life world of television acting and production. This story is as much about community and family as it is about romance. — Jocelyn 

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You Had Me at Hola: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062959928
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Published: Avon - August 4th, 2020

Time to Eat by Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Hussain’s recipes (some seen on her new Netflix show, Nadiya’s Time to Eat) are designed to be quick and easy, and Hussain doesn’t shy away from making use of preprepared ingredients, but her work is always centered on whole, healthy food, packed full of flavor. Whether you were charmed by Hussain on the The Great British Baking Show or are just discovering the British halal baker, pick this up for any busy human dreaming of home-cooked meals (especially for yourself or for a family!). — Jocelyn

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Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy Lives: A Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593233535
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Published: Clarkson Potter - November 10th, 2020

Eat a Peach: A Memoir by David Chang

In Eat a Peach, David Chang (who among other things opened a two-person, hole-in-the-wall ramen restaurant before ramen was anything but freeze-dried in the US) dutifully documents a legendary career that has left him an undeniable culinary legend, and then he uses his memoir to do his best to tear down any remaining images of himself as a luminary, god, or pedasteled hero, writing instead a brutally honest self-portrait of a real man in an unreal life. In clear, sincere, irreverent prose—written with Gabe Ulla—Chang shares the important moments of his journey, centering the book on his lifelong battle with bipolar disorder and self-destructive tendencies. His story is a needed milestone in the modern history of food.  — Jocelyn

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ISBN: 9781524759216
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Published: Clarkson Potter - September 8th, 2020

The Language of Ghosts By Heather Fawcett

Fawcett has crafted an entertaining new fantasy where the action almost never stops, reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones, Rick Riordan, and Eva Ibbotson. Assassins, a floating island, invisible cats, deadly and snarky sea serpents, self-absorbed otters, and fascinating magic tangle with a relatable protagonist trying to do right by her family and world. I loved the questions of “good and evil” and “right and “wrong” that Noa grapples with and following Noa and her siblings and friends on this adventure! —Jocelyn

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ISBN: 9780062854544
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Published: Balzer + Bray - September 8th, 2020

The Fixed Stars by Molly Wizenberg

On November 30th, 2016, in a beautifully written, tenderly honest post on her award-winning blog Orangette, Molly Wizenberg announced that she and her husband were divorcing. A result of the fact that, since having their child, her sexual orientation had changed. In her new memoir, she shares more about this incredibly personal experience. The Fixed Stars is an unflinchingly vulnerable and frank account of sexuality, relationships, love, and self-discovery, that can only lead to further reflection on what we want and need and are. —Jocelyn


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ISBN: 9781419742996
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Published: Abrams Press - August 4th, 2020

The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack

Not many would read about the end of the world for fun during a pandemic. If you smiled at that last sentence, pick up this book. Katie Mack is funny, educated, incredibly smart—and will make you feel the same. Beyond pop-culture references and complex scientific concepts (that she makes absolutely relatable and understandable!) Mack’s passion will hook you in to the last (hilarious) footnote, leaving you excited for what is left to discover (and following @AstroKatie on Twitter) before the end. —Jocelyn 

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The End of Everything: (Astrophysically Speaking) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982103545
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Published: Scribner - August 4th, 2020

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth by Meryem Alaoui

Jmiaa is 34, a sex worker for almost 15 years, with a 7-year-old daughter, a mother she’s lying to, and a disaster of an ex-husband (she’ll tell you the story). Armed with wine, beer, and a pack of cigarettes, Jmiaa has no pity for herself, nor for anyone else in her working class Moroccanneighborhood. Meryem Alaoui’s debut novel is real and smart, with a touch of hope and the day-time talk show drama that will keep you reading. —Jocelyn

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Straight from the Horse's Mouth: A Novel Cover Image
By Meryem Alaoui, Emma Ramadan (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781892746795
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Other Press - September 15th, 2020


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