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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.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman

Oliver Burkeman’s refreshing book challenges you to embrace failure, uncertainty, and even fear of death, the very things that most self-help books claim to banish. He argues that it is the struggle to remove these elements from our lives that is making us so miserable. The Antidote is a thoughtful and blessedly rational take on the self-help book, one that will surely be embraced by those who enjoyed Barbara Ehrenreich’s book Bright-Sided.

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Kat
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The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780865478015
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 5th, 2013

Knocking on Heaven's Door by Katy Butler

The death of one’s parents is terrible enough, but today our grief is complicated by medical advancements that sometimes prolong suffering as well as life. Katy Butler experienced this with her parents and it triggered a personal investigation into the new American way of death and how it can be navigated and improved upon. Knocking on Heaven’s Door is an indispensable book that is thoughtful, well researched, and lovingly crafted.

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Kat
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Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781451641974
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner - September 10th, 2013

That’s That by Colin Broderick

I started reading this book because of a fascination I’ve recently developed with the Irish Troubles. Broderick grew up Catholic in Northern Ireland, and it seemed that everyone around him was somehow involved in the fighting. His boyhood was shaped by car bombs, paramilitaries, and riots, and his description of his narrow escape from that world is breathtaking and nuanced. A fascinating and highly educational read.
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Kat
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That's That: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307716330
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Broadway Books - May 7th, 2013

My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

If I were in a book group, I would insist that we read this book. I would also insist that everyone pick a recipe and bring enough to share. Luisa Weiss grew up on two continents--her father lived in Boston, and her Italian mother in Berlin--and so by the time she reached adulthood she was more than used to wandering. Food and cooking became her comfort and her home. Think Eat Pray Love with a foodie twist.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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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

Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter

Lea Carpenter’s beautiful and somber debut tells the story of a mother awaiting the fate of her son, a Navy SEAL deployed to Afghanistan. This literary war novel doesn’t linger on the front lines, but instead focuses on quiet emotional depths, and shows us a warrior who is more classical than brutish. Perfect for fans of The Yellow Birds and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
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Kat
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Eleven Days Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307960702
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - June 18th, 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Burial Rites is the kind of vividly atmospheric historical novel that makes you grateful for winter. Set in Iceland in 1829, the story centers around Agnes, a housemaid who has been charged with murder and condemned to die. She’s sent to live on a farm until her execution day, with a family who is terrified of her, and slowly, painstakingly, the real story comes out. I predict that book groups won’t be able to stop talking about Burial Rites, so prepare yourself for a long night. Gripping ‘til the last page and based on a true story (but don’t look it up! You’ll spoil the ending!).
Reviewed by: Kat & S.M.C.

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Burial Rites: A Novel Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780316243919
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 10th, 2013

Secret History by Donna Tartt

This is one of the only books that I re-read, usually on rainy nights with a mug of tea. It’s a completely fascinating take on the murder mystery, in that you find out who the murderer is on the first page, but the book never loses an ounce of suspense. I still have no idea how Donna Tartt pulled that off, but I’m happy to read it again and again in search of clues.
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Kat
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The Secret History (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400031702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 13th, 2004

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Sweet Tooth is a brilliant play on the spy novel. Beautiful and booksmart, Serena Frome is tapped to work for the MI5 right out of college. Her job is disappointingly humdrum until she’s assigned to work on operation Sweet Tooth, and it is here that the literary espionage begins. This book is lighter than previous books by McEwan, but the coyly subversive surface hides deeper thoughts about where fiction comes from. Brilliant, funny and engrossing.
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Kat
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Sweet Tooth: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780345803450
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - July 2nd, 2013

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Burial Rites is a stunning debut novel immersed in an unfamiliar world: Iceland in 1829. It is the story of Agnes, a condemned murderer who waits out her execution on an isolated farm in the company of a frightened, hard-working family. As winter approaches, she slowly reveals the truth about what happened on the night of the murder. A chilling, atmospheric mystery that is based on a true story.
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Kat
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Burial Rites Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316243926
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - April 1st, 2014

Enon by Paul Harding

Paul Harding’s debut novel Tinkers won the Pulitzer Prize, and has been required reading for literary fiction fans ever since. His second novel Enon is about Charlie Crosby (grandson of George Crosby of Tinkers), and the year following the death of his daughter. Enon maps unthinkable and strangely beautiful landscapes of grief and remembrance, and it is haunting and immersive and difficult to put down. Sure to be one of the best literary novels of the year.
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Kat
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Enon Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781400069439
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Random House - September 10th, 2013

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