Bookshop Santa Cruz Virtual Events Kids Summer Reading Program
Short Story Contest Winner Enter Our Young Writers Contest
New bks recommended by Bkshop sta
shop with Traditional gift cards in the store or online
use e-gift cards online only
Bookshop Santa Cruz celebrates the talents
of young writers in our community with a
contest designed for ages 6 –17! 
Deadline for entries is September 20th.
See page 31 for details or click through to our website.

Dear Readers,
When we started working on this
newsletter in January, the world was a
very different place. We were having
meetings amongst our staff and with our
publishing partners to select our very
favorite books to share with you. When
the pandemic hit and dozens of
publication release dates were moving
on a daily basis, we made the decision to
take our Reader's newsletter digital for 
this edition. Whatever the format, this
represents our passion for the books on
our shelves and our mission to help you
find your next favorite book.
During our closure, and as we reopened
our doors to the public just a few weeks
ago, we have felt the continuous support
from our customers to help us survive
this time. We wouldn't be here without
you. We look forward to sharing these
books and other favorites over the next
few months as we all turn to reading for
education, empathy, and escape. You've
been here for us and we'll be here for you
as we make this new literary journey
—Casey Coonerty Protti
Owner, Bookshop Santa Cruz
“OUTER BANKS” by Joanne Wright
Winner of our 17th annual short story contest
Jennifer Ackerman, Lloyd Kahn, Molly Ball, Aimee Bender,
Congressman Eric Swalwell, Jana Marcus, and David
Eagleman are some of the authors joining us this summer
Staff recommended reading for all ages
STAFF PROFILE: Michelle Spence
See page 30 See page 22 See page 29 See page 26 See page 23 See page 13

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Just Mercy:
A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson
A lawyer and social justice advocate, Bryan
Stevenson paints a devastating picture of the
American criminal justice system and the
racial biases that permeate it. Drawing on his
experiences as a black man in America and those of his many
clients, Stevenson beseeches his readers to try and better
understand our fellow humans, and to just show some mercy.
— Jade (Just Mercy is also available in a Young Adult edition.)
This Book Is Anti-Racist:
20 Lessons on How to Wake Up Take
Action, and Do the Work
Written by Tiffany Jewell,
Illustrated by Aurélia Durand
What is race? What is racism? What about
personal racism, institutional racism, and
internalized racism? Why is it important to protect ourselves
against microaggressions? Complete with an introductory
glossary, this book is packed with 20 lessons on how to “wake
up, take action, and do the work” to actively fight against
racism. Young people already familiar with these concepts will
find support and encouragement by reading this book.
Newcomers to these ideas will begin to have their eyes open to
the injustices of this world (and would benefit om guidance
om adults already educated and actively practicing
anti-racism). Also a great choice for family reading for those on
a journey towards active anti-racism. —Noreen
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in
the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander
With mastery and empathy, author Michelle
Alexander draws a line om American slavery
to the Jim Crow era to modern mass
incarceration. Upon finishing The New Jim
Crow, you may be le feeling like the world has turned on its
head, or perhaps the book will confirm and contextualize what
you’ve already experienced. —N.D.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for
White People to Talk About Racism
by Robin DiAngelo
I recommend White Fragility to anyone trying to
examine racism but are not sure where to start
because it provides examples of actual
scenarios. I also recommend it to folks who
feel like they “cant say anything without people being politically
correct” because it offers solutions for feelings like that. It’s a
good place to start because it lays out concrete actions to
question your own complicity in white supremacy. —Celeste
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Profoundly moving and emotionally
challenging, Between the World and Me is an
incredible read. Coates writes lyrical,
beautiful passages that break your heart and
shake your faith. The book is an intimate look
into the vast failure of America in dealing with the construct of
“race,” our failure to acknowledge (let alone attempt to redress)
the legacy of slavery and segregation, and our failure to protect
and support our citizens. But Between the World and Me is also a
tender and touching look at how to be a parent—an imperfect
being in an imperfect world—trying to prepare your child for
both the best and the worst possibilities. —N.M.
Stamped from the Beginning
by Ibram X. Kendi
There is no way to truly deal with racism
without first comprehending the history of
systematic racial discrimination and
anti-Blackness in America and just how
entrenched it is in our society. Ibram X.
Kendi’s National Book Award-winning book
lays that history bare. Using the life stories of Cotton Mather,
Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois,
and Angela Davis, he shows how racists ideas were created to
justify and protect power. The system is functioning as
designed. It was built to last, and we cannot dismantle it without
understanding that truth. —S.B.
There are many important books on anti-racism—here are some of the many titles we recommend. Due to high demand around the country, some
of these books might be out of stock at moments while publishers reprint titles. Bookshop has hundreds of copies on order and will fulfill orders in the order
that we receive them as the books become available. Click here to see more books on our Anti-Racism Reading Lists for all ages.
Recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff
It wasn’t like I didn’t know about Bonnie and didn’t suspect she
would appear at some point. Still, it was a kick in the gut to see
him in here with her. I’d played it cool and espoused an “open
relationship. When we talked about things, we agreed we had a
realistic and mature relationship. I came out of those
conversations feeling exceedingly evolved, with my mantra:
“Whatever you have with Bonnie is between you and her and what
we have is between you and me.” Right now, though, I felt like shit.
The hostess sat them at one of my tables.
“Hi Bob,” I said as I approached their
table, giving Bonnie a glance of
acknowledgment. “Coffee?”
“Hey, Sue. Sue, this is Bonnie; Bonnie,
“Hi, Sue.” She was perky.
“Nice to meet you,” I said with as warm a
smile as I could muster. And then just
stood there.
“I’ll have some coffee,” Bob finally said.
When I started to pour, I felt my hand
tremble. Across the room, Wayne was
waving his check and a five dollar bill in
my direction.
“Excuse me, I’ll be right back.” I headed
over to Wayne, grateful for once that he
was demanding immediate attention.
“Hey darlin’, I just need some change.” I knew it wasn’t going to be
for a tip; I saw his latest napkin sketch under the salt shaker. I
hoped that Dorrie was busy elsewhere because I needed this
I cashed Wayne out, then cleared his table. As I was heading back
to the waitress station, Dorrie almost ran into me head-on. “Did
Wayne leave?” she asked, craning her neck to see if he was still on
the premises.
I’d stayed too long. A few days before, Bob told me, “My
girlfriend is coming.
It had been a month since we stood on the beach as Hurricane
Dennis sent high winds and water onto the coast. That was the
end of August. Business at the Steak & Egg had dropped to
almost nothing and the glow of summer was gone. It was mostly
regulars now—fishermen in from excursions, older couples who
liked to vacation after the kids had gone back to school, salty
locals whod made their money for the year and could sit around
drinking coffee all morning.
I was pouring coffee for Wayne Eerie. It
wasn’t my table, but he had waved his cup
when he saw me with the coffee pot. Wayne
owned a local art gallery, where he sold his
original ink sketches of “Scenes of the Outer
Banks,” which consist for the most part of
seagulls, gnarled driftwood, sand dunes, and
beach grass. What annoyed me was the way
he came in acting like some big celebrity who
we should be honored to wait on. He drew
Outer Banks scenes on his napkins while he
drank his coffee, and left those as tips. In his
mind, an original Wayne Eerie napkin sketch
was worth quite a bit, or at least a buck or
two, which is what he should have been
leaving for tips.
Dorrie, who was on shift with me, thought
these napkin sketches were the cat’s meow;
she had a collection of them and fawned all
over Wayne. She acted like she could retire off the proceeds of a
“Wayne Eerie Napkin Sketch Sale.
As I was pouring Waynes refill, Dorrie fluttered over, all a-titter,
with a pot full of steaming coffee. “Oh, Wayne,” she cooed, her
elbow poking my side, “I was just making up a fresh pot for you. I
know you like the freshest coffee possible.” I thought she was
going to push me down. She was afraid I was going to move in on
her seagull sketch tip, but I ceded my spot, moving back to my own
It was about then that I saw Bob coming in the door with a
woman. It was Bonnie.
“Outer Banks” by Joanne Wright
First Place Winner of Our Annual Short Story Contest
Thank you to everyone who
submitted entries to this year's
short story contest. We loved
reading the creative stories om
all of our local writing talent.
All three winning stories are available to
read on our website. Click here.
First Place:
“Outer Banks” by Joanne Wright
$250 gi certificate + newsletter publication
Second Place:
“Fall” by Logan Egan
$100 gi certificate
Third Place:
“Puzzle Box” by Ryan Masters
$50 gi certificate
Continued on next page
“Don’t worry Dorrie, I’m not taking the sketch, ok? It’s right here.
I nodded toward my right hand, which held a saucer and cup and
the sketched-on napkin underneath.
She averted her gaze. “Oh, I’m not worried about that!” She was
smiling a sugary smile now and her accent seemed thicker. “I just
didn’t want you to have to worry about extra tables. Your side is
so full. Let me take this stuff for you.” She attempted to pull the
saucer, cup, and napkin out of my hand.
“Dorrie, it’ll be easier if I just set it down her, okay?” She finally
moved aside so I could maneuver to the wait station and set the
dirty dishes into a bus tray. One of Dorries tables needed
attention. She hesitated before heading over.
“I’ll leave it right here, for God’s sake.” I put the napkin by the
coffee maker.
The few minutes of banter with Dorrie had taken my mind off Bob
and Bonnie, but then I saw them again. They were smiling,
holding hands. That was it. My eyes watered and my nose started
to run. I grabbed a napkin from the counter and hid behind the
wait station. I tried to blow my nose without making much noise.
What the hell was I going to do? There were customers I had to
deal with. I had to face Bob and I couldn’t go out there crying. I
could ask Dorrie to take Bob and Bonnie. Tell her I had too many
other tables going. I blew my nose again, wiped my eyes. That’s
what I’d do.
Dorrie whipped around the corner. “Sue, can you…what the
hell?” She stopped. Stared. “What’s that stuff on your face?” I
looked at her, perplexed. “It’s all black—it’s on your hands!” As I
looked down at my hands, she noticed the wadded napkin the
same time I did. I realized what I’d done. “What the fuck are you
doing? Are you trying to spite me?” she hissed.
