Casey's Reviews

Roddy Doyle is best known for the engaging dialogue that permeates the pages of his perfect Irish novels. Smile, his latest novel, is no exception. Except with this work, the playful Irish banter not only serves to transport you to the Irish pubs where recently divorced Victor Forde finds himself confronting his adolescence and current sense of belonging, it also leads you to question everything you just read once you turn the last page. - Casey                              

Staff Pick Logo
Smile Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 17th, 2017

It is hard to imagine Ng outdoing herself after the success of her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, but she’s up to the task with the exquisite Little Fires Everywhere. Each member of the Richardson family, living in the rigidly structured suburban Shakers Heights community, is inexplicitly drawn two new freewheeling residents, the artist Mia and her teenage daughter Pearl. Ng’s mastery is in her ability to develop characters in many layers and then, with perfect pace and nuance, remove each layer to reveal an emotionally resonant understanding around themes of family, identity, and community. This book is on the top of my best-of-the-year list. - Casey, Bookshop Santa Cruz Owner

Staff Pick Logo
Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

When teenager Lucinda Hayes is found murdered in her suburban town, all eyes shift to her quiet and decidedly different neighbor, Cameron Whitley. But in this perfectly-paced, suspenseful novel, the reader is kept guessing of the true nature of their connection and helps us realize that what we see on the surface might not always be the truth.  Danya Kukafka’s breakout debut will grab you early on and propel you to the finish where you just want to re-read it all over again. - Casey

Staff Pick Logo
Girl in Snow Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501144370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 1st, 2017

In a small town along the Mississippi coast, one American family struggles with the ebbs and flows of a roller-coaster life grappling with addiction, connection, imprisonment, belonging and multi-generational strife. Jesmyn Ward, author of National Book Award winner Salvage the Bones, writes with gloriously, lyrical prose – a true mix of magical realism and honest observation of human nature which fully demonstrates that she is one of the greatest American authors writing today. - Casey

Staff Pick Logo
Sing, Unburied, Sing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501126062
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - September 5th, 2017

It came as no surprise that Evicted was this year’s recipient for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction. The power of its storytelling—following landlords and their tenants who are embroiled in a pattern of eviction and subsequent poverty in Milwaukee—is about as flawless as can be and immediately pulls the reader into the many challenges facing low-income communities across America. Is the struggle in our communities due to a failure of personal responsibility or to the systematic racial and economic injustices that place the tenants at the mercy of our policies? Getting a small glimpse in how this plays out in the lives of real people facing these issues is breathtaking. It is truly one of the best books I’ve read in the last decade. - Casey

Staff Pick Logo
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553447453
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - February 28th, 2017

“The four of us together weren’t something they understood. They understood girls alone, folding their arms across their breasts, praying for invisibility,” says Jacqueline Woodson’s character, August, as she embarks upon her transformation from girlhood to womanhood with a cohort of friends in 1970’s Brooklyn. It is the poetic voice of these girls, bound and yet alone, that grounds the reader in the neighborhood, and in the class, race, and religious dynamics of that time and place but that ultimately speaks to all women whose memory of their youth continuously folds and unfolds into their identity. A powerful, beautiful novel. - Casey

Staff Pick Logo
Another Brooklyn Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062359995
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad Press - May 30th, 2017

Steve Young, the star quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s, transports us to many seminal moments in his riveting memoir. By writing about his life, from his father’s influence on his work ethic (his father was aptly nicknamed “Grit”) to the anxieties that plagued Steve’s time on the field, to his pursuit of a law degree to quench his insatiable thirst for knowledge, Young brings us closer to understanding what drove him to the pinnacle of athletic success and into the hearts of the 49er Faithful everywhere (including mine). —Casey


Staff Pick Logo
Qb: My Life Behind the Spiral Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544845763
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - October 11th, 2016

The same qualities that make me daydream about becoming best friends with Ann Patchett are found on the pages of her new novel Commonwealth, where she conveys the deep ties and challenges within a family with her trademark honesty, humor, and emotional resonance. Commonwealth is the story of two families, broken apart and pieced back together through marriage and remarriage, and the unexpected relationships that tie siblings and half-siblings together in their new reality. This is the novel of the fall that you will want to talk about over and over again with your best friends just so that you can keep the characters in your heart for a little bit longer. Ann Patchett does it again.  —Casey

Staff Pick Logo
Commonwealth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062491794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 13th, 2016

Brit Bennett’s The Mothers is a remarkable debut, a novel whose characters are so well developed that you will find yourself happily along for the ride in the emotional roller coaster of their lives. The book follows the path of three African American teenagers—Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey—growing up in Southern California, each of whom faces a disappointment or tragedy that propels them into their current situation. They make decisions that not only affect their teenage years but their relationships and outlook over decades, and Bennett exquisitely layers the emotions found deep within their friendships, their community, and their families.  —Casey

Staff Pick Logo
The Mothers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399184512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - October 11th, 2016

Poignant, intense, and immersive, Emma Cline’s The Girls is a debut novel that makes such a strong mark on its readers that you begin to understand that you’re watching a star in the next generation of writers begin to soar. Evie, a self-conscious and largely invisible girl living in the Bay Area in the 1970s, happens upon a cult whose free spirit masks a much darker reality of what it means to belong. The Girls speaks to us about the plight of girls to be seen and heard in a world that largely leaves them angry and invisible. Extraordinary.  —Casey

Staff Pick Logo
The Girls Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812998603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - June 14th, 2016



Other Services:


All titles are subject to availability. Prices subject to change. Please call 831-423-0900 to confirm.
Copyright © Bookshop Santa Cruz
(831) 423-0900 · 1520 Pacific Ave · Downtown Santa Cruz · Santa Cruz, CA · 95060