Melinda's Reviews

Melinda Powers is the head book buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz and is therefore responsible for choosing which of the 300,000 titles published each year will make their way to our shelves (not including the children’s section). Formerly at Capitola Book Café, she can’t seem to quit this wonderful community of readers, booksellers, and books. She is okay with this addiction.

All right, Santa Cruzans: Whether you have your own Sprinter or vintage VW or you’re just looking for inspiration, a breath of fresh air, and a little open road, here’s the book for you and your favorite nomad. Huntington has put together a glorious collection of van life, divided into sections by vehicle type and full of stunning photographs and essays by those living the dream. Love Tiny Homes or Cabin Porn? Here’s your next move. - Melinda

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Van Life: Your Home on the Road Cover Image
By Foster Huntington (Artist)
$24.99
ISBN: 9780316556446
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers - October 10th, 2017

This is the soccer book I’ve been waiting for! Oxenham, who played for Santos FC in Brazil, takes us on an intimate tour of women’s soccer around the world. She follows Allie Long, who moonlights in underground men’s leagues, and Marta, the lesser known Brazilian Número 10, and others through Europe, Russia, refugee camps, motherhood, and more. It’s an engaging look at their real life struggles and passion, always their passion. - Melinda

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Under the Lights and in the Dark: Untold Stories of Womenas Soccer Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781785781537
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Icon Books - September 5th, 2017

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

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

This is the true story of an all-American family, but it just so happens that this family belongs to O-Six, the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park. American Wolf is a stellar example of nonfiction narrative, telling the story of one unique wolf as well as the history of wolves in the United States, their extirpation and recent reintroduction, their allies and those who cause them the greatest danger. - Melinda

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American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101902783
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - October 17th, 2017

In these times, we could all use a little light, beauty and inspiration—and Oprah’s gorgeous new offering is just the tonic. Open to any page and find a stunning photo, an essay by Oprah, or a short piece of conversational insight from Elizabeth Gilbert, Thich Nhat Hanh, Shonda Rhimes, and more. It’s the loveliest bit of breakfast table reading, so breathe deep and enjoy. - Melinda

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The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250138064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - October 17th, 2017

If you are already familiar with the unique Dutch magazine Flow, then you’ll know you’re in for a treat. It’s hard to describe this book, except to say that it is living, breathing inspiration. Part essay and think piece, part action item and resource guide, full of activities, illustrations and more, it’s perfect to flip through, pore over, interact with, and make into your own beautiful, thoughtful creations. - Melinda

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A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9780761193777
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing - October 3rd, 2017

This is the Mary Oliver book for your bookshelf (alongside all her other books, of course). Here, Oliver has personally chosen over 200 poems, selected from her most recent collection, Felicity, to her first from 1965, No Voyage and Other Poems. It is a pleasure to see the trajectory of her work over five decades of writing, but also to just dip in and out at your leisure, each time feeling awe. - Melinda

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Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780399563249
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - October 10th, 2017

Megan Hunter is a new force to be reckoned with and celebrated. In her beautiful, spare novel, climate crisis floodwaters force an exodus of London and we follow the story of one woman, her husband R, and her newborn son Z, as it is laid out in poetic captures, each word carefully placed. This is a haunting exploration of motherhood, its foreignness, its innate strength, and its parallels to survival in an upturned land. - Melinda

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The End We Start from Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780802126894
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - November 7th, 2017

Manhattan Beach is stunning. Read the first page and sigh with immense pleasure at having started something magnificent. Set in Brooklyn around the Great Depression and WWII, we follow young Anna Kerrigan, one of the first female Naval Yard divers, as she seeks to unravel her father’s mysterious disappearance. This may seem a straightforward historical novel, but with Egan’s peerless writing and keen emotional intelligence, it plumbs the depths of human will, connection, and reinvention. - Melinda

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Manhattan Beach Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9781476716732
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - October 3rd, 2017

theMystery.doc feels like a publishing moment, a novel that pushes the boundaries of its form in a profound and personal way. Despite the page count, it’s a quick read and is compelling in its artful collaboration of text, images, movie frames, web searches, messages, and more. At its heart is a man who wakes to find his memory gone and his unfinished novel a blank screen saved as theMystery.doc. It is that, and so much more. - Melinda

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Themystery.Doc Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780802124913
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - October 3rd, 2017

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