I dropped the wadded napkin at Dorries feet. I headed toward
the bathroom, a Wayne Eerie original all over my face and Dorrie
trying to figure out how to preserve it. I walked past the
bathroom, out the back exit, and smiled when the screen door
slammed behind me.
Continued om previous page
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• Parent-Child Classes
A Walk Through the Grades
An Introduction to Waldorf
Early Childhood
JOIN US for one of these events to learn more
about the Santa Cruz Waldorf School: | (831) 824-2161
Nourish the whole child by cultivating
the individual’s capacity of head, heart, and hands.
Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert brings
her genius to Emily McDowell & Friends
with a line of inspiring journals. May the
quotes on the outside of these journals
inspire a literary masterpiece of your own.
Eat, Pray, Love, and WRITE!
But wait! You’re going to need a good
pen, too. Sustainability becomes fun
and colorful with our variety of Seltzer
Goods’ Seven Year Pens. Made in a
precision factory in the eco-friendly
country of Switzerland, each pen
contains a large ink supply, high quality
parts, and is refillable. So no matter how much you write, you don’t
have to throw away the whole pen when you are writing the sequel!
In this crazy and sometimes maddening
world, it helps to remember to slow
down. These cute little stickers serve as
a useful reminder to take time for
self-care. Whether it’s an encouraging
reminder that you are more than enough, or a helpful suggestion to
take a deep breath, these sweet stickers will help you stay centered in
the chaos of modern life.
Yes, we’re still puzzling! Heres why:
Focusing on one image for a long
period of time, without extraneous
thoughts entering your mind, is in
itself meditation. By doing a jigsaw
puzzle, you are getting those great
benefits. Alternatively, tackling a puzzle as a family can be a great
bonding exercise. Either way, you’re welcome! And don’t let the 300
pieces fool you—this ones a challenge!
What do we want? A president who
reads! When do we want it? 4 years
ago! Support a well-informed
democratic process created through
books and open-minded conversation
with this great t-shirt from Out of
Print. Sizes xs–2xl.
These bandanas are so soft. Did I say
bandanas? I meant bandana/masks. These
bandana/masks are so soft! Collect them all,
but do hurry in—our staff keeps buying them!
—Kate, head gift buyer
This is a fun and silly game to play with
your family and friends. It keeps you
guessing what they’re thinking and can
give everyone a good laugh. Very simple
and easy for anyone to play. —Sheila
A great nostalgic board game based off
of Homestar Runners Trogdor the
Burninator, one of the first viral internet
videos of the early 2000’s. This light
strategy/puzzle game is detailed and
fun to play with your friends. The cards
create a hilarious and nostalgic play
every time. Perfect for game nights!
Gis & Games
We are building out our puzzle and game inventory to have large selections for all ages and play type.
Visit our expanded section by the information desk or check out our inventory online at
Bobbie Herteman, Broker
Call me to discuss your
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For Adults, Children & Couples
340 Soquel Avenue, Suite 120
Santa Cruz CA 95062
Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
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Shanowa Simington, M.A., LMFT
Online event with Colin 
Dickey, author of The 
Unidentified: Mythical Monsters,
Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained. Tune into our 
one of Discretion’s tasty beverages—thesuggest their Book Club Pale Ale will
paibeautifully with the book that Publishers Weekly 
calls, “A thought-provoking and deliciously unsettling
guide into the stranger corners of American culture.”
Shipping and book/beer pick up options to come.

Tuesday, July 28th, at 7:00
       on crowdcast
Coming Soon
Kevin Kwan returns with a new escapist romp with a touch of
romance and a bite of satire. Narrowing his Austen-esque
scope from the larger-than-life casts of his brilliant Craz
Rich Asians trilogy, here he focuses oa few families within 
NeYorks 1% and a small bevy of relatives, friends, and 
tangential acquaintances. Lush descriptions of shoes, 
fashion, and cars in the landscapes of Italy, NeYork, and 
the Hamptons, amidst pointed exploration of class, identity, and mixed race 
heritage, and, of course, a zany rom-com plot with footnote commentary, you will 
devour this book, and look forward to more from the world oKevin Kwan. —Jocelyn
UTOPIA AVENUE by David Mitchell
A big cast of characters, colorful prose, a sweeping narrativ
that spans generations, continents, and dimensions; David 
Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) is back. Its London, 1967, and th
music scene is on fire. Brought together by a manager with 
dream to create the perfect bandUtopia Avenue enters the
inferno. The four band members, each with their own distinct 
parlance, take turns narrating. While at first this book seems
a bit tamer than his previous work, Mitchells fans will not be surprised when the plot 
takes a mystical turn. Once again, I found myself drawn into Mitchells multiverse, a 
spectacular place where everyone and everything is connected and reality is not 
what it seems. —Jade 
Check out all of the future books ware excited about at

Zach Norris, We Keep Us Safe In conversation with Marlena Henderson
Thursday, June 25th, at 7:00 pm on Crowdcast
Bookshop and the NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch welcome Zach Norris, executive director
of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, for an online discussion of his new book, We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just,
and Inclusive Communities. Norris will be joined by special guest Marlena Henderson, who is also featured in the book.
Jennifer Ackerman, The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
Tuesday, June 30th, at 5:00 pm on Crowdcast
Bookshop and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks welcome bestselling author Jennifer Ackerman for
an online event celebrating her new book, The Bird Way. This virtual event will include a 30-minute
presentation by Ackerman, as well as a Q&A with the audience.
Rufi Thorpe, The Knockout Queen In conversation with Jennifer Weiner
Thursday, July 2nd, at 6:00 pm on Crowdcast
Rufi Thorpe will discuss her latest book, The Knockout Queen. This staff favorite is a dazzling and darkly comic novel of
love, violence, and friendship in the California suburbs. Thorpe will be in conversation with New York Times bestselling
author Jennifer Weiner, whose new book Big Summer has just been published.
Molly Ball, Pelosi
Tuesday, July 7th, at 6:00 pm on Crowdcast
Join us for a free online event with national political journalist Molly Ball to discuss her book, Pelosi, an intimate, fresh
perspective on the most powerful woman in American political history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “A top-notch
political biography.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Kathryn Aalto, Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World
Sunday, July 12th, at 11:00 am on Crowdcast
In Writing Wild, Kathryn Aalto celebrates 25 women whose influential writing helps deepen our connection to and
understanding of the natural world. Featured writers include Rebecca Solnit, Dorothy Wordsworth, Gene Stratton-Porter,
Mary Austin, Gretel Ehrlich, Lauret Savoy, Kathleen Jamie, and Carolyn Finney.
Lloyd Kahn, The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building & Gardening
Thursday, July 16th, at 7:00 pm on Crowdcast
Green architecture pioneer Lloyd Kahn will give an online presentation about his new book, The Half-Acre Homestead,
which chronicles how he and his wife started with a vacant piece of land, built their own home, created a garden with
vegetables and fruit, and raised chickens, bees, and goats. The book also covers cooking, foraging, fishing, crafts, birds,
butterflies, and tools. All of their work was done by hand and they have never paid rent or had a mortgage.
Bookseller Happy Hour: Genre Edition!
Monday, July 20th, at 7:00 pm on Crowdcast
Join Bookshop booksellers as we share our favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery, and Graphic Novels from authors
of color. Grab the beverage of your choice and come spend an hour with us on Crowdcast to find your next great read.
Patrice Vecchione, My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice
Tuesday, July 21st, at 7:00 pm on Crowdcast
Acclaimed local poet, editor, and teacher Patrice Vecchione (Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee
Experience) to celebrate her newest book, My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice—the ultimate writing guide for teens.
Our events have gone virtual! CLICK ON EACH EVENT for further details or to register for these
online readings, which will take place on the Crowdcast platform. All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time.
Zoom Forward! Friday, June 26th, at 5:00 pmFeaturing Farnaz Fatemi, Ingrid Browning, and Lisa Ortiz on the Zoom platform

A Burning
by Megha Majumdar
Megha Majumdar has written an astounding
debut novel, and my favorite book of the year
thus far. Following a terrorist attack in
modern-day India, A Burning explores three
very different lives. It lays bare the
consequences and complexities of class,
gender, politics, religion, and race—the social
constructs that both empower and imprison the book’s richly drawn
characters. It is propulsive, it is important, it is beautifully rendered.
Burning is exactly the book it needs to be, even as it lifts you, even as it 
breaks your heart. I am filled to the brim with all of it. —Melinda
Conjure Women
by Afia Atakora
The characters in this transporting book, set
before and after the Civil War, still haunt my
thoughts. We get to know a mother and
daughter—midwives and healers—and the
community they serve. Their magic is both a
blessing and a curse, and the people who need
the conjure women can be desperate to believe
or quick to condemn. This is a story of people, of their overlapping
realities, their longing for security, and of the unjust world and its
rules, rules that we still deal with today. You will love the characters,
be curious about what’s true and what is conjured, and shake your
head with grief as the story comes to a close. —Jenny
Simon the Fiddler
by Paulette Jiles
If ever you need to leave behind the
fast-paced, app-filled, droning noise of this
time, open up the world of Simon the Fiddler
This meandering story, set at the end of the
Civil War, follows Simon, his fiddle, his dreams
for a simple, peaceful life, and his quest to
marry the Irish lass he fell in love with at first
sight. There are saloon fights, friendships, alligators, hoop skirts,
letter writing, and tragic loss. I’m telling you, I thought the music and
the Southern scenes were all going to just fade into the Texas sunset...
until I got to the final chapters—plot twist! —Jenny
The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett 
The Vanishing Half is the multigenerational 
story of a Black family, spanning from the Civil
Rights era to the end of the 20th century,
centering around Stella and Desiree, twin
sisters who are separated when one of them
leaves to live a life passing as white. What
follows is an exploration of family and identity, of the complexity and
very real effects of race constructs, of what is lost, and what can be
found. Bennett offers no clear answers, only much to think about (and
deliciously so) as you race through to discover how these crucial life
choices will affect each character, all of whom you have come to
understand and care for immensely. —Melinda
by Julia Alvarez
In her first adult novel in over a decade, Julia
Alvarez (In the Time of the ButterfliesHow the 
García Girls Lost Their Accents) tells the story of 
an immigrant writer and recent widow whose
life is suddenly filled with uncertainty. Afterlife 
is a quiet reflection on a lifetime of the things
that bring us together and pull us apart from the ones we love. A
lovely addition to Alvarez’s work. —Casey
Pizza Girl
by Jean Kyoung Frazier
Pizza Girl is the metric against which I will 
compare every other book released this year.
