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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.

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

In An Unnecessary Woman, I found a best friend. Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in Beirut, in an apartment stuffed with books. She is neither religious nor married, which makes her an outcast. She is witty and perceptive and vulnerable, and I wish there was a way I might sit with her for just an hour, to share a cup of tea and talk books.

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An Unnecessary Woman Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802122940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove/Atlantic, Inc. - Grove/Atlantic, Inc. - - November 11th, 2014

God is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster

I loved this book, a smart page-turner centered around the explosion of a private spaceship shuttling wealthy tourists into orbit (a timely subject now, as it happens). The main character is Jess, a botany professor married to an engineer at SpaceX. The book is a series of emails she writes to her ex-lover in Canada, to whom she tells all, even the stuff she shouldn't. 

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Kat
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God is an Astronaut: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781620403563
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA - July 1st, 2014

Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr

As a girl who desperately wanted to be an astronaut, the name Sally Ride meant everything to me. But I knew very little about her; Ride was an extremely private person who rarely spoke about her life. Before her untimely death in 2012, Ride gave permission to her partner to go forward with a biography. Sherr's book captures Ride's brilliance, verve, and determination. 

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Kat
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Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781476725765
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 3rd, 2014

Falling into the Fire by Christine Montross

Montross is a poet and a psychiatrist, and it is that fascinating junction between literature and medicine that makes it such a searing, important book. Montross illuminates those we most want to turn away from, patients for whom medicine does not have a clear answer. I couldn't put this book down, and when I finished I was grateful for the experience.

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Kat
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Falling Into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounters with the Mind in Crisis Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143125716
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - July 29th, 2014

Neverhome by Laird Hunt

Neverhome has stayed with me. This story of a woman who leaves her husband behind to fight in the Civil War is so exquisitely well written, so tense, that it took over my life for a few days. I looked up from the last page dazed, unsure of how to go about my day without Ash’s mad, beautiful voice in my head. If you don’t believe me, ask just about anyone else on staff—this book has stolen and broken the heart of almost every fiction reader in the store. Neverhome is certainly one of the best novels of 2014.
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Kat
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Neverhome: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316370134
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 9th, 2014

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is the only woman to win the Booker Award twice, and the only author to ever win it for a sequel (Bring Up the Bodies, in 2012). While we impatiently await her third Thomas Cromwell novel, Mantel is releasing a new collection of stories in which she turns her sharp eye onto contemporary life, with dark and mesmerizing tales about marriage, sinister deaths, ghosts, and even a vampire. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher promises to be one of the literary events of the fall.
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Kat
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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781627792103
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - September 30th, 2014

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

If and when the first rains of the season come around, you will want to have The Paying Guests on hand. This multifaceted book has many layers: It is a domestic thriller, a searing love story, and an absolutely terrifying crime novel. The characters are vivid and warm, and the tension just climbs and climbs—I can’t remember the last time a book kept me up as late as this one did. I just loved it. Save it for the darkest, stormiest night, and enjoy.
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Kat
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The Paying Guests Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781594633119
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 16th, 2014

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

I loved Atwood’s 2006 story collection Moral Disorder, and so I am thrilled to read her forthcoming book The Stone Mattress, which promises the same level of astute, absorbing tales with a serious speculative twist. The Stone Mattress features stories about a writer who hears the voice of her recently dead husband, a woman who suffers from a genetic disease that mimics vampirism, and a tale of revenge set in the Arctic. This looks to be Atwood at her bizarre, creative best.
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Kat
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Stone Mattress: Nine Tales Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385539128
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Nan A. Talese - September 16th, 2014

Belfast Noir edited by Adrian McKinty

I am not exaggerating when I say that Belfast Noir is the best book of short stories I’ve read in years. My single complaint is that I desperately wanted every one of these stories to be a novel. This collection explores Belfast’s confusing, illogical landscape of loyalties, feuds, and blood-soaked landmarks. If you are among the ranks of Adrian McKinty fans in Santa Cruz, you must have this book.
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Kat
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Belfast Noir (Akashic Noir) Cover Image
By Adrian McKinty (Editor), Stuart Neville (Editor), Lee Child (Contribution by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781617752919
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Akashic Books - November 4th, 2014

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

If you love Mary Roach, you are going to adore Caitlin Doughty. She is a funeral director known for her fascinating, hilarious YouTube series Ask a Mortician. Her mission: To convince the masses that a preoccupation with the macabre isn’t a red flag, but a healthy way of alleviating anxiety and coming to terms with mortality. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is a memoir about her first crematory job in Oakland, and how she wound up “America’s (Kinda Dark) Sweetheart.” I love every page of this book, and I can’t wait to recommend it to everyone I know.
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Kat
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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393240238
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 15th, 2014

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