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.

In 1928, women were permitted to participate at the Olympics in track and field for the first time. This book recounts the careers of the women who were there and those who followed in their footsteps. These women overcame immense physical, mental, and social obstacles to pursue a sport they loved. It’s a fascinating and rarely told part of history. - Jade

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Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of the Early Olympic Women Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101906156
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - October 17th, 2017


Singer-songwriter Dar Williams tackles the sensitive issue of rampant gentrification in the United States in her new book. Using the knowledge she has acquired over her many years touring the country and her experiences in her own community, Williams offers strategies for building a happy, healthy town. She takes the reader all over the country, telling stories from cities that have made strides toward reducing gentrification and detailing the different ways that they are doing so. - Jade


Reading The Inner Life of Animals is like having a cheery fireside chat with a dear friend. One feels immediately welcomed and in cahoots with the author. With light chapters and a conversational tone, it’s the perfect armchair read. Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) translates scientific studies about animal behavior for the layperson and weaves in stories of his own animals (including goats!) as they steal, count, and parent their way through life. - Melinda

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The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion--Surprising Observations of a Hidden World Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781771643016
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - November 7th, 2017


Switching between his year on the International Space Station and the choices he had to make to get there, Endurance seems like an understatement considering all that Scott Kelly has achieved. It’s more than a book about space or about an astronaut’s experience; it’s about all that comes together to make such things happen. The perfect blend of biography and science, humor and inspirational reading. My copy is full of Post-its marking my favorite bits. - Rachel

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Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781524731595
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 17th, 2017


In the same vein as Radium Girls and Hidden Figures, Code Girls delves into the stories of the women working behind the scenes during World War II. From deciphering codes to soldering together the cipher machines themselves, these women were at the forefront of the war and its outcome but unable to tell anyone about their work. Code Girls dragged my emotions all over the place and is at the top of my all-time must-read list. - Rachel

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Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316352536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - October 10th, 2017


Smartly written, The Far Away Brothers chronicles the lives of two teenage El Salvadoran siblings as they become hermanos lejanos, or “faraway brothers.” Driven from their country, twins Ernesto and Raul brave the Rio Grande and Texas desert and make their way to their older brother in Oakland, only to face all the trials and tribulations of American teenagers, and with their debt to the coyotes constantly looming. - Aric

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The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101906187
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - September 12th, 2017


Women are frequently shunted to the side or ignored altogether in history, but they have often played a vital role in shaping our world. Alison Weir, with her signature meticulousness, puts the powerful women in the palace at the very center of history in this first of four planned volumes. I was more than happy to read about these important women and hope they will soon become household names, as they well deserve to be. - Ivy

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Queens of the Conquest: England's Medieval Queens Book One Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781101966662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 26th, 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: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 12th, 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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


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