It’s Juno meets Mulholland Drive. Pizza Girl is 18, 
with a sweet boyfriend who loves her mom, a
dead alcoholic dad, and an enigmatic woman
who calls on Wednesdays to order a pizza with
pickles on it. Who are you when you don’t know what you want out of
life? What is motherhood and family? What is desire? The level of
attention to detail, the FEELINGS—it’s like the book emerged fully
formed for the pit of a pure heart. I can barely contain my love for
Pizza Girl. —Celeste
   Summer Reading
RECOMMENDED by Bookshop Santa Cruz Staff
Click on a book cover to take you to the book on our website

Postcolonial Love Poem
by Natalie Diaz
To read a body is to break that body a little,
Natalie Diaz writes in her second book of
poetry, Postcolonial Love Poem. These
innovative poems are many things: witness
accounts of imperialistic and personal
violence, meditations on what is gained and
risked by love, unconventional odes and origin
stories, and examinations of homeland and belonging. I am simply in
awe of Natalie Diaz, and I reread this book as soon as I finished it.
The Malevolent Volume
by Justin Phillip Reed
In this new collection, National Book Award
winner Justin Phillip Reed dazzles the reader
with inventive syntax and word choice. At its
core, The Malevolent Volume is a critique of the
injustice originated and maintained by the
culture and systems of white supremacy.
These poems—at once esoteric and
coloquial—remind the reader of just how gorgeous the English
language can be. —Brooks
by Ellen Bass
Indigo is a book of poems about survival,
pain, recovery, depth of feeling, and
quantifiable joy. It is a wonder to have a new
book from Santa Cruz local Ellen Bass, an
inimitable poet who distills the small
triumphs and constant challenges of life into
poems that so reverberate with truth, they
practically hum. —Billy
To Make Room for the Sea
by Adam Clay
This book stunned me. From the first poem to
the last, I was astonished at Adam Clays
grounded and lucid style. In this collection, he
grapples with the impermanence of both
growth and decay and with the quickly
changing state of our planet. However, amidst
this mourning, this collection is imbued with
hope and a yearning for the future.
The Book of Longings
by Sue Monk Kidd
What if Jesus of Nazareth had a wife? In
bestselling author (The Secret Life of Bees) Sue
Monk Kidd’s new novel, she imagines just that.
With painstaking detail about the historical
time, Kidd introduces us to Ana, a young
woman born with a gift for words who lives in a
time when silence and obedience defined a
womans place and belonging. Ana’s finding of her voice is
intertwined with Jesus’s pursuit for kindness and humanity. What is
imagined here is not a tale of one person saving another, but an
unfolding love story in which mirroring and respect lead to both risk
and reward. Kidd’s ability to hold reverence while infusing new life and
perspective to a story that is so known is extraordinary. I cannot
explain the beauty and depth of this book, its language, its heart, its
anger, its grief, and ultimately its triumph; this is one novel you don’t
want to miss. —S.M.C.
The Knockout Queen
by Rufi Thorpe
The Knockout Queen wrapped its fist around
my heart and then squeezed. Rufi Thorpe
writes with breathtaking grace, creating a
slow build that explodes: the loveability,
failings, and deficiencies of everyone, the drift
and splintering that time deals to even the
closest of relationships. The Knockout Queen
has pockets of profundity, both in the adolescent narrators wise
musings, and in the grim realities the story contains. Thorpes skill
makes the experience a pleasure: the effortless dialogue, the wry and
funny scenes, and the complex, unforgettable characters that are so
human (though it may hurt to admit that humanness can contain a
person like the Knockout Queens father Ray, who is cut from the
same cloth as con man-in-chief Donald Trump, utterly self-serving,
with a casual brutality that is beyond redemption. I was completely
captivated by The Knockout Queen—rushing to consume it but
wanting at the same time to savor the rare experience of a book this
close to perfect. —Chorel
Don’t miss our virtual event with Rufi Thorpe
on Thursday, July 2nd, at 6:00 pm.
Thorpe will be in conversation with New York
Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner, whose
new book, Big Summer, has just been
published. Register for this free Crowdcast
event via our website:
Click on a book cover to take you to the book on our website
Order books online or by phone (831-423-0900). Pick up books in the store, at curbside, or have them shipped to your door
Trust Exercise
by Susan Choi
It’s all in the title: Trust Exercise takes the
unreliable narrator to the next level,
challenging the reader to suspend all judgment
and hang on for the ride. Choi examines
perspective and character in a whole new way,
leaving the reader to wonder when they get to
the end of the book, just what, exactly, they’ve
been through. As in life, more questions are generated than answers.
A great book to awaken your mind to the possibilities of fiction! —Jess
by Ian Williams
Winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize in
Canada, Reproduction is a playful novel that
begins with the meeting of two very different
strangers in a hospital room occupied by their
mothers, and weaves through three decades of
the family and relationships that follow such
an unexpected and unbidden encounter.
Williams writes with a poet’s ear and an inventive spark, exploring
love, class, race, and the multicultural community in Toronto where
this artful story unfolds in ways both light and deeply felt. —Melinda
Something to Talk About
by Meryl Wilsner
This lesbian slow-burn romance hits all the
right spots. Under the bright and shiny lights
of Hollywood, we meet Jo and her assistant
Emma. Wilsner handles the boss/employee
dynamic with skill. The dialogue is smart and
the plot a breath of fresh air. Theres a lot of
wonderful tension and you’re gonna be
yelling, “Kiss already!” But the payoff will be worth it. —Karena
Sansei and Sensibility
by Karen Tei Yamashita
This hilarious new collection of stories and
essays will make you chuckle, though
underneath the humor is deft critique. Marie
Kondos tidying up is juxtaposed with a tour of
World War II internment camps. Sexist
techno-orientalism and the meaning of
Godzilla are reexamined. Local treasure,
UCSC professor emerita, and acclaimed novelist Karen Tei Yamashita
has written a book about the Japanese American experience both
entertaining and vital in this era of anti-immigration politics.
by Carolina De Robertis
Make no mistake: Carolina de Robertis has
written an epic to stand in the annals of the
Western canon. Set in Uruguay, with five
protagonists. Women protagonists. Queer
women protagonists. Building love, family, and
future amidst a violent dictatorship and
cultural oppression that would deny them
themselves. This novel sings through decades and heartbreak to be
vibrantly, fiercely, alive and free, as the stories of these five cantoras
unfold with vivid, sometimes aching, truths of nation and humanity.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton
by Sara Collins
This riveting historical page-turner is complex,
unexpected, and empowered. Sara Collins’s
Frannie Langton will linger in your mind, and
Collins holds a mirror to the white reader’s
embedded expectations—demands, even—of
Black stories and Black suffering. Beautifully
written, powerfully told, this debut is a
standout. —Chorel
Waiting for Bojangles
by Olivier Bourdeaut
A beautiful French novel exploring the difficult
subject of mental illness. Written to the
soundtrack of Nina Simone singing Mr.
Bojangles, this is a magical love story. A young
boy tells the story of watching his parents
dance their way through life even as his mother
descends into madness. This is a book that will
make you laugh and cry. An international bestseller. —Trey
The Unlikely Adventures of the
Shergill Sisters
by Balli Kaur Jaswal
I will read anything and everything that Jaswal
(Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows) writes. This
fantastic book about three sisters on a journey
arranged by their recently deceased mother
charmed me. Within a story of sisterhood and
family, Jaswal explores an immigrant
experience, and the complexities women go through in different ways.
Sisterhood isn’t always about getting along and having everything in
common, and Jaswal dives into that in this novel. I will be thinking
about the Shergill sisters for a while, finding new things to love about
them. — Karena
Click on a book cover to take you directly to the book on our website.
Order books online or by phone (831-423-0900). Pick up books in the store, at curbside, or ship to your door.
An Embarrassment of Witches
by Sophie Goldstein & Jenn Jordan
Life is hard enough after college, and living in
a world filled with magic doesn’t make
anything easier. In this very relatable graphic
novel, Rory, after a rough breakup and a
cancelled trip to save endangered dragons,
has no idea what she wants out of life. Even
her best friend, her new magic-studying housemate, and her familiar
can’t save Rory from her own destructive behavior. The color palette
is deceptively simple and lovely. I found myself pulled into the witchy
drama despite myself. —Ivy
Once & Future, Vol. 1
by Kieron Gillen, Illustrated by Dan Mora
With Once & Future, Kieron Gillen returns to
one of his favorite themes: How do stories
shape reality? Framed with Dan Mora’s bold,
dark art, Gillen takes up the Arthurian cycle,
ancient tales of family drama, nationalism, and
magic, and slips under their patina of heroism
and honor by creating a modern-day
adventure of family drama, nationalism, and magic. A new series for
those who enjoy monster hunting, quests, and turning the Western
canon on its head. —Jocelyn
Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards
by Bong Joon Ho
While watching the Oscars, my mom told me
not to scream if Parasite won Best Picture. So I
just didn't breathe for about 30 seconds. Bong
Joon Hos movie is a masterpiece of modern
filmmaking and a potent, timely commentary
on class warfare, no matter the geographic location. Bong mixes
genres like a master chef creating a perfect dish, blending thriller,
horror, and sociopolitical commentary. I’m so excited to get my hands
on this glimpse into his creative process and to spend even more time
yelling about this incredible film. —J Gallo
Wine: A Graphic History
Written by Benoist Simmat
Illustrated by Daniel Casanave
Join wine expert Benoist Simmat and artist
Daniel Casanave on a tour of wines long and
storied history. Informative and quirky, Wine
will give you an abundance of fun anecdotes
for your next social gathering (over Zoom or in
person). It also makes a great gift for the friend who has everything
but also loves wine (or history). —Emma
The Age of Witches
by Louisa Morgan
I’ve been hooked on Louisa Morgan since I first
picked up A Secret History of Witches last year.
