Melinda's Reviews

Melinda Powers is the head book buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz and is therefore responsible for choosing which of the 300,000 titles published each year will make their way to our shelves (not including the children’s section). Formerly at Capitola Book Café, she can’t seem to quit this wonderful community of readers, booksellers, and books. She is okay with this addiction.

Sad that the U.S. Men’s Team didn’t make the World Cup? Spend some time with Rog and Davo, the two hilarious, knowledgeable, self-deprecating expat Brits behind the podcast and show Men in Blazers. Their encyclopedia of soccer and MiB history combines their enthusiasm for the sport, its glories and defeats, personalities and hairstyles, with their own personal anecdotes. If you are a Great Friend of the Pod, you will love this book. And if you aren’t one, you soon will be. - Melinda

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Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America's
$27.95
ISBN: 9781101875988
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 15th, 2018

Although collected from essays Kendzior wrote for Al Jazeera between 2012 and 2014, they are just as timely and important today. Her book addresses the post-employment economy, race and religion, higher education, and the media with a fresh eye from living in Middle America. Her pieces are brief yet impactful, told up close and personal, making it an essential read in our efforts to truly understand each other and what makes up these United States today. - Melinda

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The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250189998
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - April 17th, 2018

Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Pulitzer Prize–winningauthor and refugee himself, has brought together a powerful collection of essays from writers with a myriad of immigrant experiences. Twenty pieces explore the complexities of leaving, of arriving, and of the barriers both seen and unseen that exist far beyond the actual crossing. Reyna Grande, Joseph Azam, Fatima Bhutto, Vu Tran—their stories demand that we see the refugee crisis for what it is, the real lives of so many affected, persevering and thriving in spite of it. - Melinda

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The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives Cover Image
By Viet Thanh Nguyen (Editor), David Bezmozgis (Contribution by), Thi Bui (Contribution by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781419729485
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Press - March 27th, 2018

It is a treat to come upon writing so lovely and wise as Alexander Chee’s in his new essay collection. Chee’s subjects range from the writing life to tarot readings, a teenage summer in Mexico, and activism during the AIDS crisis, but always they are a thoughtful, personable consideration of being and becoming, of being a gay Korean American in white America and becoming the artist he is today, and it is deliciously well written. - Melinda

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328764522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 17th, 2018

Griffith’s newest novel explores the experience of sudden Otherness with searing intensity when her young, successful, self-assured protagonist Mara is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis right after her wife of 14 years has left her. Feeling betrayed by her body and alienated by her friends, she must come to terms with her new reality and forge a new path. Griffith’s sharp writing is emotional, truthful, powerful, and makes for a compelling, heart-baring, important read. - Melinda

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So Lucky Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780374265922
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus and Giroux - May 15th, 2018

Set in the steamy, seemingly dangerous landscape of Florida, Lauren Groff’s new stories play on the boundaries of humanity and wildness, the contradictions within human nature, and the conflicts faced by women in the assumed roles of motherhood and marriage. They are dark, exploratory, and as always with Lauren Groff, a thing of literary beauty. - Melinda

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Florida Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9781594634512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - June 5th, 2018

What I love most about Curtis Sittenfeld is the sly truths she buries just below the amiable surface. These gems abound in her new short story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It. Whether she is exploring a wronged woman doing wrong and then dwelling on it or the insecurity of being a new mother around the assurance of other new mothers, Sittenfeld writes life that is honestly, refreshingly real, and enjoyable, too. - Melinda

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You Think It, I'll Say It: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399592867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - April 24th, 2018

Richard Powers is an author of voracious curiosity and laser focused insight, gracing each of his novel’s topics with originality and breadth. His newest, The Overstory, is structured around trees, their own histories and our relationships with them, both on a personal level through the cast of diverse characters he builds and through the environmental activism that brings them together in unexpected ways. Gorgeously written, thoughtfully rendered, this is another intellectual feat by one of my favorite authors. - Melinda

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The Overstory Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393635522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 3rd, 2018

This is the Native memoir we need to be reading right now, one that does not look so much at the experience as through it, beyond it into a painful, poetic, grippingly real journey through struggle, breakdown, mental illness, relationship, abuse, shame, strength, motherhood and the perseverance to live. Mailhot’s writing is magnetic, propulsive, exquisitely crafted to pinpoint the intensity, confusion and complexity of each moment. - Melinda

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Heart Berries: A Memoir Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781619023345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - February 6th, 2018

Tara Westover’s memoir is an incredible read, not just because she details a childhood foreign to so many of us, but because she writes with such generosity and honesty to the entire experience. Westover comes of age among religious fanaticism, government distrust (read: no school, no doctors), extreme paranoia and outright danger (read next: child labor in a scrapyard), and yet she rises above to learn herself into university and the world beyond, but always with an eye to her family, both beloved and estranged. - Melinda

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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

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