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Kat's Reviews

KatsronautKat first came to Bookshop Santa Cruz by winning the short story contest in 2008. She convinced the management to give her a job, and went on to become an event host, the used book manager and an avid connoisseur of fiction. In her other life, she is often found enjoying tacos. She now works for the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks managing their ParkStores.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s latest novel centers around Serena Frome, a young secretary in 1970s-era London who loves fiction and works for the MI5. She’s sent on a mission of literary espionage, but falls for the very writer she’s meant to be secretly influencing. If this all sounds a bit odd, that’s because it is…but it works. I just adored this book. It’s thoughtful, ambitious, and compulsively readable, with a bright witty edge. I couldn’t put it down.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
Sweet Tooth: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780345803450
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - July 2nd, 2013

Astray by Emma Donoghue

While researching her novels, Emma Donoghue often comes across strange and unbelievable tales that have nearly been lost to the ages. Instead of leaving them behind, Donoghue breathes life back into these irresistible stories, reminding us of the odd, brave, funny, and sometimes brutal people who populated our lands before we did. Astray is one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read, and I would recommend it to fiction lovers and history buffs alike.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
Astray Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780316206280
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - October 22nd, 2013

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman

The author of the beloved His Dark Materials trilogy offers a simultaneously new and old take on 50 of his favorite Brothers Grimm fairy tales. These stories have been the inspiration for many novels, movies, and TV shows, but we’ve come a long way from their original roots. Pullman reintroduces them as dark, complicated tales (there is nary a bed- making, hair-braiding bird to be found here) that are addictive, surreal, and strangely familiar.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780670024971
Availability: Backordered
Published: Viking - November 8th, 2012

The News from Spain by Joan Wickersham

The News from Spain is a shockingly good read, a collection of graceful, compact stories that explore love as it honestly is: messy and shifting, overwhelming and strange. I longed to inhabit these small, deftly formed worlds far longer than their page counts allowed. Wickersham is now one of my favorite fiction writers—I am in awe of her ability to tease so much emotion from the simplest of sentences, and I’m certain we’ll be seeing more from her in the future.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
The News from Spain (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307949295
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Vintage - July 2nd, 2013

My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

This book is part travelouge and part recipe collection, and I can't decide which part I love more. Weiss grew up flying back and forth between the U.S. and Berlin, and as a young adult she lived in Paris and New York City. Through it all, the kitchen was always the place she called home. You're going to want to cook every recipe in this book, trust me - and you'll have a great time doing so.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
My Berlin Kitchen: Adventures in Love and Life Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780147509741
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 27th, 2013

The Convert by Deborah Baker

Margaret Marcus, a young Jewish woman from New York City who converted to Islam
and moved to Pakistan, where she became Maryam Jameelah. Maryam's writings
became hugely influential in Muslim communities. Though clearly intelligent, her
fanatical rants are blood-chilling. Nominated for the National Book Award in
2011, and deservedly so. I couldn't put this one down.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555976279
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Graywolf Press - September 4th, 2012

City of Women by David Gillham

City of Women is a novel about the people who endure war unwillingly, those on the home front who are told to continue their lives as usual amidst chaos and death. Sigrid is an ordinary wife in Berlin who seems numb to the air raids, rations and police on every corner, but slowly the press of war transforms her into an activist who will stop at nothing to save lives. Unputdownable and unforgettable.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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City of Women Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780399157769
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Amy Einhorn Books - August 7th, 2012

NW by Zadie Smith

This is Zadie Smith’s first novel in more than seven years, and I think that is cause for a new holiday. So mark your calendars for November what because you’re going to want a whole day to savor this new offering. Told in a fractured, slanted style, NW is a portrait of Northern London, a landscape of varied characters and separate worlds that constantly press up against each other. Another bright offering from a brilliant mind.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
NW: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781594203978
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Press - September 4th, 2012

Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King

A woman wakes in a strange room in a strange city, bandaged and bloodied from a nasty head wound, and she has no idea who she is. We, of course, know this is Mary Russell, wife of Sherlock Holmes, and we watch her wander into truly unfamiliar territory, struggling to piece together her memory, her identity and her surroundings. The latest in Laurie R King’s wildly popular series is electric, unexpected and addictive as all get out.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
Garment of Shadows: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780553807998
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Bantam - September 4th, 2012

The Forgetting Tree by Tatjana Soli

I’ve been waiting for this novel ever since I read Soli’s stunner of a debut, The Lotus Eaters. The Forgetting Tree did not disappoint. This is the kind of fiction that percolates long after you’ve read it, fiction that deeply explores issues of identity and family, sickness, and what it means to put down roots (or tear them up). The setting, a southern California orange orchard, is so vivid you’ll taste the dust on your tongue.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Forgetting Tree Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781250001047
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 4th, 2012

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