Bookshop Santa Cruz offers a great way for Book Groups to save 15% on the titles they read, get special invitations to Book Group mixers, and receive email recommendations on excellent Book Group titles.
Register your Book Group at our information desk or online and get 15% off your Book Group picks (when ordering 5 or more copies) and have us hold the titles in one place for easy pick up for all your group members! Browse our new Book Group shelves in the Fiction room for staff recommendations, local book group choices, and information on running Book Groups.
Below are some staff recommendations of great books for Book Groups.
As I read the first pages of The Children Act, I found myself wanting to slow down, to soak in these words for a while. This novel is pure Ian McEwan—perfectly weighted and paced, with characters who breathe on the page. But the thing about a novel by McEwan is that you can’t linger; the story insists that you continue. The Children Act is the work of a master.
I am completely stunned by Black’s first novel. I have enjoyed a lot of books lately, but, until reading this, I did not realize how much I’ve been missing the whole body impact of a book. Beautiful writing, effortlessly pinpointed to emotion without being emotive, Black writes life itself, tackling marriage, grief, trust, art, inspiration, friendship, motherhood, all of it.
Faber has written an incredible book, packaged beautifully—what a gift. I couldn’t help but be completely taken by it. Like all great storytelling, it contains a little bit of everything, but not too much of anything. It’s a moving exploration of relationships, faith, acts of grace and salvation, of humanity. Pick it up, read the description if you must, but then give yourself the book.
In An Unnecessary Woman, I found a best friend. Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in Beirut, in an apartment stuffed with books. She is neither religious nor married, which makes her an outcast. She is witty and perceptive and vulnerable, and I wish there was a way I might sit with her for just an hour, to share a cup of tea and talk books.
This beautiful, sweeping novel captures the feelings of World War II from the vantage point of ordinary lives. Following a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy, Doerr evokes the terror of the war and the hope that continues to survive even in its midst. A true masterpiece with stunning prose and deeply developed characters, this is by far my favorite book of 2014.
Moreno's debut novel is absolutely stunning. Protagonist Piper Gallagher is an EMT driver living in Los Angeles, and violence is a normal part of her day. Her attempts to grapple with this while running from the demons of her past creates a striking and realistic portrayal of the complexity of trauma. This book will haunt you, and poke you in the places you feel most human.
I was completely engrossed by this incredibly imaginative and thought-provoking novel. You are introduced to a society so alien, yet Paull gives her characters an incredible humanity. The blend of real-life bee behavior and the fictionalization of the characters’ emotions is incredibly alien, and yet familiar. This is a tightrope walk of literary genius and I highly recommend it.
This terrific collection of short stories follows the lives of American soldiers fighting the Iraq War, both on the battle field and, once home, in their minds and souls. A former soldier himself, Klay knows his stuff. He writes powerfully and sympathetically about all types of soldiers, from the hardest-bitten combat vets to cynical desk jockeys.
There are a thousand ways to write a sentence and Merritt Tierce seems to find the newest, best one, unique, not all put together, and exactly perfect. It’s not the most uplifting tale, one of a young waitress struggling to find herself amidst the sex, drugs and poor decisions of early adulthood, and yet there is so much heart to Marie, so much hope in spite of herself.
An homage to literary heavyweights like Hemingway and a playful satire of the writing process, Jansma’s novel details the coming-of-age rivalry between two writers travelling the world. Eradicating the line between truth and fiction, the unreliable protagonist shifts perspective to his own fictional creations, sending the reader down a veritable rabbit hole of narration.