The Age of Witches is her third foray into
magical historical fiction and, in my opinion,
her best. Reconstruction-era New York and
Victorian England are brought to vivid life as
we weave our way through the social niceties
(and not-so-niceties) of families and stepfamilies, marriage, and the
expectations of women of the era while Morgan expertly adds in a
beautiful thread of magic and female companionship. —J Gallo
by Seanan McGuire
From beginning to end, Middlegame is the book
you’ve been waiting for. I’ve been reading
McGuires work for years and this is her best.
The writing alone is technically masterful. Add
in complex characters and a plot that defies
time and space, and you can see why
Middlegame has been nominated for a Hugo Award. Roger and
Dodger, despite their ridiculous names, are characters to fall in love
with even when they’re being their most exasperating. —Karena
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix E. Harrow
Three paragraphs were all it took to pull me all
the way into this intriguing portal fantasy. The
entire book, Alix Harrows debut novel, lives up
to the promise of its auspicious beginning. Set
in the early 1900s, The Ten Thousand Doors of
January transports the reader through secret magic openings to
places of wonder and mystery. This is a book about books, a story
about stories, a tale of courage, love, and family ties across time and
space. Imaginative and enchanting! —Trey
Down Days
by Ilze Hugo
Topical for the COVID-19 era, this magical
realist novel is inspired by the 1962 Tanganyika
laughter epidemic and set in a fictional version
of Cape Town, Ilze Hugos hometown. This
time, the laughter never stopped; 7 years into
the epidemic, everyone is wearing a mask,
laughing is forbidden, taxi drivers are death collectors, and a little girl
is trying to find her brother, who may or may not be a ghost. But when
even the truth is up for debate, what is one to do but laugh? —Ksenia
Click on a book cover to take you directly to the book on our website.
Order books online or by phone (831-423-0900). Pick up books in the store, at curbside, or ship to your door.
The Secrets They Left Behind
by Lissa Marie Redmond CROOKED LANE
A young police officer, Shea, is sent undercover to
infiltrate a small college town where three freshman
girls have disappeared without a trace. Shea herself
is an immensely sympathetic protagonist who just
survived another undercover case, one that left her
with PTSD and a distrust of her male handler, who
doesn’t seem to care about her well-being. Written
by a retired cold case homicide detective, this standalone mystery is a
remarkable, superbly paced police procedural that kept me on the edge of
my seat and is an ode to female strength, loyalty, and friendship. —Ksenia
A Deadly Inside Scoop
by Abby Collette
Bronwyn Crewse inherited an ice cream shop from
her grandmother and wants to bring it to its former
glory, but a construction delay means opening her
shop when the town is buried in snow. Ever the
entrepreneur, Brownyn decides to collect said snow
to make ice cream…only to stumble upon a dead
body! A Deadly Inside Scoop hits the sweet spot with a perfect balance of
ice cream shop shenanigans, amateur sleuthing, and strong family ties.
Quirky and socially astute, this #ownvoices cozy mystery about a young
black woman trying to help exonerate her father after he is suspected of
murder is a rare treat. —Ksenia
Riviera Gold
by Laurie R. King BANTAM
Tantalizing, dreamy, fresh, and absorbing, the
newest installment of the Mary Russell/Sherlock
Holmes series will be a welcome escape for Laurie
R. King fans this summer. Set in the Riviera in the
Jazz Age, Riviera Gold features real-life power
couple Sara and Gerald Murphy, legendary hosts
of many a sparkling party for the Lost Generation,
as well as a fascinating cast of players. Longtime readers will love the dive
into a familiar character’s past (never underestimate the white-haired
ladies!), King’s enthralling portrayal of Holmes, and the clearheaded
Russell’s continuous curiosity. —Chorel
Scandinavian Noir: In Pursuit of a Mystery
by Wendy Lesser
Wendy Lesser obsessively read Nordic noir for four
decades, which created a rather skewed
representation of the Scandinavian countries in her
imagination. To rectify her misconceptions Lesser,
for the first time in her life, traveled to Sweden,
Norway, and Denmark to talk to police officers and
regular citizens alike about the culture that led to the birth of such a
unique and internationally renowned genre. A mix of rigorous literary
criticism and travel writing, Scandinavian Noir is a love letter to mystery
books and a statement about the literatures power to make state borders
porous and even obsolete. And for those who are new to Nordic noir,
Lesser provides a long list of book recommendations—all of which I, for
one, am adding to my TBR. —Ksenia
Take Me Apart
by Sara Sligar MCD
Kate Aitken, a former journalist who has fled her
native New York in order to archive the personal
effects of the famous artist Miranda Brand, does not
expect to become obsessed with the enigmatic
woman and the mysterious circumstances
surrounding her death. Kate begins to uncover
Mirandas hidden secrets, secrets that contradict
Mirandas image as a rebellious feminist icon. Although the book is a
psychological thriller about a potential murder, its most hair-raising aspect
is the inability of its female characters to control their own stories, to seek
relief from their demons, even to escape scrutiny. In Take Me Apart, Sarah
Sligar implies that life in America is full of traps set for women, and it is the
lucky ones who make it out alive. —K.L.
Seven Years of Darkness
by You-Jeong Jeong
The revenge narrative has gotten a bold new update
with You-Jeong Jeong’s Seven Years of Darkness. This is
a book driven by atmospheric setting and character
development, and these features certainly deliver.
The characters are endearingly flawed, and you feel
for them as they attempt to right the wrongs that
they have committed, and in some cases, inherited. As a reader, I was
especially intrigued by Sowon, the son of a convicted mass murderer who
grapples with the disparity between the loving memories he has of his
father and the reality of his father’s crimes. The uncompromising yet
sympathetic depiction of the characters’ moral ambiguities makes this
book a one-of-a-kind read. —K.L.
The End of October
by Lawrence Wright KNOPF
Wright cowrote a 1998 movie about extremists
attacking New York City. With his new novel about a
viral pandemic, you might think hes prophetic. But
his real trick is that he writes about what’s most likely
to actually happen, researches how it might play out,
then writes a book. I’m afraid he isn’t a master of
character in fiction, but he does have a heroic
scientist trying to save the world and a president who is going to let it go
down the drain. That’s pretty realistic. And I still think we should airdrop
this to every home in Santa Cruz County. —Dave
Recursion by Blake Crouch
In 2018, NYPD robbery division detective Barry Sutton
answers a “jumper” call. The woman has indeed been
robbed—of her son, her husband, her entire life. She is
suffering from false memory syndrome, a mysterious
disease that makes those afflicted remember two
different lifetimes simultaneously. Meanwhile, in
2008, the brilliant neuroscientist Helena Smith
receives unlimited funding from a reclusive billionaire to study memory to
cure Alzheimer’s. Thus begins Crouchs mind-blowing, convoluted, and
surprisingly romantic science fiction thriller, which grapples with profound
themes of memory, identity, and time, asking us what are we willing to
sacrifice to rewrite the past—and what will remain of us if we do. —Ksenia
Places I’ve Taken My Body: Essays
by Molly McCully Brown
In her essay collection Places I’ve Taken My
Body, Molly McCully Brown brings the insight
and sensitivity of a poet to discuss her
experiences with cerebral palsy. I absolutely
loved the broad expanse of topics she touches
upon: pain and the body, the memory and the self. In prose both blunt
and expressive, Brown examines how we move through space and the
loneliness caused by both mobility and immobility. —Brooks
Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great
Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In
by Phuc Tran
Phuc Tran: Ubergeek. From discovering punk
rock egalitarianism to relating The Iliad to girls
high school sports, Tran is always ready to dive
into whatever comes next. He puts it all down
to a desperate need to fit in, as a Vietnamese
refugee in small-town Pennsylvania, but you
can tell that hes always going to be the one in the deep end of the
pool, regardless. Hes a Latin teacher, a tattooist, a TEDx grammar
star, and now a touching memoirist. —Dave
Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs
by Jennifer Finney Boylan
In this new autobiography, the incomparable
Jennifer Boylan defines the chapters of her life
by the dogs she has owned. She writes of them
and herself with overwhelming tenderness,
hilariously wry skepticism, and brutally frank
honesty. I loved meeting all of her dogs, and
through them getting to know the different
versions of herself she has experienced. If you’ve never read Boylan
before, this is a wonderful introduction, and who doesn’t love a good
dog? —Jax
Brother Robert
Growing Up with Robert Johnson
by Annye C. Anderson
This is the touching, first-hand account of the
family life of Delta blues legend Robert
Johnson from the perspective of Annye
Anderson, his half-sister. Johnson died when
she was 12, but with the help of a steel-trap
memory and documents, Anderson shows us
a side we haven’t much seen of the talented musician. She may not
know what he did on the road, but she helps us meet the man he was
with the people who mattered the most. —MJ
Brown Album
Essays on Exile and Identity
by Porochista Khakpour
Porochista Khakpour is a novelist but believes
she is better known as an essayist. Specifically,
as an Iranian American essayist. One who now
is debuting her first published essay collection
on being Iranian American. And these are
powerful essays on the subjects of, as the title says, exile and identity,
along with culture and politics, of being American, and being Iranian,
and being American Iranian. But even more, these essays—
independently written though they were—create a writers memoir, of
becoming an artist and finding ones voice, of becoming a New
Yorker, and of being a human who is a person of color in our
modern-day world. Pick up this book to read Khakpour’s insight into
being an immigrant, being Iranian, and Iranian American culture, to
be sure. But also pick it up for the voice and artistic story of the
brilliant and powerful woman behind this book.
The Dragons, the Giant, the Women
by Wayétu Moore
It is evident that Moore is a storyteller at
heart. Her memoir weaves together her
familys flight during the First Liberian Civil
War, her childhood immigrant experience in
America, and the escape narrative that
bridges the two. Beginning with her fifth
birthday in Monrovia, continuing through her
coming of age in Texas and her return to Liberia as an adult, Moore
has written a story and a history that needs to be told. More
importantly, it is one that needs to be felt, and Moores intimate,
lyrical, and harrowing account is heart grabbing from the first page
and lodges bone deep to the very end.
