Spring Reading, 2017

Some of the best books of the season, recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff.

Skipping through time and character perspective, Ill Will is an ambitious, complex work seven years in the making. Teasing out the details of a long-ago crime with reverberations in the present and the possibility of a serial killer preying on frat boys, it demands to be paid attention to and savored as unexpected turns make you reevaluate what you thought you knew. If you want a literary thriller, this is not to be missed. - Flannery

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Ill Will Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780345476043
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 7th, 2017

I enjoyed all of the many little nods to other works from the Cthulhu Mythos in this story. For those of you familiar with the mythos, it’s like coming home to familiar ground. Emrys treats the mythos with respect and fondness, and has certainly invested her time in crafting a compelling story from a perspective I never expected to sympathize with so utterly. This is my favorite book thus far this year. - Ian

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Winter Tide Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765390905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor.com - April 4th, 2017

In the not-so-distant future, a diverse cast of characters inherit a New York that has been flooded and overwhelmed as a result of the environmental, economic, and social disasters we are facing today. New York 2140 is timely and relevant and more realistic than the sci-fi I typically read. Significantly, it purposes a future in which ethics and moral reasoning are still being undermined by the status quo. I’d recommend reading it with friends! - Ashley

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New York 2140 Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316262347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - March 14th, 2017

I loved Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet so much. While it was more of a vignette, A Closed and Common Orbit, its sequel, is more focused on two specific characters, Lovey and Pepper. Identity is a strong theme that more than one of the characters struggles with. I love that even in space, even hundreds of years from now, with all our technological advances, we still struggle with who we are. - Karena

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A Closed and Common Orbit Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062569400
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - March 14th, 2017

Jacqueline Carey excels at creating lush worlds close to our own and this one is not to be missed. In this retelling of The Tempest, Miranda is left in the dark as to her father’s plans and even her own origins, but that won’t stop her from searching out the truth while also exploring her feelings for Caliban, her father’s ensorceled servant. Escaping to their island and immersing myself in this fantastical world was a major delight. - Ivy

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Miranda and Caliban Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780765386793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - February 14th, 2017

When Seth accidentally records an unknown singer in a park, his friend Carter sends it out over the Internet, claiming it’s a long lost 1920s blues recording by a musician called Charlie Shaw. When an old collector contacts them to say that their fake record and their fake bluesman are actually real, the two young white men, accompanied by Carter’s troubled sister Leonie, spiral down into the heart of the nation’s darkness, encountering a suppressed history of greed, envy, revenge, and exploitation. - Rico

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White Tears Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780451493699
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 14th, 2017

This is too strange and wonderful for a brief review, and still include all the reasons you’ll want it. Like love, guns, and constellations. Like conflicts with murderers, thieves, fishermen, principals, and environmentalists. Like love stories between lovers, and a girl and her father. Like past stories filled with clocks and women and bullets. Like growing forward, and growing up. A modern fairy tale you’ll want to read while on an adventure—or dreaming of one. - Jocelyn

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The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812989885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Press - March 28th, 2017

Bare, intense, and incredibly beautiful reading. Arimah has a kind of raw and obvious literary talent that seems almost unfair in the world of publishing. These concise and powerful short stories cut deeply without lingering too long over one image, over one characterization... a quiet and harsh exploration of violence, each story flashed like a photograph in the mind, using powerful words touched upon only briefly to vivid effect. Hard to read; worth every word. - a.c.

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What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735211025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

As refreshing as a glass of sweet tea, this novel deftly reimagines the familiar American Dream story in a contemporary Southern town where an extended African-American family grapples with their own unrealized potential. Debut author Stephanie Powell Watts beautifully captures classic themes from The Great Gatsby and spins them into an updated tale that is both poignant and earnest. An absolutely timely read. - Kelly

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No One Is Coming to Save Us Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062472984
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - April 4th, 2017

This is a story about the pursuit for belonging, the strength of women, and the ability of love to transcend culture, distance, and tragedy—and somehow the ancient tea trees of the Yunnan province become the secret keepers and the story tellers. Lisa See shows us a virtually unknown Chinese village and the more known American lifestyle and makes us acknowledge that our sameness overwhelms our differences, and that our most basic need as humans is to be known. - Jenny

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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501154829
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - March 21st, 2017

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