Biography and Memoir from our 2017 Winter Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2017 Winter Newsletter, recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff.

The first thing you’ll notice is the writing—Amy Tan’s gorgeous prose. The second will be the almost casual references to her incredible family history and personal tragedy. You’ll be drawn in by the insight of one of our greatest living writers. Orbiting an emotional core, this collage of poetic thoughts and essays on art and language are intermingled with chapters of Tan’s heart-breaking real-life stories, creating a unique memoir that I can’t stop thinking about. - Jocelyn

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Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir Cover Image
By Amy Tan
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062319296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - October 17th, 2017

The author of numerous well-researched and well-received biographies including Steve Jobs and The Innovators, Walter Isaacson now has written on another of the most interesting people in history, Leonardo da Vinci. Isaacson explores both the person and the genius he displayed in so many fields. - Ian

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Leonardo Da Vinci Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501139154
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 17th, 2017

When the author’s 80-year-old father decided to sit in on his college course on The Odyssey, he wasn’t prepared for how impactful the experience would be for the both of them. Poignant family memories, interwoven with a scholarly analysis of The Odyssey, make for a book that is part college lecture and part autobiography. The result is a truly lovely and unique father–son story. - Jade

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An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385350594
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 12th, 2017

Not for the squeamish, this historical look at female serial killers removes the rose-colored glasses often applied when studying the “fairer” sex. Showing how these murderesses used polite society’s biases to their homicidal favor, Tori Tefler creates colorful yet compassionate retellings of fourteen of history’s most cunning killers. Perfect for My Favorite Murder podcast fans. - Kelly

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Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062433732
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 10th, 2017

I’m a huge history and Hamilton fan. I adored every second of reading Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, so when I heard he had a new book, I snatched it right up. Ulysses S. Grant is quite the divisive historical figure, seen as a great general and a degenerate drunk at the same time. Chernow seeks to set the record straight once and for all. This book is quite hefty, but I am savoring every moment of it. - Ivy

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Grant Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9781594204876
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - October 10th, 2017

Alice Waters opened the legendary Chez Panisse in 1971, and neither the cuisine of California nor that of the Western world has been the same since. Here in her first memoir, Waters puts together the pieces—female friendships and male lovers, childhood memories and adult journeys, music and art and France and the ’60s—that brought her to her legacy on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. Lovely and nostalgic with the hope of the last century, it will whet an appetite for beauty and change. - Jocelyn

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Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780307718280
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - September 5th, 2017

Badass and gripping, this memoir feels like the most honest conversation you’ve ever had with a best friend about the important topics of your lives. Remember how that conversation changed you? This will, too. Captivating whether you know Union yet or not, I want to hand this to every feminist with a reading list. Union’s transparency, intensity, and grace merit both awe and a prodigious red wine toast. - a.c.

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We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062693983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - October 17th, 2017

In this long-awaited memoir, the beloved author of the bestselling Tales of the City series chronicles his odyssey from the old South to freewheeling San Francisco, and his evolution from curious youth to ground-breaking writer and gay rights pioneer. “A book for any of us, gay or straight, who have had to find our family. Maupin is one of America’s finest storytellers and the story of his life is as fascinating ad delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us.” - Neil Gaiman

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Logical Family: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062391223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - October 3rd, 2017

 

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