The New One
Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad
by Mike Birbiglia
Can something painful be funny? Can you
really only have one slice of pizza? Can
something that feels horrible turn out to be
wonderful? Can fish text? Birbiglia asks these
questions and more in his honest, funny, and
emotionally fraught exploration of
parenthood and what it has meant to his wife and to him. Fans of his
will appreciate the new stories, as well as the poems from his wife. If
you don’t know anything about this awkward sleepwalker, I
encourage you to check him out. —Jax
Click on a book cover to take you directly to the book on our website.
Order books online or by phone (831-423-0900). Pick up books in the store, at curbside, or ship to your door.
The Undocumented Americans
by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
I cannot recommend The Undocumented
Americans highly enough. It is beautifully
written, scathing in its critique of our countrys
culpability, and real, real, real. Cornejo
Villavicencio listens carefully and
compassionately to the stories of people so
often unheard and captures the complexity of their lives in raw,
poignant pieces, giving a fullness to the undocumented Latinx
experience beyond the narrow tropes meant to contain it. Interspersed
throughout are her own story as an undocumented child immigrant
from Ecuador and her thoughts on how she is continually coming to
understand its impact on her life. Her voice is powerful; its service as a
vessel for the many who are silenced is tenfold. This book is eye
opening, life affirming, and change making, if you listen. —Melinda
The Ghosts of Eden Park
by Karen Abbott
Renowned historian Karen Abbott uses a wealth
of primary source documents and her
impeccable prose to bring to vivid life the story
of millionaire kingpin bootlegger George Remus,
US Assistant Attorney General Mabel Walker
Willebrandt, and their Prohibition-era world.
Abbott meticulously chronicles these larger-than-life characters’
journeys in this storied time, evocatively interspersing tantalizing
courtroom testimony that hints at the scandal, betrayal, and murder to
come. A true crime saga written to keep you turning pages. —Jocelyn
Enemy of All Mankind
by Steven JohnsonRIVERHEAD BOOKS
Prepare to be transported from your favorite
armchair to the high seas; reading this book is
like bingeing a great history documentary.
Enemy of All Mankind uses the story of a
mysterious and infamous pirate named Henry
Every to take the reader on a journey through
the origins of piracy, the history of India’s
economic system, the emergence of global trading corporations, the
spread of Islam, the frustrating beginnings of celebrity journalism, and
more. Steven Johnson knows how to write captivating history. —Tori
Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back
the English Language
by Amanda Montell
Have you ever stopped to think about the ways
in which your language informs your
worldview? Have you ever pondered whether
the patriarchy participates in forming the way
you think about sex, politics, and identity? If
you are curious about these topics, reach for
Wordslut. Bet you never realized how sexist it is to hate vocal fry!
Amanda Montell will tell you why. —Jess
Surviving Autocracy: A Status Report
by Masha Gessen
Having grown up queer in the Soviet Union and
gone on to cover the resurgence of
totalitarianism in Russia, National Book Award
winner Masha Gessen (The Future Is History)
sounded the alarm about the trajectory
America was on within the first 48 hours of
Trumps election. Her urgent book lays out the ways in which
autocracy works and is also a guide to enduring and resisting the
ongoing assault on democracy. Absolutely essential reading. —S.B.
The End of White Politics: How to Heal Our
Liberal Divide
by Zerlina Maxwell
In her highly anticipated book, MSNBC analyst
Zerlina Maxwell, who worked on both Barack
Obama and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns,
challenges us to look at the problems not of the
right but of the left—including white privilege,
income inequality, and racism. Most especially, Maxwell argues that
the Democratic partys struggle to engage women and communities
of color because of its preoccupation with catering to the white male
working class, is the flaw that prevents true progress from succeeding.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! —S.B.
Alaric the Goth: An Outsiders History of
the Fall of Rome
by Douglas Boin
In his latest historical analysis, professor and
author Douglas Boin weaves the intricate tale
of Romes mysterious sacker, Alaric the Goth,
with prose that is readable and engaging. Far
from a barbarian, Alaric was a complex leader
who grew up on the border between his Gothic
kin and the aging Roman Empire. As Boin describes the fall of Rome
and the rise of the Dark Ages, it is easy to draw parallels to our own
decaying empire. —Aric
Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from
Red States, by Samantha Allen
Real Queer America is a cross-country road-trip
from Provo, Utah, all the way to the Deep
South. Samantha Allen pairs this narrative tour
through the sometimes surprising yet always
vibrant queer communities in Americas red
states with her own transition journey. This is a
window into the profound cultural shifts underway in our country
today. It reveals an amazing national network of chosen family
fighting for a better world. Real Queer America is a treasure trove of
uplifting stories of incredible LGBTQ people working for change. Fans
of Love and Estrogen and Susan Kuklins Beyond Magenta are sure to
enjoy. —Azia
Why Fish Don’t Exist
by Lulu Miller
Lulu Miller writes of chaos, of scientist David
Starr Jordan, of the elegance that can come
from putting everything in order (be it
emotions, milestones in life, fish in jars). She
intersperses her own story and personal
reflections with history and true crime events,
scientific discoveries and hidden horrors. I have raved about this book
to multiple coworkers and added it to my small stack of books I have
hugged upon finishing. It is dog-eared (which I attribute to all the
chaos in it), and a book I’ll be recommending to as many folks as
possible. —Rachel
Entangled Life
by Merlin Sheldrake RANDOM HOUSE
Who better to engagingly inform about the
breadth and depth of fungus than Merlin
Sheldrake, the fungal biologist? This book
features charming illustrations, drawn with a
mushroom-derived ink, and anecdotes whose
topics range from the jungles of Panama to
mycology conferences in the Pacific Northwest
to the work done in psychedelic research labs.
Sheldrake embraces not knowing all the answers and poses many
questions about the radical possibilities of fungi as agents of change
in the realms of environment, mental health, biological research, and
more. —Celeste
The Book of Eels
by Patrick Svensson ECCO
When asked, my favorite genre will always be
“nonfiction microhistory about weird stuff.
And when I find a book that fits into that
wedge of my heart, I tell people to read it, even
if it may seem a little odd at first. So please,
read The Book of Eels. It’s a wonderful mix of
memoir and science, nature writing and
childhood experiences. There are rituals
shared, passed down through generations of humans and eels,
sometimes overlapping and always, it seems, tugging on opposite
ends of the same line. —Rachel
Cosmological Koans
by Anthony Aguirre
UCSC Professor Anthony Aguirre covers
cosmic questions from the nature of time to
the origin of multiple universes, and shows
how scientific giants from Aristotle to
Heisenberg have grappled with them.This
unique and beautifully written masterpiece by
a leading cosmologist transforms the deepest mysteries of our
Universe into a captivating and accessible quest for personal
enlightenment.” —Max Tegmark
The Language of Butterflies
by Wendy Williams
Butterflies have entranced humans for
hundreds of years. Why did this fascination
begin? And what part do butterflies take in our
ecosystem? Wendy Williams has carefully
crafted a study about the fascinating history of
humankind’s relationship with these delightful,
colorful insects, as well as of butterflies’ evolution. A perfect addition to
any naturalist’s collection and to that of the casual appreciater of
butterflies. —MJ
Europe: A Natural History
by Tim Flannery
Scholarly, hilarious, and sometimes absurd, this
interdisciplinary book is fascinating. I learned
that Europe had been an archipelago, and that
the apex predator of one island was a giant
carnivorous hedgehog. And that such a thing
as the giant winged and likely dinosaur-eating
Transylvanian pterosaur Hatzegopteryx existed,
described elsewhere as a “giraffe-sized, quadrupedal Panzer-stork.” No
kidding, look it up. Sometimes it’s the ancient fauna that amaze; other
times it’s the protopaleontologists that defy belief. This natural history
is about as dry as albondigas soup. —Dave
Emperors of the Deep
by William McKeever
Climate change is threatening the continued
existence of one of the world’s oldest living
species, sharks. Largely misrepresented and
misunderstood, sharks are not nearly as
dangerous as commonly perceived and they
play a pivotal role in our oceans’ ecosystem.
There is still so much we don’t know about sharks (like their mating
habits and lifespan). In an effort to advocate for the species, McKeever
travels the world, talking to experts and learning what our oceans
would be like without sharks in them and why that would be very dire
indeed. —Jade
by Mark Kurlansky PATAGONIA
Kurlansky has long been praised for his
all-encompassing microhistories of singular
items with bestselling books like Salt and Cod,
but he has outdone himself here with this
gorgeous, full-color, heavily-photographed gift
book, Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of
Their Common Fate from Patagonia. As always, his writing is thoughtful,
personable, and knowledgeable. Kurlansky explores the history of this
remarkable fish and our relationship with it across centuries and
around the world, as well as the environmental issues that challenge it.
He presents an engaging must-read that inextricably ties the survival
of salmon to that of our planet. An astonishing call to arms. —Melinda
Nature Obscura
A Citys Hidden Natural World
by Kelly Brenner
Kelly Brenner brings to vivid life a series of
microhistories found (sometimes literally) in
her backyard, as well as her own fascination as
a naturalist for all life great and (especially)
small, from crows gathering at dusk to moon
snails by the sea, from basement spiders to
slime molds in the woods to flies all around. Brenner enthusiastically
invites anyone whose childhood involved collecting bugs or who
spends weekends at wilderness identification courses to join her mini
expeditions—and forge their own. —Jocelyn
What It’s Like to Be a Bird
From Flying to Nesting, Eating to
Singing—What Birds Are Doing, and Why
by David Allen Sibley
In his new, large-format release, revered
author and illustrator David Allen Sibley
explains the mysterious behaviors of the most
common backyard birds. With vivid and
exacting illustrations to accompany the text, What It’s Like to Be a Bird
is both an accessible entry point for young birders and a rewarding
explanation for to the more experienced individual. —Brooks
The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds
Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
by Jennifer Ackerman
In her new book The Bird Way, Jennifer
Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds,
expands on fresh discoveries in the science of
birds. Ackerman once again uses her engaging
prose to shine a light on the startling ways in
which birds are very much like us. Her lyrical
and informative depiction of “the bird way” makes this the most
delightful, inspiring, and exciting book I’ve read in ages. —Brooks
Don’t miss our virtual event with Jennifer
Ackerman on Tuesday, June 30th, at 5:00 pm.
