Bookshop Santa Cruz staff recommendation:

The following books are recommended by our staff as great choices for book groups. Sign up for our Book Ends email newsletter to receive more great book group recommendations.

Temper is a tale both harrowing and humorous about the adventures of twin brothers who battle their demons, literally and figuratively, in a culture where a person’s worth is determined by the virtues and vices assigned to them as a child. A craving for blood along with lechery, deceit, and vanity run rampant through a vividly imagined world in this dark fantasy that is riddled with mysteries and secrets at every surprising turn. - Trey

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Temper: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062493057
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper Voyager - August 7th, 2018


The re-release of this book is a wonderful thing, we are lucky to have it back in the collective unconscious. If The Little Mermaid 2 met Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace it might look something like this. But this is better, because it’s real. It’s a story of unrequited love, and madness, and war, and mermaids, and all the ways a small town can shape a big life. It’s a story of the ocean, and its unwavering loyalty to itself. And it’s a story of family, of the ways we mark and are marked by our kin. I will be recommending this book to the people I love for a very long time. - Wren

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The Seas Cover Image
By Samantha Hunt, Maggie Nelson (Introduction by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781941040959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - July 10th, 2018


A new novel in the old style of speculative fiction, answering “What if?” with real-world science and a social conscience. Mary Robinette Kowal has penned a thoroughly believable 1950’s where humanity must suddenly race to space for weightier motivations than a Cold War. Elma York, WWII pilot, computer, reluctant spokeswoman, will face disaster, loss, ignorance (her own and others’), social injustice, and disbelief in science to guarantee our survival among the stars, and that all are included. - Jocelyn

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The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780765378385
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - July 3rd, 2018


Growing up in the United States, the children of immigrants often feel torn between two cultures: the world of their peers and the world of their parents. Amina watches her best friend, Korean American Soojin, struggle to fit into their very American school and Amina wonders if she should be doing the same. Tackling tough questions of racism, faith, and culture, this book sheds light on the hard realities facing immigrant children today. Grades 4–6. - Ivy

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Amina's Voice Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781481492072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - May 1st, 2018


My hero, culinary and otherwise, is Edna Lewis. Reading her book The Taste of Country Cooking 30 years ago was a total game-changer (and life-changer) for me: It spoke to my heart and gave me a compass in life—along with an abundance of simple, seasonal, and delicious recipes. In this new book, food-world notables such as Francis Lam, Toni Tipton-Martin, Michael Twitty, and Alice Waters reflect on the life and legacy of Miss Lewis, who grew up in a town founded by freed slaves, spent years in New York as a chef and activist, and returned to the South, where she wrote her cookbooks. Miss Lewis had a reverence for food and for the pleasure of a meal; here, the reverence is all ours. - S.B.

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Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original Cover Image
By Sara B. Franklin (Editor)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781469638553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - April 13th, 2018


This is my favorite kind of cookbook: personal, welcoming, and absolutely delicious. As much a narrative of Shaya’s life (from Israel to Philadelphia, Italy to New Orleans) as a collection of recipes, the warmth and quality of his writing had me reading this book cover to cover like a novel. That Shaya’s food (Southern-Israeli-Italian) shines even brighter than his exceptional prose is no surprise, as he is an acclaimed restaurateur and a two-time James Beard Award winner. But what has caught me off guard is how much this book lingers in my mind even when I’m nowhere near the kitchen. - S.B.

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Shaya: An Odyssey of Food: My Journey Back to Israel Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780451494160
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 13th, 2018


When Zen practitioner and author Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) was diagnosed with a dangerous blood cancer, she was suddenly thrown into the world of hospitals, medical lingo, and life-threatening urgency. Months into her own treatment, her partner was also handed a cancer diagnosis. With her Buddhist practice and steadfast spiritual gaze, Goldberg speaks to the importance of recognizing that it is the dance between the dark and the light, the hard and the easy, that makes life full and worthy of living. - S.M.C.

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Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781611805673
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shambhala - June 5th, 2018


We all dream big with our friends, of outlandish trips and life-changing goals. But in Shark Drunk Stroksnes and his friend Hugo Aasjord make it happen, setting out to catch a Greenland shark (roughly 26 feet long and weighing about a ton). Balancing the excursion with tales of family and science, etymology and myth, this is a beautiful narrative of our relationships with nature, the world, and ourselves. - Rachel

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Shark Drunk (Vintage Departures) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101972939
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - June 12th, 2018


Barracoon would be a significant document were it only about Cudjo (Kossola) Lewis, the last survivor of the last recorded slave ship to the United States. His memories, recounted orally, preserve a trans-Atlantic history that has long been suppressed. But Barracoon is also a story about Zora Neale Hurston, the Harlem Renaissance, and the reclamation of African American folklore. Woven throughout Hurston and Lewis’s conversations is a yearning for roots and a fight for identity. - Clara

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Barracoon: The Story of the Last
By Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker (Foreword by), Deborah G. Plant (Introduction by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062748201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad - May 8th, 2018


Whoever you are, whatever your political leanings, I urge you to read this story of two boys who fled their country, El Salvador, for a better life in the United States. Told with honesty and a lot of heart, The Far Away Brothers chronicles their journey, from their harrowing passage through the desert to their battles with the legal system in order to remain in a country where their lives are unthreatened. - Jax

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The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101906200
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - May 22nd, 2018


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