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.

Richard Powers is an author of voracious curiosity and laser focused insight, gracing each of his novel’s topics with originality and breadth. His newest, The Overstory, is structured around trees, their own histories and our relationships with them, both on a personal level through the cast of diverse characters he builds and through the environmental activism that brings them together in unexpected ways. Gorgeously written, thoughtfully rendered, this is another intellectual feat by one of my favorite authors. - Melinda

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The Overstory Cover Image
$22.36
ISBN: 9780393635522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 3rd, 2018

This is the Native memoir we need to be reading right now, one that does not look so much at the experience as through it, beyond it into a painful, poetic, grippingly real journey through struggle, breakdown, mental illness, relationship, abuse, shame, strength, motherhood and the perseverance to live. Mailhot’s writing is magnetic, propulsive, exquisitely crafted to pinpoint the intensity, confusion and complexity of each moment. - Melinda

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Heart Berries: A Memoir Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781619023345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - February 6th, 2018

Tara Westover’s memoir is an incredible read, not just because she details a childhood foreign to so many of us, but because she writes with such generosity and honesty to the entire experience. Westover comes of age among religious fanaticism, government distrust (read: no school, no doctors), extreme paranoia and outright danger (read next: child labor in a scrapyard), and yet she rises above to learn herself into university and the world beyond, but always with an eye to her family, both beloved and estranged. - Melinda

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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

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 Women's 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 (Flow) 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

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