This event, cosponsored by Friends of Santa
Cruz State Parks, will include
a beautiful 30-minute
presentation by Ackerman,
as well as a Q&A with the
Register for this free Crowdcast event via our website:
You Are an Artist
Assignments to Spark Creation
by Sarah Urist Green
What might it be like to be in an art class
being taught by some of the greatest artists
alive today? Well, it would be a lot like
reading You Are an Artist! Former museum
curator and current host of the PBS Digital Studios series The Art
Assignment has spoken to a wide range of artists, asking them about
their work and their process and having them create art assignments
for the audience to complete. The assignments range from
sculptural (like “Embarrassing Object”) to performance (“Become a
Sci-Fi Character”) to photographic (“Sorted Books”) to textile
(“Make a Rug”), are usually flexible in terms of medium, and require
no formal artistic skill. Combining full-color pictures of
contemporary art; art history; and a variety of fun, thoughtful, and
inspiring project ideas, this book is perfect for artists both practiced
and emerging. —Molly
The Making It Guide to Crafting
by the Creators of Making It
Do you find yourself longing to be one of
those DIY people who can make anything?
Are you a crafter already wanting to branch
out? Look no further than this charming book,
the perfect inspiration to “make it!” Fans of the show will enjoy the
forward by Nick Offerman and the profiles of past contestants, and
anyone interested in crafts will enjoy the various techniques taught
here. So get out there and create! —Jax
Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing
Clothes and Hearts
by Nina Montenegro & Sonya Montenegro
The Montenegro sisters have given us a
wonderful gift. Among the many books on
mending and upcycling that are coming out
right now, Mending Life is definitely a
standout. The Montenegros cover mending techniques for a wide
range of materials and share their touching personal connection to
mending and thrift clothing. The art inside is gorgeous and
evocative, with the feel of having been hand drawn only a few
minutes ago. Mend your clothes, mend your connection to other
people and the planet. —J Gallo
Click on a book cover to take you directly to the book on our website.
Order books online or by phone (831-423-0900). Pick up books in the store, at curbside, or ship to your door.
24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say
Hey Kid
by Willie Mays, with John Shea
The legendary Willie Mays, known for both his
Hall of Fame baseball career and his
charitable work and generosity in spending
time with young players, has given us yet
another gift with this wonderful memoir. In 24
chapters (to correspond with his uniform number), the baseball
legend tells stories from his life and talks about his philosophy on
sports. As a huge Giants fan, I have heard for many years about the
joy of listening to Mays tell tales about his career and share his advice
about life and have always wished I could sit in on one of those
conversations. This book is certainly the next best thing. —S.B.
A Beginners Guide to Japan:
Observations and Provocations
by Pico Iyer
Like a timeless literary novel, the depth and
complexity of Japanese culture only becomes
apparent when one immerses oneself in it. In
A Beginners Guide to Japan, the companion to
Autumn Light, the celebrated journalist Pico
Iyer shares his thoughts and observations
about the Land of the Rising Sun and its people in short,
contemplative vignettes that touch on a multitude of seemingly
disparate aspects of Japanese culture, from vending machines to sex
to grammar. —Aric
Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and
Soul of Team Chemistry
by Joan Ryan
Team chemistry makes or breaks a team.
That’s my takeaway from sports columnist
Joan Ryans fascinating new book, Intangibles.
Inspired by the 1989 San Francisco Giants
improbable run to the World Series, Ryan
spent the last 10 years looking at all kinds of
players, from superstars to journeymen, to uncover the archetypal
roles they serve on their teams: the sparkplug, the sage, the kid, the
enforcer, the buddy, the jester, the warrior. The chemistry that comes
from that magical mix of players who inspire, support, and believe in
each other can’t manufacture talent, but it does maximize whatever
talent a team has. And you’re not going to go far without it. —S.B.
Scenic Science of the National Parks
An Explorer’s Guide to Wildlife, Geology,
and Botany
by Emily Hoff & Maygen Keller
With this charming book in hand, you will
never experience the National Parks the same
way again, even if you don’t leave your house. Hoff and Keller
approach the 60 national parks they selected for their guidebook in
such a delightful, inquisitive, and responsible way that one can’t help
but be fascinated and appreciative all at once. There is so much
off-beat information packed into this fully illustrated book that a
person can explore the parks to their utter content. There are also
passport stamps to be collected for each park, so let the adventuring
begin! —Melinda
Revolutions: How Women Changed the
World on Two Wheels
by Hannah Ross
This unique book rather defies description:
part introduction to the history of bicycles and
cycling, part history of feminist moments and
movements through the lens of cycling, part
history of women’s cycling in the Western
world, and a dizzying panoply and whos who
of remarkable historical and present-day women. Hannah Ross
guides us through it all with clear prose, wry wit, and a passion for the
sport and for righting the inequalities that still plague it. —Jocelyn
On Lighthouses
by Jazmina Barrera TWO LINES PRESS
Both in life and in literature, lighthouses have
always functioned as so much more than
bringers of light. In this lovely little tome,
translated from the Spanish by Christina
MacSweeney, Barrera illuminates different
lighthouses around the world, tells of her
experiences with them, and explores the ways
we engage with these bastions at the edge of
the darkness. Part travelogue and microhistory, memoir and literary
criticism, this is creative nonfiction at its best, at once intimate and
all-encompassing. —Melinda
Why We Swim
Through the vehicle of swimming, about
which she is passionate, Tsui explores the
origins of our relationship to water, tells story
after story of the role of swimming across
cultures and history, discusses aspects of
racism and other forms of exclusion in access
to swimming, and writes of the seductiveness
of water and being able to dive deeply and
exuberantly into it, move through it with strength and ease—relative
to our funny, nonamphibious bodies—and respect the powerfulness
and impersonalness of water at once. —A.P.
Click on a book cover to take you
directly to the book on our website
Order books online or by phone (831-423-0900). Pick up
books in the store, at curbside, or have them shipped to your door
The Earth in Her Hands
75 Extraordinary Women Working in the
World of Plants
by Jennifer Jewell
This inspiring book celebrates the many ways
women have contributed to the world of
plants. With a format reminiscent of In the
Company of Women, this collection profiles each farmer, florist,
horticulturalist, landscape designer, nurserywoman, and plant
pathologist with a photograph and essay. Topics as diverse as
collaboration, community, race, enslavement, science, medicine,
conservation, and food justice are part of the conversation. I loved the
sense of common purpose these women have, despite their different
roles, and was excited to see the inclusion of many Bay Area women,
including seed expert Renee Shepherd of Felton. This is a beautiful
and moving book. “Plants contain the world. The garden, better than
any college education, gave the world to me.” —Jamaica Kincaid —S.B.
Green: Plants for Small Spaces, Indoors
and Out
by Jason Chongue
Yes, another plant book, but hear me out:
This ones worth snagging. A wonderful
source of inspiration as well as a solid
reference you can use to make sure your
plants live a long and healthy life. The book is
very appealing, both aesthetically and in terms of the information it
contains. (Visual examples of various types of sunlight conditions?
Yes please!) If you are at home a little bit more nowadays, why not use
the time to propagate your favorite plant or add some new beauties
to your current household? —Rachel
How to Make a House a Home
Creating a Purposeful, Personal Space
by Ariel Kaye
How to Make a House a Home teaches us how
to take the right steps toward a beautiful,
mindful, functional, and uniquely “you
home. Gently directing us to think about and
see the essential factors in making a
comfortable as well as functional space, this book explores ways to
develop an environment that welcomes, nurtures, and inspires. Ariel
Kaye meets us wherever we call home in this accessible resource,
with its beautifully rendered illustrations, creative tips, and design
advice, including about color palettes, room-by-room organization,
house plants, and furniture. Take your spring cleaning to a higher
level or simply beautify to whatever degree you want. Highly
recommend for the curious and motivated home design enthusiast!
Modern Container Gardening
by Isabelle Palmer
This lovely book about container gardens is
filled with advice and is great for gardeners of
all levels but will be especially helpful for
beginners. Palmer has a fresh, modern
approach to plant and color combinations,
which I really loved. Each container garden project she features—from
Summer Brights to Provencal Pastels to Ombré Herb Pots—includes
plant lists and step-by-step instructions (sort of like a recipe) so it’s
easy for anyone to create the same beautiful look. —S.B.
Kitchen Garden Revival
by Nicole Johnsey Burke
If you are new to gardening but are excited to
start growing some of your own food, this
book is a great place to start. Written in a
warm, you-can-do-it tone, it is also filled with
really good advice and is tailored for a
small-scale space like a yard or patio. I love that the author has a
point of view, like her commitment to raised beds—which make it
easier on your back, produce incredibly reliable results, and give your
garden structure no matter how unwieldly your plants may get. And
even though I’m an experienced gardener, I found some great new
ideas (like growing tomatoes on arched metal trellises) and plenty to
love in Kitchen Garden Revival. Pick up a copy and get growing! —S.B.
Cool Is Everywhere
by Michel Arnaud ABRAMS
Kind of a cross between “how to save your
medium-sized city” and “architectural
repurposing porn,” this book by an
architectural photographer has almost got me
ready to head out on the road to see what
other kinds of awesome I’ve been missing.
Case studies highlight Oakland, Portland,
Austin, and Denver in the West as well as Rust Belt jewels and
instances of Southern revitalization in action. Cool Is Everywhere
discusses gentrification and the unequal distribution of the benefits of
urban recovery, but mostly it’s a naked-brick-and-stripped-hardwood-
floor blueprint for saving your city, one abandoned factory at a time.
Natural Palettes by Sasha Duerr
This gorgeous, compact book features 25
color palettes from flora, food, and plants that
will inspire artists, gardeners, and anyone
working in textiles, fashion, or interior design.
