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.

I fell in love at chapter nine, where I’d randomly begun reading to determine if the author’s writing was any good. Spoiler alert: it is. Now, months after reading this whole damned frustrating, wonderful debut novel--with its Louisiana flavors, alarmingly myopic narrator, exquisitely crafted sentences, and incisive insights--I can’t wait for you to read it, too. —a.c.

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My Sunshine Away Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780399169526
Availability: Special Order
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 10th, 2015


Fever at Dawn has the sweetness of The Rosie Project and the pathos of The Fault in Our Stars. Better still, it is based on a true story, that of the author’s parents, who found love in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the horrors of World War II. …A book to fall in love with.” —Herald Sun

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Fever at Dawn Cover Image
By Peter Gardos, Elizabeth Szasz (Translator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780544944411
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 18th, 2017


I love a good road trip story. There is something about being trapped in a vehicle with others that forces us to not only examine who we are as people, but also to confront the complicated threads that bind us to others. In The Wangs vs. the World, Chang explores one family’s tumultuous relationships with both humor and empathy. This is Chang’s debut novel and I am definitely looking forward to more by her. - Karena                                                 

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The Wangs vs. the World Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328745538
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 6th, 2017


Pacific Northwest Book Award Winner & Starred Review from Publishers Weekly

“A faltering journalist returns to an island abandoned after an earthquake released a toxic spill. That’s the beautifully wrought setting of this novel, which reunites two childhood friends, one of whom has joined a sect claiming it can heal the land.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

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Marrow Island Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328710345
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 6th, 2017


Cambridge, 1958. Late for class, Eva Edelstein swerves to miss a dog and crashes her bike. Jim Taylor hurries to help her. In that brief moment, three outcomes are born for Eva and Jim. As the strands of their lives weave together and apart across the decades from college through wildly different successes and disappointments, seductions and betrayals, births and funerals, joys and sorrows, the only constant is the power of their connection. 

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The Versions of Us Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780544947276
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 18th, 2017


Protagonist 560-year-old “ancient mariner” Daniel Defoe’s gritty storytelling travels from an unmoored drop-out narrator in present-day Key West, then leaps to an enslaved Pirahao girl in 1560 Granada, then to three other questing youths in the years 2200 and 1750 and in the 2500s, in repeatedly rotating versions of America. There be greed and colonialist corruption along these edges of ruin, but smidgeons of love and grim humor also. Meta-fictional and psycho-economic glimpses of climate disruption are revealed in five diverse epochs.—Steve Lawton

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Mr. Eternity Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781632860958
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - June 13th, 2017


Where does the great American dream reside? In a young boy’s desire for a place to live, an education, and some stability for his hardworking family. The Circuit is the first part of a simply beautiful autobiographical trilogy by a professor of modern languages at Santa Clara University. Ages 11 & up. - Ga

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The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780826317971
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of New Mexico Press - October 1997


My favorite kind of summer read is an engrossing culinary book, and if it’s about Southern food, all the better. As director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, John T. Edge has credentials to write this “food history of the modern South,” but more than that, he is a terrific writer who cares about the ways that race has shaped what and how we eat. I am particularly interested in reading Edge’s take on how “[Southern] food and eating intertwine inextricably with politics and social history.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review.) - S.B.

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The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594206559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - May 16th, 2017


If I could live any other life, I have always imagined it would be as a farmer. Letters to a Young Farmer is doing nothing to dispel that dream, but at least it allows me to live vicariously through the dozens of writers, farmers, chefs, and activists who address the highs and lows of farming life. Many favorites—among them, Michael Pollan, Dan Barber, Mas Masumoto, and Barbara Kingsolver—share their tales, knowledge, and observations about food, farming, and sustainability. At a time when farmers are facing huge challenges, including climate change and big agribusiness, this book serves to advise and encourage young farmers and inspire anyone who cares about fresh, healthy, and affordable food. - S.B.

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Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781616895303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Princeton Architectural Press - March 7th, 2017


This wonderful book is part memoir, part adventure and nature writing, and fully a tale of inspiration and hope. In 2015, Tommy Caldwell completed what is considered one of the hardest climbs in the world: a free climb up El Capitan’s vertical wall in Yosemite—that’s 3,000 feet of balance and strength using just his fingers and toes. The Push is an incredible account of endurance as well as a deeply engrossing memoir of a once-self-conscious boy finding the obsession and drive to overcome heartbreak and disappointment in order to achieve the seemingly impossible. - S.M.C.

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The Push: A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399562709
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - May 16th, 2017


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