Jason Long, author of the beautiful book Make
Ink, calls Natural Palettes, “A poem, a guide, a
swatch book and a manifesto for natural color awareness rolled into
one. This is a book steeped in the past, useful in the now, and
alchemized for the future. A beautiful and crucial map for those
looking for an adventure that begins at their feet.” —S.B.
Click on a book cover to take you
directly to the book on our website
Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley
This gorgeous book about the food,
ingredients, and people of Palestine is by the
coauthors of Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestsellers
Jerusalem, Ottolenghi (Sami Tamimi), and
Ottolenghi Simple (Tara Wigley). It is a
mouthwatering collection of over 120 recipes,
from breakfast to dessert, that feature bright and bold flavors and
spices like sumac and zaatar. “A cookbook should make you dream, it
should invite you to an expanding table, and, more important, it
should make you drop everything and head straight to the kitchen.
This book does all that.” — Naz Deravian, author of Bottom of the Pot.
Chicano Eats: Recipes from the Border
by Esteban Castillo
What can I say? I love this queer Chicano
chef and this cookbook! Castillo presents his
fun and delicious recipes alongside stories of
his life and family, making the book a joy to
cook from. I also appreciate how easy the
recipes are to use and how patiently Castillo explains how to do
things. If you’ve never cooked Mexican food, this is the perfect primer,
and if you’re looking for some playful variations on these flavors,
you’re in for a real treat. —Jax
Charred: The Complete Guide to
Vegetarian Grilling and Barbecue
by Genevieve Taylor
This compact book is packed with wonderful
vegetarian options for the grill. Charred will
take you beyond familiar skewered
vegetables with options like Jerk-Spiced
Plantains, Moroccan-Spiced Eggplant and
Tomato, and Barbecued Carrot with Ricotta and Toasted Pecans.
Even the burgers—including Herby Falafel Burgers with Hummus—are
exciting! I like the inclusion of fritters and polenta cakes, which I had
never thought about grilling (on a griddle pan). We are going to wear
this book out this summer! —S.B.
Spirits of Latin America
This ambitious book is the perfect starting
place for anyone who is curious about spirits
south of the border. Each section deals with a
different source: agave, sugarcane, and
grape. Mix gives the history of these delicious
drinks as well as information on the ethics of
buying them, and doesn’t shy away from the
less savory aspects of the drinks. While most
of her cocktails match her status as a world-class bartender, there are
a few (hello, caipirinha) that are a simple and elegant, the perfect
introduction to these amazing spirits. ¡Salud! —Jax
Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World
of Vegan Recipes
by Bryant Terry
You don’t need to be a vegetarian to love
Bryant Terry’s books. His food is personal,
unpretentious, packed with flavor, and
absolutely delicious. In Vegetable Kingdom, he
continues to showcase plant-based recipes with roots in African food
traditions and even pairs them with music. Terry, renowned for his
activism on behalf of creating a healthy, just, and sustainable food
system, eschews meat substitutes and instead showcases the
tastiness of affordable ingredients like carrots, corn, and green beans.
This is a joyful book where vegetables reign supreme. —S.B.
It Starts with Fruit
by Jordan Champagne
What is the difference between jams,
marmalades, preserves, and butters? Oh,
you’re going to learn and you’re going to love
it! And how about shrubs? Have you ever
sipped a shrub? Not the bush kind, but a fruit
syrup, preserved with vinegar and mixed with
water or alcohol to make a refreshing beverage. It Starts with Fruit will
quell all of your fears about canning and inspire you to preserve
everything you see at the farmers’ market. The photography and
illustrations are beautiful and the stories that accompany each recipe
will make it seem like you’re preserving more than just food. —Jenny
My Korea
by Hooni Kim
This is quickly becoming another favorite
cookbook of mine. If a cookbook can be
considered a page-turner, this is one that I
couldn’t put down. Kims story of his
immigration unfolds, from his first taste
memories in South Korea, through his life growing up in London and
New York, to the opening of his Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, Danji, which
would receive a Michelin star, the first ever in the world for a Korean
restaurant. This book is truly inspiring and I can’t wait to begin my
own Korean food cooking journey. —Jenny
The Vegetarian Silver Spoon
by The Silver Spoon Kitchen
This cookbook is an excellent addition to any
Italian food lover or vegetarians culinary
bookshelf. With gorgeous photos, user-
friendly formatting, and recipes that somehow
manage to be both elegant and easy to make,
The Vegetarian Silver Spoon contains everything
you could ask of a cookbook. Great for
vegetarian and vegan chefs as well as anyone looking to try their hand
at the perfect contorno (vegetable side dish). —Jess
Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters
by Dominique Crenn
I tore through this absolutely engaging memoir
by Dominique Crenn, whose highly acclaimed
San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn is the
recipient of three Michelin stars. Charming,
personable, and determined, Crenn found her
way in the food world despite the lack of
female chefs in the chauvinistic France in
which she grew up. She yearned for America, where she believed
anything was possible (except for a decent sandwich). When I started
this book, I thought that I might not connect with the world of fine
cuisine, but I ended up being mesmerized by Crenns descriptions of
creating, plating, and serving her food, which engage all of the
senses. Not only that, but a great deal of Rebel Chef deals with family,
identity, sexuality, and search for home. This memoir is as tender,
bold, sweet, and gracious as the chef herself. —S.B.
Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in
Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for
the Secret of French Cooking
by Bill Buford
Bestselling author Bill Buford (Heat) moves his
life from New York to Lyon, the insular French
city preoccupied with all things culinary, to
learn how to cook French food and to see what
drives French cooks to abuse themselves and
others in pursuit of culinary excellence. The answers lie in the
traditional pig slaughter he attends, the great chefs he meets, his
neighborhood baker, and le rigeur of Michelin-starred restaurants,
something untranslatable, deeply ingrained in the history and
tradition of Lyon and France, and found only on the plate. —Celeste
Always Home
A Daughters Recipes & Stories
by Fanny Singer, foreword by Alice Waters
Fanny Singer has written a warm, lovely
memoir about growing up as the daughter of
culinary icon Alice Waters, who raised her to
appreciate beauty in the world and to be
grateful for good food, family, and friends.
Singer writes with humor, grace. and an
awareness of the privilege she enjoyed growing up at Chez Panisse
and traveling the world on culinary adventures. Although she clearly
adores her mother, she thankfully does not shy away from including
her foibles—such as her insistence on highly curated spaces (leading
to hiding clothing and items deemed too garish) and her complete
lack of baking talent. This book is a total delight—the description of
Fanny’s school lunches had me in stitches—and even includes recipes.
Flavors of the Southeast Asian Grill
by Leela Punyaratabandhu
Punyaratabandhu’s grilling recipes for
seafood, meat and vegetables cooked over
charcoal is fantastic. With Filipino Roasted
Pork Belly Rolls to Malaysian-Style Grilled Soy
Sauce Chicken Wings to Chicken Satay with
Coriander and Cinnamon and beyond, these recipes showcase the
vibrant flavors of Asian-style barbecue that will definitely tempt you to
move beyond burgers. —S.B.
Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir
by Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl has enjoyed a decades-long
career as a food writer, so it’s no surprise that
her latest memoir is a delight to read. Focusing
on her years as the editor of Gourmet
magazine, Reichl chronicles the trials and
tribulations of revamping the magazine and
transforming it from old and stuffy to a publication that modern
readers would enjoy. Sprinkled throughout the narrative are some of
her favorite recipes; I recommend the drop biscuits. This was my first
time reading Reichl and I suspect that it won’t be my last. —Jade
Cool Beans
by Joe Yonan
Many of us have become much more familiar
with pantry staples like beans during Covid-19
times. But just when you think you’ve maxed
out on them, along comes this terrific book to
reignite your love for legumes. Yonan
showcases his passion for the humble bean in
125 delicious, modern, vegetarian recipes including Yellow Bean &
Spinach Dosas and Harissa-Roasted Carrot & White Bean Dip. —S.B.
Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes from
My African American Kitchen
by Alexander Smalls
James Beard Award winner Alexander Smalls
(Between Harlem and Heaven) is supremely
talented. An opera singer, the cofounder of
Harlems jazz bar Mintons and steakhouse
The Cecil, and a renowned host of fantastic dinner parties, Smalls
marries two of his greatest passions—food and music—in his latest
book, Meals, Music, and Muses. More than a cookbook, it takes
readers on a journey through the South, and Smalls shares childhood
memories of the Low Country as well as the music that is such a part
of the region. Smalls has made it his lifes work to champion the
artistic contributions of African Americans, and this is a poetic
celebration of just that. —S.B.
I am a reader, writer, worrier, and do-list maker, a combination
that served me well during my 20-plus years as a science writer
and editor. Yet it surprises me to look back and find that I did
not grow up with bedtime stories or a book in my hand at the
dinner table—and I double-checked with Mom. We both recall
that I was part of an experimental reading program in which
vowels (my mom says consonants, too) were assigned colors,
and reading comprehension was evaluated through a box of
leveled filing cards. When I was singled out as a proficient
reader, I was assigned an extracurricular book that I only
pretended to read by moving the bookmark periodically (not
an omen of my future academic life, I assure you).
Required reading began to filter into my school life, but reading
for the joy of it did not take hold until I read A Tree Grows in
Brooklyn in my early teens. I don’t know if it was Francies
perseverance or the functioning dysfunctional family that
swept me away, but soon after, I checked out every other book
by Betty Smith from our city library. Why that book at that
time? It wasn’t a school assignment or friend’s recommendation,
and NPR had barely been invented. Reaching back, all I can
think is that it fell from the sky and into my open hands at just the
right moment.
I kept up my extracurricular reading through college and
graduate school, but it wasn’t until we had kids that I witnessed
the real enchantment of books. Bedtime stories were as routine
as bedtime baths, and library storytimes were the first thing I
sought out when we moved from Oregon to Washington to
Bkshop Sta Prole:
California with one and then two young kids. Seeing my
1-year-old daughter “read” Edward Lear and Jan Brett’s The
Owl and the Pussycat still sparks my recommendation of that
board book. And when I sent my college student son a photo
of me with Frog and Toad, he recited by heart a quote from
one of Arnold Lobel’s books.
Discovering the books that my kids liked turned into hearing
about books that they loved and thought I should read. Now I
also rely on the kids I see in our section over and over, as well
as on my fellow booksellers, to tell me what to read next. Ga
handed me Mac Barnett and Jon Klassens Sam & Dave Dig a
Hole just as my oldest was filling out college applications and
Patricia MacLachlans The Poet’s Dog right after we lost our
family dog, and each I found unbearably comforting. Last
week Stephanie gave me Beth Ferry and Juana Martinez-
Neal’s picture book Swashby and the Sea to review (see page
29), and I was a believer after my first look at those swirling
ocean waves, which she knew I would be. Timing is
everything—for my favorite books and those of my kids—and
I’m always striving to get my timing right as a bookseller in the
kids department at Bookshop Santa Cruz.
Michelle Spence has been a bookseller in the children's books
department at Bookshop Santa Cruz since 2014 and has been
buying and displaying the kids' sale books for the last several years.
Down Under the Pier
Written by Neil Cross Beckerman
Illustrated by Rachell Sumpter
Such a beautiful book! I felt the delight of
the children exploring the enchanted
watery world below the pier. Both the
pastel color palette and the perfectly used gold accent highlight the
magic of the sea and the natural world. Perfect for Santa Cruzans
and sea lovers (like me). —Stephanie
Written by Minh Lê
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Poor harangued older sister Iris always finds joy
in pushing elevator buttons, until one dark day
when her role as elevator-button enthusiast is
usurped by her toddler sibling. When the word
“BETRAYAL” appears above Iris’s head in the illustration, I laughed
out loud. And that wasn’t the last time I did so as I read this hilarious,
fantastical story that highlights both the creativity of the
illustrator/author team and the love/frustration of the sibling bond. A
great choice for creative-minded readers who enjoy a good laugh.
Swashby and the Sea
Written by Beth Ferry
Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
Retired Captain Swashby lives quietly by
the sea with his trusty boat El Recluso for
company. That is, until a bright-eyed girl
and her granny arrive with a bucketful of beach fun. Swashby knows
in his bones that “the sea provide[s] exactly the right thing at exactly
the right time” and that’s just how this tale unfolds, one “fiddled-with”
gift after another. Sink into the velvety, ocean-colored pastels but
don’t be lulled into thinking you already know this story! —Michelle
This Way, Charlie
Written by Caron Levis
Illustrated by Charles Santoso
I love most things with farm animals, and if
they feature an odd-couple animal
relationship, I’m completely sold. This book
fits the bill! The pastoral illustrations capture the personality of grumpy,
aloof goat, Jack, and the gentle giant of a horse, Charlie. Their
friendship shows that anyone can be friends, regardless of differing
abilities, and also highlights how friendship, animal and otherwise,
enriches our lives. A heartwarming read for animal lovers. —Celeste
The Three Little Yogis and the Wolf Who
Lost His Breath: A Fairy Tale to Help You
Feel Better
Written by Susan Verde
Illustrated by Jay Fleck
I loved Susan Verde’s I Am Love (illustrated by
Peter Reynolds), so I took a chance on this
book, even though I’m not always a fan of picture book fairy tale
retellings. I’m so glad I did! The Three Little Pigs framework is perfect
for examining emotions, mindfulness, meditation, and breath. The
poor angry little wolf is such a sympathetic character, and the three
little pigs’ kindness in helping guide him to making peace with his
emotions made me smile.
What About Worms!? (Elephant & Piggie
Like Reading!)
by Ryan T. Higgins & Mo Willems
What in the world could be worse than
worms? Worrying about worms! When is the
worry worthwhile? Any time it’s wrapped up in
a new addition to the Elephant & Piggie
canon. Fans of Mo Willems’s original early
reader series will get a big kick out of Tiger and his wormy escapades
as well as the delightful wordplay from Elephant & Piggie themselves
in the opening and closing pages.
King & Kayla and the Case of the
Unhappy Neighbor
Written by Dori Hillestad Butler
Illustrated by Nancy Meyers
Amateur detectives King (a big friendly dog)
and Kayla (his girl) are back, serving up clue
after clue as they get to the root of a recent
neighborhood mystery. Kayla and her friend
Jillian make keen observations, carry out experiments, and analyze
data, but they’re always a paw-step behind our intrepid narrator King
and his dog buddies. For fans of Nate the Great and Cam Jansen, this
early chapter book gives a delightful taste of both kid and dog
reasoning. —Michelle
Books for Younger Readers
Click on a book cover to take you to the book on our website

When Stars Are Scattered
Written by Victoria Jamieson &
Omar Mohamed
Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson &
Iman Geddy
For this excellent graphic novel memoir,
Victoria Jameison worked closely with Omar
Mohamed, a Somali refugee and founder of
the nonprofit Refugee Strong, to tell Mohamed’s story of growing up
in a refugee camp, which included caring for his younger brother
Hassan, who has a developmental disability. The characters are
deeply relatable, and the realities of refugee life are presented without
being overwhelming or melodramatic. A great choice for fans of
nonfiction and historical fiction graphic novels like March and White
Bird. —Molly
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You:
A Remix of the National Book
Award–Winning Stamped from the
by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
A comprehensive book that brings to light
what some have tried to erase from our history.
This is a must-read for all ages, powerfully
honest and compelling from start to finish. —Shannon
This book should be required reading for everyone. Jason Reynolds is
a genius: He takes a complex issue (the history and modern-day
manifestations of anti-Black racism in the US) and makes it
accessible for any reader. I love the emphasis on how to be actively
antiracist. Also a great choice for adults daunted by the 608-page
original! —Stephanie
Clap When You Land
by Elizabeth Acevedo
National Book Award winner Elizabeth
Acevedo returns to verse in this meditation on
the complexities of themes, including grief,
betrayal, family, secrets, identity, class, and
toxic masculinity. Acevedos characterizations
(the two main characters—sisters—have very
distinctive voices) are stellar. I was particularly struck by how the book
highlights the way mens choices have a profound impact on the lives
of the women and girls around them. —Stephanie
Echo Mountain
by Lauren Wolk
From the author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the
Bright Sea comes a fresh take on an old story:
one familys struggle to survive during the
Great Depression. Through young Ellies eyes,
we see both the hardship and the great
freedoms that her family’s move to Echo
Mountain presents. Ellies resilience,
cleverness, and profound honesty keep us rooting for her from
beginning to end. This novel made me believe that I was running up
and down the mountain alongside her. —Michelle
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A beautiful work of magical realism,
Mañanaland shows us the courage of
immigrants and those who help and support
them. Pam Muñoz Ryan is always an expert
storyteller and this rich novel is one to dig into
and discuss. Perfect for a family book club.
From the genius behind Esperanza Rising and Echo comes the
fantastical story of Max, an 11-year-old boy who loves stories. Ever
since Max’s mother disappeared when he was a baby, his family has
been full of secrets. Then Max makes a discovery that changes his life
forever, putting him on a quest for the true story. Great for fantasy
readers! —MJ
Summer of a Thousand Pies
by Margaret Dilloway
Cady Bennett is such a cool kid! Landing in
the house of two aunts after growing up
homeless with her dad in San Diego, Cady
uses her strong survival skills to learn to trust
adults who will do what they promise. The
Great British Baking Show and a thousand pies
inspire Cady to save the day. This book is all
about feeling that you belong. —Noreen
A Wolf Called Wander
Written by Rosanne Parry
Illustrated by Mónica Armiño
Told from the (fictional) perspective of a
(real) wolf, this book is perfect for the
budding middle grade naturalist. It’s a great
look into the behaviors and habits of wolves,
how the pack operates, and what a wolf
without a pack might do, all told in a
fascinating, age-appropriate narrative form. Fans of Pax and
Endling, and older fans of Wild Robot, will appreciate the
environmental message of this touching story. —MJ
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Date Me, Bryson Keller
by Kevin van Whye
I loved this book! Protagonist Kai is utterly
lovable, as is his love interest Bryson. What a
wonderful thing: a queer coming-out love
story free of trauma and full of good feelings.
This sweet romance kept me happily reading
from the first page to the last; chances are it’ll
do the same for you. —Stephanie
Felix Ever After
by Kacen Callendar
Felix attends a very prestigious art school and
is struggling with his identity. When he gets
targeted by an anonymous transphobic bully,
everyone becomes suspect. I really appreciate
Felix’s candor as he works through the various
threads of his life. Being a teenager is hard
and Felix doesn’t always get it right. This is a
great read for all teens, especially for those trying to find their place in
the world. —Ivy
Love from A to Z
by S. K. Ali
This thoroughly satisfying novel is not only a
love story (you’re warned at the outset what
you’re in for). It also features vivid,
recognizable characters; insight into the
diversity of the Muslim faith; glimpses of the
Qatari city Doha; true friendship (with
solidarity and jealousy); and a call to action
against injustice. I was delighted to meet these characters and their
world—ours, but with the hope of something better. Great for fans of
John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Nicola Yoon. —Jocelyn
by Jordan Ifueko
Preorder your copy today!
What a gem: a fully realized fantasy world
with lots of contemporary relevance. Tarisai’s
longing for family and connection make her
an empathetic and relatable protagonist,
while her strength and fortitude in standing up
to corrupt power make her admirable. A great choice for fans of
fantasy, stories with strong female leads, or anyone looking for a
good book. —Stephanie
Bookshop Santa Cruz celebrates the
talents of young writers in our community
with a contest designed for ages 6 –17!
Entries may be on any subject and in any
genre—including fiction, poetry, nonfiction,
biography, autobiography, humor, mystery,
science fiction or fantasy. Word count limit is
Each entry must be an original work,
submitted in the appropriate age group:
6–9, 10–13, and 14–17.
First, second, and third place winners from
each age group receive Bookshop Santa Cruz
gift certificates. Plus, the winning entries are
published together in a collection each
Deadline for submissions is Sunday,
September 20th.
Pick up an entry form in the
store, or click through to our website for rules,
guidelines, and more information.
Good luck, young writers!
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